This section was my workspace for philosophy essays between July 2006 and April 2008.
I call this "Prehistoric Kilroy" because it gave me practice for more
disciplined essays in Kilroy Cafe.Also see my philophical blog and Twitter feed.
Random discussions on philosophical and psychological
topics that interest the webmaster.
These essays may roam far afield of Family Court, but they
usually return there.
are written in about 2-3 hours and can be read in 3 minutes.
All should be regarded as "experimental."
There have been no new essays here since April 2008.
(Glenn's new philosophy essays are now found at Kilroy Cafe.)
“In one way or another, ALL families are dysfunctional. Even the most enlightened and well-meaning parents are going to impose a non-verbal language on their child which is not entirely within their conscious control and that is not all good.”
“I choose to be good not because of any call to authority but simply because it makes sense to me. I have thought through the logical implications of both good and evil acts, and good is more practical.”
“Being "rich"—that is, having plenty of extra resources beyond your basic needs—is seen as a desirable goal in our society, but the disturbing reality for most people is that being rich makes you fat and lazy.”
“Some days it seems like a superhero can't win. You wake up in the morning with some idealism and hope, but by the end of the day, you're drained. All day long, you're racing around desperately trying to save people, but in the big picture nothing seems to change.”
“Slavery was supposedly outlawed in the United States a century and a half ago. One person can no longer own another and physically compel them to work for them. However, the experience of slavery continues to this day, and it is likely to touch all of us.”
“Knowing when to stop is an inherent problem in all forms of generosity and voluntarism. It is one of the reasons why some people don't give anything to anyone at all: Once you start caring about a needy person or cause, it tends to take you over, because the needs will always outstrip your resources.”
“I was walking on the trail about 20 feet ahead of the girls when suddenly the youngest one, Drama Mama, took off. She headed off the trail and into the thick woods, miffed by something that another girl said.”
“I am seen as your standard, All-American, white-bread
superhero, more emotionally stable than the rest, which
means I am expected to be the leader. What this basically means
is that I have to attend more meetings, give more speeches
and endure more public flack than anybody else. I am also
expected to resolve personnel issues within the team, like the
problem with Wonder Gal.”
ï¿½In this book, we will explore marriage and relationships and
sexual attraction and law and contracts and loneliness and fear.
What are people afraid of when they get married? No
institution can be all positive; there have to be demons
under the surface, and we will try our best to dig them up.ï¿½
ï¿½If a princess really is beautiful, in the cultural norm sort
of way, then she has plenty of Prince Charmings to choose
from. They're knocking on her door. Does she choose the
handsomest prince, or the most adventurous one, or the most
stable and reliable one? The answer is, she chooses the one
who least threatens her own ego.ï¿½
ï¿½Training children and other humans is a lot like herding
cats. They will rarely do what you tell them to. Give them
a rule, and they'll find a way to sneak around it. Both
humans and cats possess a bastard independence that can
make training a nightmare.ï¿½
ï¿½Beyond the bubble that we live in, the world is not a nice place. Most people on earth live very close to the edge, only a few inches away from starvation, trauma or violent death. Very few are achieving anywhere near their potential. They are wasted by their society and are forced to suffer needlessly for lack of the most basic resources.ï¿½
ï¿½Socialization is the process by which children with unlimited potential are turned into dull, restricted, self-destructive adults. The process is overwhelmingly tragic ï¿½ a beating into submission of most of the joy and creativity of childhood.ï¿½
ï¿½Once we become involved in someone's life, they may become dependent on us, and we may feel an emotional sense of obligation to them. This "web of dependence" may make it difficult for us to disengage from them even when the relationship is not the best for ourselves, for them or for the mission we are both pursuing.ï¿½
ï¿½'Fuck' is one of the most interesting, widely used, useful and useless words in the English language. In some subcultures, it composes pretty much half of the spoken language, being employed as verb, noun, adverb, adjective, interjection and almost an article.ï¿½
ï¿½"Nature" is the inherent characteristics and qualities of
any object or system, independent of human intent. On one
side, there is the way you want things to be, and on the
other is the way things actually are. Nature is the latter.ï¿½
ï¿½Given that fame is fleeting and that all the attention in the world can't really supply inner satisfaction, ones natural narcissism must be shifted to something elseï¿½to some higher form of accomplishment that doesn't require adoration in the end.ï¿½
ï¿½Ideally, people should contribute to a relationship according to the Communist ideal: "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need." This sounds nice in theory, but it tends to break down in practice.ï¿½
ï¿½Victimhood is a disease that you have to escape from as quickly as possible. If someone has chopped off two of your arms and one of your legs, then you have to march ahead on your one good leg and make the best of it.ï¿½
ï¿½Whenever you are facing an important decision, there is enormous pressure to solve the problem right away, just to get it out of the way and to give your life a predictable structure. This is a dangerous seduction, because there is so much you don't know about the future.ï¿½
ï¿½The male's obsession with sports resembles in many ways his inexplicable interest in pornography. Both are useless, repetitive "watching" behaviors that serve absolutely no function yet seem to fascinate the male to no end.ï¿½
ï¿½Marriages and other romantic relationships are complex systems of energy transfer. A reciprocal partnership of two equals is an admirable goal, but too many relationships evolve into something more like a parasitic binary star system where a black hole sucks the life out of a living star.ï¿½
ï¿½People's inner intentions and outer actions are two separate things. Ideally, our words and actions should match our intentions, but making this happen is a complicated skill that does not always come naturally.ï¿½
ï¿½Having extra assets means that you can start doing things because they are meaningful and important, not because they serve a Capitalist agenda. It is a privilege and a sacred trust to be blessed these assets, and they need to be used wisely.ï¿½
ï¿½To be comfortable, you
have to be sensitive to your own inner sensations and learn
some basic science about what makes you feel good. For the
most part, these are things you have to learn on your own,
often through bitter experience.ï¿½
ï¿½How do you
explain a healthy romantic relationship to someone who has
never seen one? Of course they know what love isï¿½They
have seen it on TV.ï¿½but this is not the same as a
real-life role model.ï¿½
ï¿½The real problem with these families isn't drugs; it is emotional volatility. Most of the hard-core clients of Family Services are living lives of cyclical self-generated chaos, of which drugs are only one symptom.ï¿½
ï¿½Whatever it is you give, the system tends to adjust to it and expects you to keep giving. Soon, the system is dependent on you; your total returns start decreasing, and you become trapped into giving indefinitely.ï¿½
ï¿½It is good to have goalsï¿½a general direction you are moving in. On the other hand, you don't want to be too rigid in your goals or in your plans for getting there, or you may overlook unexpected opportunities along the way.ï¿½
"In ancient Greece, economy was represented by the warriors of Sparta, who lived only to fight. Each of them, it is said, owned nothing but his sword. Let us hope for the sake of decency that he also owned a loincloth."
"Effective intervention has to be cautious, thoughtful, discreet and limited. You shouldn't dash in like a white knight rescuing maidens in distress, because you don't know how difficult those maidens can be when you actually have them in your arms."
"Everyone wants to be rich, happy, comfortable and free of
pain, but once you achieve this blissful state, a disturbing
thing happens: you start collecting possessions, activities
and commitments that you don't really need."
"From early childhood, humans are shameful, insecure little creatures who are always fighting the spectre of worthlessness. Human behavior can be largely explained as a reaction to this internal shame."
Most of these essays are written
first thing in the morning when I wake up, usually
starting between 4 and 5 am. By 8 or 9, I usually have a complete
essay. I may change a few words and sentences over the next
couple of days, but for the most part the essay is completed
in a single draft. I think of it like doing a live radio program.
Since Nov. 14, I have been on a roll. When I go to sleep at night
(in the back seat of my rental car),
I have no idea what I
will write about in the morning, but I know I will have a great idea.
It is like Christmas Eve, wondering what Santa will bring!
When I am just starting to wake up, the idea comes to me (not
always a philosophy essay), and I
start writing immediately. (I may reach over and start the car's
engine to warm things up.) Most of these ideas are ones that I
have been thinking about for years, so it is just a matter of
getting them out in words.
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