Let’s talk for a little bit about academia. Specifically, let’s talk about the academic apparatus surrounding Philosophy, and let’s talk about why it seems to have made the pursuit of Philosophy in an academic context into a complete waste of time at best, and at worst, a fantastic way to abuse yourself until you’re unable to pursue philosophy at all.Continue reading Perverse Incentives for Perverts: Why I’m Not So Sure About Academia Anymore.
Today, what I want to talk about is how to balance knowing that something is the case and knowing how it is to be something, in important practical ways. I also want to talk about the danger of not minding your knowing how it is. That way lives evil and madness, I suspect.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the idea that experts in a certain skill are some of the least likely people to be able to explain how to do it well. I’m sure you’ve seen a friend do something amazing, and then when you ask her how, she’s unable to tell you. This means that it’s possible to be able to do something without being able to describe what you did to get the result.Continue reading Your Soul, and How to Swing It: The Moral Distinction Between Kinds of Knowing.
When I opened the text editor to start this piece I was 100% certain that this piece would not be about death. I guess that’s just not my karma, guys.
More thoughts on cancer: if things don’t die, then nothing works. That sounds horrifically vague. I guess what I mean is that nothing in life can be completely free. Limitation seems like it might be a necessary condition for existence.Continue reading The Lord Giveth, and the Lord Taketh Away: Why a Life Without Limits Probably Isn’t Alive.
Two characters, Fear and Laziness, sit on the beach after dusk. They pass a two litre bottle of beer in green glass, one to the other.
Fear: You know the worst thing of all?
Laziness: What? What’s the worst thing of all?
Fear: It’s my absolute certainty that I’m going to die alone. I don’t know why I have it. All indications are actually to the contrary. I’m most likely to die surrounded by nursing staff, in a chaotic hospital ward for those on the near edge of being.Continue reading A Chat with Two Vices.
What if ‘to be’ is to be without something? If I’m blue all over, I’m definitely not red. If I’m just me, then I’m not all the other things that could exist.
What if to exist in particular is to lack the wholeness that comes with existing as everything all at once?
If that was true, then it would make perfect sense that I feel empty some days. On those days, I’m just remembering that I exist, and I’m just remembering how I exist.Continue reading To Exist and to Want: Musings on the First Two Noble Truths.
Scene: Solitus and Communus are sitting in a diner, eating bacon pancakes. The pancakes contain bacon.
Solitus: At this moment, what is the truest thing you know?
Communus: That’s a weird way to start a conversation.
Solitus: Just answer me anyway.Continue reading A Dialogue on Personhood and Suffering.
Expectancy bias is real, and it shapes your reality. This means in some sense that what you expect is what you get. When I was a kid, I used to stand on my head so I could see what the world looked like upside-down. To look at the world from that perspective transfigured it.
My otherwise familiar living room would become something new and absolutely fascinating. As far as my visual field was concerned, all the shapes and colours were exactly the same, only inverted.
What bridged the gap between my familiar reality and the alien landscape — where the roof was the floor — was that I made it impossible to keep pretending that I understood what I was looking at. Instead, I just looked at it.Continue reading The World is a Dream, and All of it Comes for Free.