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
Recently Andrew Sullivan offered an elegant and virtuous definition of conservatism: For a conservative should not be implacably hostile to liberalism (let alone demonize it), but should be alert to its insights, and deeply aware of the need to change laws and government in response to unstoppable change in human society. Equally, a liberal can … More The Unnecessary Contradictions of a Conservative
Recently the Conference Board of Canada released a study that claims that upwards to 90% of Ontario road costs are covered by drivers. The purported findings of the study were gleefully touted by all major news sources, and if one was careless enough to read appending user-comments, one could expect that they were rife with … More The Conference Board of Canada Greatly Overestimates the Degree to which Drivers Cover Road Costs
Like most issues, people engage with transportation mainly in an individualistic way. Hence most “debate” about transportation infrastructure, as in this predictable piece, merely amounts to recounting a set of personal anecdotes such as seeing cyclists riding on sidewalks, without extrapolating any broader insights beyond expressing one’s peevishness. Maybe this is just systemic – people are … More The Publicly-Funded Convenience of Cars
The insinuation that cyclists do not pay for roads (with the further implication that motorists are paying for cyclists’ use of roads) is a well-worn refrain from motorists who are unenthusiastic, to say the least, about sharing the roads with bicycles. The main thrust of the cyclists-are-freeloaders argument stems from the notion that roads are … More Do Cyclists Pay for Drivers’ Use of Toronto Roads?