Blog: A little more prudence in Jurisprudence

A little more prudence in Jurisprudence
A little more prudence in Jurisprudence
Date: 2018-Apr-30 00:49:14 EST

As much as I'm sometimes frustrated when my intuitions on how the city should be run, on some topics I care a lot about, have little weight (particularly WRT the homelessness situation), at least on some topics I have hope. One of the things about the Subway system is if we actually want people to use it and use cars less, it needs to be a reasonable way to get around the city, and that means that we don't shut it down without a really good reason, and even when we have such a reason we do it for as little time as possible. I'd like to see this taken a lot further - we get notices sometimes that a sick person on a train is delaying an entire line and I think the priorities involved justify *always* moving them promptly off the train. 30 seconds. Even at cost to their health. Because civilisation can't stop for one person. But at least there's this push not to let a police investigation of a fight delay things, and maybe we can apply this intuition more broadly in the future.

I can see both sides on this commentary on Chick-fil-A in NYC. There are some orgs, like Salvation Army, where I won't interact with them because of how they treat homosexuality. There may be some tribalism in that, in that I'm not straight and haven't pretended otherwise for quite some time. It's limited in scope and based on what I see as an injury; I would not give more of my business to gay-owned (or even explicitly gay-friendly) orgs/companies; I don't seek some kind of dominance for such group, nor do I seek kinship, but I seek to end something I regard as an injustice. So it's a little more limited. This article makes a few good points though - at least what it's criticising is focused on a dislike of Christianity, and that's more complex to interact with. I find it broadly acceptable that different groups in society dislike each other and want each other to, in some sense, lose out. This happens all the time in politics; I don't want libertarian ideas to win and would be happy were people to be convinced away from those ideas. I expect the same in faiths, and on various topics. That understood, these disagreements should not be brought to a boil; ideally they should amount to individual dislikes, or "we tolerate people when they believe this but would prefer they not believe it and would like to persuade them away from it". There's another way to read this - that liberalism as a tactical matter should be wary of taking on as a defining characteristic a dislike for religious folk. I'm less sure about that angle, although I don't want to let this concern stop individuals who are liberal and secular from advocating secularism.

This is an interesting concern for seeing life elsewhere in the universe that I had not considered before - that larger planets may have an easier time hosting life but may have sufficient gravity to make launches difficult. I wonder if high-gravity-evolved entities would have more of a structural dependency on gravity than we do ; we already have issues with deformation of some organs under prolonged-zero-G, but maybe this is the easy end of the scale.

This is an interesting, if disquieting look at dating site impersonators. It got me thinking a bit about the role of tricks-of-discourse in flirting, and how personal those things are; most of the chat-up lines quoted in the article would actually infuriate rather than intrigue me ; if I ever heard "answer this question once and for all" in any context from someone, I'd be disinclined to speak with them again because that manner of speech is awful.

It's interesting when a politifact debunking ends up still being worrying; I support a ban on gay conversion therapy (and probably a number of other invasive change-who-you-are therapy), at least until people are adult and financially independent, but efforts to cleanly ban that without introducing problems with laws are quite tricky.

Bravo to Larry Moneta (of Duke) for standing up for free expression. I don't think campus speech codes are acceptable, no matter the form of University.

In the past I've expressed support for leaving up past memorials to things we find immoral now, because we don't believe in iconoclasm and revising past meaning is much uglier than creating new meaning in new spaces. Likewise, I support creating new meaning in new spaces, and this story about a memorial to lynching victims in Alabama is a good way to tackle unfortunate bits of our history. At least these ones. There's a lot more to cover.

I played Far Cry 5, and although the plot of the game was rubbish, the gameplay was fun and the area was beautiful. The idea of visiting Montana actually has some merit, and it's pretty neat that Montana's tourism board recognises that. I can see myself visiting someday. Probably mostly for hiking.

I'm in the middle of trying to write an open letter to Quillette to suggest they make some small course corrections to do better. It's turning out to be more work than I thought it'd be. This is true for a lot of things in life; it's so easy to have ideas, and sometimes a bit exhausting to chase them. I hope I haven't become lazy. I think I'd like to try to pull together some more readers for my stuff, not as fans, but to generate some useful back-and-forth for intellectual growth. Companions. Fellow thinkers. Not that I'd object to readers, but that's not really the point. I rather admire what Jason Steele (of Filmcow) has done. Although he has the advantage on this front of having a bunch of great voices and being super active in this space.