Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Fast thoughts mid-week 11/09

* First, a casual hello to everyone out there in philosophical blogging land who I don't get to talk to much lately. Grod, Brandon (he never comes here, ha!), etc, etc. You know your names. Pardon my absence, but I still lurk and watch a lot of your arguments, and it continues to impress and inspire. Good to see Ed doing so well too.

* I see the latest headline involving the Pope has him lecturing about cell phone use. I find that encouraging, because if we can keep him talking about fortune-cookie level petty shit for the rest of his papacy, maybe he'll stop doing damage to the Church.

* Latest abomination in science is injecting rats with tiny human brains for the scientific reason of "why the fuck not" and "we're already funded". Hey, here's an idea for a horror movie: these rats track down and find the women and chop-shop docs who aborted them, and tear them to pieces a la Willard. I'd go see it, and I hate movies.

* Here's a statistic you're not gonna hear anyone quoting: "Atheists are responsible for some of the largest mass-shootings in the US." Someone tell Dawkins, maybe it'll give him another stroke, and then we won't have to endure him embarrassing himself with yet more shitty jokes as he lectures the US on gun control. (And the NRA member who shot the monster? He deserves a medal. Here's the thing: with Trump, he may actually get one.)

* By the way, one of the best parts of the Trump administration? It's nice to have a leader who sounds like a human being. I know, I know, people miss the previous joke we had who did a Flowers for Algernon imitation whenever he lacked a teleprompter. I prefer this, mistakes and all. Trump is, if nothing else, certifiably human and he doesn't try to be anything else, and we don't have to pretend he's anything else. Fun as it is to call him God Emperor.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Who blew Harvey Weinstein?

You know, for all the explosive coverage of Harvey Weinstein, I notice there's one question no one - and I mean no one - is asking.

What actresses blew Harvey Weinstein to get ahead in the business?

I'm not asking "What girls did Harvey Weinstein force himself onto."  Nor am I denying that happened - in fact, that's part of the point here.

I'm asking, "Which girls eagerly blew this guy, thinking that it would do wonders for their career?" Which girls blew the guy that everyone knew was a grabby and at least workplace-dangerous pervert?

Reminder: Weinstein's turn to pariah status is extraordinarily recent, not to mention sudden. As of a few weeks ago, he was a powerful Hollywood figure. There's no shortage of pictures of women smiling happily as they glom onto him. No shortage of video clips of actresses praising him or thanking him. No shortage of quotes to the same effect.

And we've got every reason to believe that his behavior wasn't exactly a secret. Actors and actresses knew. They talked.  They excused, and they even went to bat for him.

So, how many girls did Harvey a favor - jumped at the chance to do him a favor - to get ahead?

And what should we think of any self-described feminist who eagerly played this game, with a guy like this, if they in fact did so?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Church Militant gets what so many miss

So, here's the story. The Jesuit's America Magazine - "The Catholic Magazine with the lowest white blood cell count!" I believe is their tagline - decided to interview Milo Yiannapolous. I guess someone went "Oh, this is an outspoken politically active gay guy who just got married and he's Catholic? I bet he aligns with our outlook." and just went in on this blind. Anyway, the result was both interesting and hilarious, so naturally the magazine rejected it. All well and good, Milo posted it on his site and everyone had a read. Probably with greater circulation than if the magazine actually followed through.

So far, so good.

What's surprised me is that Church Militant decided to run the interview instead.

And then, when people reacted to it - they stood by their decision and offered four reasons why they decided to publish the interview.

I'll leave it to whoever shows up here to read - it's good stuff - but what's funny, and encouraging, is that Church Militant... these radical Catholic traditionalists, all stuck in the old ways... managed to see the value in at least discussing Milo's views, and presenting them. They see something there, no matter what sins he confesses to. They see the value of a gay guy who outright rejects the idea that the Church needs to conform its teachings to his outlook - and who sees the value (even the salvation) the Catholic Church offers.

I suppose it's wrong to say 'they see the value of a gay guy'. They see the value of someone who's got charisma, who's witty, who's conservative, and who is actually aggressive. They see a guy doing the job that no bishop, no priest, no Pope is willing to do, and directly locking horns with feminism and saying, "There is nothing of value you have to offer."

And let me tell you... more than a few people have started to listen to right-wing arguments on sex and life and culture due to this kind of engagement. Everyone knows that feminism is oppressive, everyone knows that SJWs are oppressive. Yet it's falling to guys like Milo - and typically, some more troublemaking priests, at best (now and then a bishop like Poprocki) - to actually go on the attack.

You find him too fallen? Too vulgar, at times? Too off-putting?

Too fucking bad. The conservatives were too 'respectable' or too damn untalented or too afraid to do what was necessary. So the fringe have picked up the reins.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

What's Wrong With The Principle?

If you told me as recently as three weeks ago the WWWtW's admins would soon be found justifying protest and defiance during the National Anthem, I'd have bet against you.

It turns out - all it takes to justify that, or even celebrate those doing it, is for Trump to attack people protesting during said anthem.

I remember when they used to say that opposing Trump was a matter of principle. It turns out, principles can be exchanged for some mighty petty payoff indeed.

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Philosophy of Mind Retrospective

I glanced over at Victor Reppert's blog to see the esteemed host arguing philosophy of mind with Keith Parsons. Some things never change. But it got me to thinking back of the many years I've spent on his blog, and what originally got me into it to begin with - clawing around, in a younger age, for insight and answers on questions of God, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind. It used to occupy a lot of my thoughts (is that ironic? not sure), but lately it hasn't. I asked myself why, and I had my answer immediately.

It's no longer interesting, because the fight is over. And the anti-materialists won.

God, if you guys could only remember some of the claims. I remember, about a decade ago now, the resident atheist neurologist talking about these *exciting* happenings in neurology that were going to explain consciousness. Oh, they weren't ready for primetime yet - he couldn't even explain the gist - but it was exciting, it was addressing the hard problem and this and that. We just had to wait, and soon that check the materialists had written would be cashed. Any day now, any day..!

Complete load of crap, of course - nothing came of it, and nothing will. The hard problem is as hard as ever. The soft problems, as Feser has pointed out, are even harder than expected. The arguments came from all angles - some of them very old and updated for modern audiences, others more modern and sophisticated expressions of skepticism - but the replies never materialized. Dennett, once a rising star, has faded into academic shadows, respected by peers that nevertheless few others care about. Consciousness remains a mystery. Puzzles and problems raised by the anti-materialists have remained, grown, and largely are recognized as legitimate.

And by now, thanks to the internet, a larger audience than ever has heard the claims of promissory naturalism, and have lived long enough to know that they'll die before seeing the check paid.

Watching Keith Parsons do that sad little dance of 'well maybe it IS all physical after all', after all these years, just seems sad now. These were the foot soldiers in the army of reason, armed with the power of science, to dispel skepticism of the great materialist worldview? Some army that turned out to be. Some reason.

Still, it was the opposite of a waste of time, and the arguments are of value to this day. But as it stands, the tigers Reppert and Feser and others sought to fight, are now quite defeated. Other concerns need attending to, and thus my attention drifts (though both, particular Feser, remain extremely relevant in other contexts.)

Good job, guys. To all you anti-materialist intellectual warriors of the past, take a moment - in these days of nevertheless intensified insanity - to congratulate yourselves on a job well done.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Religious Trump Effect

The one nice thing about the Trump effect is this: it's, at least in my experience, been making it harder - a lot harder - for "principled religious conservatives" to be taken seriously. In fact, things are graduating into open contempt. And it's funny to watch 'principled conservatives' panic when they realize that trying to capitulate to the left while shaming the right not only is resulting in scorn from the left (they're used to it) but scathing hostility from the right.

Calling John McCain John Cuckstain is one thing. But watching milquetoast preachers get their intellectual backs to the wall - especially those who try the tiring-as-shit "I'm a REAL man, I ride a motorcycle, now let me tell you why feminism is a good thing..." preacher routine - has been absolute gold.

Christianity - Catholic and non-Catholic both - will advance once 'religious leaders' realize that their flocks can see through their capitulation routines for what they are.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Integrity and Character

As Obamacare is made the law of the land, because the Republicans found themselves too afraid to repeal the law that they've been fundraising and seeking re-election on for years... just remember this.

Donald Trump, who pushed and pushed hard to repeal and replace Obamacare, was the guy team NeverTrump said lacked the character to be president.

McCain, who voted repeatedly to repeal Obamacare until the very moment it was actually possible, was cast as the man of integrity and good character.

Give me the asshole with the temper and the foul mouth over the celebrated, principled cucks who not only love to lose, but whose principles can't even withstand actual personal tests.