Posts categorized under: other


"I mean, if that explanation actually makes you feel happier, then fine."

"Feeling happier isn't what explanations are for. Explanations are for predicting our observations.

"Emotions, too, are functional: happiness measures whether things in your life are going well or going poorly, but does not constitute things going well, much …

The Reverse Murray Rule

In the notes to his Real Education, Charles Murray proposes a convention for third-person singular pronouns where the sex of the referent is unknown or irrelevant—

As always, I adhere to the Murray Rule for dealing with third-person singular pronouns, which prescribes using the gender of the author or principal …

Don't Read the Comments??

Historically, The Scintillating But Ultimately Untrue Thought has not provided a comment section. There were two reasons for this.

First, technical limitations, downstream of technical æsthetics. There are standard out-of-the-box blogging hosts—your WordPress, your Medium, &c.—that are easy for anyone to use, at the cost of taking control …

More Schelling


[A mediator] can influence the other players' expectations on his own initiative, in a manner that both parties cannot help mutually recognizing. When there is no apparent focal point for agreement, he can create one by his power to make a dramatic suggestion. [...]

The white line down the center …


(-romise, -ensation)

(epistemic status: shitposting)

Some radical feminists complain that males body-modding to become facsimiles of women is appropriation. They're obviously correct, but the claim doesn't seem strong enough to override the right to bodily autonomy. The Law in its majesty finds a precedent in the archives of copyright law …

Promises I Can Keep

"I think if you show any indications of being an egg, you need to marry someone who's OK with you eventually transitioning. Not because you necessarily will want to transition, but because it's likely enough that you need to plan for it."

"I probably don't actually disagree. Keeping promises is …

"I Want to Be the One"

This life is not to last and it awaits apotheosis
And the passerby all sipping on their Monday coffee know this
Their stumbling through their week
Contrasts the path by which I seek
A practical ambition
For a special type of girl
I want to be the one who writes …

Political Science Epigrams

If your policy is, "We don't negotiate with terrorists, but we do appease bears", then from the perspective of a third party fighting a war against the bears, you look like a productive asset being farmed by the bears, and thus, a legitimate military target.

If your behavior is optimized …

The Source of Our Power

"I really don't think you're rationally considering how to maximize your contribution to rationality pedagogy and deciding it runs through freaking out about transgender and maybe abandoning the movement in disgust."

"Almost no one's optimal contribution to rationality pedagogy runs through freaking out about transgender; I just think it's plausible …


The Scintillating But Ultimately Untrue Thought is going on hiatus until 1 July while the author recovers from a broken heart and a shattered faith in humanity; there will be no new posts in May and June. But don't touch that subscription—we'll be back in two months with more …

Interlude XVI

"But like, maybe a better strategy than pretending not to notice that women are a different thing that I don't understand, might be to try to listen to them, and learn from them, and appropriate the good parts of what they have without literally insisting that we're instances of the …

Interlude XV

"Can you believe people are calling my blog transphobic?! Me! That's like calling Christina Hoff Sommers an anti-feminist!"

"Um ... you know, that's actually a pretty good analogy. People like Sommers who agree with a one-sentence literal summary of feminism's goals, like 'women and men should have equal rights', but disagree …