There’s a scene in the documentary Manufacturing Consent in which Noam Chomsky makes some offhand critiques about sports. I first saw this film in high school, when I was an avid athlete. Chomsky’s comments are rather tangential to main topic of the documentary – filtering, control, and “propaganda models” in the American news media – … More Can Sports be Intellectual?
About a month ago, 60 Minutes ran a segment investigating the issue of so-called “mechanical doping” in cycling. The (admittedly silly) term refers to mechanical cheating, specifically, the surreptitious placement of motors in bicycles used in professional racing. I’ll get into the specifics in a moment, but will mention as a preface that the gist … More Do you Believe in Mechanical Doping?
I’m going to start with the assumption that, at one time and place or another, people who bike have been chastised by people who drive for not “following the rules of the road.” I have seen and heard this grievance aired frequently. It has often been presented as an argument against increased bicycle infrastructure. It … More The Rules of the Road are Baloney
As far as questions of ethics in sports go, cycling has been one of the most pronounced sources of moral dilemma. While the source of the dilemmas might seem obvious it’s worth examining their ostensible roots. Sports are supposed to be fair. Fairness is typically construed to mean that no participant should have access to … More Performance Enhancing Drugs and the Limits of Human Nature
I suspect a recurring theme on this blog will be: what’s the point? My inaugural post starts by facing this existential question. In a world where free-will seems dubious, or at least impotent in the face of powers beyond one’s control, and where one’s actions appear so insignificant and futile, what of ethics? I’ve routinely … More “It’s Not Like Riding a Bike Will Change Anything”
After struggling for years to come up with a relatively focused topic to write about, I’ve finally stumbled upon one. It was actually pretty easy, I just combined my two favourite things: bicycles and philosophy. So, yeah bicycles are cool, but what’s the point of philosophy? I return to this question periodically at times of … More On Bicycles and Philosophy, or, Why I Write
I’ve imported some posts from my old blog that might be relevant here. They are those posted before 2016. To answer this question, one could begin with a philosophical quandary: are beliefs of any sort causes of human action? I expect that most would answer this question with a resounding “of course,” but it is … More Are Religious Beliefs Causes?
The following statement captures an idea pervading the internet over the last few days: “Free speech, however, is not a toy. It is a responsibility, a compact, which democracy presupposes we are mature enough to use justly. We are called on as citizens not to use our rights for bacchanals of self-indulgence and emotional expectoration, … More Free Speech is a Paradox
I started working on a reply to some of the comments of my last post, and decided I might as well as use it as an excuse for a new post. My last post was a bit of normative philosophy. While I’m sure the point has been made elsewhere, I argued that one of the … More Agnosticism is De-facto Atheism, Continued
I have long found the drawing of distinctions between agnosticism and atheism a dubious affair. Conventional wisdom has it that agnosticism involves a suspension of belief or disbelief in the existence of gods, while atheism decidedly affirms non-existence. This view was recently reinforced in a piece on Bertrand Russell by Claire Carlisle. In his essay … More Agnosticism is De-facto Atheism