Sebastian Zearing

how to be progressive without being a stupid liberal

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog! My pen name is Sebastian Zearing, and I think about a lot of things. This is a good post to read if you’re thinking about following my blog so please continue!

My tagline currently reads “how to be progressive without being a stupid liberal.” I feel that deserves an explanation. I also may change the tagline in the future, so I’ll try to write this post so that it won’t be obsolete if I do.

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Relevance Theory and the Communicative Spectrum

Relevance Theory claims that a “hearer/reader/audience will search for meaning in any given communication situation and having found meaning that fits their expectation of relevance, will stop processing.” Our worlds are very complicated. Thus, talking about them should be similarly complicated. Fortunately, most two individuals that might want to communicate share a lot of experiences (e.g. they generally share at least a language and a culture), and so communication can be drastically simplified by assuming a common base of information. And not only can this happen, it almost always does in normal human communication.

Your coworker gets to work 20 minutes late. “I hate the metro!” he exclaims as he dashes past your cubicle, flashing a flustered glance. What did he just communicate? I got to work late and can’t you see I’m sorry so don’t judge me because gosh darn it the metro in this city sucks and that’s why I’m late dontchaknow! Well obviously what was communicated had almost nothing to do with your coworker hating the metro. Imagine if instead he had exclaimed, “I hate pomegranates!” You probably would be very confused. Why does he hate pomegranates? More importantly, why is telling me this now? I’m trying to work! You might come to the conclusion that he was eating a pomegranate for breakfast, and as pomegranates do, it exploded all over his work clothes, forcing him to change into new clothes and setting him back by 20 minutes. Notice how this comes down to you assuming that your communicative partner is not wasting your brain’s computing power for no good reason. And given the circumstance of flustered tardiness, it probably has something to do with the flustered tardiness.

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Consolidating blogs

I’ve consolidated my blogs therationalqueer and liberateandconserve with this blog and migrated all of their posts here, under their respective categories.

Essentialism is False

Essentialism, or the Platonic Theory of Forms, is the idea that entities in the world are imperfect instantiations of perfect exemplars that exist in metaphysical realms apart. The exemplars are known as “essences,” and the imperfections as “accidents.” Essentialism was instigated by mathematics, especially geometry. In geometry, one can imagine many kinds of entities, such as circles, lines, midpoints, etc, and these entities are understood to exist in some perfect sense. A circle is the set of all points at a constant distance (radius) from its center. We can try drawing a circle, and we quickly realize that we cannot do so. There is no such thing as real circle. All circles try to be perfect but fail. Tiny perturbations, imperceptible deviations—these all conspire to prevent perfect circles.

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Implicit v. Explicit Information

There is a paradox in physics that occupies itself with the arcane possibility that black holes destroy information. Basically, Hawking radiation from the surface of a black hole seems to be uncorrelated with the captured material inside which is evaporating away via that Hawking radiation, and so the state pre-evaporation is not recoverable even in principle. I don’t seek to elucidate the paradox in the slightest, except that the holographic principle seems to resolve it, but rather I’d like to copy and paste their definition of “information” for my term “implicit information.” Implicit information is information regarding the configuration of a [physical] system. I’m not satisfied with that definition, but I think it perhaps more useful to contrast it with “explicit information”: explicit information is information that is ready-to-use by an intelligent agent.

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Power Orientation

This post was originally published at therationalqueer.wordpress.com.

Power orientation is an aspect of one’s sexuality that is reminiscent of, yet decisively separate from, what is classically known as one’s sexual orientation. Sexual orientation demarcates the gender(s)/sex(es) one finds sexually arousing. Romantic orientation is also often bundled with sexual orientation, even though it relates to higher-level emotional arousal and attraction. Power orientation is, broadly, the degree to which one seeks to direct a sexual encounter. And just like sexual orientation, it can be paired with a higher-level orientation that relates to romance and pair-bonding, rather than just sex: one can enjoy (or be unaware that one might enjoy) directing or being directed in a relationship. Power orientation undoubtedly has many correlates, but the one most clearly bespoken by the gay community is penetration. Power orientation varies from dominant to submissive, where in the gay community dominant partners are very likely to be “tops” who are the insertive partners in anal sex and submissive partners are very likely to be “bottoms” who are the receptive partners in anal sex. Furthermore, an even larger portion of the gay population may very well be “versatile” and enjoy both aspects of penetration. (And of course some gay men refuse to engage in anal sex altogether.) Still, though the correlation between power orientation and penetration exists, they remain distinct things: one is a personality trait, the other a behavior.

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Should

This post was originally published at therationalqueer.wordpress.com.

The Problem

A Nice Guy says “I should have a girlfriend by now.” A Feminist says “You’re not entitled to any woman!” A tirade ensues.

The misunderstanding lies in the multiplicity of meanings of the word “should.” It generally means one of three things:

  1. There’s the deontological “should”: “You should respect everyone without regard to their ethnicity.”
  2. There’s the utilitarian “should”: “You should invest in Vanguard index funds.”
  3. And there’s the rarer epistemic “should”: “You should be fine after drinking lots of water and resting.”

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Normativity and Prescriptivism

This post was originally published at therationalqueer.wordpress.com.

In my exposure to the alttrp community (both on the subreddit and elswhere), I’ve felt that there is somewhat of an inclination towards using the red pill as a justification for determining the kinds of behaviors that gay or bisexual men should have. In other words, there is a sense that the red pill prescribes normative behaviors for gay and bisexual men.

I have absolutely no interest in determining or discussing what gay and bisexual men should do. If you want to claim that str8-acting behavior is superior or want to fem-shame, feel free to do so, but I will not waste time engaging with you. I fully appreciate anyone’s right to argue their point, but I think these discussions are frivolous, as I am much more interested in understanding homosexual SMP dynamics, how power dynamics compare and contrast with heterosexuals’, and other theoretical ideas.

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My Sexuality

This post was originally published at therationalqueer.wordpress.com.

As an exercise in full disclosure, I want to make sure my own sexuality is clear, so that the careful reader can understand and weigh the biases which I may bring to the table in my analyses, even against my sincerest efforts. I generally don’t identify with a sexuality. I don’t come out to new acquaintances with “I’m gay” or “I’m bi,” but rather make references to past boyfriends, LGBTQ groups I’ve belonged to, or just letting others come to their own conclusions based on observations of my social life and behavior. As a Kinsey 4-5, I find it difficult to label myself as gay, but bisexual doesn’t perfectly fit either. Instead of trying to label myself, I’ll stick to “queer” (which is the very essence of a non-label), and describe my attractions and history and let you come to your own conclusions. Note: I am male.

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The Red Pill for LGBTQs

This post was originally published at therationalqueer.wordpress.com.

As an individual who is both a red pill sympathizer and a queer man, I find myself in the almost unique position to subject non-heteronormative relations to red pill scrutiny. This subject has been on my mind for a while, but I haven’t had the time to start a blog until now (and if history is a guide, I will probably make two or three posts and then vanish for months!). It is obviously a play off of The Rational Male, to anyone familiar with the manosphere. Red pill concepts didn’t crystallize for me until I read Rollo’s blog, and despite some of his [mostly orthographic] shortcomings, I find him to be by far the most coherent and impactful of manosphere writers. Further, it’s actually a complete coincidence that I open this blog mere days after his Homosexuality post. Perhaps I should take that as an omen of good luck! At any rate, if you’re interested in these topics, please subscribe! …the posts are a-comin’.

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