I discuss how you can dismiss, acknowledge, or generalize from the particular to the general, and how this matters for the way political capital is created and accumulated. Read more (11 min, 2800 words).
I folliow up on "Cat Couplings" from 2019 with a bunch of new examples and further thinking on how and why cat couplings work. Read more (13 min, 3300 words).
I roleplay being a culture warrior in response to something unusually irritating, and decide not to do it again. Read more (15 min, 3800 words).
Are mental illnesses actual illnesses or are they unusual preferences? Or maybe this is a non-issue because it's only about words? Well, that's not so only. Read more (8 min, 1900 words).
"I prefer honest argumentation to dishonest rhetoric." Do I mean that rhetoric is essentially dishonest, or am I talking about the kind of rhetoric that's dishonest? That's a cat coupling. Read more (7 min, 1800 words).
I respond at length to criticism against an article about erisology in The Atlantic, developing the concept further in the process. Read more (23 min, 7700 words).
If all claims are mixtures of "is" and "ought", what does it mean to "believe" them? In practice it comes to mean endorsing models, while emphasizing the "is" aspect (and downplaying the "ought") for rhetorical purposes. Unfortunately this ruins the word for neutral, non-rhetorical use. Read more (8 min, 1900 words).
An article I received from the future, making a passionate argument about gene editing and inequality. Read more (5 min, 1200 words)
Doubting conventional wisdom doesn’t necessarily make you a conspiracy theorist - skepticism should be universal and not only applied to "legitimate targets". It’s not always irrational to not change your mind when confronted with a piece of contrary evidence, and it can sometimes even be justified to increase your confidence that you’re right. Read more (11 min, 2800 words)
Phrases like "fake news", "fact-resistance" and "post-truth" have recently become common. They support a narrative implying that a large segment of the population have lost contact with reality and become impervious to facts. This is a dangerous simplification that makes things worse. Read more (5 min, 1200 words)