Tag: Society

2020, Movies

The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel (2020, Jennifer Abbott, Joel Bakan)

I saw the original Corporation sometime back in the aughts. I have no idea whether or not I would like it now. This film is infuriating, both because of the problems in the world it reminds us of, and because of how unfocused it is. In many ways, it feels like two movies, the sequel …

Philosophy, Society

Essentialism: The Terrible Legacy of Western Philosophy

In 2017 I wrote a piece about the root of so-called “alternative facts.” I blamed the ability of people to accept alternative facts as truth on Western Philosophy, but specifically on Plato’s essentialist view of reality. The piece became my most widely read ever, dwarfing my books and anything else I’ve published online. Frankly, I …

2020, Personal, Society

Journal of the Plague Year: Blood on Their Hands

If you had asked someone in Autumn 2019 which country would be best equipped to handle a pandemic, they might have answered “The United States”. They have the most resources of any country in the world. Of course, given who is in power, they might have expressed doubt. But ask the question in Autumn 2015, …

2020, Personal, Society

Diary of the Pandemic Year: Nobody Follows the Rules

“Nobody is following the rules!” That is what literally everyone is saying. So many people are saying it that some of the people who are saying it must also not be following rules. As Jenn put it, each of us thinks we are following the rules better than everyone else. And we want everyone else …

2020, Personal, Society

Diary of the Pandemic Year: It’s Oh So Quiet

Time has lost all meaning. Weekdays feel like weekends and weekends feel like weekdays. The only thing that lets me figure it out is consciously thinking about it. I have a weekday work schedule, which helps too. But I still have to think to myself “This is a weekday” in order to start it. So …

2020, Philosophy, Politics, Society

The Problem of Subjectivity

Throughout most of human history, we haven’t done a good job of understanding objective reality. Learning about objective reality has been a slow, difficult process, with many setbacks, but which has rapidly accelerated in the last few centuries, especially the last one. If you compare the growth of scientific knowledge about the universe versus the …

Economics, Politics, Society

UBI Now

COVID-19 is causing all sorts of economic problems. Rather, reactions to COVID-19 are causing all sorts of problems. Behaviour that is good for reducing the spread of this virus is bad for the economy. Nobody is quite sure what to do or how to moderate the inevitable recession. Our government has a plan, this plan …

2009, Books, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Psychology, Society

The Peep Diaries (2009) by Hal Niedzviecki

This book is a relatively interesting and amusing book about how modern technology and modern culture have created a brave new world that we don’t really understand how to navigate – and which could have all sorts of unintended consequences for us. However, the book suffers from a number of problems which make it not …

2009, Movies

The Age of Stupid (2009, Franny Armstrong)

Somewhere in this movie there are the makings of a great “message” documentary about climate change. With some more money and a different “director” – if it was indeed directed by one person – maybe this could be the movie they wanted it to be, the movie some critics apparently thought they saw. But this …

Personal, Psychology

On the sanity of living with another human being

I have vivid dreams. I mean: really, really vivid. Sometimes they are so vivid I am convinced I am living them, until I wake up. Sometimes they are so vivid they take the place of my memories and I occasionally get confused about whether or not something realistic that happened in a dream actually happened …