All posts in category Thoughts

We Are Not A Virus

In recent decades, there has been a growing tendency in the politics and philosophy of ecology that can only be described as anti-humanist. While this doesn’t constitute a coherent movement as such, there are several ideological assertions that crop up repeatedly across the entire spectrum of anti-humanist thought. The anti-humanist argument tends to include the […]

Human Nature

We can’t create a better economic system. We can’t beat cancer. We can’t achieve interstellar travel. We can’t overthrow the Czar. We can’t beat the plague. We can’t create machines that fly. We can’t overthrow the kings. We can’t prevent the infants from dying. We can’t cross the oceans. We can’t work together with the […]

Voting, Democracy, and the People

Whenever another election nears, the world fills up with paeans to the power of voting and doom-filled laments about people failing to do their democratic duty. Whenever someone suggests that people should actively avoid voting, no matter how they arrived at this conclusion, they are immediately hit by an immense amount of outrage, usually expressed […]

An Authentic Opinion

In online debates, the idea will frequently show up that people who don’t belong to a particular (ethnic, sexual, cultural) group are not only ethically wrong to express an opinion on that group’s political situation, but are in fact incapable of doing so accurately due to being somehow essentially different from people belonging to that […]

Error and Sin

It is not because angels are holier than men or devils that makes them angels, but because they do not expect holiness from one another, but from God alone. – William Blake One of the major issues any social group has to figure out how to deal with is disagreement. Disagreement is inevitable, a natural […]

The Good Stuff

I’ve been depressed lately. OK, bit of an understatement there. It’s actually been pretty crippling. On some days I barely function. I’m not going to bore you with the details, except for the one relevant bit: most of the reasons I’m depressed are not personal. My work’s going well and my marriage is a source […]

Austerity Ecology

I’ve been struggling to articulate just why this book is so tremendously important – not because it’s hard to talk about, but because it’s just so full of utterly vital ideas and arguments. I want to see this book in every library and on every political reading list. If you have even the slightest interest […]

Worship the Algorithm

Imagine there was a civilization that worshipped an algorithm. Not used an algorithm – understanding and applying it – but worshipped it. A civilization that allowed all of its capabilities to be guided by numbers produced by this algorithm without even remotely understanding what they meant. A civilization that made important decisions about its resources […]

The Horror of Far Cry 2

My favourite thing about Far Cry 2 is that there isn’t a twist. Its emotional impact doesn’t come from making you think you’re the hero and then somehow making your actions have horrible consequences, or making it turn out you’ve somehow been deceived or controlled. Nor are you somehow responsible for everything that happens, reducing […]

Cancer and Capitalism

Lately, as friends, relatives, and celebrities have had encounters with cancer, I have spoken out several times about how I think the cause of this suffering and death is, in many ways, systemic. I’ve had a variety of responses to this that I find irritating: “You’re politicizing a tragedy!” “It’s just how it is.” “You’re […]