Season 21: March 2018-September 2018


I got to spend a week with a friend and also record a song. Ozzy gave me a massage and noticed that my shoulders had no tension in them at all. I turned 23. Some of the Nietzschean stuff was really settling in. Between the philosophical energy and physical energy from working out so much, I was very energetic. This also lead me to switch from XL shirts to M. And pick out some plain white tees to go under my leather jacket. The style only turned up from there. Also March was the month of the Bad Santa vs. Bad Santa 2, greatest poll of all time. The winter quarter ended, and I got another wisdom tooth right on schedule.

“You can’t break what’s broken.”
“The only purpose of his existence is as a pinata.”
“I had a dream last month. I was in fifth grade again. I didn’t fit in very well because I’m 22.”
“If you ask what you should do, the answer to do what you should do is remarkably unhelpful.”
“Just put a footnote there to be like, ‘I recognize your objection, but shut the fuck up.’”
“If you’re having a bad time, just remember that the complete individual concept of everything in the best possible world includes your being in the best possible world.”
“Books of the American Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Romans, Corinthians 14, Revelation, Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradisio, the artwork of Da Vinci, Paradise Lost, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, Thomas Jefferson, The Da Vinci Code”
“Here for a short time, not for a good time.”
“None of the legislators who say that gun-free zones are killing fields are working to protect their own safety by allowing guns in the capitols. I’m starting to think they’re being disingenuous.”
“Sometimes I hear complaints about continental philosophy being incomprehensible, etc., but I open an analytic article and already in the first paragraph the author is talking nonsense.” [Referring to an article mentioning a mind-independent world.]
“In response to some of the (school) shootings, I have seen several people suggest taking away people’s guns or even attacking the shooters with fire extinguishers. But we should remember that using violence makes you just as bad as them. What we really need is for people in the shot-at community to reach out to active shooters. We need conversation and democracy, not more violence.”
“I did not intend to derail a seminar on contemporary philosophy of mind onto Locke vs. Berkeley. But I’m not upset that it happened.”
“So, since I cannot not vote, I’ll do the next closest thing. I’ll vote libertarian.” 

Nichi, March 2018


Again, me in December on me in April: “April fired off a quarter I wasn’t super excited about at first. A lot of ethics. And six courses, for whatever reason. (It all worked out, though.) Prospie weekend also happened. So I got a sneak preview of the entering cohort. The spring quarter started with Larry Wrightfest, which had some of the most interesting talks I’ve heard. Perhaps the strangest spontaneous activity was going to the gym on an offhanded invite, leading me to run 13 miles that night and then 13 more the next. My sister visited, and that was also nice. We went to the mall and I bought pants. The checkered and constellation pants I wear all the time. And the heels I like to wear to be tall. The Wittgenstein stuff I had been working on finally sunk in and I turned my back on metaphysics as I knew it. “

“I am a ray of sunshine that will burn you.”
“Explain like I’m B.F. Skinner.”
“Okay but the moon is a hoax sooooo”
“Always remember that in 1998, The Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell In A Cell, and plummeted 16 ft through an announcer’s table.”
“Another episode of Nichi doing ethics:
I sat down to write a paper on Kant’s moral theory.
Four hours later, I have seven pages on Kant’s metaphysics of time.”
“In today’s episode of Nichi attempting to not constantly go meta in a normative ethics seminar: The article we were discussing noted that deontologists prioritize deliberation while consequentialists prioritize justification. The two options proposed were ditch deontology or ditch consequentialism.
My third option: Abandon the temporal fixity of truth. (Assuming there is a fact of the matter as to whether to take action phi at time t, the truth or falsity is determined according to deontology prior to t and according to consequentialism after t. This option was remarkably unpopular.)”
“I know the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon is a thing, but I did not expect it to apply to the contents of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.”
“If you give up on things like value judgements and expertise, you lose almost all ground you have to say much with oomph. Some things are better than some other things. Aesthetically as well as politically. Media created with nuance and skill is better than kitsch and propaganda. People who spend a lot of time studying a thing do tend to know better than most about that thing. “Elitism” has become such a bad word that we’ve forgotten that it is better to be better.”
“Texts (and other works, but usually texts) that are difficult and slow, but rewarding, to work through have benefits over fast and easy media. Simple messages are easy to use as rallying cries. For good or bad causes. If something takes no thought to consume, then it usually won’t get much thought in its consumption. This isn’t to say that writing in such a way that is needlessly difficult to understand is a good thing, but works that reward reading slowly and rereading and analysizing are better.”
“While most of my philosophical interests are interests for probably decent reasons, I’m pretty sure my interest in the (possibility of and Kant’s view on) the moral badass is mostly immature giggling at the jargon.”
“As I was running a couple days ago I saw someone riding a bike parallel to me. Then a minute later I noticed I had kept pace with him.”
“In my notes I use a lot of abbreviations. Berkeley is B, Kant is K, Nietzsche is N, from is f/, with is w/, without is w/o, metaphysics is MP, knowledge is K, earthquake is EQ, radical freedom is RF, argument is arg, et cetera is etc., etc.
You can imagine my confusion the first time I reread my notes on K’s theory of K.”
“There are things that are intrinsically valuable and meaningful.
And that value and meaning supervenes on the physical.”
“April fools all search for meaning is futile.”
“Well, around a year ago I was really on about metaphysics and ethics. I think anyone who has mentioned Leibniz or a topic close enough (monads, panpsychism, communism, that things exist) is aware enough of this. But after many tumultuous nights I cannot shake the conclusion that to do metaphysics is to look in all the wrong places. Ethics has similar problems.
But, of course never to despair, I have some hope for fruitful investigations in the philosophies of language and religion.” 

Nichi, April 2018


By May I was keeping a little notebook with me at all times to keep track of my interesting thoughts before they got away. Many of my friends graduated, and their success made me feel proud of my alma mater. I started the Philosophy Memes album.

“ will help. Also .3.3. Uhh, the .3.3 replaces the .9. An extra level is added.”
“Who’s ready to lay the smackdown on primary qualities?”
“What good is good?”
“In this week’s episode of Nichi attempts moral philosophy: I bracket metaphysical problems and defend Kant.”
“Kant on evil: It’s a feature.”
“If a generation of preteens can learn HTML/CSS for their MySpace pages, one would think a basic markup language would not be much to learn for an academic paper.”
“Sometimes I forget that while I’m in a humanities graduate program, my B.S. is indeed representative of a STEM education.
Then I show up to metalogic class way too excited for set theory and remember.”
“My parents are out of town, so I threw a party without their permission.
I actually haven’t seen them in eight months. I don’t think they’re coming. Is there a protocol here? How many parties do I throw? How long am I supposed to keep doing this?”
“Given the on-going debate between using one or two spaces after a full stop, I have decided to just do both.”


In June I finished my first year of grad school. With four incompletes, in part because I got too sick. I wrote some blog posts. I realized summer wouldn’t be as productive as I had hoped.

“They wanted to pay homage to Kant by not getting a fucking editor.”
“Bring national politics into children’s card games”
“Lesson: Don’t be ugly”
“In this weeks episode of ideas Nichi finds out someone else already thought, after many arguments of idealism vs. physicalism, I’ve started thinking perhaps they’re basically the same thing. But, here it is, eighty-one years ago.”
“Continental philosophers: Analytic philosophers don’t make sense.
Analytic philosophers: Conties don’t make sense.
Me, a pluralist: “Moreover, the grounding relation is, as affirmed in the rejection of the metamaxim-as-causal-disposition account of the identity of metamaxim with character, having to do with a metamaxim that is only understood from the noumenal standpoint as a metamaxim.””
“As it turns out, eating $15 of low-quality food in one sitting is a challenge.”
“Perhaps the most unexpected change: Unlike in Indiana, after voting in California, I was rewarded with a weapon.”
“Yknow, I wonder if we’d get higher voter turnout if everyone had polls within easy walking distance and a very quick process.”
“Remember that a vote for a third party is a vote for the Republican.
And remember that a vote for a third party is a vote for the Democrat.
So by voting third party, you double your voting power. #LegalLoopholes
“There was a study awhile ago that put children in a room with a marshmallow. The children were promised a second marshmallow if they could resist the temptation for one minute.
Thirty years later, some researchers looked at how those kids turned out. There was a remarkable difference in outcomes as adults between the children who did and did not wait. Some people took this as evidence that willpower is important. (That willpower isn’t even a thing is one of my axes to grind, but that’s another post.)
Another twenty years later, further research indicates that familial wealth did the job. Wealth explains why some kids waited. And wealth also tends to lead to more wealth.
When most of your experiences are one way, you grow to expect that way. It tints the way you perceive things. Poor kids (and people who are poor for an extended period of time in general) have learned to not trust that nice things will persist. They are in a world in which the best way to get nice things is to take them while you can. Some guy in a labcoat saying that there will be a second marshmallow does not constitute sufficient reason to believe that there will be a second marshmallow.
(Of course, in addition to the familial wealth explaining a lot of the trend towards better outcomes, the resulting difference in how the world is perceived probably also plays an important role. If the only way up is to play the long game, then anyone who rationality demands see the world in terms of the short game is at a huge disadvantage.)”
“After a week of laughing at Indiana for being hotter than here, I guess someone decided to set the sun to kill mode.” 

Nichi, June 2018


I made a new logo.
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