Kill them! Kill them all!

The King of France was twenty-two years old, he was tired and angry, and he feared for his mother's life.

The problem with calling things “offensive” (Facebook Video)

My 90-second impromptu rant about offensive speech.

My thoughts on Killing an Arab

Self-censorship is harmful, but don't be too quick to judge those who do it.

Did I deal with this beggar correctly?

I tried to help her, and she took advantage of me. This is what I did next.

What feminism got right and wrong, in the 60’s and today

My 80 year old aunt reminisces about feminism.

Your self help book is problematic

People love to avoid taking good advice, especially when they don't trust the source.

A day in the life of an anxiety sponge

Having the right mindset can transform a theme park experience, for both you and those around you.

Why is racism bad?

Recently a young man on Twitter ask me: Why is racism bad? It might seem like a troll question, but he went on to explain what he meant. He wasn't talking about hating people or restricting rights based on race. He wasn't talking about using racial slurs or promoting racial segregation. He was using "racist" in that dry, emotionless statistical way that people do when they are making a case for profiling...

Guys and Females

My friend Mike is a personal trainer. We were discussing client personalities, and the fact that different clients like different approaches, different techniques, different attitudes from the person training them. At one point Mike remarked that while everyone is an individual, and people vary widely, he has noticed a pattern of differences "between guys and females". I interrupted: "Why do you say it that way?"

Drowning in a drop of water

Once upon a time, a man drowned in a river, so they put the river on trial. "It is clear from the evidence," Outraged Prosecutor declared, "That this river caused the death of this poor man!" But Clever Defense Attorney was clever. He twirled his black mustache and made direct eye contact with the jury as he smiled, and said: "Let's approach this rationally and scientifically, shall we?" The heads of the jury members bobbed in unison: it's always good to approach things rationally and scientifically! "I have in my hand a drop of water from that river....."

On Christmas and Stupid People

Friend of mine, who happens to be a successful writer and online personality, recently told me: "I don't write for stupid people, and neither should you." As I've been spending the winter holiday season reflecting back on the year, and contemplating life, love and happiness, I've also spent time reflecting on this bit of advice. And I've decided I disagree. So in the spirit of the holidays, I'm going to share with you 12 random bite-sized little thoughts -- little meditations, if you will -- on why I disagree: one for each of the twelve days of Christmas.

The simplest proof that free will is an illusion that you’ll ever see

Do you have reasons for making the choices that you make? If you do, then you don't have "free will". If you don't, then you also don't have "free will". It's really just that simple.

Atheism is not the opposite of religion

Are you religious, or are you an atheist? It's a pretty common question, and it goes hand-in-hand with a pretty common assumption: you're either one or the other. If you identify as "an atheist" you are presumed to not be religious, and if you identify as "religious" then you are presumed to believe in some kind of god. But this idea is completely wrong. There are religious atheists, there are areligious theists, and an incredible tapestry of different combinations in between.

Is everything a simulation? Maybe, but not in the way you think.

The most recent episode of Futuristic Now, a podcast by my friend Gray Scott, is about The Simulation Theory: the idea that the entirety of our experience--perhaps our entire universe--may be some form of simulation. Gray goes over some of the ideas people have put forth, and talks about some ways this view could be interpreted. As is always the case with his thought-provoking podcast, he brings up more questions than answers: If we are a simulation, who or what created us? What would the purpose be for creating a simulated universe? Does the mere existence of a simulation even require that there be a "creator" at all? As always, I like to dig in and get technical, and ask what it means for something to be a simulation in the first place.

So what are “trigger warnings” anyway?

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.

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