You remember those plays you went to when you were a kid, where you’re suppose to cheer for the good guy and boo the villain, or else it’s all going to go to hell?
It’s a nice illusion for the kiddies. It makes them feel like they’re in control of the outcome of the story.
We’re still playing it, aren’t we?
Continue reading Forbidden Thoughts in the Pre-Election Frenzy
- The refusal to acknowledge that there is a debate
There is a debate.
There is not much disagreement about the fact that climate changes. There are rather large and ongoing disagreements, however, on at least the following points:
- -whether natural cycles and variations contribute to climate change, and how much.
- -whether human activity and CO2 contribute to climate change, and how much.
- -whether climate change is a world-ending threat, or not.
- -whether climate change might actually be beneficial, or not.
- -whether to use forceful means to curb CO2 emissions, or whether to drive the push toward cleaner emissions through the marketplace.
If we view each of these positions as a spinner on a combination lock we end up with a number of different “combinations”. For example, one person might believe: Continue reading 7 Things Wrong With the Climate Debate
George R.R. Martin recently weighed in on allowing Syrian refugees into the country, and he did a fine job of stating the moral case for doing so, but I thought I’d just add a few thoughts of my own (on immigration in general, not just the Syrians): Continue reading The Case for (Completely) Open Immigration
“There’s a lot of scary stuff going on right now.”
Yep. I’ve heard some version of that from friends, colleagues, and family members pretty much my whole adult life.
Hey, they’re not wrong. Fanatical terrorism, genocidal wars, every Western government in the world going bankrupt (seemingly at once), the banking system and stock market on the verge of collapse, the spread of super-diseases, the industrialization and poisoning of the food supply, loopy fascist maniacs on the verge of being elected…
Here’s what’s certain: the world will look very different in ten years. Maybe sooner.
Does that mean we should just curl into a ball and wait for the end?
But let’s consider a few things first, shall we? Continue reading Should We Fear the Future? The Case Against Cowering
- Think for yourself. Most people accept the ideas they’re taught by their parents, school, peers, and culture. Independent thought is discouraged in our early lives. We are frequently punished for disagreeing with others (even if only with scorn) and rewarded for towing the line. This is how bad ideas perpetuate through the centuries. The older ideas are, the harder they are to question, challenge, or oppose. An independent thinker, however, is oriented toward truth rather than pleasing others or society. Independent thought is freethinking–they are synonymous.
Continue reading The Freethinking Manifesto