Pardon the clickbait headline. The actual title is “you do not deserve your ethnicity.” But How am I going to get Americans to read that?

“Race” is not a biological fact, it is a construct. And yet, millions of people are treated worse than others because of their skin colour and associations with that skin colour. How is that just?

Every single one of us is an accident of birth. As I have argued elsewhere, it doesn’t matter the intentions of your parents, the unique you that is reading this is an accident.

But if there is one thing that…

I don’t have any idea if I was one of the first customers, but I was certainly an early one. The company was founded in 2004 and I was renting movies from them the autumn of that same year, which happened to be when I started my Master’s degree.

If you’re unfamiliar with, it was Canada’s Netflix: it shipped rental DVDs to you through the mail complete with return labels. In 2010 it introduced a Redbox-style kiosk too, though I never used them.

During the summer of 1998, I set myself a ridiculous task: I would watch every…

Note: I wrote this in January and then it set in my Drafts. So I’m publishing it now, with very few edits, in the hopes that it still makes some sense.

When I was in undergrad and grad school, studying political philosophy, I was extremely skeptical of explanations of human behaviour based in class. Especially in grad school, I was surrounded by colleagues and professors who strongly believed in the importance of class. And I, a libertarian, thought all this talk about class was extremely wrong-headed.

I used to ask people “Go out on the street and ask someone how…

We’re so close to being out of the woods. People are getting vaccinated and more and more governments are adopting “first doses first.”

All we have to do is to behave ourselves for a few more months.

But we’re not.

Well, some of us are. But many of us aren’t.

People in places with community spread are going on vacation.

They’re ignoring health guidelines.

They’re flouting restrictions.

They’re lobbying political leaders to relax restrictions.

What seems to be missing for so many of these people is the reason for the restrictions.

For people who are not at high risk in…

In August of 2016, before his election to President, I wondered whether or not Donald Trump was the Greatest Con Man of All Time. (The GOAT-Con? The Con-GOAT? The GCMOAT?)

A year and a half later, still mystified by his support, I wondered how people continue to trust him, as he burns one after the other.

And now, as Joe Biden is the President-Elect, I can’t help but wonder why approximately 70,000,000+ Americans think Trump deserves another term.

There are many reasons why Trump shouldn’ be re-elected. Attempting to list them all would derail this piece.

You can categorize them…

The biggest problem the world faces should go without saying: climate change. Human behaviour is changing the climate to the extent that it will be harder for people to inhabit certain parts of the world, and that will cause all sorts of other problems.

But that problem is long-term, no matter how immediate it seems to climatologists or people who feel it as an immediate problem. It has different impacts on different people and most people have trouble contemplating the actual effects — or even believing if it is real — unless it affects them.

I live in a well…

It’s a story out of a bad Hollywood message movie:

A black man is shot in the back seven times by police, in front of his kids.

In the ensuing protests, an armed white teenager is allowed by police to freely patrol the streets until he kills people and then is allowed to get away.

If this was a movie, I’d write a scathing review of how contrived the plot is.

It’s Crash-level bad writing.

And yet, it happened.

And events like it will continue to happen.

And what’s worse, a large portion of the population of the United States…

Aka the Cult of Charging High Fees Just Because Others Do

I have lost count of the number of times someone has told me my fees are too low.

Just this week I was told by two different people — who don’t know each other — that I needed to raise my fees.

The first guy said I should charge a minimum of CAD$1,000 per client per month.

The second guy said I should charge a minimum of US$2,000-$4,000 per person so that they could participate in a course with other people!!! (This course would only be two months.)

They both said the same thing: people look at my fees and…

In 2017 I wrote a piece about the root of so-called “alternative facts.” I blamed the ability of people to accept alternative facts as truth on Western Philosophy, but specifically on Plato’s essentialist view of reality. The piece became my most widely read ever, dwarfing my books and anything else I’ve published online.

Frankly, I was kind of surprised by the response. …

A recent season of Undisclosed details the arrest and conviction of Fred Freeman for the murder of a community college student in 1986. Freeman was living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at the time, and the murder occurred in Port Huron, a 6.5 hour drive away.

Witnesses claim to have seen Freeman in the Upper Peninsula the night before the 9AM murder and at noon on the day of the murder as well as throughout the afternoon and evening of the day of the murder.

The night before the murder he was seen a 6.5 hour drive away. And…

Riley Haas

I am the author of three books and working on a fourth. I am a liberal, an existentialist, an atheist, and anti-utopian.

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