Dishonest Debater

I am a dishonest debater.

I remember being around 7 years old and arguing with my brother. Some adult had told us in the past not to run when crossing the road, and I agreed. My brother, a little older and a little more rebellious, still wanted to run across the road. One day, he did, and I confronted him.

"Don't run across the road" I (proudly) stated.

"Why not?" he (reasonably) asked.

Gun Control Arguments & Research (draft)

Now that I live in the USA, I've had a lot more arguments about gun control. They rarely go anywhere, since there's a gulf in values between left and right wing thinkers on this issue. I want to use this post as a staging ground to collect the common arguments on gun control from both sides, and point out research which validates or contradicts the various arguments.

To summarize my current position:

Wordpress automatic updates

I maintain a couple of wordpress sites, and I rarely want to spend time keeping them up to date. I use this permissions script though, which disallows Wordpress's normal auto-update mechanism. This vastly increases the security, which is worth it, but I need another way to auto-update.

So I use this script, along with the excellent command line tool wp-cli:

To be good, do what is good for your heart

I have a theory about how to be a good Christian. As with all my ideas, I worry that I've missed something, so please think critically about what I'm writing. But so far I've had success and haven't found this theory to be contradictory to my other knowledge of God and the Bible.

A long time ago, Moses et al summarized right living by publishing the Ten Commandments. Then Israel went on and built a lot more law, most of which is also attributed to Moses - hence the "Law of Moses".

Then a long time later, Jesus came and summarized the law in two commandments:

How to have productive meetings, part 1

At some point in my life, I started going to meetings, and slowly started gathering good and bad experiences. Also, for some reason, during university I actually studied how to have productive meetings, and I’ve kept a few tidbits of wisdom from that course.

I hold this truth to be self evident: most meetings are a waste of time.

But there’s a corollary: it’s also hard to identify which of your meetings are a waste of time, and why. It’s hard to predict in advance whether a meeting will be productive.

Arguing past each other

Consider the "strawman" logical fallacy (wonderfully illustrated in video here):

  1. Person A presents her argument (call it A).
  2. Person B voices his disagreement with argument S (an exaggerated or incorrect version of A).

Pink salt is not especially good for you

This one makes me happy. Pink sea salt is no better or worse than regular salt.

The similarity between Christianity and Feminism

I'm a Christian and a feminist. Membership in both groups is a key part of my identity. If you talk to someone with a simplistic understanding of these groups, though, they might be surprised that it's possible to be a member of both groups!

The problem is that we aren't very good at differentiating subgroups that happen to share the same label. We lump Catholics, Pentecostals, and Unitarians into one group called "Christians". We even lump Canadian Christians and American Christians into one group!

Decompartmentalizing your faith

I think the single greatest challenge so far in my life as a Christian has been compartmemtalization. And I imagine others may have the same challenge, so I'm going to blog about it. To really do the topic justice, though, I need to first talk about Fruedian, behavioural, and cognitive psychology.

Originally the field of psychology was dominated by Freudian theories, which were vast and attempted to explain why high society women might become hysterical. Each of his theories had a few important traits:

Gender pay gap

There are so many people online saying "there is no pay gap", or "there is a pay gap". Often it's really hard to get clarity on an apples-to-apples comparison showing data that demonstrates the pay gap. 

Here's a link to a study showing a pay gap in the first year after college. This ignores the problem of lost wages because of maternity leave, and also differences in negotiation (which is debatable - apparently some studies have shown that women who negotiate salary are penalized). If there's good research on that, send me a message!