Philosophy of Taxes: A (GO)Primer

In late 2017, the Republican Congress and Senate were designing and negotiating what would end up becoming the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, signed into law by Donald J. Trump on December 22. There was a media firestorm surrounding the passage of the law, not only because of the inherent stake citizens (=… Continue reading Philosophy of Taxes: A (GO)Primer

It Won’t Be Different This Time

After the Las Vegas shooting I wrote a will called “If I’m Killed in a Mass Shooting.” In it I made two claims: There is no gun debate. Despite the patina of rationality, the NRA slate of arguments is so transparently terrible that it makes a mockery of the whole concept of public discourse. What’s… Continue reading It Won’t Be Different This Time

Facebook Should Shut Itself Down

The more I read and think about Facebook, the more I am convinced that it is deeply terrible for the world—and, as a corollary that few people accept, the more obvious it is to me that Facebook should no longer exist. So I am calling on Mark Zuckerberg to do the right thing: shut Facebook… Continue reading Facebook Should Shut Itself Down

The Specter of Machine Intelligence

1 Machines are coming to resemble human beings more each day. At a concrete level, this is true because human beings are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to produce machines that increasingly resemble human beings. But more abstractly, this is true in principle: machines exist in the first place because they resemble human beings. Karl Marx,… Continue reading The Specter of Machine Intelligence

The Coming Oppression

What makes racism wrong? Sexism? Speciesism? Each have their own complexities, but at the most general level, all three share a common error. They involve attributing moral significance to something that isn’t morally significant. A racist assumes that the division of people into various races allows you ascribe different moral worth to people. A sexist… Continue reading The Coming Oppression

What Philosophy Owes Society IV: Better Teachers

Political discourse is a swamp of poor arguments and miseducation. Dialogue between those who disagree is becoming impossible. A particular segment of the political world is actively undermining the concept of truth. The Republican party knows that it can lie repeatedly to the country with impunity. More and more issues are being folded into the… Continue reading What Philosophy Owes Society IV: Better Teachers