A sensational attraction

I've noticed a general social trend which annoys me. I guess the best way for me to summarize that trend is to say that any speculation about a person or persons engaging in some belief or behavior which is sufficiently interesting (in a certain sense of the word, to a certain part of society) is accepted by too many as true on insufficient evidence. Read more...

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My evolving views of (American) politics

First, a "meta" note. I'm pleased that I got some substantial ideas down in writing here last year, however imperfectly, but I feel that I went very slightly astray of what I originally envisioned for this blog. Therefore, I've made a resolution to steer my writing in a direction away from posts on mostly-impersonal abstract rationality concepts and towards posts on more concrete and personal issues. Read more...

Speculations of my inner gadfly

It is a common criticism from those who have known me for long enough that I'm too gullible. Sometimes this is meant in the basic sense of believing false things (especially when I was younger), but also sometimes in the sense that I come across as much too immediately accepting of whatever broad narrative is pitched to me in defense of a particular view. Enough independent people from different parts of my life have expressed concern about this that it's only logical for me to conclude that the criticism is probably valid on some level. At this point in my life, it's more a matter of in which sense is it valid, what underlies this tendency, and which aspects of it are helping me as opposed to hurting me. Read more...