Monday, May 25, 2009


What kind of world would we want to live in if we couldn’t know for sure our place in it ahead of time? Presumably, we would not want a world where we might be born in the wrong place, the wrong nationality or the wrong sex. We would probably define as a just world one that we would not regret being born into. John Rawls suggested this approach.

We can take this in three directions: 1. We can use it to design a model world that we would not mind being born into wherever. Odds being what you would feel comfortable in terms of number of chambers loaded before pressing trigger. 2. We can use this standard to judge the actual world we live in. 3. We can talk about why a person or people in general would be satisfied (or not) with their actual place in the actual world. Here we can also talk about why reason – and the need for others – should take us into a concern with justice for others even if pleased with our own situation. This last seems a call to action.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Writing is better than speaking because the individual letters can be directed in their flow much more precisely than words rushing out of our mouths. Speech is more autonomic, less conscious. It must originate from within our reptilian brain. Writing is very much a conscious activity. It allows us to be more ourself.

E-mail is in between. Its writing that can flow more like speech because we can use all those shortcuts, such as LOL and leaving out punctuation etc. So we need to me a bit more careful too.