Showing posts from April, 2020

Toward Rational Humanism

We need a new religion or ideology that meets the following criteria: It provides a foundation for a sustainable civilization. It provides individuals with a functional way of life. It isn’t fundamentally deceptive. It has a rational, philosophical basis that is accessible to intelligent people. It can be reduced to a few simple ideas that can be understood by ordinary people. It has good memetic properties. To that end, I propose a new ideology organized around two core values, one for the individual and one for the collective: Reproduction: The individual purpose of life is reproduction. In the short term, this means having children. In the long term, it means having many descendants. Civilization: Our collective purpose is perpetuating and advancing our civilization. Our civilization is “us”, but it is not just a collection of individuals. It is a complex system that has biological, cultural and social components. We inherited a civilization fro

The Advice Troll

If you make content and put it on the internet, you will get criticism. I divide critics into three categories: Good faith critics: They are polite, and constructive dialog is possible. Ideological critics: They are rude and aggressive. Constructive dialog is not possible. They typically insult and run away. Advice trolls: They are explicitly polite but implicitly insulting, or, in other words, passive aggressive. Constructive dialog is not possible. They attach like parasites and drain your time and energy. This essay is about the advice troll. The advice troll poses as someone offering constructive criticism, but really he is just larping as an authority figure. He thinks of himself as an intellectual, but he is too lazy, stupid, and/or cowardly to create content of his own. Instead, he criticizes the work of others. This is a way for him to assert authority. The act of criticizing presupposes that the critic has superior knowledge or intelligence, so by criticizing your work

The Case Against UBI

UBI stands for “Universal Basic Income”. In its simplest form, UBI is a direct payment to every citizen every month. It would (at least in theory) replace other government programs that alleviate poverty, such as means-tested welfare. It is growing in popularity as a political proposal. In this essay, I’m going to make the case against UBI. The basic argument for UBI is that we already agree on the existence of a social safety net, and UBI would be simpler and fairer than existing welfare schemes. As it is typically conceived, UBI would just be a direct payment from the government to all members of a society, without the complex bureaucracy that administers means-tested welfare schemes. Because it would be universal rather than means-tested, it would also eliminate or reduce certain perverse incentives of existing welfare schemes. Let’s consider some of the problems with means-tested welfare scheme. They require means-testing on an individual basis, so they need a bureaucracy to admi