Category Culture

Seneca and Trigger Warnings

  I took part in a community discussion a few years ago. The rules asked me to label anything “potentially hurtful” with something I’d never heard of before, a so-called trigger warning. I asked what this meant and learned that the mention of certain topics “triggers” painful, often unbearable memories in the audience. For example, […]

The Saturn Five Rocket and Human Suffering

Look upon the Saturn V rocket. It is 110.6 meters tall, taller than the Statue of Liberty. It’s 10 meters in diameter, weighs nearly 3 million kilograms and cost 700 million dollars in today’s money. The first stage of this rocket created more than 3.4 million kilograms of thrust and consumed 2.3 million kilograms of […]

The Aesthetic Case Against Rights

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book “Overcoming Justice.” I’d love any ideas, reactions and thoughts you have regarding this article. I have several reasons for viewing rights with suspicion. I think the epistemology is all messed up and I think that the concept of human rights invalidates huge swaths of history and experience. […]

The 2016 Election

I’d like to start this post with a short history of voting rights. The 19th century and early 20th century was rife with revolution. The last remnants of medievelism were being crushed and replaced with, occassionally, democracies and, more often, chaotic democratic disasters that quickly descended into strongman dictatorships. The democracies that survived were the […]

A Short Meditation on Victim Blaming

Victims deserve pity not blame. It is almost impossible to respect someone you pity. I would rather be blamed. “It is the spirit of our times to honor the victimized. They, the downtrodden, the deliciously injured, the erotically disempowered – how lovely is it to shower our pity down on their bowed shoulders? How fervid […]

Why We Hate, Part Two

Click here for part one of “Why We Hate.” See this dude here? He knows a lot of things. Far more than you, though he pities you enough that he would never say so and risk hurting your little feelings. He wouldn’t have to say anything, if you just spent a few minutes in his […]

Politicians > Military Leaders > Businessmen, Really?

  Between Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Han Fei-tzu and my rapidly worsening podcast addiction, I’ve been learning an awful lot about ancient history recently. One of the themes I’ve kept running across is this pattern where good politicians seem to be much more important and much more powerful than generals or […]

A Panegyric Upon Liberty

  Let us sing of liberty! Through the clouds of oppression, however thick, ever our sweet light of freedom shown. Though the bloody hands of tyranny bind and abuse our lady of liberty, she struggles on, inevitable in her triumph. Let us sing of liberty! Under your yoke, however weighty, we have suffered with the […]

Beyond Christianity, Part 3

I recently asked a group of writers how I could write a convincing homophobic character who is himself a closeted gay. Since I’m a novelist asking this question to a group advertising itself as a resource for writers, it seemed to me a pretty reasonable question. I didn’t get anything useful for character development, but I […]

Beyond Christianity, Part 2

A friend on Facebook recently posted a Fox News video about “liberal agitators” at a Trump rally. Being that this was from Fox News, the agitators they chose to show were not particularly articulate. I was milliseconds away from forgetting all about it until I saw this comment beneath the video: “They’re being paid to […]