174 Recent Deviations
Wondering Out Loud
I often wonder why more people don't wonder. I wonder if the wonderless wonder that they don't wonder. Is it any wonder that everything wondrous can be traced to a wonderer? I wonder what wonders we could discover if only we wondered more. Wouldn't it be wonderful? I can only wonder.
Ask Me Anything #3
Ask Me Anything - Judaism
Ask Me Anything #2
You asked me questions, here are my answers:
“If you had a red button and if you push it, ALL humans would just disappear - would you push it?”
This is a more interesting question than it would first appear. This reminds me of the philosophy of anti-natalism, perhaps the most prominent advocate of which is philosopher David Benatar who wrote “Better Never to Have Been” (I’ve not read it, but plan to).
The short answer is no, I wouldn’t. From a certain perspective, however
Racist Command Theory
There is a concept in theology and meta-ethics known as Divine Command Theory, which asserts that morality and moral goodness stem from god, and therefore whatever a god commands is moral because they commanded it, and every action a god takes is moral because they did it. What makes Divine Command Theory such flawed concept is that it divorces behavior from its consequences, or from any guiding principle — from its merits, and makes it dependent on whatever some authority says or does. At bottom, it's an inversion of basic causal logic.
I've noticed something similar in our political discourse, where people sometimes seek to demonstrate or insinuate that someone is a racist by pointing out that something they said is also something that racists have said.
You said X.
Racists also say X.
Therefore, you are a racist.
A statement does not automatically become ra
Why I am Not a Populist
The problem with populism — right or left — isn't that the grievances it animates itself around are bogus. Mass immigration, income inequality, lack of accountability for those in power, globalization, automation, the decline of two-parent households, the undemocratic flaws of democratic systems, the opioid epidemic, the increase in suicide and other deaths of despair, and the crisis of meaning amid the shallowness of modern life, to name just a few — these are indeed legitimate causes for concern. It doesn't make one a fascist to be concerned about the unprecedented flow of foreign populations into one's country. It doesn't make one a socialist to be concerned about soaring, almost feudalistic income inequality. It doesn't make one religious or an ascetic to be concerned about the superficiality of modern life, and how our materialism and consumerism is fundamentally unfulfilling to us. And it doesn't make
2018 - My Year in Books
2014 - My Year in Books
2015 - My Year in Books
2016 - My Year in Books
2017 - My Year in Books
For years I have been setting myself yearly reading challenges through GoodReads.com, and writing year-end recaps of some notable books I'd read that year. I challenged myself to read 40 books, but partway through the year revised my goal to a more modest 35, which I completed, ending up at 36 books. Less than I would like, but 2018 was a
Ask for the Sale
One of the most useful precepts that nearly nine years in business/sales has taught me which also happens to apply to life in general is ask for the sale.
It's so painfully simple it seems hardly worth mentioning, doesn't it? But how frequently do we forget the basics? You'd be surprised how often the answer is yes when you just ask the question. But how often to do we make our case without actually coming out and asking for what we really want?
So much of life involves sales of some kind, whether it's asking someone on a date, making a business deal, convincing your friends to go in on something with you, negotiating with someone, or asking a favor. Until you ask, you are not confronting people with the need to make a decision. People really are more likely to agree when you proactively ask rather than just making your case, or pitch, or display, and then waiting for them to agree on their own. In many circumstances, your case is not complete