Definition: Myopia Theory

Myopia Theory

Theorizes that when under influence of enough alcohol, the here and now is not only what matters most to you, but also influences what matters to you. That is, you don’t think much about the future and potential consequences, but that also in not thinking, you let your environment determine how you act and feel such that you experience very different things under the same influence if in a quiet bar by yourself versus a crowded and rowdy frat party.


More formally…

A cognitive-physiological theory on alcohol abuse in which many of alcohol’s social and stress-reducing effects, which may underlie its addictive capacity, are explained as a consequence of alcohol’s narrowing of perceptual and cognitive functioning.


The first explanation is a lot easier to understand, in my opinion. I got it from Malcolm Gladwell in this podcast episode below, talking with Oprah Winfrey.


Definition: Blackout Drunk

Blackout drunk

Memory loss (NOT passing out) from being drunk.


This one was news to me, being someone who did not drink. However, it seems it would also be news to a LOT of people. Otherwise, you wouldn’t find so many sources online explaining it!


I heard about this definition via a podcast with Malcolm Gladwell, but also got more information via a video embedded below.

Definition: Casuistry


Casuistry is a process of reasoning that seeks to resolve moral problems by extracting or extending theoretical rules from a particular case, and reapplying those rules to new instances. This method occurs in applied ethics and jurisprudence.

To put this in plain language, it’s the process of reasoning where, in a new case of a variation on something not like seen before, you take two different variations and see which one is more like, rather than rely on principles to decide, because principles were built on the past cases, whereas you have a new case on your hands.

The example given in the first of three Revisionist History podcasts by Malcolm Gladwell below, talks about using drugs to rehab from injury in baseball via the Andy Pettitte case, and whether that constituted cheating. He was caught using human growth hormone (HGH) to heal faster, to get off the Disabled List and back on the playing field sooner, but did not use it while pitching (so far as we know), and did not become a different player with better or worse stats after a bad injury, like other drug cheats we generally know of who take it to improve performance. So was Andy Pettitte “cheating” or should it be called “cheating” in the same way as, say, Barry Bonds and the steroid pumped baseball players of the steroids era? Well, consider two rather different cases of unnatural means to improve oneself in sports, where one is widely considered “cheating”, and one is not, and see whether the Andy Pettitte case falls closer to one to decide how to judge his case, rather than just rely on principles that all drug use are the same and constitutes “cheating”, despite other unnatural means of physical improvement not being so. Chosen cases were those of pitcher Tommy John and hitter Barry Bonds.

Tommy John was a pitcher who had a radical surgery (in his time) to repair his elbow that would otherwise have ended his career. He relied on an unnatural mean to heal through surgery, and played again… until the age of 46, no less! It wasn’t drugs, but the surgery that now bears his name had a more profound impact than what HGH did for Andy Pettitte to get him back a few weeks sooner, though it did not really improve Tommy Johns’ stats, either. Tommy John is not considered a cheater for his surgery.

Barry Bonds, on the other hand, used steroids as the unnatural mean to improve himself. However, he became a different player, physically, strategically, and statistically. His older body was much bigger than his younger one. He became a pure power hitter rather than one who relied on speed and some power. He had ridiculously better stats in his older years, after he started taking steroids, when it would have been very challenging just to get better numbers, never mind numbers twice as better in some categories like home runs. Barry Bonds is considered a cheater for his steroid use.

So, where does the Andy Pettitte case fit between these two? Well, casuistry doesn’t define that for you. It’s just a process, but a process to help you get a more informed answer than one where you might have simply used principles and said drug use of any kind is “cheating”, though at what drug would you draw the line since medication to heal are drugs?

To get this in more detail, listen to the first podcast below. Then listen to two other cases where casuistry is applied. The conclusions may not agree with yours, but if you use it, you’ll make more informed decisions… and you can thank the Jesuits for it from hundreds of years back!



Why is it Cool to be Brown Only For a While at a Time?


This post deals with two topics. The first is regulating usage of tanning beds by minors due to some science-based suspicion of melanoma or skin cancer resulting from it, a real problem going on today. It sets up the second topic which is a philosophical question regarding racism against coloured people and the hypocrisy to look a little more like them to be elitist in a trendy sense.

Woman in Tanning Bed

Woman in Tanning Bed

According to Wikipedia, sun tanning started becoming a modern fad in the 1940s as women’s magazines encouraged sun bathing and the bikini was introduced in 1946. Since then, it has gathered steam and possibly peaked this year, at least in media and government attention. A total of 17 states, including “sunshine states” Florida and Hawaii, are currently considering laws controlling tanning bed usage by minors [Toronto Star, Mar 26 2009]. Furthermore,

Florida already requires parental approval before minors can use tanning salons. If the new law passes, it would be among the strictest in the nation. Only one state, Wisconsin, bans teens 16 and under from using tanning beds, though a handful of others – California, New York and New Jersey among them – ban the under-14 crowd. At least 29 states have some regulations governing tanning by minors.

Teens are flocking to these tanning beds, apparently. At least 25% of American teens 15-18 years old have used indoor tanning, and many of them might go anywhere from 1-3 times a week!

But, of course, there are stupid politicians, or should I say Republicans, who don’t know anything about regulations who oppose it using Republican “logic”. Florida Republican Senator Mike Bennett said “I gotta tell you, you cannot regulate everything in this world, I suppose we could say the same thing and outlaw tanning on the beach.”

Well, it’s not quite like that Mike. You see, on the beach, it’s not only natural sunlight, but Mother Nature has placed controls on how many suitable sunshiny days you get to sun tan. She regulates how many days in a row and our lifestyle would only permit us so much time during sunshine hours to tan. This is a man made problem, tanning salons, and it needs a man made solution. You don’t need to regulate beach tanning because Mother Nature has already done that for you. If you’re not going to do anything, at least say let evolution take care of itself and weed out the dumbsters who can’t even take advantage of sunshine in places like Florida and Hawaii but have to resort to tanning beds.

Oh, wait. Sorry. I forgot you Bible hugging, creationist dogma chugging Republicans don’t believe in evolution. But find a smarter reason than what you said so you don’t sound so stupid, eh?

But Mike, at least, wasn’t as stupid as Republican Texas State Representative Burt Solomons,  who said it made no sense to ban minors from tanning just like they’re prohibited from buying cigarettes because both are known carcinogens.

Sunshine as a carcinogen! There’s a good one for the anals of science if I’ve ever heard one! It’s a wonder Burt’s not a vampire… at least a literal one. It’s so sad that a wonderful ideal as democracy can be warped so much as to get idiots like these in political offices when evolution should be wiping them out!

So all that being that, I say ban the under-14 crowd and require Parental permission for the under-16 crowd. Make the under-14 get sunshine the natural way with Mother Nature’s regulations, and let the rest be subject to natural evolution that if they were stupid enough to over do their tanning, they can remove themselves from the gene pool for it.

Now, as for this tanning fad, I’ve never been able to understand it ever since I came to Canada as an 8 year old. As a child, things were simple and clear, or just sometimes come through that way, and my observations on the paradox of racism and tanning has never changed since. I saw racism towards coloured people, though was fortunate to experience very little of it. Yet, I kept seeing Caucasian people flaunt their tans that made them temporarily browner, genuinely by sunshine or artificially in a salon, as a status symbol! It confused me, and still befuddles me to this day. The only difference is that I now see that paradox as hypocrisy, regarding

Why is it cool to be brown only for a few weeks at a time?

Now, I live in Canada, where the hypocrisy is only generally seen from Caucasian demographics. In Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and many other countries, though, the coloured people even buy into it so much as to try and be whiter to push the hypocrisy from the coloured demographics. There is skin bleaching going on with creams and other means, to the extent it’s called a phenomenon [, 2002]. There is also black women trying to marry white men in successive generations to improve the white stock of their skin, as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his personal lineage story as part of his book, Outliers. They do these things despite the Caucasian people around them tanning in their glorious sunshine environment! Yes, so I ask again

Why is it cool to be brown only for a few weeks at a time?

Tell me if you can…

And tell me why white body builders feel like they need to all be brown as well.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.2