A place for organized thought


Why and how to give

A significant portion of the world population lives in extreme poverty; most of the world is relatively poor. International poverty (as opposed to say, poverty in the USA) doesn’t just mean foregoing fresh foods and decent schools, wearing second (or third) hand clothes, and relying on welfare for the bare essentials — it means malnutrition, high infant mortality, drastically lower life expectancy, no healthcare (emergency or otherwise), no protection from the elements and no formal education.

Solipsism & faith: definitions

Soft solipsism dictates that the entirety of personal existence lies inside the realm of sense experience. Everything that you know, think, understand or have sensed or experienced resides inside your mind. This type of solipsism is compatible with, even supported by, a modern physicalist scientific interpretation of reality. The color red, the shape round, the idea of justice or the fact that hydrogen and oxygen make up water -- all of this exists as a mental model inside of your mind.

Metaphysics and government corruption; or Justice, accountability & determinism

title photo by Juan Esteban Calderon

Earlier this year Guatemala’s President Otto Pérez Molina resigned in the midst of a sweeping corruption scandal. His resignation came just months after Vice President Roxanna Baldetti’s arrest, amidst a slew of other resignations submitted by several key government officials. Molina and members of his administration were accused of bribery, fraud and illicit association.

Guatemalan child workers; the condition of responsibility

In cities throughout Guatemala you’re likely to see children in public spaces selling candy, shining shoes or otherwise scraping out a wage from the whims of passersby. These children are often very young, anywhere from about six years old to thirteen or fourteen. Their goods and services range in cost from $0.13 - $0.65, give or take a little.

If you spend more than a couple of minutes seated in a public area, kids will ask you to buy something. Often they’ll approach in small groups. And they’ll linger, reiterating their requests three, four or five times.

Where are my ethics?

Wrong and right (or ethical and unethical) are ubiquitous concepts in society. Ethical consciousness pervades our laws, family dynamics, inter-personal relationships and workplace environments. Almost anyone could provide an example of ethical or unethical behavior in the aforementioned contexts, and yet defining exactly why something is ethical or unethical can be difficult.