Hi there, and welcome to what is destined to become your new favourite blog. Unless, of course, you're not very cool. In which case, you probably won't like it very much.

My name is Lance.

I'm a Philosophy major using a philosopher's toolbox to investigate philosophy (that's so meta), politics, literature, nutrition & fitness, education, psychology, sociology, history, science, religion, technology, the general human condition, and more.

Activities that I enjoy include making bad jokes, playing chess, go, & other strategy games, solving puzzles, cooking, eating food drenched in hot sauce, exercising, reading, writing, socializing, taking long walks, and generally striving towards self-improvement and living a fulfilling, virtuous, happy life.

A thoughtful counter-argument is always more appealing to me than unthinking agreement.




Leaf bug (Phyllium giganteum)

The constant wobbling as they move is a part of their disguise, making it seem as though the “leaf” is only moving because of a light breeze.

If you blow on one it will also shake around in the hopes of matching any actual surrounding leaves

Anonymous asked
We're interested in your romantic life because we all secretly have massive crushes on you :)

Y’all have some good taste.

I run a philosophy-ish blog… Why are people so interested in my romantic life? You guys are weird.

Anonymous asked
Is there anybody that you like right now?

Not particularly. There’s a cute girl in a class that just started yesterday who’s into chess and reading philosophy, so maybe there’s potential there but I just met her. That’s about the most extreme crush I have at the moment: mild interest in a girl I just met.

Anonymous asked
didn't goebels have no balls?

Receiving asks referring to British propaganda songs is weird.



disastrid said: Are men shot more by police precisely because they are men?

I’m not sure what “because they are men” means. Men tend to be more physically threatening and also more likely to commit violent acts than women. If that’s the reason more men are shot, and I suspect that it is, does that mean they are killed more “because they are men”?

Blacks also tend to be more violent than whites—probably largely because they tend to be poorer than whites more often and because currently blacks have a disproportionally large percentage of teenagers compared to whites and teenagers tend to commit the most violent crime out of any age group. Does this mean that the type of relationship is the same? That blacks are killed more often because they’re more often perceived as threatening due to more often committing violent acts?

In both cases, it’s possible that the rates are inflated further by stereotypes. If both men and blacks tend to commit more violence, then officers will make this assumption about people not prone to violence.

It’s also noteworthy that the rate men commit violent acts when compared to women is much higher than when blacks are compared to whites—so it also makes sense that we’d see a much higher rate for men being killed by police officers than blacks.

I suppose it does if you think men are inherently violent, or you’re predisposed to believe in statistics wholeheartedly. 

Are black people more violent than white people?  Are you sure that reasons you suggested are the only reasons? 

Historically, black people (both men and women) have been perceived as inherently violent, savage, and sexually depraved.  White men not so much.  We see white men receiving the benefit of the doubt where black men do not.  The vilification of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown are perfect examples of the perverse extent of this phenomena.

But the central thing here isn’t so much stereotypes as police conduct in confronting suspects—or anyone on the street.

You and I could have a (racist) assumption that a black man will attack us while walking in a city, but a cop, by the very definition of their job must be more circumspect. 

There’s an obvious power differential between a unarmed suspect, no matter how tall or heavy, and an armed cop wearing a bulletproof vest with a precedent of lawful force (and murder) on their side.

I forget now the original post of yours, but in all your posts about evenly examining evidence in regards to Ferguson (so forgive me if that’s where my mind jumped when I saw this), and whether or not Michael Brown is guilty of attacking that officer, the fact remains that the cop shot him way too many times—and fatally, at that—to be justified. 

I do think men are probably genetically more prone to violence than women. There’s probably also a cultural aspect, but I think to ignore the biological role is to err.

The reasons that I suggested for black people being more violent than white people are not the only reasons; what you suggested is also something worth considering. However, I think that in modern times there’s a split here. There certainly exist people who demonize blacks; but now there are also a good amount of people who demonize whites. How many people, for example, have been entirely incapable of discussing the mere possibility that Wilson or Zimmerman (whose being labeled “white” confuses me profoundly) could have been justified in their actions and that we should look at the evidence rather than immediately presume their guilt?

Lastly, I’d like to point out that if someone of Brown’s size was seriously charging at someone of Wilson’s size with the intention of attacking them, one good hit could leave Wilson dazed and create the possibility of Brown stealing his weapon (which Wilson claimed Brown had already tried to do). That’s a reasonable outcome of such a scenario, and if the evidence supports Wilson’s account, it seems like we can say there’s reasonable doubt—even if it’s potential that he shot too many times. If you fire at someone who’s charging at you and they keep charging, are you going to stop shooting? It seems unreasonable to expect that they would—“What if I missed?” “What if that didn’t hurt him enough?” “He’s still coming at me. I need to stop him.” all seem like reasonable thoughts that someone might have during that sort of adrenalin rush.

Anonymous asked
How do you feel about the Zoey Quinn thing?

I don’t have an opinion. I’m somewhat interested in critiques and defenses of the video game medium, but when it comes to critiques of specific games I’m incredibly uninterested and find it hard to develop an opinion.