6 thoughts on “Justin’s Microblog”

  1. I liked this quote:

    Each man is worth exactly the value of the things that he
    has seriously pursued.

    Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, as quoted in Who Killed Homer?.

  2. I made my blog’s content space wider, so it should look nicer on big monitors now. I stole the CSS code to do so from this: https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/177572/twenty-fifteen-wider-right-column-for-the-content

    I noticed that the “Proudly powered by WordPress” block at the bottom appears a bit skewed now. I should figure out how to fix that at some point.

    For now I’m putting custom CSS code into a Custom CSS field on the backend (I think this functionality is from a plugin). I think the best practice would be to break stuff out into a child theme, but I tried setting up a child theme before and had some trouble, so I’m just doing things this way for now.

    I also made the font of code blocks bigger, so they should be more readable now. I’m using a plugin for handling code syntax which hasn’t been updated in a while. I need to figure out a good replacement plugin at some point.

    I also made a Peikoff Grammar tag http://justinmallone.com/tag/peikoff-grammar/

  3. From BLITZ: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win by David Horowitz:

    DePaul University professor Jason Hill is a Jamaican immigrant who is openly gay but politically conservative. Hill describes himself this way: “I’m mixed race, but I’m perceived as being black in America. And, like any person of color who has lived in America, I’ve experienced my fair share of racism. But I don’t see America as a nation of extreme bigotry.”55

    In his book We Have Overcome, Hill offers a memorable insight into the paradox of progressives who defend inner-city carnage and protect corrupt black politicians. Progressives, Hill believes, are driven by liberal guilt and low self-esteem. He writes: “If the moral meaning and purpose of your existence as a far-left liberal rests on my suffering and victimization as a black person, then you will need me to suffer indefinitely in order to continue to cull some meaning and purpose from your life. If I reject your help on the grounds that I will not let you expropriate my agency on behalf of my life, that I will cultivate the virtues in my character that are needed to emancipate my life from the hell you imagine it to be, then I’ve annihilated your meaning here on earth. I’ve identified your moral sadism in the relief of my suffering and named the moral hypocrisy of your life. It was never about me all along. . . . You needed me to suffer so you could gain meaning, atonement and redemption.”56

  4. From Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (a bit spoilery I guess?):

    Kaladin crept through the rains, sidling in a wet uniform across the rocks until he was able to peek through the trees at the Voidbringers. Monstrous terrors from the mythological past, enemies of all that was right and good. Destroyers who had laid waste to civilization countless times.

    They were playing cards.

    Notable writing technique thing here. Sanderson does a bunch of dramatic, serious build-up about the nature of the Voidbringers. We’re expecting a certain sort of thing to follow, and then Sanderson dramatically subverts those expectations by having them play cards.

  5. Oathbringer line I liked, from Jasnah:

    “That’s something nobody ever seems to understand—I have no stake in their beliefs. I don’t need company to be confident.”

  6. I was thinking about the idea of practicing improving your methods/practices while you do other things.

    The things you practice while doing something else can be pretty simple. They can be things like:

    • being persistent in doing something.
    • engaging in honest self-assessments.
    • exposing yourself and your work to criticism.

    If you actually work on things like these in the sense of keeping them active in your mind and letting them inform your decisions, then you are practicing them even while you work on, say, programming or other things.

    I think it’s easy to think that such things don’t count as practice or as effort at leading a more thoughtful and examined life. I think that’s a mistaken perspective. If you are making an effort to improve your practices and do things differently, you should account “applied examples” of that effort, and not just count the time you are explicitly studying philosophy or something like that.

    I think maybe there is a connection between not counting this more “applied example” stuff and rationalism. Because the rationalistic approach kind of treats philosophy as idle fun intellectual speculations disconnected from reality and not as a lived practice, as something you are and you do. So then if you have a sort of rationalistic perspective, the metrics you use for what you count as “doing philosophy” are informed by that perspective, and you can make mistakes that further entrench that perspective and entrench mistaken approaches to doing philosophy.

    It’s also possible to fool yourself about what you’re actually doing and whether you’re improving your processes and methods of doing things. However, I think if the things you are practicing include things like “putting more of your ideas out in public for criticism”, then that can help with the fooling yourself thing. If you succeed at all at a goal of exposing yourself and your work more to criticism, then that makes it easier for people to point out ways you are making mistakes in various ways, and so that can help you with not fooling yourself.

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