Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cheap Wisdom: Not Worth Anything.

I love Yogi tea, and that can be an actual endorsement. It is good tea. But their little tags with “wise” little quotes can be ludicrous.  Take the one I encountered this morning: “True understanding can only be found through compassion.” Really? So you can only encounter something by first engaging with itself? Or what? When you

Cheap wisdom on the label of a tea bag
More meaninglessness from America’s most trusted source of wisdom.

realize that compassion MEANS the attempt to understand, not only does it become clear that the quote lacks any substance whatsoever, but that it is also backwards. And this is indicative of cheap wisdom, the intent of which is never to actually encourage thought, but rather to encourage passive acceptance. It  becomes insidious when applied toward broader social aims, and is a tactic routinely used in politics as well as commercial advertising. Continue reading Cheap Wisdom: Not Worth Anything.

Alien Abductions: Not So Healthy

While reading The Skeptics Guide to the Paranormal, I was stunned to find a list of the common indicators that one has been abducted by aliens, only to realize that I could check off virtually every item. Anecdotally, it appears that the aliens have done an extraordinary job of both wiping my memory AND accounting for my lost time. I have also deduced that, by the standards required of numerous historical non-scientists, I am almost certainly the victim of numerous hauntings. And yet a part of me remains wary of either of these near-certainties.

Continue reading Alien Abductions: Not So Healthy

The neglect & trivialization of violence against women is horribly wrong

Native American Women are disproportionately victimized without justice. This is horribly wrong. Domestic issues of victimization through forced prostitution are swept under the rug, with the prostituted frequently being punished when they are often the true victims. Often discussed dispassionately as a “global problem” with the thought that this sort of thing happens only in underdeveloped or backward nations, it is truly happening in every country and in virtually everyone’s backyard. Hyperbolic? Not particularly; it just depends how you define “backyard.” For the sake of this position, I will broaden it to mean “local community,” and challenge you, dear Reader, to find a community in the United States that does not have at least one instance of violence against women. Continue reading The neglect & trivialization of violence against women is horribly wrong