Sebastian Zearing

how to be progressive without being a stupid liberal

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’.

Climate Change

It is claimed that the economic activities of humans since the Industrial Revolution have altered the composition of the atmosphere in ways that will affect climate by increasing the amount of energy contained in the atmosphere. One can take a variety of positions with respect to this claim:

Since 1800:
1) The globe (atmosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere/etc.) has cooled.
2) The globe has not changed.
3) The globe has warmed due mainly to natural causes, and this is not dangerous.
4) The globe has warmed due mainly to human activity, and this is not dangerous.
5) The globe has warmed due mainly to human activity, and this is dangerous.
6) The globe has warmed due mainly to human activity, and this will be catastrophic.

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The Conflict between Rights and Utilities

See more posts in the Principles series.

Much ink and server space has been dedicated to the issue of how morality is constructed. My view is that the two prevailing ethical theories, deontology and utilitarianism, are both necessary for a healthy moral perspective. Further, many political conversations can be lubricated by explicit understandings as to what morality or moral ends comprise. I will explain my views here in order to provide lubrication for future reference.

Deontology

Deontological ethics stress the importance of rules and authority in determining moral behavior. Abrahamic and Judeo-Christian ethics are quintessentially deontological. These are the morals delineated by the thou shalts and the thou shalt nots. I’d like to frame deontology as a prescription of the rights one has and does not have. Rights can be described as either positive rights—rights allowing the exercise of a behavior—or negative rights—rights allowing the non-exercise of a behavior. With this terminology, a duty or obligation can be described as the absence of the right to not perform the obligation—the absence of a negative right. A prohibition can be described as the absence of the right to perform the prohibited act—the absence of a positive right. Deontologically, actors cannot be held morally accountable for actions or inactions that they had the right to execute.

Utilitarianism

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