When you wake up in the morning say to yourself: There is a high likelihood that people will frustrate me today and, regardless of my best efforts to be thoughtful and cooperative, I will likely frustrate others as well. This is because no matter how good we are as people we will inevitably have differences of opinion, conflicts of goals, and personal fallibility that make us frustrating to one another. We each belong to a shared, mutually interdependent, species and we will each… Read more

In this hilarious video, the kids playing truth or dare are unusually philosophical about the meaning of “truth”: Your Thoughts? Read more

This is the first of a series of posts I introduced last week wherein I will be critically reading Stoic writings that have bearing on ethics. In February 2016 I will also teach a one month long course on Stoic Ethics. Get more information here and write me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com if you want to sign up so that I can schedule the class’s time around your availability. Also I will be teaching a regular length class on the ethics of war. I… Read more

Star Wars: The Feminism Awakens? Episode II: Don’t Diminish Leia To Praise Rey Leia In The Original Trilogy While fans of women’s empowerment everywhere are rejoicing that the next generation Luke Skywalker is a young woman, I think it’s important that we not underestimate the greatness of Princess Leia. A lot of the praise for Rey has been coupled with complaints that Star Wars hasn’t treated women very well in the past. Sure, I’ve read some say, Leia was a feisty supporting character but they debased her… Read more

Obligatory Force Awakens Spoilers Warning For The Ten People Left On The Planet Who Haven’t Seen It. In the wake of The Force Awakens there are numerous discussions about the social justice consciousness of the filmmakers and the potential for positively empowering girls and young women. Part of this has involved complaints that the film put feminist ideals above logical storytelling. Part of this has involved praise that The Force Awakens finally did women justice in a way Star Wars movies past did not. In… Read more

My feelings towards the ancient Stoics have oscillated quite a bit over the years. I’ve never scoured their writings nor done scholarship on them but they’ve nonetheless had a big impact on me. In the immediate aftermath of my deconversion, during my years of peak Nietzsche enthusiasm, I reflexively sided with Nietzsche when he lobbed barbs at them, viewing them as misguided in a way comparable to the worst of the body-hating Christians and overly rationalistic Platonists. However as soon as one starts… Read more

In the audio below, John Malkovich narrates Plato’s Allegory of the Cave to music by Eric Alexandrakis, as remixed by Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon for the project Like a Puppet Show. Much more about the project can be learned from Pitchfork and especially at Rolling Stone. Many thanks to @durancurefan for the heads up. While my first listen I found it arty, jarring, and merely intriguingly bizarre, on the second listen through I got the musicality of it more and it started to really click for me towards… Read more

M writes, Dr. Fincke, I read your article online about overcoming intellectual insecurities and it really hit the nail on the head for me, more than anything I’ve read or heard in my life concerning the topic.  I’m going though a major point in my life with regards to my future, specifically my career.  Basically, the next 6 months will determine the path of the rest of my life.  I apologize in advance for the long email, but I really… Read more

Come discuss Star Wars with us by joining the Camels With Hammers closed Facebook group for people who have seen The Force Awakens or don’t mind learning spoilers. In The Force Awakens there is a fine line between homage and cynicism. When the creators of the new Star Wars film recycle as huge a number of fundamental plot points and mechanisms and design elements from previous films in the series as this one does they reveal either or each of three things: (1) They have no… Read more

Come discuss Star Wars with us by joining the Camels With Hammers closed Facebook group for people who have seen The Force Awakens or don’t mind learning spoilers. I have already recorded a video giving my immediate post-theater reactions to The Force Awakens and written out a spoiler-free review of the movie. Now I’m writing analyses of various aspects of the movie one by one. I started with a spoilerish post on How Disney Used Luke Skywalker. Now below find my spoiler-filled take on the treatment of Han Solo and other characters and storylines… Read more

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