Monthly Archives: May 2013

Wisdom of the Ancients, Redux

The authors of the paper on Victorian intelligence have seen my critique and kindly replied. HBD Chick has already addressed their response from pretty much the same perspective I will, but just to make it official… I originally complained that … Continue reading

Hansonian Optimism

Imagine a kingdom ruled by a wise and benevolent king who, by reason of some strange tradition, is prohibited from ever leaving his palace. He only receives information on the affairs of the kingdom from his various Viziers. Like most … Continue reading

Fetal Attraction: Abortion and the Principle of Charity

Recently, Alas, A Blog wrote an article saying that Democrats don’t really care about helping the poor, they only care about increasing government’s ability to take your money. We can prove this, because Republicans consistently give more to charity than … Continue reading

Transhumanist Fables

Once upon a time there were three little pigs who went out into the world to build their houses. The first pig was very lazy and built his house out of straw. The second pig was a little harder-working and … Continue reading

The World Is Flat And Intensively Farmed

I like the Midwest. It is a superstimulus for something – call it “Americana”. There are trees everywhere, big puffy clouds, white picket fences, big red barns, and burger joints with single-syllable names. Also, I am pretty sure I spotted … Continue reading

Going From California With An Aching In My Heart.

Alicorn once told the story of how, when she was younger, she used to think she disliked life. Then she realized she just disliked being a kid, and that after that problem was solved life was pretty good. In much … Continue reading

The Wisdom of the Ancients

Were The Victorians Cleverer Than Us?, asks a new study by Woodley et al that has gotten name-dropped in places like The Daily Mail and The Huffington Post. Meanwhile, Betteridge’s Law of Headlines continues to warn us that “Any headline … Continue reading

Apart From Better Sanitation And Medicine And Education And Irrigation And Public Health And Roads And Public Order, What Has Modernity Done For Us?

. . . Brought peace. As you may have noticed, instead of another GIGANTIC WALL OF TEXT I am trying to write my rebuttal to Reactionary philosophy in the form of several smaller posts that I can then link together … Continue reading

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Can You Condition Yourself?

A friend recently told me about a self-help tactic that has become popular in the circles I move in: the idea of applying behaviorism to yourself (sometimes called “training your inner pigeon”). The idea is you give yourself rewards when … Continue reading

Against Bravery Debates

There’s a tradition on Reddit that when somebody repeats some cliche in a tone that makes it sound like she believes she is bringing some brilliant and heretical insight – like “I know I’m going to get downvoted for this, … Continue reading