Category Philosophy

The Homely Gangsters Episode 5; Immigrants

https://www.buzzsprout.com/255212/949615-immigrants-are-coming.mp3?download=true The brave Homely Gangsters dive into the immigration debate and find that, basically, it’s b.s. on both sides. What, really, are the pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant people after? Why do the rich and professional classes, in every society from Han Dynasty China to Brexit England, lean pro-immigrant? Why do the poor and laboring classes, in […]

The Homely Gangsters Episode 4; The Paris Agreements

https://www.buzzsprout.com/255212/949605-the-paris-agreement.mp3?download=true As the greenest podcast in the history of podcasting, the Earth-Mothers Mia and Jen team up with primitive survivalists Ben and Jamal to talk global warming, Trump vs. the UN and the largely ignored conflict between fighting climate change and helping poor people in industrializing countries. 

Science Popularizers in the 19th Century

We are, as I’m sure you’re aware, in the middle of a boom for scientific prestige. Never before have we been so impressed with the scientist as a heroic figure and only once before have we been willing to listen seriously when scientists (like Niel De Grasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking) pretend that […]

The Homely Gangsters, Episode 3; Hannah Arendt and Victims

https://www.buzzsprout.com/255212/949600-victim-blaming-victim-culture-and-hannah-arendt.mp3?download=true Listen as your four intrepid podcasters take a journey with political philosopher Hannah Arendt to explore some unexpected aspects of victimization. For example, what happens when people latch onto their victimization? What are the benefits of “achieving” victimization? How do hero and villain narratives distort reality?

Threats to Democracy

We tend to think of democracy as an inevitability. Indeed, Violet Brown, the current oldest person alive, was born in 1900, 124 years after the establishment of democracy in the US. Even my host country, South Korea, has been democratic longer than my sister has been alive. However, our current wave of democracy is only […]

#Me Too, Historical Context

  Me Too, which began in 2006 but exploded into the mainstream only with the various Hollywood sex scandals of late 2017, might seem like a novel thing, a shiny new movement unprecedented and out of context, but I promise it is not. Depending on your views you might love or hate the movement, but […]

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. […]

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 […]