Category Archive: Philosophy/ Life

Jul 09 2014

How Humanism Helps With Depression — Except When It Doesn’t

humanist cover

What’s it like being a humanist with depression? I’m going to preface this right off the bat by saying: I am not a doctor. I’m not a therapist. I’m not a mental healthcare professional, or indeed a healthcare professional of any kind. I’m just talking about myself here, and my own experiences. I freaking hate …

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Jul 08 2014

On The Ethics of Vampire Slaying in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Buffy with bloody knife

Spoiler alert, for people who haven’t watched “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” but plan to. I was recently re-watching ““Becoming, Parts 1 and 2,” those Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes where geeky witch Willow does a spell to give the vampire Angel his soul back. And suddenly I had a burning ethical question. Why don’t they …

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Jul 03 2014

What Party Would You Be Guaranteed to Go To?


I’m going to be away from the blog doing family stuff for the next few days, so let’s play a silly game. I was watching an episode of Community, “Remedial Chaos Theory,” in which Troy and Abed ensure that Jeff Winger will have the evening free for their housewarming party — by sending him a …

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Jun 26 2014

Depression, and Mental Health as a Balance Beam Over a Pit

Content note: Depression. Obviously. (Also note that this post has a somewhat different comment policy than usual: it’s at the end of the post.) There’s this analogy I’ve been using lately to think about my depression and my mental health care. I’m finding it useful, so I thought I’d share it with the rest of …

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Jun 20 2014

“Planning to write is not writing”: Like Hell It Isn’t

“Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.” -E. L. Doctorow My friend and fellow writer Dana Fredsti posted this quotation on her Facebook page, and asked people — especially other writers — if they had thoughts about it. Boy, …

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Jun 11 2014

DIY Bath Scrubs

Okay, this has nothing to do with anything. But I’ve been having a somewhat rough time lately, and this is a cheap, easy pleasure that fairly reliably makes me happy, so I’m blogging about it. I’ve been taking baths instead of showers lately: they turn a quotidian daily chore into a luxurious pleasure, and if …

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May 30 2014

New Game: Social Justice Autocorrect!

I need a break from horribleness. Let’s play a game! Let’s play Social Justice Autocorrect! Do you ever find that your assorted autocorrect thingies (phone, word processing, blogging software) don’t recognize social justice terminology? Do they come up with amusing autocorrect suggestions? This came up during a Twitter conversation with Not All Misandrists (@artfulscientist). They …

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May 23 2014

Can We Rationally Accept Our Irrationality?

freedom icon

This piece was originally published in Free Inquiry magazine. Here’s the conundrum. On the one hand: As rationalists, we’re striving to be rational, to the best of our ability. On the other hand: As rationalists, we’re striving to accept reality, to the best of our ability. And the reality is that our brains are not …

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May 22 2014

Humanist Performance Anxiety

This piece was originally published in The Humanist magazine. Does anyone else do this? I have this set of humanist values, among which is the notion that since I only have one life, I want to live it to its fullest. Back when I had religious beliefs (mine were of the New Age variety, including …

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May 05 2014

Secular Meditation: How It Helps With My Depression

I’m going to preface this right off the bat by saying: I am not a doctor. I am not a therapist. I am not a mental health care professional, or indeed a health care professional of any kind. I’m just talking about myself here, and my own experiences. If these ideas resonate with you, and …

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