A Puff of Absurdity: On Comparing Existentialism and Stoicism

This summer, I went on one camping trip with a book on Stoicism, then another camping trip with a book on Existentialism, and I was intrigued by the many similarities. Then I came across this video that has some overlap with what I had noticed. As they say in the video, Massimo Pigliucci (MP) on Stoicism ...

Scripturient: Saunderson shirks his responsibility to taxpayers

The town’s budget is by far the single most important thing elected officials have to manage. It’s complicated, affects everyone in town, reaches into every department, ranges through services, user fees, and ultimately determines the quality of life for everyone here. It is the one thing that demands the full attention, the full concentration,  the ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Eco-Hypocrites: Flights of the Anti-Flyers

I was just contemplating my own hypocrisy when I came across this NYTimes Op Ed on hypocrisy. Likely I’m not the only one in this position of explaining away, or coming to terms with, behaviour very contrary to my ethics. I’ve written before that nobody should board an aircraft for a luxury trip, and then I took ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Eco-Hypocrites: Flights of the Anti-Flyers

I was just contemplating this very idea when I came across this NYTimes Op Ed on hypocrisy. Likely I’m not the only one in this position of explaining away, or coming to terms with, behaviour very contrary to my ethics. I’ve written before that nobody should board an aircraft for a luxury trip, and then I took ...

A Puff of Absurdity: What Happens in the Arctic, Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic

There are more and more signs of climate change about to pull a number on us, but we still won’t listen. We’ve got ammonia in our atmosphere and a spike in methane concentrations: “CO2 is still the dominant target for mitigation, for good reason. But we run the risk if we lose sight of methane offsetting ...

A Puff of Absurdity: What Happens in the Arctic, Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic

There are more and more signs of climate change about to pull a number on us, but we still won’t listen. We’ve got ammonia in our atmosphere and a spike in methane concentrations: “CO2 is still the dominant target for mitigation, for good reason. But we run the risk if we lose sight of methane offsetting ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Appropriation

I’m teaching First Nations in Canada this semester, and it’s a bit of a challenge for me. I spent 7 years in school studying philosophy and social sciences – all from a western European point of view, so I feel confident teaching those subjects from that perspective, but I know little more about First Nations ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Guilt and Responsibility

I grew up in a family with a strong work ethic. You couldn’t read the comics until you finished the world news first. Sitting to do anything other than read something educational or literary wasn’t acceptable. We were made to feel guilty for every minute we wasted. Since childhood, I’ve tried to counteract this teaching. ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Upset Them at Your Peril

Professor Edward Schlosser wrote an interesting piece in Vox about, in part, the power his students have to call the shots these days.  I can attest that it’s at best, defeating, and at worst, absolutely terrifying. First of all, to clarify, my students are typically a delight, but the current system is fostering behaviours that ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Words and Virtue

Scott Long wrote an excellent article separating the act of supporting free speech from the act of supporting the words and images created by Charlie Hebdo.  But I disagree with this one bit: “Words don’t kill…” As I said in a comment there, too many young people have lost lives as a direct results of ...

Christy's Houseful of Chaos » politics: mainly thoughts about freedom

After a couple more days of chaos and business, I have time again to sit and think. Hurray! I think back to Sunday, and taking my children to church. I remember how my most high strung child ended up sitting between a woman he barely knows and me, and how it wasn’t until I moved ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Paternity Rights in Rape Cases

It’s an interesting moral dilemma to have a judge decide a child has access to a father when the only contact the mother and father had was a sexual assault producing this child.  This isn’t entirely the story here.  In this article, it could be a case of statutory rape.  It’s possible there was a ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict: How Does an Aggressor Successfully Argue Self Defence

After my initial shock at hearing the verdict and my attempt to rationalize it I have further reflected on the verdict. Perhaps it all comes down to the difference between Canadian and Floridian/American attitudes to vigilantism. I consider myself to be a reasonable man and my interpretation of self defence does not allow for an ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict: How Does an Aggressor Successfully Argue Self Defence

After my initial shock at hearing the verdict and my attempt to rationalize it I have further reflected on the verdict. Perhaps it all comes down to the difference between Canadian and Floridian/American attitudes to vigilantism. I consider myself to be a reasonable man and my interpretation of self defence does not allow for an ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict: How Does an Aggressor Successfully Argue Self Defence

After my initial shock at hearing the verdict and my attempt to rationalize it I have further reflected on the verdict. Perhaps it all comes down to the difference between Canadian and Floridian/American attitudes to vigilantism. I consider myself to be a reasonable man and my interpretation of self defence does not allow for an ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict and The British Justice System

The not guilty verdicts in the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Travyon Martin may be a result of the British criminal justice system (that is shared by both Canada and the United States) and it’s most important principle that it is better that the guilty go free than the innocent be convicted. One ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict and The British Justice System

The not guilty verdicts in the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Travyon Martin may be a result of the British criminal justice system (that is shared by both Canada and the United States) and it’s most important principle that it is better that the guilty go free than the innocent be convicted. One ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict and The British Justice System

The not guilty verdicts in the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Travyon Martin may be a result of the British criminal justice system (that is shared by both Canada and the United States) and it’s most important principle that it is better that the guilty go free than the innocent be convicted. One ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Blogger Rights and Responsibilities

I think of myself as a C-list blogger.  Sometimes I wander into B-list territory, but I’m largely unseen by the masses.  If I make it into the double digits on a post, it’s pretty exciting.  I have two posts that made it into triple digits here – largely, I think, because they’ve caused disagreement and ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Animal Testing: What’s wrong with education this time?

Okay it’s really about our kids.  But this post was inspired, in part, by this cartoon gaining swift popularity: There’s a burgeoning rebellion against the way we teach.  I’m all for rebellion, but we have to figure out if we really want to overhaul the entire system or just tweak it a bit.  Too many ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Enviro-Optimists vs Doom-Mongers: Another Wentian False Dichotomy

Margaret Wente, in her latest discourse, thinks the reason the environment’s being ignored is because of all the pessimists making us too depressed about it all.  She splits all environmentalists into two camps: “But the biggest divide is really between the purists and the pragmatists, the pessimists and the optimists – between the McKibbernists, who ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Our Rape Culture: Rehtaeh Parsons’ Unfortunate Legacy

And another one gone – a victim of assault and revenge porn enacted and filmed by a bunch of teenaged boys who had more power than they might have ever imagined:  they could kill from a distance.  As Elizabeth Renzetti says of these double-barrel assaults, they are, “not just an act of violence but a ...

Things Are Good: Consumers Care About Social Responsibility

I recall early in the last decade that companies didn’t respond to calls for corporate social responsibility because consumers didn’t care. That seems to have changed, which is a very good thing. Since then, corporations have had to accommodate the growing concerns of people and have even gone so far to create new brands that ...

A Puff of Absurdity: A Crisis of Environmentalist Faith

A couple of sentences from Matthew Altman (from “The Green Onion“) have been weighing on me for days: Ironically, environmentalism itself can become a means of advancing our own selfish interests, as when we barely adjust our lifestyles in order to feel a disproportionately strong sense of smugness….If a well-intentioned environmentalism does nothing for nature, ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Being a Mean Mum (and Defining Bullying)

“He cut Charlie’s ear, and he’s driving him nuts!  Water won’t hurt him; it will just remind him to stay off our porch.” “You know what you just cut, mom?  The line that connects us.  You are not my mother anymore in three…two….one.  That’s it.  We’re over.” My eight-year-old is mortified that I sprayed a ...