Questioning Arbitrary Authority

Robert Paul Wolff is one of my favorite writers. I came across his work completely by accident: dad was getting rid of a few dozen boxes of books (“the overflow”) and one of the boxes contained a slim volume entitled In Defense of Anarchism. I did a brief 3-post series on it [stderr] because I think it’s an important work in its field – he deploys some of the basic arguments for anarchism in a way that is very hard to argue with. [wc]

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Immersive Worlds

As you know, I’m a gamer. My recent play-list includes Cyberpunk 2077 (what a disappointment: a mediocre game with too much Keanu Reeves in it) and Fallout 4 (in survival mode). Fallout’s survival mode is how the game should be played – it’s much more “realistic” if that makes any sense. But its ending was horrible and really pissed me off. I needed a decent gaming experience. Oh, and somewhere in there, Anna and I did a bit of co-operative Valheim, which was surprisingly fun.

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Give Me The Child and I’ll Give You The Racist

I know a few people who were home-schooled as kids, and who grew up to be fine, decent people. I even new one who was incredibly precocious and was tutored (in addition to a good private school education) by both father and mother. Everyone in my high school class knew he was going to be somebody in the sciences and, he is! Yay!

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It’s What Science Was

This is a difficult topic, for me, because it entails trying to pull together a bunch of tangled threads that don’t make sense. Pseudo-science and racism are tough, like that, since the pseudo-science in the service of racism may look like it’s science, but it’s not. Yet, for most purposes, I’m going to declare a lot of American popular science as pseudo-science.

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The Missing Piece Of A Puzzle

I have added another book to my recommended reading list [stderr] Nancy Isenberg’s White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. In the last few months, I have gone backward and forward through it, trying to make sense of how the facts it exposes fit with my historical understanding.

If you pay any attention to US history, you know that slavery and racism are one of the supporting institutions that have defined and shaped the United States. You cannot understand the United States without understanding slavery and racism. But, that understanding has always felt incomplete, to me; I knew there was more. Obviously, there are details, but what is the big picture?

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