Category Politics

My anti-mask moment.

I’ve never been anti-mask, just pro common sense. For me, common sense means three things: Epistemic humility and respect for authority: I am not an epidemiologist. The case for masks sounds reasonable enough but I can’t know for sure. The legitimate authority (in my case the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) asks me to put on a […]

3 Weekend Thoughts

First, Andrew Sullivan agrees with me: I’m saying that Christianity and critical race theory, which is the core philosophy of BLM, are diametrically opposed, and rooted in utterly different views of the world and human nature. You can’t practice one and be part of the other without incoherence. — Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) July 25, […]

Ideology Makes You Stupid

Alain Besancon’s A Century Of Horrors is an essay on the physical, moral and intellectual destruction brought about by Nazism and Communism. He compares and contrasts the ideologies and ponders why Nazism is universally condemned while Communism is remembered as a flawed but noble experiment. He defines the movements as ideologies: a doctrine that, in […]

A Hero in Your Own Mind

The attached video is painful to watch. This person engaged in a stupid murder-fantasy on social media (rejoicing in the thought of stabbing and watching bleed to death anyone who says “all lives matter” instead of “black lives matter) and got fired for it. She then sobs into the camera about being a victim. This […]

Fragmentary thoughts on the current moral panic

None of these ideas bouncing around my head are developed enough to write a full post but I had to jot them down: Fragment 1: America needs an exorcism. The spirit of fear, paranoia and anger is so generalized and bipartisan in the United States right now that I suspect the cause is not only […]

Reinterpreting Symbols

In the late fourth century Christians used their new political power to depaganize the state, tearing down statues of the gods from public buildings. These statues were quite literally idols meant to not only represent the god but also make him present and provide a vehicle for acts of worship. In Mediterranean religion an animal […]

Three Definitions of Racism

Definition 1: Racism is the belief that ethnic groups can be categorized as inferior or superior relative to one another based on their innate qualities. Definition 2: Racism is the tendency all people have to prejudge individuals by unfair generalizations about their ethnic group. Definition 3: Racism is an all-pervaisive culutral superstructure that benefits one […]

Covid-19 Thoughts

The pot calls the kettle black: Rod Dreher is accusing R.R. Reno of melting down over the Covid-19 shutdowns; Dreher collapsed into a steaming puddle of goo six weeks ago. Reno is being silly, of course, calling wearing masks an act of cowardice when it is an act of prudence in an uncertain situation. We […]

Risk assessment

It is axiomatic that people are bad at assessing risks. People are afraid of flying but not afraid of driving, even though the latter is much more dangerous. Parents warn their children never to talk to strangers even though strangers are much less likely to harm children than friends or relatives. People who refuse to […]

The collapse of historical memory

I used to think David Brooks was smart. I get the sense that this is not only the low point of the Trump presidency but the low point of the American presidency ever. Has any president ever been this overmatched by a crisis? — David Brooks (@nytdavidbrooks) March 13, 2020 The corona virus crisis has […]