Sep 122014
 

On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered questions on rescuing other people’s pets, large egos, and more with Greg Perkins. The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading. You’ll find it on the episode’s archive page, as well as below.

Remember, you can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:

Podcast: Rescuing Pets, Large Egos, and More

Listen or Download:

Remember, with every episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, we show how rational philosophy can help you find joy in your work, model virtue for your kids, pursue your goals effectively, communicate with respect, and advocate for a free society. We can’t do that without your support, so please remember to tip your philosopher!

You can download or listen to my answers to individual questions from this episode below.

Introduction (0:00)

My News of the Week: I’m preparing to compete on my horse Lila in Oklahoma this weekend!

Question 1: Rescuing Other People’s Pets (2:55)

In this segment, I answered a question on rescuing other people’s pets.

Should a person be prosecuted for property damage when committed in order to rescue the property owner’s pet from harm or death? Recently, I heard a story about a man who smashed the window of a stranger’s car in order to rescue a dog left inside. It was a very hot day, and the dog would have died or suffered brain damage if it had not been rescued. Was it moral for the man to do this? Should he be charged with criminal damages for smashing the window? Should the owner of the dog be charged with leaving the dog to die in the car?

My Answer, In Brief: You should rescue a pet in serious danger of permanent injury or death, even if you must damage the owner’s property in doing so. The owner should pay for that damage, not you, because he created the emergency and benefits from the rescue.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Question 2: Large Egos (16:42)

In this segment, I answered a question on large egos.

Can an egoist have too big an ego? People often speak disapprovingly of “big egos.” The idea seems to be that a person is not supposed to think too well of himself or be too assertive. Is this just the product of altruism, including the idea that a person should be humble? Or can a person really be too big for his britches?

My Answer, In Brief: Big egos can be big in two very different ways: they can be brittle (based on second-handed fakery) or robust (based on honest self-valuing). The rational egoist should not develop a big ego: he should aim for a robust ego, backed up by the virtues, as that person will be respectful of himself and others.

Listen or Download:

To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

Rapid Fire Questions (37:38)

In this segment, I answered questions impromptu. The questions were:

  • Does the principle of intervening (from the first question) apply only to living entities or does it apply to inanimate types of property?
  • What do you think of the Ray Rice situation?
  • Is there any value to formal debates, or are they merely publicity stunts?
  • How does one reach out and be a better friend to someone who’s dealing with depression, loneliness, or poor self-esteem? What boundaries should one observe?
  • Would you ever consider doing an Explore The Fountainhead podcast series?
  • What do Dagny and Galt mean when they say: “We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?” To what does the “it” refer?
  • What is cruelty? Could cruelty ever be necessary?
  • Do you think Howard Roark would have a Facebook account?

Listen or Download:

To comment on these questions or my answers, visit its comment thread.

Conclusion (1:01:06)

Be sure to check out the topics scheduled for upcoming episodes! Don’t forget to submit and vote on questions for future episodes too!


About Philosophy in Action Radio

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

Remember, with every episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, we show how rational philosophy can help you find joy in your work, model virtue for your kids, pursue your goals effectively, communicate with respect, and advocate for a free society. We can’t do that without your support, so please remember to tip your philosopher!

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Marriage and Violence in the 1950s

 Posted by on 9 September 2014 at 10:00 am  Uncategorized
Sep 092014
 

This article — Lock up your wives! — which looks at “advice columns from decades past [to] provide a chilling glimpse into the horrors of marriage counselling before feminism is well worth reading. Here, I just want to highlight these two bits on domestic violence:

In March 1957, in the case of ‘Josh’ and ‘Elsa’, Elsa reported that Josh hit her after he came home late from an office party. In the course of her description of their relationship, Elsa tells the counsellor that when their daughter Sally was born: ‘Josh showed plainly his disappointment that the baby wasn’t a boy.’ ‘When the baby and I came home,’ she added, ‘I stayed in bed and let him prepare his own breakfast. He was outraged and yelled so furiously all the neighbours heard him.’ Elsa told the counsellor that she was absolutely miserable in her marriage: ‘When [Josh] abuses me in the presence of our children, when he humiliates me before the neighbours, I want to curl up and die. There is an ache deep in my chest, in my heart. I feel physically sick.’

The counsellor wrote that Elsa was ‘jolted and shocked when I told her she was partly at fault’. This wife needed to be convinced out of her own self-righteous understanding of the situation, the counsellor argued. ‘If she wanted a serene family life, she would have to learn to give Josh what he wanted from their marriage and thereby help him control his temper.’

Oh, but wait, it gets better:

Perhaps most disturbingly, ‘Can This Marriage Be Saved?’ counsellors minimised and ignored domestic violence, as in the case of Josh and Elsa. Wives would report incidences of physical aggression, but these were never headlined as the major complaint – they were submerged in the couple’s larger story. Popenoe introduced the September 1953 column, which featured ‘Sue’, a wife who showed up to the counsellor’s office with a ‘large purple bruise darken[ing] her cheekbone’, by referring to the husband’s complaints, rather than the wife’s: ‘Many a husband has to pay the penalty for his wife’s failure to get any real education in homemaking before she married, or to acquire such skills after the wedding, when she must have begun to realise that she needs them.’ (Again: the wife should have known that she wasn’t measuring up.) ‘In a canvas of more the 500 marriages made by the American Institute of Family Relations,’ Popenoe continues, ‘it was interesting to find how bitterly the average man resents a sloppy and slovenly wife – even when his own habits are not beyond criticism.’

In Sue’s case, the counsellor found that her husband ‘Jack’ needed to ‘master his temper’, a simple trick accomplished after ‘a single consultation proved to him that his temper was not “inherited” but represented a poor pattern established in his childhood’. But it was Sue who had the most work to do. She showed a lack of insight – she didn’t understand her husband. By refusing to have sex with him after he hit her, ‘she… touched off another almost inevitable explosion. Many husbands endeavour to make up for their misdeeds by such ardour, a fact of life that wise and loving wives accept.’ Sue had to systematise her housework in order to get good at it – a recommendation that reflected Popenoe’s professional roots in the efficiency-happy 1920s. The happy ending: Sue ‘spends 15 minutes every morning planning and writing down a list of daily tasks. Any specific request of Jack’s takes top position on the list. As she acquits each task, she checks it off the list. This means she finishes one job before she begins another.’

Indeed, how dare a wife refuse to have sex with her husband after he beats her?!? The nerve!

We’ve come a long way, baby, but not far enough… as the NFL’s serious (and perhaps dishonest) mishandling of the Ray Rice case proves.

 

On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I’ll interview educator Kelly Elmore about “Why Growth Mindsets Matter.” This episode of internet radio airs at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Thursday, 28 August 2014, in our live studio. If you can’t listen live, you’ll find the podcast on the episode’s archive page.

Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success offers a new perspective on learning. People with a “fixed mindsets” believe that traits like intelligence or social skills are fixed and cannot be changed much. People with “growth mindsets” believe that humans have the potential to change the traits they possess and constantly learn and improve. As a part of the research for her dissertation, Kelly Elmore has explored the psychological research conducted by Dweck and other cognitive psychologists that led to Dweck’s development of the concept of “mindsets.” In this interview, she’ll explain what mindsets are and the research behind them, as well as discuss how to apply these ideas to improve our lives.

Kelly Elmore is working on her PhD in rhetoric and composition at Georgia State University, teaching freshman composition, helping her 10 year old daughter educate herself, and working with students from 8-18 on writing, Latin, grammar, and rhetoric at a local homeschool co-op. Kelly is in the planning stages of writing her dissertation, which will focus on Carol Dweck’s concept of mindset and its relevance to writing. She also cooks (homemade mayo, anyone?) and practices yoga and mindfulness. She doesn’t have spare time because she fills it all up with values, happiness, and breathing in and out.

To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action’s Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.

The podcast of this episode will be available shortly after the live broadcast here: Radio Archive: Kelly Elmore on Why Growth Mindsets Matter. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action’s Podcast RSS Feed:

I hope you join us for the live show or enjoy the podcast later. Also, please share this announcement with any friends interested in this topic!

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

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Link-O-Rama

 Posted by on 8 August 2014 at 1:00 pm  Uncategorized
Aug 082014
 

Activism Recap

 Posted by on 18 May 2014 at 8:47 pm  Uncategorized
May 182014
 

This week on We Stand FIRM, the blog of FIRM (Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine):

Follow FIRM on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on The Blog of The Objective Standard:

Follow The Objective Standard on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on The Blog of Modern Paleo:

Follow Modern Paleo on Facebook and Twitter.

A Quick Report from Aiken

 Posted by on 18 February 2014 at 10:00 am  Horses, Personal, Sports, Uncategorized
Feb 182014
 

Dear Everyone,

As you might have been able to tell from my lack of blogging, I’ve been a bit busy here in Aiken. Mostly, I’m on my feet from sunrise to sunset — riding horses, mucking stalls, feeding horses, moving horses, stacking hay, and so on. Then we often have lesson video to review in the evenings. (That’s very helpful, but also time-consuming.) Also, Aiken was hit hard by the ice storm last week. We were covered in an inch of ice, and our power and water were out for 4 days. (It was a god-awful mess!) Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be able to resume regular blogging until after SnowCon 2014 in mid-March.

Anyway, here’s a bit of video of me jumping Lila and Maria that I meant to post eons ago, but I’ve just not found the time until now. These were lessons from early this month — February 8th. These few fences were the culmination of a lesson’s worth of work at getting the proper canter into a fence. Watching them again just now, I can see that I need to do even more to get Lila into a collected canter, and I think we’re doing significantly better now. Still, this quiet balance over fences was a huge achievement a mere 10 days ago!

On Lila:

On Maria:

I’ll try to post more video, and perhaps some pictures from the ice storm, soon. Overall, I’m a bit worn out — particularly after yesterday’s lesson with Eric over cross-country fences. However, I’m learning and progressing like crazy, and I can’t wait to see what the next two weeks will bring!

Love and Cuddles from Aiken,

Diana Hsieh

Activism Recap

 Posted by on 21 July 2013 at 2:00 pm  Uncategorized
Jul 212013
 

This week on We Stand FIRM, the blog of FIRM (Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine):

Follow FIRM on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on Politics without God, the blog of the Coalition for Secular Government:

Follow the Coalition for Secular Government on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on The Blog of The Objective Standard:

Follow The Objective Standard on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on The Blog of Modern Paleo:

Follow Modern Paleo on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Forbes has just published my latest OpEd, “4 Questions To Ask During The Upcoming ObamaCare Public Relations Blitz“.

Here is the opening:

The battle over ObamaCare will reignite soon, and the next front will be the war for public opinion. The American public remains deeply skeptical of the new law. Many Americans say they will not sign up for insurance in the new “exchanges” scheduled to open October 1, 2013. As a result, the Obama administration is preparing a high-profile public relations blitz to again sell the law to the public.

Here are 4 talking points ObamaCare advocates will attempt to promote — and 4 questions Americans should ask in response…

I cover 4 topics, including:

1) “Free” benefits

2) “Coverage”

3) “Rights”

4) “Reform”

Plus there’s a 5th bonus question at the end!

For more details, read the full text of “4 Questions To Ask During The Upcoming ObamaCare Public Relations Blitz“.

Activism Recap

 Posted by on 14 October 2012 at 11:00 pm  Uncategorized
Oct 142012
 

This week on We Stand FIRM, the blog of FIRM (Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine):

Follow FIRM on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on Politics without God, the blog of the Coalition for Secular Government:

Follow the Coalition for Secular Government on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on The Blog of The Objective Standard:

Follow The Objective Standard on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on The Blog of Modern Paleo:

Follow Modern Paleo on Facebook and Twitter.

Activism Recap

 Posted by on 8 July 2012 at 1:30 pm  Uncategorized
Jul 082012
 

This week on We Stand FIRM, the blog of FIRM (Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine):

Follow FIRM on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on Politics without God, the blog of the Coalition for Secular Government:

Follow the Coalition for Secular Government on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on Mother of Exiles:

Follow Mother of Exiles on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on The Blog of The Objective Standard:

Follow The Objective Standard on Facebook and Twitter.


This week on The Blog of Modern Paleo:

Follow Modern Paleo on Facebook and Twitter.

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