Against Utilitarianism

Since it was first formalized in the mid-1800s, Utilitarianism has dominated discussions of human behavior in philosophical ethics and in economics. In particular, it acts as the foundation of “rationality” that defines Homo economicus, the idealized human being in economics which forms the benchmark against which actual human behaviors are compared, because it is (purported to be) the only ethical framework which is “rational”. Specifically, Utilitarianism is “VNM-rational”, which means that it’s the best possible system that satisfies the axioms of rational behavior defined by the Von Neumann-Morgenstern utility theorem.

In this article, I purport to demonstrate that Utilitarianism does not actually make sense in relation to human values and is not actually a description of rational behavior, and I formally propose an alternative consequentialist theory that escapes the VNM theorem’s erroneous axioms.

An exchange with my psychiatrist

This post contains a recent thread of correspondence between me and my psychiatrist, who is currently treating me for PTSD. In it, I discuss medical trauma, trauma from involuntary hospitalization, trauma from disordered eating and food insecurity, trauma from fatphobia and fat-shaming, and trauma from child abuse, rejection, and social isolation for having visible signs of autism and ADHD.

A More Convenient Unit Of Measure

This is a short piece that I posted on Google+ in 2012. Now that Google+ is shutting down, I’m re-posting it so I don’t lose it. The numbers are based around things that were topical at the time of the post; in particular the Curiosity rover had landed on Mars in August of that year, and some people were complaining that it was “too expensive”.

We, The Broken

Update: I found out today that Junot Díaz has a history of misogynistic bullying and sexual harassment of students and fans [Twitter thread]. At the time I wrote this essay, I knew nothing about him except his New Yorker piece. I’m sorry. I should have stayed focused on my own experiences. Please disregard everything I say here that defends or justifies him in any way. The behavior described in the Twitter thread is not acceptable, and his past is no excuse.

The Meaning of Mass Effect

The Meaning of Mass Effect: A Cursory Look at the Themes of the Mass Effect Trilogy

It’s been six years since the final installment of the Mass Effect trilogy first touched the public sphere. It’s fitting, then, that now of all times I feel the need to talk about it.