Eggs, Bugs and Joseph Conrad: An Anti-Ethicist Manifesto

The great thinkers of humanity’s past have devised many ethical systems, all purporting to tell conscientious citizens how to do the right thing.  From Islamic law and the Ten Commandments to the Golden Rule and the Yamas and Niyamas of yogic philosophy — from Utilitarianism to liberal humanism to the Categorical Imperative and even Objectivism — these codes seek to answer our deepest questions.  Is our greatest responsibility to ourselves, or others?  Individuals, or the community?  What about animals, and the environment?  Are corporations people?   Is it permissible to bring your own candy into the movie theater?  Is straying from the path of virtue the same as pigging out on pizza and fries?

Yes, the world’s tradition of moral reasoning is indeed diverse.  Put it all in a blender with some whimsical self-deprecation, add water, and you’ve got the New York Times Ethicist column.  Continue reading “Eggs, Bugs and Joseph Conrad: An Anti-Ethicist Manifesto”

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Trend of the Week: Nail Polish

It’s impossible to keep up with New York Times inanity.  Every day there’s something to be incredulous about — like “truth vigilante,” “men invented the internet,” or the time David Brooks said his 12-year-old son’s “heroes include John Boehner and Tupac Shakur.”  Trying to read it all is like drinking from a fire hose, never mind producing comprehensive blog posts.  To make a greater dent in the backlog, I am launching the “Trend of the Week” series.  Each week, I will explore a recent (or not-so-recent) craze presented to us by the Paper of Record.

Today, we examine “Once Staid, Nail Polish Becomes Fashion Accessory,” by Style section colossus Ruth La Ferla.  Continue reading “Trend of the Week: Nail Polish”