Politics as Epistemology

Currently it is obvious: politics is all about truth, evidence, facts, arguments, falsehood, accuracy, illusion, skepticism, stupidity. But so much of life is (see Socrates).  Most of morality is about truth and falsehood, facts and fallacies. The epistemic virtues are paramount. Get that right and the rest will follow. The first thing to go when things get nasty is epistemic virtue. People sometimes accuse me of being a “stickler”. Guilty as charged. I would much rather be a stickler than an enabler–pedantry over “niceness”. Trump is an epistemological monster–an affront to reason, a despiser of truth.

Trump’s Punctuation

I pay close attention to the syntax and vocabulary of Trump’s tweets. People have been writing about his bizarre use of quotation marks, making the plausible suggestion that he uses them so as to hedge his prose, about which he feels insecure. This sounds right to me: he is clearly uncomfortable with the written word, as his speech indicates. He is semi-literate and he knows it. This may account for his popularity as well as his shaky ego. His relationship to language is distant and tenuous, like his relationship to people.

Chuck Berry

Probably the greatest rock and roller of all time, and those guitar riffs! His songs never grow stale. No wonder the Beatles and Stones covered him religiously.

Trump Psychology

People say Trump is a narcissist. I don’t think so: I think Trump hates himself and with good reason. What he loves is his image–that garish, vulgar, money-saturated image. This is why he hates to be criticized and disrespected: it hurts his image. Once you grasp that everything he does is meant to promote his image it begins to make more sense. There is really nothing to him apart from his image.

Prehensile Primates

I was watching Planet Earth II, the gorgeously shot nature series from the BBC, and the opening segment was about spider monkeys, with their long prehensile tails. It made me think that my book Prehension would be a best seller in the spider monkey community. Finally someone appreciates the prehensile among us! But humans seem reluctant to acknowledge the centrality of human prehensility to their world domination. Yes, we got it from them.