The original dog

Several months ago on the slymepit – in a rare lull between rape jokes, posting pornographic photoshops of Ophelia Benson and plotting patriarchal domination of atheism – Rocko2466 presented an uncharacteristically serious question:

Hey slymepitters

I gots a question. If you had to write a book your kid for when s/he’s say 20 – 25, what topics would you include?

Atheism and ethics are two obvious ones, but any ideas (even if they’re within those two broad categories) would be appreciated.

This got me thinking. I would not to seek to impart knowledge per se – that would be tedious and not really special. Knowledge is what any kid with curiosity and motivation will find for themselves. I would instead try to seed habits to cultivate – method and attitude for intellectual integrity; a framework to train yourself to apply to all information you may transmit to others and, more importantly, to apply to all information you apprehend. To instill a mindset that tries to avoid the pitfalls of deception of the self and dishonest manipulation of others. My response to Rocko is reproduced below, with minor corrections. (more…)

The anti-baboon

I left a Cynic boot print on my cab driver last night. He was bemoaning the obligatory niceness of the season, the strangers that give their good wishes.

I told him to ask the next one why they aren’t nice all year ’round, not just now.

He brooded at the road for several minutes, chewing his lip.

Then said, “Y’know, I think I will”.

Perhaps I made a difference to his life, perhaps not. Don’t really care.