How To Be A Better [Blank]: Make Dumb Mistakes

As cliche as I will sound, I have to say it: in order to improve, you have to admit your mistakes. Well, I made two big mistakes when I wrote my article on whether or not police officers should be considered hate crime victims. The first mistake I made was not researching legislative or judicial commentary on hate crime laws. The second mistake I made was not spending more time fleching out the most concept-driven part of the entire article (viz. the final section). The overall result was a work whose concepts were somewhat vague and without context.

I arrived at that conclusion after taking some time to remove myself from the feedback my article received and then reflecting on said commentary. In retrospect, they are such rookie mistakes; they’re mistakes I would have tried my hardest to avoid while at Cal State Northridge. Considering the opinions of your contemporaries before putting your ideas in public is priority #1. And clearing up your ideas, especially new ones that might be controversial, is a lesson I had to learn so many times while writing papers.

It’s easy to think that after graduating, we are immune to such mistakes. It’s easy to forget that when you’re not in an environment explicitly expecting thoroughness in thought and rigor in writing, those habits will easily fall by the wayside. It’s easy to forget that we’re human, and mistakes should always be expected. It’s easy to think that when you receive such flak, you are not as intelligent as you once believed.

My gut reaction, in the face of such glaring errors, was to deride my own intelligence. But that’s not how intelligence works. My good friend, Daniel, reminded me that intelligence is a process. It’s never instantaneous. Which is why, despite my glaring errors, I’m not giving up on the hate crime project. I don’t plan on deleting the original post. I’ll need that post for when I clear up the ideas and double check my initial counter-arguments against the FOP. My new plan is to do the relevant legislative and judicial research, understand the context of hate crime laws, and clear up my conceptual proposals.

Usually a reflective post ends with an equally reflective conclusion. Well, you’ll find no such thing here. Good day to you zir*.


*No, that was not a typo.


Police Officers Should Never Be Considered Hate Crime Victims

I’ve heard the Fraternal Order of Police assert the following three times now: police officers should be a protected group under 18 U.S. Code § 249, the law establishing what constitutes a hate crime. My immediate reaction is to dismiss their suggestion out of hand, but every idea deserves a fair hearing. Let’s see what the FOP wants, why they want it, and whether they have good reasons for wanting it.

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Coming (Philosophical) Attractions

My following on here is not great, but is it any wonder — I hardly ever write here! Hopefully, this post highlighting some coming attractions will change that. The writing part, that is. In order of what I think will come sooner rather than later, here are the posts currently in the works.

  1. On Black Lives Matter: I am currently working on a defense of Black Lives Matter. It’s languishing a bit because it is long, requires some research, and I’m taking time to be extra charitable to the other side. Nevertheless, it is underway. It will have four parts. First, I’ll explain what Black Lives Matter stands for, what their goals are, and how they mean to accomplish those goals. Second, I’ll address some common objections to Black Lives Matter’s objectives, cause, and rhetoric. The sources of the objections range from internet articles, things I’ve heard on the news, and things my friends have said. Third, I will mount a positive, socio-political argument explaining why Black Lives Matter is necessary. Fourth, I will present a very brief moral argument for why convinced readers should support Black Lives Matter, along with some ideas for how they can do that. The latter will be borrowed from members of the movement, as I would not presume to know the best courses of action qua white male who hasn’t joined the actual organization. The third and fourth parts will be the most philosophical, and as such will take the longest to complete.
  2. On Hate Crimes: I have heard it said a few times by the Fraternal Order of Police that police officers ought to be protected under hate crime laws. Given recent shootings, it is understandable why they would make this claim. Nevertheless, I think they are mistaken. In this post, I will do four things. First, I will explain the current hate crime laws. Second, I will explain and refute the FOP’s stated arguments. Third, I will construct an enhanced defense of their position using my journal article on discrimination. Fourth, I will delineate a social meta-narrative latent in hate crime laws. I’ll demonstrate that police officers are precluded by this latent meta-narrative, thus concluding that police officers cannot be hate crime victims even on the enhanced FOP position.
  3. On My Post-Bachelor Relationship with Philosophy: This will be a distinctly non-theoretical, very personal piece. In short, I’ll examine how my relationship with philosophy is different now compared to when I was in college, how I feel about that, and how I’m navigating philosophy qua individual-in-the-private-sector. I hope to close with some remarks on what it means to live a philosophical life and to truly love wisdom.
  4. On Social Epistemology: Social epistemology is concerned with how we come to know things via social means. I’m currently reading Social Epistemology: Essential Readings with my good friend, Daniel Diaz. I’m going to work out a plan with him for writing on some of the readings in the anthology. If his schedule allows it, these will likely be collaborative works.

That’s what I’m up to in a nutshell. I can’t provide any solid posting dates, but I will update on their status as I go along. Perhaps I’ll include some personalized commentary that will incidentally help me process my third writing project.

For anyone who reads this, your thoughts on any of these subjects is more than welcome, as that will help the thinking and writing process. Until next time. 🙂