Stop voting based on identity

Kylie Cheung (@kyliecheung on Twtter) put it well: “To be clear, Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign relied on “identity politics”—specifically, the rage and insecurities of white men. In fact, he relied on “identity politics” substantially more than Clinton’s campaign, which offered in-depth economic proposals for affordable and accessible health care, housing, and job growth that would benefit wide swaths of the population. The reason we … Continue reading Stop voting based on identity

A view of transmeds, tucutes, gender critics, queer leftists, cultish practices, and it not being that hard to just respect people

Between my spending a lot of time in queer spaces, the shitshow in professional philosophy, and, at this point, just popular discourse, I decided to try to understand the positions different groups who concern themselves with transness. Primarily I’m looking for the positions held and the arguments and evidence for those positions. Seconardily I’m looking for the practical concerns and sociological features of the groups, … Continue reading A view of transmeds, tucutes, gender critics, queer leftists, cultish practices, and it not being that hard to just respect people

Some Comments on Psychiatry, Re: Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson has been getting some attention for her rather obscene claims about healthcare. But I think there’s an important discussion to be had here; inability to pay isn’t the only thing harming people in the current system. I present the following four facts: 1. Most psychiatric disorders don’t have well-understood mechanisms. For most conditions, there are several competing hypotheses, some or all of which … Continue reading Some Comments on Psychiatry, Re: Marianne Williamson

“Should X Be Legal?” Doesn’t Sound Bloody Enough

“Should X be legal?” misses a lot of the options in any discussion, and it hides the brutality of some of the options. For instance, “Should pot be legal?” sounds like the sort of questions with sane answers on both sides. Maybe it doesn’t, but it seems like it could. “Should we send armed agents of the state to violently remove people from their homes … Continue reading “Should X Be Legal?” Doesn’t Sound Bloody Enough

How sure you need to be depends on what you’re doing (Or: As usual I think social media discussions are missing a more fundamental disagreement, this time about a SCOTUS nominee)

Brett Kavanaugh is being considered for a position on the Supreme Court of the United States. He’s also been accused of sexual assault. This information has been all over social media lately, and there seems to be, as there often is, a fundamental disagreement behind the arguments. On the surface, we see basic support versus opposition of the man. There are some straightforward statements of … Continue reading How sure you need to be depends on what you’re doing (Or: As usual I think social media discussions are missing a more fundamental disagreement, this time about a SCOTUS nominee)

Freedom of speech does not end at the First Amendment

Someone said or did something controversial. Then, private companies decided not to let the person use their platforms anymore. (Or they deleted a few posts or whatever.) Not too long after, the person (or their followers) make an appeal to freedom of speech. Something like “[Company] is violating [person]’s free speech!” with “and that’s bad” implicit at the end. In response, people who don’t like … Continue reading Freedom of speech does not end at the First Amendment

A brief example of the disingenuity of states’ rights champions

So, California wants to have its own emission standards for automobiles. They want standards that are stricter than the national standards. Some other states do, too, but California is the one that really upsets the anti-environment right because there are so many cars in the state that California standards are effectively national standards. Where are all the states’ rights champions on this? Why are Fox … Continue reading A brief example of the disingenuity of states’ rights champions

Another attempt to bring out the two most critical points in the abortion debate

A month or two ago Ireland made a stride towards legal abortion, and the US made a stride in the opposite direction. Abortion is always on the political table though. I imagine a perfect pregnancy-prevention mechanism would cool the flames quite a bit, but even then, people can change their minds, and the question will emerge of whether that should be allowed. But as usual, … Continue reading Another attempt to bring out the two most critical points in the abortion debate

Some media is better than other media

This article is excellent. I don’t agree with everything in it, but I think it has two very good and important points:   1. 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 … Continue reading Some media is better than other media

Brick-and-mortar stores are complaining that online stores not having to charge sales taxes is unfair; they’re right, what an occasion to end sales taxes!

Though it’s a state government leading the charge, the good justification for changing the law isn’t the one in the state’s interest. I see two complaints here: The state government wants more revenue. Online sales generally lower the amount of in-state sales, so the sales tax revenue is reduced. Physical retailers have to charge more than online retailers because of the sales tax boosting their … Continue reading Brick-and-mortar stores are complaining that online stores not having to charge sales taxes is unfair; they’re right, what an occasion to end sales taxes!