Does laziness exist?

(an analysis of E. Price's recent article on students' invisible mental barriers)

After last year's sequence of lengthy blog entries on the whole high-agency vs. low-agency dichotomy, I wasn't intending to write any more on that for a good long time. I really wasn't. Although I could imagine some subjects that touch on that stuff that I hoped to write about in the farther future, I was figuring on 2018 being more or less a determinism/agency-discussion-free year on Hawks and Handsaws. Then just the other day, I came into contact with this article on Medium entitled "Laziness Does Not Exist" (with subtitle "But unseen barriers do."), which struck a nerve with me as it quite straightforwardly talked about a number of, well, those particular issues. And I decided that, instead of filing the article away to pull out at some Designated Time For More High-vs.-Low-Agency Posts, I should write down my thoughts and feelings now while they're running fresh through my mind. Read more...

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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...

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...