By Diana Hsieh
Every Saturday, I post the news of the week from my primary work, Philosophy in Action, where I apply rational principles to the challenges of real life. Here's this week's update.
Upcoming Radio Shows
Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live over the internet on most Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Below are the episodes upcoming this week. I hope that you join us! More upcoming episodes can be found here: Episodes on Tap.
Sunday morning, 29 December 2013: Q&A on Progress on Goals, White Privilege, Self-Sacrifice, and More
I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 29 December 2013.
- Question 1: Progress on Long-Term Goals: How can I make better progress on my long-term goals? I have the curious affliction of stagnating, often for very long periods of time, on long term goals. That happens even when those goals pertain to pursuits I enjoy. This pattern has me confused and somewhat alarmed, because I know that these long term goals I have set for myself will be the most meaningful for me to accomplish. Although I see the great value in skill-building for a new career, learning to play the piano, learning a new language, and so on, I cannot seem to get myself to take the daily, repeated action required for more than a week or two. That happens, despite my applying GTD and breaking down the larger task into manageable pieces. My neophile personality simply takes interest in something else, and I miss a day (then two, then three) of taking action, preventing me from ever establishing an activity as a habit. How can I break this cycle of mediocrity, so that I can really start making progress on long term goals?
- Question 2: Claims of White Privilege: What is the individualist response to claims about "white privilege"? In May 2013, you published a blog entry entitled, "Personal Motives for Benevolence" where you introduced the idea that prejudice is often formed by favoritism and not overt bigotry. Clearly, favoritism can extend to race too, in the same way it extended to your example of "professor" vs "quilter." So what is the proper response to advocates of "white privilege awareness" such as David Wise and David Sirota? In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, David Sirota wrote a Salon article entitled "Let's hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American" where he argued that culturally,"white terrorists" are treated as lone wolves, whereas Islamists are treated as existential threats. David Wise wrote an article called "Terrorism and Privilege: Understanding the Power of Whiteness" where he claims "White privilege is knowing that even if the Boston Marathon bomber turns out to be white, his or her identity will not result in white folks generally being singled out for suspicion by law enforcement, or the TSA, or the FBI." What is the individualist answer to this collectivist viewpoint?
- Question 3: Guilt over Self-Sacrifice: Should a person feel guilty for not acting selfishly enough? According to rational egoism, a person ought to act selfishly – not in the sense of hurting others, but in the sense of pursuing his own good. If a person fails to do that, should he feel guilty for failing to act morally?
The podcasts of last week's radio shows are now available. Check out the full collection of past radio shows in the archives, sorted by date or by topic. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast RSS feed too.
22 December 2013: Q&A on Explaining Egoistic Benevolence and More
I answered these questions on Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio:
How can we better explain how helping others can be egoistic?
You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more, including audio files for individual questions.
- Duration: 1:09:34
- Download: Enhanced M4A File (25.0 MB) or Standard MP3 File (23.9 MB)
- Tags: Altruism, Benevolence, Communication, Egoism, Ethics, Manipulation, Meta-Ethics, Predation, Relationships, Sacrifice, Self-Interest, Self-Sacrifice
Recent Blog Posts
Here are last week's posts to Philosophy in Action's blog NoodleFood, ordered from oldest to newest. Don't miss a post: subscribe to NoodleFood's RSS Feed.
- December 21: Dressage: Edward Gal on Moorlands Totilas
- December 23: Activism Recap
- December 23: NoodleCast #263: Explaining Egoistic Benevolence and More
- December 23: Newscasters Repeat Themselves, Again and Again
- December 24: Paul Hsieh Forbes Column: Obamacare Spends ‘Other People's Money' To Make Healthcare Expensive And Scarce
- December 26: Preview: Sunday Radio: Progress on Goals, White Privilege, Self-Sacrifice, and More
- December 26: Last Chance for a Signed Copy "Responsibility & Luck"
- December 27: New Questions in the Queue
- December 27: Link-O-Rama