You can’t savor your regrets

So long as your life isn’t so bad you’re ready to end it, regrets cannot be savored; this is frustrating but you can’t really be frustrated. It’s paradoxical but true.

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Lamb’s blood ideas

I’ve been thinking lately about something I’ll term “lambsblood” ideas. The name is taken from the Passover story in the Bible, in which the Israelites painted their doorways with lamb’s blood so the spirit of death would pass over their homes.

I wonder if certain patterns of argument and cultural displays subconsciously serve the purpose of making people feel like they will be spared from future harm that would otherwise affect them.

E.g.: “If I put a Black Lives Matter sign on my lawn then my house will be skipped over during the race riots”; “If I wear a pro-2nd Amendment t-shirt then none of those gun nuts will shoot me when they revolt about possibly having their guns taken away”.

While it’s easy to accuse people of this, it’s impossible to prove. But that doesn’t mean lambsblood ideas don’t factor into people’s reasoning.

A non-EDM-listener reacts to Mat Zo’s “Mad” EP

In Zen Buddhism there’s a concept called shoshin: beginner’s mind. The idea is that when you’re experiencing something for the first time, you perceive it in a unique way, often grasping insights and possibilities that vanish as you grow more accustomed. I’ve done a lot of listening to and writing about music (sometimes on this very blog), yet I have beginner’s ears for EDM, so I thought a review would be a fun and instructive exercise. First, some background on my sonic intake:

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Why SJWs SJW

Jordan Peterson and others contend that SJWism is an outgrowth of postmodernism. I don’t know much about postmodernist philosophy, but if I understand right (and I’m pretty sure I don’t) it sort of says “Anything goes, categories are as arbitrary as their labels, everything is relative, etc.” It would make sense for SJWs to be an outgrowth of postmodernism, and maybe its roots can be traced there somehow, but I just don’t think that’s what’s going on in everyday terms.

I can’t fathom that SJWs are sitting around reading and getting inspired by philosophy, postmodern or otherwise. Even indirectly, through postmodernist thought leaders or publications or whatever, I find that linkage implausible.

Instead, I think the Occam’s Razor explanation is that the most puerile impulses related to equality, fairness, and self-determination are being indulged and in many cases rewarded, if not by wider institutions (e.g. humanities departments in universities) then in carefully curated echo chambers online. These are not the lofty values of equality or self-determination the 19th century American transcendentalists wrote about, but the infantile version of them that preschoolers throw tantrums over: He got a toy, so I should have a toy! I’m a tiger, not a little kid! Etc.

Let a preschooler keep throwing tantrums over the same things, and when he reaches college age he will be a ripened SJW. Am I omitting something by simplification?

Cosmic God existence dilemma

Suppose it’s true that the more one studies the cosmos, the more evidence one finds against the existence of God (somewhat in the vein of Sean Carroll). This creates a dilemma:

On the one hand, the evidence against the existence God is piling up and up.

On the other hand, if God created a perfect cosmos then it should not contain any trace of His having created it, so in fact each piece of evidence against His existence is actually evidence for it.

What is the Faith No More song “The Last To Know” about?

I’ve had this song stuck inĀ  my head for the past few days, and thinking over the music and lyrics has got me wondering what this song actually means. I have a theory, which I’ll try and support while knowing the likeliest possibility is that the song isn’t about much of anything: Mike Patton says he chooses words more for their sound than their meaning, and Roddy Bottum described this song dismissively as “Pearl Jam on mushrooms.”

On the other hand, there are examples of other FNM songs that have stated meanings (e.g. “Midlife Crisis“), so it could be the case for “Last To Know” as well. So in the spirit of fun and because I’m sure nobody else will ever write anything like this…

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On arming teachers

I’m quite pro-gun, but I think asking teachers to carry guns in their classrooms is a bad idea: it isn’t obvious that a teacher would know what to do with a gun or do it effectively; a school with armed teachers might be an even more appealing target for a school shooter; arming teachers carries its own cloud of practical and ethical problems.

Allowing teachers who already have CCW licenses to carry at school is a less extreme version of this idea that should be tried in a limited way, though I personally don’t have high hopes for it either.

There is a strong urge to “do something” after every school shooting. This is a good thing, provided 1) we have good reasons for what we’re doing, 2) we know all the reasonable options we could be pursuing but aren’t, and 3) we know why we aren’t pursuing them. However, I don’t think these provisions have been met by nearly any proposal that followed a mass shooting crisis.