It is a common mistake to believe someone arrived at a life predicament because of their own choice. But when we reflect on our own lives, we see them more empathetically, forgiving the small mistakes and acknowledging that they weren’t conscious choices. They were merely results of incidents, different circumstances that led to our failure; this is a universe guided by molecular collisions, by determinism, and we are not at fault for our situation. Continue reading My egotistical pedestal: On determinism
I’ll try to be brief, but this needs to be said. I often read statistics of women getting lower average pay than men and of black people being incarcerated more often than whites. These are two correlations that potentially could have absolutely nothing to do with sexism or racism. Maybe women’s work doesn’t deserve as high of salaries, and maybe black people commit more crimes. Both of these are possible, and could be reasonable explanations for the statistics. But, here’s my point, my very important point that I beg you to read carefully, the reason for the problem doesn’t negate the fact that it is still a problem. There is absolutely no situation in which any of us get out of this with no responsibility. Whether an individual’s result is because of overt or subtle sexism or racism or because of choices that they were influenced to make matters only in deciding how to treat the problem, not in deciding if there is a problem. Continue reading Racism or not, Michael Brown shouldn’t be dead
Last week I bought a refrigerator from Lowe’s and have had an enlighteningly difficult experience dealing with them. I have so often heard about the crimes of such superstores on small town living and after my most recent experience, have even more reason to find those claims absolutely hilarious. So many people have such bitterness towards Walmart and other such superstores, citing them as a terror to their town, the customers embarrassed to admit when they are forced through those well lit doors. But why such a taboo around these stores? Most can’t explain it in a logical manner, citing frustration with them ending the reign of local stores and the demise of humanity and still most people find the cheap prices of increased efficiency attractive. The funny thing I find though is that these same people seem to put these corporations on a pedestal of invincibility, essentially admitting that nothing can compete with them other than laws and their silly masqueraded protests. But with my most recent experience, a local store could easily trump the frustration and poor customer service I experienced. Continue reading They can be beaten
I remember I was on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania when I finished reading Fahrenheit 451. I was at a camp maintained by Boy Scouts, a clean and elegantly designed shelter scarred only with the signatures of many dozens of prepubescent boys. My companions for the night were a diverse group of interesting characters, some out for the night, some making the same journey I had signed up for. For every one of us it seemed it was an escape. My companions remained anonymous until I finished the last bits of the book. They could tell something about it struck me deep. Continue reading Boston manhunt and Fahrenheit 451
This isn’t the first time Bill Maher has pissed me off with his support of pseudoscience. I know he doesn’t give a damn about my opinion, but I’m posting my frustration anyways. It’s often the people who I agree with the most who I am most curious about, and sometimes the most skeptical of. I wonder what their inspiration is, deciding it is less important what people believe, but rather why they believe it. For Bill Maher, I believe he holds a wild double standard. With respect to God, the man says the burden of proof is on the believer. He displaces himself, rightly so, from having to make any statements about his lack of theory. He said it perfectly: “atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position.”
The burden of proof can be easily realized using Bertrand Russell’s teapot analogy. I could in no way prove to you that there is not a teapot in space orbiting the Sun.
I’m about to make an argument on a premise that not many people agree with me on. I guess that’s a pretty silly idea but hell, I’m doing it anyways. I wrote a post not long ago encouraging people to be more selfish. You can read it here. But the general gist of it is that selfishness is not synonymous with greed and that if one is truly concerned with oneself, then they will inevitably help everyone more than someone who strives for selflessness. An analogy would be to giving an employee a higher wage so they can come to work without hunger and therefore, be more productive. Sometimes, I understand that this is not the case, that to the employer, the benefit of satiety is minute in comparison to the cost of feeding. But I argue that this is a dynamic stage, not a homeostatic one. I believe from fundamental logic of thermodynamics that an economy can reach equilibrium unless restrained by external interference. Of course there will be unemployment but there will be less than if restricted by regulation.
So here I go. Grant me that initial premise and you may realize this one. Or maybe the combination of two seemingly faulty premises will help with acknowledging that I may not be a quack after all.
Walmart is actually an awesome corporation. There I go; I said it. I know I’m not the first one and I imagine (I hope) I won’t be the last. Why is Walmart awesome despite the overwhelming hatred for it and its customer base to be, shall we say, less than classy and occasionally inbred? Walmart is great exactly because it is as selfish as it can possibly be.
I feel the need to clarify some things written in a post titled “My reason for god” as well as state some things I forgot to mention and highlight some other points.
To me, god is not defined in the undefined. God is not limited to what we cannot explain. In that, we would simply be admitting to inadequacy. Instead, I believe in those points, god can be evident. However, what I really see as god is a belief that this is all too strange to have been an accident. With that said, I believe that thought can be left at that. I do not have claim to have conversations with this force nor do I claim to be able to define it. I simply filled in the three letter word in place of my amazement of existence.
When I was younger, I abandoned the term god for that word above, existence. Continue reading Post Script
Humanity needs survivors. No one can deny that. We need people who are strong, people who are smart and healthy. We need people who are hard working, compassionate, and logical. All these qualities arguably can result from natural selection. However, in current American society, we have all but completely suppressed natural selection and are heading towards a complete abandonment of artificial selection. Continue reading Reinstating selection