Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hume’s Combination of Atheism and Virtue

This essay on the 18th century philosopher David Hume illustrates the difficulty 18th century and later Christians had accepting his combination of atheism and virtue. They considered it an offense and challenge to their beliefs. Here in the US, we’re in the early 21st century and dealing with much the same religious fear and intolerance.

My Body Is a Confederate Monument

“I am a black, Southern woman, and of my immediate white male ancestors, all of them were rapists. My very existence is a relic of slavery and Jim Crow.”

brilliant and moving, an excellent response to those who want to preserve Confederate monuments out of some misplaced sense of honor and tradition.

 

On Tattoos

I gave the following advice to one of my children, who’s now 18 and itching to get a tattoo because some of his friends and others he admires have them and he attributes coolness and other intangible qualities to tattoos.

“Tattoos are a quick and effective means of changing your external appearance, decorating yourself with symbols to enhance your social standing or remind yourself of certain human/non-human relationships or ideas. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this and many people enjoy their tattoos with few or no regrets.

I have one major concern with the easy availability of tattoos – the widespread practice of young people, who often lack the life experience to understand the long term consequences of their actions and the patience to wait out their impulses, getting tattoos as a means of quickly changing who they are, making easy but long lasting changes to their external appearance rather than doing the long and difficult work of changing themselves.”

I’m not sure whether my thoughts helped my son think more deeply about why he wants a tattoo. So far, he hasn’t gotten one. I hope if/when he does, he does so after having reflected on what he hopes to gain by it.

 

Victor Blackwell on Trump’s Racist Attacks

Racist Donald Trump has been a racist his entire life and he used that racism to help him win the 2016 election. A cowardly press has avoided calling Trump racist directly, but hopefully that will change given how openly Trump is now attacking non-whites.

When Trump attacked Elijah Cummings and his district in Baltimore, MD, characterizing Cummings and his district the same way Nazis characterized Jews to dehumanize them, Victor Blackwell spoke brilliantly in response. Here’s that video.

Sources

Trump’s History of Racism

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/donald-trump-racist-meme/

https://www.vox.com/2016/7/25/12270880/donald-trump-racist-racism-history

Trump’s 27 July 2019 Attack on Cummings and Baltimore

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/27/trump-lashes-out-rep-elijah-cummings-baltimore-district/1845890001/

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-elijah-cummings-tweets-dangerous-filthy-baltimore-2019-7

Video

https://twitter.com/yashar/status/1155128232322187265/video/1

Thoughtful Essay on Collapse of the World into Two Classes

Daniel Miessler has written a thought provoking essay on the disappearance of the middle class and the collapse of society into a small wealthy class and a very large and poor underclass. There’s a link on the page to listen to this on audio.

Your Phone Is Not Waterproof

Image via ACCC

Cell phone manufacturers including Apple, Samsung, and Google claim their devices are water resistent, waterproof, or otherwise safe to use in water or wet environments. This short piece by ifixit is worth reading if you use your devices near liquids and care about what happens if they get wet.

 

Sources:

https://www.ifixit.com/News/your-phone-is-never-waterproof-no-matter-what-the-maker-says

https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/samsung-in-court-for-misleading-phone-water-resistance-advertisements

Crank Magnetism

If you’re interested in critical thinking and the remarkable ability of many people to delude themselves and others, it’s worth reading this short reference on crank magnetism, which may remind you of several people you know. We certainly have some people among our relatives and my kids’ friends who are walking demonstrations of crank magnetism.

RationalWiki is a good resource for critical thinking and research on ideas and people you encounter. I’ve found it well written and have not found any obvious false or misleading statements in my occasional visits to the site.

 

Source: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Crank_magnetism