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America’s Tiger Mom and the Totally Valid, Not At All Biased, Really Scientific Practice of Ranking America’s Cultures and Races

Famed Tiger-Mom Amy Chua’s new book helpfully lets its readers know which cultures and races in America are superior, and which are inferior.

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Nazism is Dead, Long Live Marx

I recently wrote about how radical intellectuals are treated as ipso facto irresponsible or abhorrent in middlebrow American ideas magazines where little comprehension of their thought is even attempted. I was talking about the liberal-ish ones like the New Republic and the New York Review of Books. If we expanded that out to include conservative magazines;…

A leisurely Sunday afternoon riot

After we returned from an early dinner with friends late Sunday afternoon, we began to hear the reports of disturbances a few blocks away from where we live in downtown Huntington Beach.  The annual eight-day-long and well-attended US Open competition had just concluded around 5:00.  The neighborhood had been packed with attendees all weekend, and…

Does Opposition to Abortion Demand Certainty That the Fetus Is a Person?

I agree with Ned Resnikoff that the issue of abortion hinges on the question of personhood, but I am not sure the question of personhood as related to nascent human life has to be answered definitively before one may have an ethical basis to avoid (or morally permit) lethal violence against it. We may not,…

Culture is the villain

I’ve had this sort of nebulous notion that culture itself is a problem. Not any particular culture, mind you, but rather the entire concept of culture.  The exclusivity of the group over the individual. A lot of people will hold up individualism against collectivism, but what if that’s just scratching the surface? Culture is the…

Intellectual Art, Popular Media, and Getting Away from Aesthetic Subjectivity

In the May 2012 issue of the Atlantic, writer Taylor Clark has an excellent profile of videogame developer Jonathan Blow. He’s misanthropic, severely thoughtful, and somewhat abrasive. But he’s also a brilliant creator and a near perfect example of what Clark thinks the medium needs more of: developers willing to make smart videogames. Because for Clark the…

What are women for?

I keep trying to better understand James Poulos. I like James a great deal, though we disagree pretty fundamentally on many things. I’ve been fascinated by his discussions of the Pink Police State (a conservative argument against panem et circenses.) And yet postmodern conservatism has always been somewhat vague. It’s unorthodox in terms of American debate –…

A Cosmic Question for Saturday Evening: why is the elderly gentleman at table 57’s coffee not hot enough?

So I’ve been working part-time in a restaurant since August. I started as a humble bus boy and have since worked my way up to waiting tables and performing several other miscellaneous functions as time and circumstances demand. One thing I’ve noticed as a server is that only customers older than seventy ever send their…

How Finding a Job is Like Losing Your Keys

“Who do you think made the first stone spear? That wasn’t the yakkity yaks sitting around the campfire. It was some Asperger sitting in the back of a cave figuring out how to chip rocks into spearheads. Without some autistic traits you wouldn’t even have a recording device to record this conversation on.” – Temple…

Fantasy and the Anglosphere

When I published my fantasy piece in the Atlantic it was linked (reproduced?) by Richard Dawkins’ site and a number of the atheists in the commentariat had scathing things to say about fantasy literature. Apparently it is not enough that readers of fantasy do not, in fact, believe in their make-believe. Apparently the fact that dragons…

The weird ideological inversion of the school reform debate

At one of our excellent sub-blogs, Alex Knapp makes this commonsensical point: We live in a country where Creationists can run for President without being laughed out of the room, homeopathy is seen as real medicine, millions of people buy into “The Secret” that wishing for something hard enough makes it real, and the cast…

Searching for Oskar Schindler

by Christopher Carr I considered titling this post a more academic “Rejoinders to a Utilitarian Framework for Evaluating the Morality of Abortion” but thought better when I realized how many lines that would take up. First, I’d like to say thank you again to Erik for agreeing to guest-post my recent offerings on abortion to this excellent blog and…

A Utilitarian Framework for Evaluating the Morality of Abortion

by Christopher Carr Jeremy Stangroom is a British author, philosopher, co-founder of The Philosopher’s Magazine Online – one of the premiere philosophy publications on the Internet – and the director of Philosophy Experiments – where users can participate in a variety of interactive thought experiments.  One of the more popular experiments is called Whose Body Is It Anyway; it is about the taboo…

Abortion and Slavery again

Ta-Nehisi has pushed once again into the abortion and slavery debate, this time following the invocation of that analogy by Rick Santorum and Joe Klein’s subsequent defense of Santorum’s rhetoric. Now, I’ve admitted in the past two things about the fetus-as-slave analogy: first, that it is not a very good analogy – and indeed I…

On Certainty & Doubt

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard…

How to govern well

What do Singapore, the United States, Canada, Denmark, and England all have in common? At first glance, not much. One is an oligarchic city state, two are parliamentary democracies, another is a Scandinavian social democracy, while the United States supposedly represents the laissez-faire extremes of the developed world. But we intuitively understand there are certain…