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Sanity Zone 11-8-2013. Friendly Fire

Posted 11-07-2013 at 12:04 PM by xan

Thomas Hobbes wasn't far off when he described the life of man as "solitary, poor, nasty brutish and short." Feudal societies were cauldrons of darwinistic experiments, where the ruling classes imposed a violence based caste system where only the strong and clever survived. Also key was the narrow definition of loyalty and the broad latitude given to those charged with enforcement. A "one size fits all" mentality in which the size changed to fit the whims of the oppressors....
xan
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Sanity Zone 10-2-2013 Shut Down and Loving it.

Posted 10-02-2013 at 09:54 AM by xan

Sorry for not posting anything for a while. I'd offer half-hearted excuses, but it's only because there's been nothing inspiring to talk about. But joy is back!

As a college professor, I like to use examples of catastrophically bad decision-making as teaching tools. Examining the process and the reasons for failure teach us a great deal about how the world works, and how to identify when we might be in a similar situation. There is a side effect of also being very funny. It's easier...
xan
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Sanity Zone 3-8-2013 Reducto Ad Absurdum

Posted 03-08-2013 at 12:18 PM by xan

Emanuel Kant. No, seriously. Resist the urge to shut your brain off and walk with me a minute.

Two of Kant's contributions to moral philosophy are the "Theory of Perception" and the "Categorical Imperative." In short, perception is based on either direct experience of reality (analytic) or an inferred experience (synthetic) of reality. "All dogs are quadrapeds" vs. "All dogs are happy" are examples. The former is measurable and verifiable,...
xan
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Sanity Zone 2-6-2013 I Want a New Drug

Posted 02-06-2013 at 07:49 AM by xan

It's time to have a seismic shift in our thinking about the roll drugs play in sports. To set the argument, let's use the example of a non-sports person getting medical attention. From there, we can extend the analysis to explore where we might alter our standards.

Dispensing with the gory details, the key difference between the athlete and the non-athlete with a similar injury is the drug treatment. If the non-athlete uses steroids or HGH or EPO, she will heal faster, have less scar...
xan
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Site Donor 2014
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Sanity Zone 1-19-2013 Positive Rights

Posted 01-18-2013 at 03:08 PM by xan

In political theory, a positive right is a right that is accorded to you by society. In contrast, a negative right is a right that society can take away from you. Negative rights are freedom of speech, freedom of religious belief, freedom to act in self-preservation. Examples of positive rights are things like education, health care, vacations, police and fire protection. Positive rights are things that society allows you to add to yourself.

Negative rights are things you pay...
xan
Professor Crab and
Site Donor 2014
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