The Journal of Applied Impossibility
Kant has a point worth acknowledging about the function of lying with respect to truth telling. He points out that in order for a lie to work the way its speaker intends, most people have to be telling the truth most of the time.* This is sometimes expressed by saying that lies are parasitic upon truth. Habermas will talk about strategic discourse (i.e. telling you what it takes in order to elicit certain outcomes I prefer) and how it makes use of communicative discourse (i.e. telling you true things for the sake of clear and accurate communication). Strategic discourse (parallel to, but not exactly equivalent to lying) depends on communicative discourse, but the reverse is not the case. If there's something I don't like about "the wokism" it's this: It
I find myself writing about something current and "topical" and then sitting on it for months or years until no one cares except me, but I'm still grumpy about it (I started on this piece March 4th of 2021). I think that if more people did this, the social fabric would be in a better place. At any rate, there is a bruhaha about the most celebrated children's author.* This is my hot take (freshness not guaranteed by date of publication).
In one of his occasional moments of insight, Bill Maher noted a tension between the notion that one must obtain consent in order to touch someone's elbow or invite them for drinks, and the hookup culture (As a man who married before Tinder existed, to this day, I don't know which direction one swipes for which purpose, and I'm rather happy about that). This made me think about the nature of algorithms, and our current obsession with consent as a basis for morality.
...OR, How P.Z. Meyers Changed My Mind
In July 2008 (This is a controversy to which I am terribly late)*, P.Z. Myers posted to his blog the following photograph:
About this, he had the following to say:
I know some of you have proposed intricate plans for how to do horrible things to these crackers, but I repeat…it’s just a cracker. I wasn’t going to make any major investment of time, money, or effort in treating these dabs of unpleasantness as they deserve, because all they deserve is casual disposal. However, inspired by an old woodcut of Jews stabbing the host, I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus’s tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffee grounds and a banana peel. My apologies to those who hoped for more, but the worst I can do is show my unconcerned contempt.
I write about all sorts of things. This is one of the places where I do it.