Archive for December, 2010

Best of 2010

by Jason Stotts

Here are what I consider ten of my best essays from 2010.  It was a big year for Erosophia as we got our own hosted website here on www.JasonStotts.com and moved all of the old essays from the former blogs here.  It’s also been the year with the most number of posts and we’ve been increasing readership every month.  Also in this year, we’ve seen Ifat Glassman and Dr. Robert Garmong come on board as occasional guest bloggers, both of whom have made Erosophia better with their essays.

I want to thank my loyal readers for their support and single out two people, T.O. and C.C., for their extra support.  I also want to thank all of the commenters and those who have e-mail me with their questions for the engaging debates and discussions.

I look forward to more good essays in 2011 and hopefully a book deal for Eros and Ethos.  Please enjoy what I consider ten of the best essays from this year!

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10. “The Tow” – This is the first story I ever wrote and I think it’s pretty decent.  It’s not going to win any literary awards, but it does show that if I practice, I can do fiction as well as philosophy.

9. On Male Orgasm and Prostate Play – In this essay, I discuss the nature of the male orgasm, it’s connection to the prostate, and prostate stimulation.  If you’ve never tried prostate stimulation yourself or with your partner, you should give it a read.

8. Peter Singer Loves Animals (Too Much) – In this essay, I explore the claim of philosopher Peter Singer that bestiality can be moral.  I conclude, after a thorough analysis, that it is not.  Read the essay to find out why.

7. Contra Peikoff on Swinging – In this essay I take Leonard Peikoff to task for his hasty and shallow analysis of the morality of swinging.

6. Swinging: A Different Perspective – In this essay I look at one reason why people choose to engage in swinging and one possible value it can have for their relationship.

5. Alcohol and Sex – In this essay, I look at the phenomenon of people who need alcohol to be sexual and the cultural ties between sex and alcohol.

4. Is Love a Zero-Sum Game? – In this essay, I look at the idea of loving more than one person at once and whether this is possible or practical.

3. Reflections on American Values on Memorial Day – This is a tribute to my late maternal grandparents and a look the irony of older generations fighting against statism, then having their descendants vote it in.

2. Formspring Question: Changing Sexual Orientation – In this essay I answer a question from a reader about changing sexual orientation.  I also give a close analysis of the idea of sexual orientation and whether it’s useful as a concept.

1. On Polysexuality (Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) – This is one of my favorite essays I’ve ever written and I’m proud to put it at the number one spot.  Even though it’s only really a polished second draft, I think it will be the foundations of a new moral acceptance of polysexuality (non-monogamy) and I think it ushers in a more philosophical approach to some hard issues.

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Merry Xmas

by Jason Stotts

On this day, let us all remember the reason for the season: early christian jealousy over sweet pagan parties (Saturnalia) that involved fertility rites (orgies) and celebration of the winter solstice and the lengthening days.

As anyone who has read the christian’s bible would know, jesus (if a man with that name existed) was born in September.

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HIV Cure?

by Jason Stotts

The Huffington Post is reporting that a man who underwent stem cell treatment for leukemia has had his HIV cured as a result:

Doctors believe an HIV-positive man who underwent a stem cell transplant has been cured as a result of the procedure.

Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the “Berlin Patient,” received the transplant in 2007 as part of a lengthy treatment course for leukemia. His doctors recently published a report in the journal Blood affirming that the results of extensive testing “strongly suggest that cure of HIV infection has been achieved.” (link)

It’s interesting that often scientific breakthroughs are the indirect result of looking for something else.  I look forward to seeing where this research takes us and I hope that this will cause people to reassess their position on stem cell research and will open the path to unobstructed (by the government) research.

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Creedocide

by Jason Stotts

I was watching episodes of the short-lived Demetri Martin show and saw a clip for this video, which is absolutely the best thing ever.  Really, though, it’s amazing what you can get rats to believe…

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DADT On Its Way Out

by Jason Stotts

The Senate today voted 65-31 to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), the policy that banned openly gay members of armed services.  This is great news and they need to speed this process along and make it official.

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Saturday voted to strike down the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military, bringing to a close a 17-year struggle over a policy that forced thousands of Americans from the ranks and caused others to keep secret their sexual orientation. (NYTimes)

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Objectivist Blog Carnival

Welcome to the December 16, 2010 edition of The Objectivist round up!

It is customary for the host to put up a short epigraph at the beginning of each carnival, usually a quote from Ayn Rand.  Permit me to break tradition, but this week’s quote is from Avicenna:

Anyone who denies the Law of Non-Contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as to not be burned.

Perhaps we shouldn’t take this literally, but I know that those of us who have argued with those who deny Non-Contradition have certainly shared this sentiment.

And now, enjoy the carnival!

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Joshua John M. Lipana presents Capitalism Magazine – The Aquino Government’s Appeasement posted at Capitalism Magazine.

Rick Marazzani presents Talking to kids about WikiLeaks posted at MindPosts.

Michael Labeit presents What’s QE2? posted at Michael Labeit at EconomicPolicyJournal.com, saying, “What quantitative easing two is and why it will fail to assist the economy recover.”

Paul McKeever presents Freedom Doesn’t Have a Prayer posted at Paul McKeever, saying, “this one features Isloony-toons’ Anti-Semite (sem-a-tee) Sam”

Rachel Miner presents Integrity posted at The Playful Spirit, saying, “Teaching integrity with a Crunch, Milky Way, and a Snickers. I was trying to explain a scene in the book we were reading and my kiddo just knocked my socks off!”

Ari Armstrong presents Time for a Free Market in the Alcohol Industry posted at Free Colorado, saying, “Repeal the final relics of Prohibition.”

Diana Hsieh presents Elizabeth Gaskell: A Taste posted at NoodleFood, saying, “I introduce my recent and much-treasured find in literature: Elizabeth Gaskell.”

John Drake presents Developing habits posted at Try Reason!, saying, “Reading Ben Franklin’s autobiography is inspirational. Here why I think so.”

Kelly Elmore presents Kansas’s “Dust in the Wind” and the P Personality Type posted at Reepicheep’s Coracle, saying, “An interpretation of the song “Dust in the Wind” that may be all in my head, but is positive and not at all nihilistic.”

Gene Palmisano presents Debt Commission folly posted at The Metaphysical Lunch, saying, “‘And the beat goes on.'”

Jared Rhoads presents It’s individual rights that matter posted at The Lucidicus Project, saying, “Senator Scott Brown praises Monday’s court decision striking down the health reform law as unconstitutional, but misses the boat on its meaning.”

Kelly Valenzuela presents The Racist Roots of Anti-Immigration Activists Part II: UnFAIR posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, “Part II of a series of posts about the racist roots of several popular immigration activist groups.”

Kelly Valenzuela presents The Racist Roots of Anti-Immigration Activists Part I posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, “Part I of a series of posts about the racist roots of several popular immigration activist groups.”

Kelly Valenzuela presents Bacha Bazi posted at Rant from the Rock, saying, “How US contractors in Afghanistan may have participated in the child sex trade.”

David C Lewis, RFA presents Altruism In Financial Planning posted at A Revolution In Financial Planning, saying, “Altruism is alive and well in a package deal in the financial planning industry. I explore the contradiction and implications of such a policy and the correct method of how your financial adviser should do business with you.”

David Lewis presents the anatomy of a breakup posted at david in real life, saying, “Dear Diary, this week I explore the anatomy of a breakup. What happens when you lose a friend? Do you become angry? Confused? Sad? Do you protest or try to understand the situation? …and most importantly, WHY? Let’s find out!”

Sean Saulsbury presents Audio Podcasters: 3 Tips For Success posted at SeanCast.com, saying, “For those producing audio podcasts, consider these three tips for success…”

Mike Zemack presents Education: It’s the Philosophy, Stupid! posted at Principled Perspectives.

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That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of objectivist round up using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Technorati tags: objectivist round up, blog carnival.

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Merry Christmas!

by Jason Stotts

I put this up last year and I like it so much, I’m putting it up again this year.  It’s not that I consider myself a militant atheist, it’s more that I consider myself militantly for reason.

Without further ado, a poster for the holiday season.

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Shamenorming

by Jason Stotts

I recently had a conversation with someone who argued that slut shaming was dead and that it didn’t happen anymore. I haven’t heard such a naive and fanciful position since religion. For those who have any doubts, here are two very sad stories of slut-shaming. These are certainly not outliers, but just the stories that actually made news.  There are literally hundreds of cases of slut-shaming going on every day ranging the entire spectrum from mild to excessive, like the following two stories.  I don’t have time now to do the kind of commentary that would do this justice, but an essay on shamenorming is forthcoming.

Story 1: Artistic Swingers

James Ryan was fired from his job as the music director at the Spokane Civic Theatre merely because he was a swinger and someone outed him. (Story)

On the morning of Oct. 17, Johnson summoned James Ryan to the Civic for a board meeting that afternoon, saying his only options were resignation or termination. After requesting a chance to plead his case and being refused, he chose termination.

That same day, shortly before the next performance of Buddy, Johnson informed the cast that James and Lynn had been fired. She wasn’t clear why, say some who were at this meeting, but Johnson and board president Michael Muzatko indicated that the Civic needed to “protect the children” — leaving some to think that James Ryan was a child molester.

Story 2: The Beautiful Kind

Kendra Holliday runs a blog about her sex life and blogs on sexual issues.  She recently came out and started using her real name.  After a newspaper story, she has lost her job and now her ex-husband is suing her for custody of their children.  She has a post up asking for help because of the enormous pressure people are putting on her to conform to societal standards. (Link)

It feels like a bad dream. A lot of notable things have transpired since the RFT article featuring me in October was published. While plenty of it has been good, the worst thing imaginable has reared its ugly head:

I have officially received the lawsuit papers from my ex-husband – he is suing me for full custody of my daughter.

The reasons listed in the lawsuit all point to my sexuality.

Slut-shaming is alive and well and is brought to bear on any woman who dares to be a sexual being and step outside of societally approved norms.  It happens all around us, constantly.  You have just to open your eyes and look around to see it.

A full essay on this will be put up soon.

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