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Showing posts from December, 2014

what I said to you in 2014

I reviewed a huge number of things because I was unemployed (Oliver Sacks, China Mieville, Clive James, David Foster Wallace, David Graeber, Ed Glaeser, Daniel Haybron). I argued against a new popular kind of intellectual puritanism. I set out my consequentialism, which tries not to squash other goods than justice (DRAFT!). I talked about my life goals in the context of death and politics (DRAFT!). I calculated the highest wage a strict consequentialist can keep for themselves. I thought about the net-negativity of most jobs. I made a playlist that tries to get you to save yourself. I tried to dress up my maths education in ordinary transcendent meaning. I wrote a poem in pseudo-SQL. I reviewed Rousseau, LeGuin, Giddens, Fukuyama, Gleick.

I made a scrapbook of semi-scientific thoughts. I made a scrapbook about epistemology and harm harm harm.

I reviewed Chomsky's sloppiest book. I wrote a poem about the impulse of criticism. I wrote a poem about the former. I reviewed Gellhorn, …

On the saying "Alisifuyejua, limemwangaza", Roger Scruton, and Stephin Merrit

"Alisifuyejua, limemwangaza" is a Kiswahili proverb meaning "the sun shines on the one who praises it".* I like it a whole lot; it says a couple of things about human happiness. (I admit there's a suggestion of positive-thinking woo to it — as if the world responded causally to devotion — but I encourage you to discard that in favour of the following):

People are the loci of value; value is produced by the interface of minds with certain parts of the world; it is not written into just us or the order of things.
Receptivity, responding to stimuli, is needed for value to exist.**
Misery candestroy much ofthe lived world.
Other things I take it to not be saying: "Fake it til you make it"; "misery is the fault of the miserable"; "hope is enough to be happy". (The conditional is: if not receptive, then not value. The amount that our receptivity is under our control is the key question. But it will take some odd psychology work to capture …