The Perfection of How to Train Your Dragon

Posted on August 4, 2020

Whenever I watch Hiccup’s first flight, my eyes get misty. There he is, a pseudo-viking, risking the wrath of his father and his whole clan to go fly a fucking dragon. It’s unbelievably inspiring. So below, I’ll try to articulate why I find HTTYD so inspiring, and why it makes me so emotional. I’ve boiled it down to two reasons: the movie is archetypally balanced, and Hiccup is an exemplary rebel. Identity and Perfect Contrarianism: Let’s start with how Hiccup is a perfectRead More

A Experiment in Creative Restaurant Review

Posted on August 3, 2020

My God, what a lovely restaurant! My only regret was not taking photos, so words will have to do. First, the samosas. Wow. Those fat packets of flavour are made with crispy dough and fluffy potatoes and peas. They’re made to order too, so they come fresh, but still have oil on them – no eating on your lap! They come with a cool, sticky-sweet tamarind sauce, which sharpens the flavours of the samosa with every bite dipped into it.Read More

Is Employment Slavery? (It’s up to you)

Posted on July 22, 2020

“A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.” Lysander Spooner A question popped up in my mind a couple of weeks ago while job hunting. Am I just looking for a new structure to replace school? Was I looking to just replace school with some other organization who would tell me what to do and what needed to be done, and to organize my life around?Read More

Learn to Think by Downloading Lenses

Posted on July 21, 2020

The great thing about a broad education in the humanities and social sciences is that it lets you see the world from many different “lenses”. Lenses are filters which let you predict certain outcomes and make certain arguments. I am familiar with around 4 lenses: evolutionary psychology, moral foundations theory, philosophy, and economics. For example, consider the case of revenge porn. Someone sends someone else a nude, the other person takes it, and then later on after breaking up, threatensRead More

Is your podcast an echo chamber?

Posted on July 13, 2020

Mine may be. My conversations with people tend to end on agreement, and agreement on the exact same idea – that we need to build our own community. That’s an issue. Why? Because it means that I am, once again, creating an echo chamber. In an earlier blog post, I wrote that if you fill in the pauses of the person you’re speaking with, you run the risk of simply hearing what you want them to say. Now, I thinkRead More

How to Write a Letter to a Confederate

Posted on July 8, 2020

This is the letter I placed on a man’s doorstep in Kelowna, after I passed by his house four weeks ago and saw a confederate flag glowing in his window (it was after dark). You can watch a video of it and how I initially responded on my facebook account, or by clicking here. It’s a good thing then that a few friends let me know that I should’ve reached out to him instead of complaining about it on facebook.Read More

How the Government Should Sell Mandatory Masks

Posted on July 5, 2020

People who go into governance suspect marketers of manipulation. The only legitimate form of persuasion, for them, is to use argumentation, reason, and evidence. If this fails, and you’re right, then force is legitimate. This is a missed opportunity. Only read this part if you’re a bureaucrat. Otherwise, please skip to the next heading. Most advertising is not manipulative. Manipulation is when you take advantage of someone’s psychological vulnerabilities to further your own goals which are hidden from the person.Read More

How should Architecture and Ethnicity be Related?

Posted on July 3, 2020

What should be the appropriate relationship between architecture and ethnicity? One option is for it to be so closely tied to each other that “only certain races can build beautiful architecture.” Another option is for it to be universally homogenous, such that you see the same big shiny glass and steel skyscrapers popping up everywhere. The third option, which I will defend, is that architecture should be related to ethnicity in the same way that Italian cuisine is tied toRead More

What the ’20 Riots Taught Me

Posted on July 3, 2020

That civilization is fragile. That’s what they taught me. I seriously believed that I’d see a revolution in my lifetime. No Middle Ground One reason was because the middle ground disappeared overnight. You were either a supporter of Black Lives Matter, or you were a supporter of racism. There was no middle. No nuance. This happens in other revolutions too, you know. The middle disappears. La Fayette and Condorcet in the French Revolution both wanted a constitutional monarchy. But bothRead More

How to Understand a World without Knowledge

Posted on July 2, 2020

Plato said that knowledge is not possible in a world of change. Think about that for a moment. We can’t know what is true if things are constantly changing. Remember COVID and how our understanding of it changed earlier this year? Some thought it was “no worse than the flu,” others thought that it was a serious threat that we ought to be donning masks against. Plato’s solution to this ignorance was to find universal truths (called forms). The formsRead More

Never Split the Difference: Notes

Posted on June 28, 2020

Overarching summary: make your problems their problems – listen to them – demonstrate that your’e listening – listen to their body + emotions + tone as much as their words – never split the difference. Chapter 1: negotiate in order to 1) gather information, and 2) influence behaviour. don’t split the difference! A hostage negotiator doesn’t get to do this (“you want $1 million, I want 10 hostages, how about you give me 5 and I’ll give you $500,000?) ChapterRead More

10. Ryan Handlarski – Shownotes

Posted on June 27, 2020

How do you cope with crowd pushback against your position? After he critiqued @hadiyaroderique’s article, he survived the deluge of “racist” and “ignorant” critiques by doubling down.  Say what you think and STICK TO IT. That’s that! Compromises with your conscience breaks your mental and physical health.  Crown attorneys and Bay Street lawyers probably have to keep their mouths shut online. Criminal defence lawyers on the other hand, are free! People need competent defence and don’t care about your tweets. Read More

A Critique of My Podcast

Posted on June 27, 2020

Starting your own podcast drives your speech flaws to extinction. You notice the annoying patterns in your speech. For example, I say “right, right” and “ok, I see” after someone speaks. And I bring up Antifragile with every single guest. People don’t notice their own speech flaws. It’s impolite to point them out. When you’re listening to yourself, write down the issues you notice. Then, write a sticky note with what to avoid. For example: “don’t say right, right.” PutRead More

Thank You Dr. Henry!

Posted on June 12, 2020

Here’s the story of my fundraiser: Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

Notes from 6. Caylan Ford

Posted on June 4, 2020

Here are the show notes from my conversation with Caylan Ford. As always, the actual minute will be around 1 -2 minutes later than usual. So if you want to hear about Caylan’s preference for milk oolong green tea, it won’t be at 0:00 but rather at 1:30 or 2:00 ish. If you’d like to do some reading on the texts that she ent which turned into a complete nightmare, they’re pretty easy to find by googling her name. IfRead More