Articles about Politics
Josiah Jennings and Greg Stevens talk plainly about what liberals don’t get about those who support Trump.
Some insight into how incompetent our current federal legislative branch really is.
A play in three acts.
Is being a consultant or entrepreneur hurting your social skills?
Trump’s “Piss-Gate” and the problem of people without cats.
Can we please try to think strategically about this?
And this is why it’s important for him to be yours, as well.
It helps to talk to people who were there.
Surely we can use technology to do better.
My latest chit-chat interview with Josiah Jennings is about trigger warnings and political correctness in academia. It was really prompted by two articles, one from Vox and another in The Atlantic. Both articles talk about political correctness being the major force of censorship and limitation in classes. But Josiah and I talk about some of the drastic misunderstandings there are concerning what “political correctness” and “trigger warnings” really mean, and some of the motivations of the people spreading misinformation.
For the last few years, conservatives in various states have been pushing to have monuments to the 10 Commandments erected on state property. The standard line is that it isn’t a “religious symbol” but rather is a tribute to the influence that the 10 Commandments have had, culturally, on our laws and legal system. But if we take that argument seriously, we have to consider: were the 10 Commandments REALLY the very beginning of these traditions? As it turns out, there is a legal system much older that, when you do the math, is even more strongly related than the 10 Commandments is to the laws we have today.
Elon musk was a co-founder of PayPal, is the CEO of both electric-car manufacturer Tesla Motors and the spacecraft company SpaceX, and he is chairman of SolarCity. He’s trying to make zero-emission electric cars widely available, launch spacecraft into orbit, invent the perfect battery, and create an effective solar-powered energy grid. These are incredibly broad “infrastructure-level” initiatives. Rather than throwing his power and money into inventing a gadget with his name on it that will appear in people’s homes, he is building the services that eventually all of the gadgets you use will completely and utterly rely on. And you will look back at the fact that he used your tax money to do it, and you will thank him for it.
I have been dealing with a common and recurring logical problem that I see in cultural and political discussions, and it has come up often enough lately that I’d like to actually give it a label and a definition. I’m going to call it the “fallacy of incorrect scoping”. I’m using the term “incorrect scoping” to refer to any time there is some trait X that is bad, and because that trait is correlated with group Y, people will identify it as a “Y problem” or as a “X&Y problem”, even though the only thing that is actually causing the problem is X. It happens constantly in political and social debates, and it is completely and disgustingly wrong.
Yesterday’s episode of the Chris Krok radio show, a local Dallas conservative talk show, was entirely dedicated to the extreme anguish that Texans apparently feel when confronted with the question, “What do I call someone instead of ‘black guy’?” Chris Krok spent a good 30+ minutes talking about this issue, and spoke with many listeners who called in to opine on the subject. And in that entire time, not a single person addressed the actual issue involved, or the way to solve it.
Today I went to the grocery store. I didn’t want to: it’s New Years day, it’s raining, and Jon and I have a cold. But we ran out of Nyquil, so something had to be done. While I was at the store, I picked up Nyquil, some chicken breast, some eggs, and two spring rolls from the nice Japanese man at his Sushi counter. I went to the self-checkout kiosk, and worked my way through it. When I tapped the screen to show that I was finished, there was a prompt I’d never seen before: “How many bags would you like to purchase?” it asked. I glanced over at my groceries, cuddled up in one of the store’s plastic bags. Normally I bring my own canvas bags, but I was tired and in a rush and it slipped my mind. As of today, Dallas has instituted a Plastic Bag Tax, you see: and it had me thinking about free market economics and government regulation all the way home.
A friend of mine in college was accused of sexual harassment. Let’s call him Mike (that’s not his real name). Mike was six foot three, with a lean well-defined muscular body. Athletic and fit without being bulky, like a runner or a swimmer. He had tanned skin, shoulder-length shaggy hair, and a boyish face that radiated innocence and charm. He constantly smelled of patchouli, and wrote poetry in a little notebook. He was also hyper-sexual. He slept with a lot of women, and flirted with everyone. This is a story about how his sexuality and flirting got him into trouble, and lead to him sexually harassing a woman without even realizing it.
I’m against war, but I am not against military drones. Why not? Because when I hear other people explain why they are against military drones, I find none of the arguments convincing. So here I will go through four specific arguments I hear from people when they try to tell me why they are against military drones, and I will explain why those arguments are stupid and wrong. When I’m done, I think you won’t be against military drones, either.