Victory Lap

 

Day 30, bitches!

Excuse me. I’m excited.

As I mentioned in this pathetic post, I’ve been doing a month-long write-a-blog-post-everyday challenge. Today is day 30. For the past 30 days, including today, I’ve written a blog post every single day. No exceptions. Don’t mind if I take this last post to celebrate and jot down some observations.

I began this challenge without a clear idea of what I should be writing about. In part, I hoped the challenge would help me pin down what topics I’m most interested in writing about. On day three of the challenge, I began a concurrent 30-day yoga challenge. Today is my day 28 of yoga. I’ve never done any kind of 30-day challenge before, so doing both at the same time has led them to feel associated in my mind. April has been the blog-yoga month.

A few observations:

  • Posts went up before midnight of every day.
  • Every post was posted here except day 13, which was posted at Pressing the Button.
  • Average post length: 871 words (not including today’s post. Counting today’s post would involve self-reference, and we all know that’s not allowed, this sentence notwithstanding). The longest post (1817 words) was my recent post about the Sorites paradox. The shortest (361 words) was this throwaway chronicling a train of thought sparked by a cool bass line. 8 posts were over 1000 words long; 5 were under 500 words.
  • I wrote 4 posts about solutions to the Liar paradox. Three of those were about problems with one particular proposed solution to it.

Continue Reading →

5 Reasons to Audit a Class

I’m auditing a grad level logic course at the CUNY Graduate Center. The class – taught by Graham Priest, whose work I’ve discussed previously – is called “Vagueness” and deals with the famous sorites paradox (aka “paradox of the heap”). Taking a full class on a single thought experiment is bonkers. I used to think I had a favored solution for the sorites. As will happen with philosophy, I’ve now studied the problem enough that I have no idea what to think about it. The hope is that this is an intermediate stage followed by increased clarity and understanding. Fingers crossed.

Enough introductions. Auditing a class is awesome. Here are five reasons:

1. It’s free

Duh.

2. It’s easy

This is how it happened for me: I had it in mind to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy. Meanwhile, I was studying the liar paradox and kept coming across this guy, Graham Priest. His most recent and compellingly titled book sounded super interesting and relevant to what I was researching, so I bought it and read it. I found Priest’s e-mail on the CUNY GC Philosophy Department website and sent him a message, asking if I could chat about his book and get his advice on Ph.D. applications. Right away he said yes and invited me to have a chat with him during office hours.

We had a nice chat where I realized I really don’t know any philosophy. Shortly after, I decided to forget the Ph.D. thing – I just don’t have the disposition for an academic career.…

Continue Reading →

Offensive Friend, Meet Gay Friend

Warning: unsavory words below.

It was five of us in the car. We were driving up to our annual debauchery cabin in rural Vermont, where nine others would join us for the weekend. Our driver – I’ll call him Carl – is a character. As we crossed the state line into Vermont, he yelled:

“Nigger faggot cunt purple piss shit faggot shitter fuck cunt faggot faggot faggot faggot!”

This wasn’t unexpected. Carl loves his expletives. He loves saying and doing what is forbidden. Not to piss anyone off. It’s just part of his shtick. His timing was celebratory: Vermont is our safe place to not give a fuck. For most of us, that means getting drunk, stoned, and playing mafia. For Carl, it’s that plus getting to yell “nigger faggot!”

But there was a difference this time around. Among the five of us in the car was Zach. Zach is a newish friend. This was his first time coming to the cabin and meeting most of the usual group, including Carl. Zach also happens to be gay.

It occurred to me that we really should have warned Zach. Too late for that. Here we were, in the car, and Carl was doing his thing. Should I interject? What could I say? “Hey, Carl, just so you know, uhh, Zach is gay.” Or, “Hey, Zach, umm, Carl is — well, you’ll see, he’s harmless really…”

You might wonder why it took me so long to address this. Why haven’t I talked to Carl about this before?…

Continue Reading →