Archive for 2013

Capitalism and the Death of Writing

by Jason Stotts

Writing is hard.  Not only is it hard to string words together into sentences that people want to read, it’s hard to express your thoughts clearly in writing.  You can think you have a great grasp of an idea until the moment you go to write about it, only to find that you don’t understand it at all.  The only thing better, to understand your own ideas, is trying to teach something you “know” to someone else.  That’ll show you if you really understand it or not.

But writing is also hard as a profession: it’s hard to get people to pay you for your ideas.  Even when they like the ideas.  Even when they agree with the ideas.  Even when you make their lives better with your ideas.  It’s hard to get people to pay you for your ideas.

This is hardly a new complaint among writers.  In fact, many a writer has seen the death of their career, not due to a lack of talent, but due to a lack of being able to make it profitable.  Thus, it came as no surprise to me to see a writer bemoaning this in an opinion piece for the New York Times called “Slaves of the Internet Unite!” by Tim Kreider.

People who would consider it a bizarre breach of conduct to expect anyone to give them a haircut or a can of soda at no cost will ask you, with a straight face and a clear conscience, whether you wouldn’t be willing to write an essay or draw an illustration for them for nothing. They often start by telling you how much they admire your work, although not enough, evidently, to pay one cent for it. “Unfortunately we don’t have the budget to offer compensation to our contributors…” is how the pertinent line usually starts. But just as often, they simply omit any mention of payment.

A familiar figure in one’s 20s is the club owner or event promoter who explains to your band that they won’t be paying you in money, man, because you’re getting paid in the far more valuable currency of exposure. This same figure reappears over the years, like the devil, in different guises — with shorter hair, a better suit — as the editor of a Web site or magazine, dismissing the issue of payment as an irrelevant quibble and impressing upon you how many hits they get per day, how many eyeballs, what great exposure it’ll offer. “Artist Dies of Exposure” goes the rueful joke.

I couldn’t agree more.  I would never ask you to come fix my plumbing for free, or repair my car, or fix my roof.  But no one thinks twice about asking a writer to write for free.  Or reading a blogger’s works and never donating.

Things, however, start to take a weird twist here as, immediately after bemoaning the fact that no one pays writers, he attacks capitalism:

Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge. I now contribute to some of the most prestigious online publications in the English-speaking world, for which I am paid the same amount as, if not less than, I was paid by my local alternative weekly when I sold my first piece of writing for print in 1989. More recently, I had the essay equivalent of a hit single — endlessly linked to, forwarded and reposted. A friend of mine joked, wistfully, “If you had a dime for every time someone posted that…” Calculating the theoretical sum of those dimes, it didn’t seem all that funny.

It’s weird to attribute people demanding things for free to capitalism, which is usually identified with…well, the opposite of that, with being “greedy” and interested in making money wherever it can.  On the other hand, people having a right to your work and no obligation to pay you is socialism, not capitalism.

I definitely agree with him that writer’s should be paid, but that’s a very capitalistic idea: that we should always trade value for value and never sacrifice ourselves for others.  Thus, it’s completely contradictory for this writer to hold these two strong beliefs: that he should be paid for his writing and that no one should be paid for their work and should do it for the collective.

Ultimately, you have the choice of self-sacrifice, altruism, collectivism, and socialism or self-interest, egoism, individualism, and capitalism.  If you want people to pay your for your writing, it’s capitalism you want.  Capitalism upholds the trader principle, where people trade value for value.  Socialism upholds the slavery principle, where all are obligated to work for all.

I know, for one, this writer would like paid for his work and capitalism is the way to make that happen.

A Government For, or Against, The People

by Jason Stotts

In honor of Halloween, I recently watched Night of the Living Dead for the first time.  One of the things that really struck me about the movie, which is probably not most people’s response, was just how very different the government’s position was in regards to the people.

Night of the Living Dead is set in the late 60’s.  It’s a movie about zombies, but that’s not the interesting part.  The interesting part is that in response to the zombie threat, the government activated the military, national guard, and police.  Because there aren’t that many trained warriors in our culture (as they’re not really needed), they also called upon the civilian defense authority.  They asked for the people to rise with their guns to combat the threat and to work side by side with the local police or military to engage the threat.  This, of course, helped them to eventually win the day and restore order and was clearly the right thing to do.  The civilians fought well and made the difference in neutralizing the threat.

Now, obviously, this is a fictional zombie movie, but I think it makes a really good point.  Can you imagine the Obama administration calling upon the people to take up arms to defend themselves and their neighbors against a threat? I think it’s more likely that the dead would come back to life than that would happen.

We’ve moved from a society in which the government is the servant of the people to one in which the government is the master of the people. And that master is fearful and suspicious.  The people are no longer trusted with weapons and the democrats are doing all they can to make it impossible to own them.  They monitor our every move and read our every message. They worry that the people will rise and overthrow the government again, as we Americans are wont to do when our freedoms are trampled.  And they are right to worry because they are trampling our freedoms and they are taxing us to death.  Why should I be forced to pay to support your life when I can’t afford mine?  Why should I work five months a year to pay for others and suffer myself?  I shouldn’t!  It’s intolerable.

It’s no wonder they fear the people rising.  They should fear the people rising and we should rise.  But, it doesn’t have to be this way.  If they would return to a real government whose purpose was to protect individual rights and end all redistributionary taxation and victimless crimes, then we would want the government to persist and it would be a value in our lives.  I firmly believe that we need a government to maintain order and law and that this can be a real and necessary good.  But, there is little that is worse than a bad government and the only thing that has caused more death than governments is religion.

We, the people, have been sold out by both political parties and our rights have been systematically trampled for so many years now that we hardly notice anymore.  We need to wake up and notice.  We need to stand up and assert our right to our own lives and that we do not have to work to support others and a government run out of control.  We need to reign in our servant and put him back in his place.  He has become prodigal and dangerous and it is time to remind him who his master is.

Erosophia Podcast #15: No fap & the Phallus-y of Sexual Addiction

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In this (very late) episode of the Erosophia Podcast, Jason, William, and Joia, discuss the idea of “no fap” and sex addiction.

News

1. Margaret Cho is in an open relationship.

2. 10 Year old girl arrested for rape.

3. Teens kill Australian Baseball player “for fun.”

4. The Rise of Minimalist Sex Apps.

5. Gay Sex is illegal in Louisiana.

6. Ariel Castro Accepts Plea of ‘Not Less Than a Thousand Years’.

7. Study Confirms Male Circumcision is Genital Mutilation.

8. War On Words: NYC Dept. Of Education Wants 50 ‘Forbidden’ Words Banned From Standardized Tests.

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Questions

Have you ever heard of a “split sex drive,” one seemingly divorced from romance in a peculiar way?

I noticed that when I have romantic feelings for a woman, I  don’t have any sexual interest in her. I don’t think that “sex is dirty” or anything; but I have no sexual interest in girls that I consider worthy of romance.  On the other hand, I do feel sexual interest in other women that I would not want to be in a relationship with. I think it has to do with the fact that  I am surrounded by women I don’t intellectually relate with,  so don’t desire to be in long-term relationships with. I develop “crushes” very slowly and have never really loved someone deeply.  Thus, I think it’s possible that my sex drive has programmed itself to desire these women I wouldn’t want to date because they’re what’s available and I still desire sex.  But this makes me not want to have sex, since there isn’t any long-term prospects for a relationship.

What would you suggest?

Tonight’s Topic: “No Fap” and Sex Addiction

We don’t think “sex addiction” is a real thing (and neither does science). The very paradigm of addiction in sex is harmful for people who are having self-control issues.  Instead, we need to work to integrate sex into our lives in a positive way.

America’s War on Sex – Marty Klein

http://www.reddit.com/r/nofap

http://www.martyklein.com/why-sexual-addiction-is-not-a-useful-diagnosis-and-why-it-matters/

Support the Podcast

You can support the show by making a donation via PayPal (see bar to the right) or Amazon Payment (or any other payment method you might want, just get in touch with us).  You can also use Erosophia’s referral link to Amazon to buy things.  You can sign up for Kasidie, the best lifestyle site on the web.  Or you can tell your friends and spread the word about the podcast on Facebook and Twitter.

If you want to advertise on the Erosophia Podcast, please contact us at Jason(at)JasonStotts.com or on twitter via @ErosPod.

Connect with us on the web:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ErosophiaPodcast

Kasidie: http://www.kasidie.com/communities/Erosophia

Questions for Us?

Jason(at)JasonStotts.com

William(at)JasonStotts.com

Joia(at)JasonStotts.com

Devin(at)JasonStotts.com

Podcast(at)JasonStotts.com

@ErosPod

A special thanks to Jennifer Snow for editing today’s podcast!

Incorrect Views on Sex and Reproduction

by Jason Stotts

Sometimes I just don’t know what to say:

I don’t think they should try more than once in 8days because it’s too much. Not mention the female usually ejaculates way before the man so the sperm of both male and female will not interact immediately. It’s also been said that the females usually ejaculates during sleep time. I don’t know if that would be possible to concept then, because the male wouldn’t know when to. I also think when the woman is ready to concept she should tell her partner because the woman is the key holder of ejaculating when she wants to. It’s like she can shut it on or off at any time.

via Shit My Students Write

h/t a reader.

Spiritual Fuel

by Jason Stotts

I don’t get a lot of letters or notes from Erosophia.  When I do, they’re often critical.  Unfortunately, in our culture, we tend to be much more likely to write the negative note than the positive one.  But sometimes I get really great letters that remind me of why what I do is important.  I often can’t share these because of personal details, but this one was one I wanted to share:

Congratulations on the book writing! I’ve been kind of a lurker seeing you post about it. That’s really something.

I just wanted to say that I am excited for it and I can’t wait to read it. There are lots of us out here who care and are interested in your work but don’t communicate with you regularly.

It is hard to keep up with everyone in a real and personal way, but i have followed, or “tracked” as I like to think of FB, your posts lately and I’ll be among to first to read your book when it is out. I learned a lot from you and luckily the modern media age allows me to tell you that in a good context of your soon-to-come major accomplishment.

I really appreciate people reaching out to me and know that it does make a difference to me when you do so.

Concretizing Philosophy

by Jason Stotts 

I really love what this website http://zenpencils.com/ has done in setting some really great quotes into a visual form so that you can read the words and understand them intellectually, while concurrently understanding them in a concretized form through the artwork.  Wonderful.

 

2013-08-27-watterson http://zenpencils.com/comic/128-bill-watterson-a-cartoonists-advice/

 

Eros and Ethos Update: First Complete Draft Done!

by Jason Stotts

I’m having a really realizing that it’s true, it just doesn’t seem possible, but I’m done with a complete draft of my first book Eros and Ethos: A New Theory and Application of Sexual Ethics.  It’s been a long hard road of writing it here and there, while working full time, as well as blogging, podcasting, and having a life.  But, it’s finally done in draft and I couldn’t be happier about it!  It exists now.

It’s just in time too, because, and I’m publicly announcing this for the first time here, I’ll be starting a MA,MFT program in just a couple of days!  The last two months have been a blur as I worked to finish the draft before the program started.  I’m pretty sure that in the last 60 days, I’ve written nearly 60,000 words.  It’s been a crazy summer and now I’ll be starting grad school, working on book revisions, and working full time.  It’s going to be a busy next couple of years.  But, I’m excited and optimistic!  I’ll be more formally announcing my decision to go to grad school soon and there will be more details there, including how you can help.

Now, some info about the book: 127,000 words, across 229 pages, and 16 chapters.  The outline is below:

Introduction

Part 1: The Theory

Chapter 1: Ethics                                                                                      

Ethics from Life

The Nature of Ethics

Egoism

Eudaimonistic Ethics

The Achievement of the Good Life

Conclusions

Chapter 2: Emotions                                                                               

What is an Emotion?

The Emotional Process

Complications

Sense of Life

Philosophy and Emotional Integration

The Passionate Life

Chapter 3: Love                                                                                        

Challenging the Old Paradigms

What Kind of Person is Capable of Love?

The Nature of Erotic Love

Chapter 4: Relationships                                                                        

The Bases of Relationships

Characteristics of a Proper Relationship

Marriage

Friendship versus Romantic Love

Chapter 5: Sexual Attraction and Fantasy                                           

Cultural Paradigms of Attraction

The Shallowness of Simple Physical Attraction

Character Attraction

Philosophy and its Role in Attraction

Fantasy

Chapter 6: Identity, Orientation, and Self-Understanding               

Understanding Identity and Orientation

A Broader Perspective: What is Orientation and Identity?

Historical Western Conceptions of Masculinity and Femininity

Reconceptualizing Masculinity and Femininity

Chapter 7: Sex, Union, and Intimacy                                                    

The Nature of Sex

Sexual Pleasure

Intimacy, Union, and a Shared Life

Conclusion and Summary of Part 1                                                     

Chapter 1: Ethics

Chapter 2: Emotions

Chapter 3: Love

Chapter 4: Romantic Relationships

Chapter 5: Sexual Attraction and Fantasy

Chapter 6: Identity, Orientation, and Self-Understanding

Chapter 7: Sex, Union, and Intimacy

Part 2: The Applications                                                                    

Chapter 8: Erotic Decadence                                                                  

The Principles of Ascension and Perversion

Perversion

Fetishism

Sexual Violence and Consent

Promiscuity and Inauthentic Love

Sexual Mutilation

Chapter 9: Faith, Mysticism, and Sex                                                    

The Sexual Ethics of Ignorance and Inaction

Taboos and Forbidden Ideas

Dualism and its Implications

Altruism’s Poison and Relationships

Masturbation: The Most Natural Thing in the World

Chapter 10: Reproduction, Progeny, and Family                               

The Value of Family

Parental Responsibility

Birth Control

Abortion

Chapter 11: Sex for Sale                                                                           

Pornography

Strip Clubs

Prostitution and Sex Work

Conclusion

Chapter 12: Children and Sexuality                                                       

The Sexual Child

Pedophilia, Hebephilia, and Ephebophilia

Incest

Age of Consent

Conclusion

Chapter 13: Polysexuality                                                                       

Terminology: Mono and Poly

But, is it Natural?

The Morality of Polysexuality?

Relationships: A Continuum of Openness

Conclusion

Chapter 14: Kink                                                                                       

The Nature of Kink

Sodomy

Male Anal Play and Prostate Stimulation

Pegging

Fisting

BDSM

Chapter 15: Public and Private                                                              

Nudity and Nakedness

Public Nudity and Nude Beaches

Voyeurism and Exhibitionism

Chapter 16: Society, Sex, and the Law                                                   

Shamenorming

Obscenity

The Right to Privacy and Sexual Self-Determination

Bestiality

Conclusion                                                                                                             

I hope you’re as excited about the book as I am!

Erosophia Podcast #14: Interview with Dr. Darrel Ray on How Religion Distorts Sexuality

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In this episode of the Erosophia Podcast, Jason, William, and Joia, interview Dr. Darrel Ray on religion and sexuality.

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Tonight’s Topic: Interview with Dr. Darrel Ray on How Religion Distorts Sexuality

We discussed all things related sex and religion on the show and Dr. Ray answered all of our questions and gave us some great advice for how to have real conversations with people about religion and sexuality.

It was a fantastic interview and I want to heartily thank Dr. Ray for coming on the show!

Links from the show:

The Secular Therapist Project

Recovering from Religion

Dr. Marty Klein: “Why ‘Sex Addiction’ Is Not a Useful Diagnosis – And Why it Matters.”

Darrel Ray: The Shame of it All: Why Do We Act Like Christians? (Video)

The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture by Dr. Darrel Ray

Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality by Dr. Darrel Ray

IPC Press – Link to the Sex and Secularism survey data.

Support the Podcast

You can support the show by making a donation via PayPal (see bar to the right) or Amazon Payment (or any other payment method you might want, just get in touch with us).  You can also use Erosophia’s referral link to Amazon to buy things.  You can sign up for Kasidie, the best lifestyle site on the web.  Or you can tell your friends and spread the word about the podcast on Facebook and Twitter.

If you want to advertise on the Erosophia Podcast, please contact us at Jason(at)JasonStotts.com or on twitter via @ErosPod.

Connect with us on the web:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ErosophiaPodcast

Kasidie: http://www.kasidie.com/communities/Erosophia

Questions for Us?

Jason(at)JasonStotts.com

William(at)JasonStotts.com

Joia(at)JasonStotts.com

Devin(at)JasonStotts.com