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"<em>Cynicism is fundamentally about self-defense from future pain</em>"

I find this confusing. Aren't cynics actually Idealists? That is, their fundamental position is that there is Virtue to be found once the falsity of fame, power, wealth, vanity, and pomp are cast aside? They don't s...(read more)


"<em>read to me like a self-satisfied expression of condescension towards an audience so naive as to expect some justice in this world</em>"

Tyrell, actually it appears a standard part of the traditional African folktale formula. Remember, most folktales were not told in private settings....(read more)


Because we in the West also say "no good deed goes unpunished," we do not mean that one shouldn't do good deeds, or that the failure of others to correctly respect good deeds is a fact of life that should cause us to throw up our hands and collapse gloomily at the unchanging evils of the wo...(read more)

EY I think you completely misinterpret the meaning of this important story:

"<em>. . .one of the most pervasive features of [African] tales: the use of them as a discussion of how to act correctly. . . This is the way of the small community worldwide, for the well-being of the group resides in the ...(read more)


"Nearly all people for thousands of years thought it was perfectly all right to keep slaves"

And many still do today - for example, Shari'a endorses slavery. Our Western values are far from universal and cannot be taken for granted.


<p>"<em>if there is a reason to expect human rightness to be in some sense coherent</em>"</p>

<p>Alas there probably is not. Sir Isaiah Berlin speaks powerfully and beautifully of this so-called values pluralism in his book Liberty. </p>

<p>There are several ironies - if not outrigh...(read more)

@Mike Blume

"<em>On Firefly, Kaylee is beautiful, has an above-female-average sex drive, and falls in love with the introverted, socially awkward intellectual character - isn't she exactly the sort of catgirl most male sci-fi fans would want?</em>"

No. That would certainly freak the nerd out. M. V...(read more)

Economic weirdtopia . . .after the Ultimate Crash of 2105, the best ems got together and created a new universal atomic currency, based on not just on gold, but on reserves of quark-gluon plasma made from gold nuclei in deference to mankind's historical preferences.

Sexual weirdtopia. . .since deat...(read more)

@Eli "<em>Ben Franklin, say</em>" Franklin is probably the best person to come to the here - it's very well-known he wished to preserve his body in Madeira so he could be revived to see the future, yes? Plus if you've actually read any of his letters and other writing, you see how much more flexible...(read more)