Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Quick update on training

In this post, I describe the results of my barbell training and running in early 2015.


Per my last post on barbell training, I worked for awhile on a derivative of the Greyskull Linear Progression (GSLP), a program with a basic rep scheme of 5-5-5+, where the 5+ is an AMRAP set. Loading progress by 5lbs/workout for lower body lifts and 2.5lbs/workout for upper body lifts. Once the trainee fails at the third set of (at least) 5, she takes 10% off the bar for the next workout and works back up. The GSLP philosophy is that during the reset, one focuses on setting new PRs in the third set for rep maxes at each load: that way, one is always doing work which drives adaptation, not simply repeating the same work as before. During the reset, one is increasing volume rather than intensity.  Continue reading Quick update on training

American optimism, guns, and wealth

In this post, I speculate that American attitudes about guns and wealth are linked by a general optimism about the world, and about one’s ability to determine one’s own destiny.


John Steinbeck said, “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” This claim has often been used to explain why the poor in America seem so often to vote for right-wing policies which are opposed to business regulations, labor rights, powerful unions, and the welfare state. In short, Steinbeck suggests that the American poor don’t see themselves as essentially poor, only poor through some turns of circumstance which will be righted shortly through a combination of personal virtue, talent, and hard work. Continue reading American optimism, guns, and wealth

The NRA, Freddie Gray, and carrying knives

Today, I wrote to the NRA to ask them to speak out against the arrest of Freddie Gray, for legally carrying a pocketknife. I ask any readers who are also members of the NRA to do the same, and remind them that we support the right to lawful carry of weapons, and that we fiercely oppose the suppression of Second Amendment rights by anyone–police officer or politician–who tries to take them.

Update: the NRA wrote back to state that due to his criminal record, Freddie Gray was a prohibited person. While true, this does not negate his Second Amendment rights—only his gun rights.

Proposing a new rule of inference for the internet

My suggestion is simple:

  1. Asserts p smugly.
  2. Therefore, not-p.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from studying philosophy (and biology, for that matter) is how very little I know. In high school, I tended to think that people who disagreed with me must simply be foolish. (Not surprising — I was in high school.) Didn’t they see? The answer was so obvious. Of course p.  Now that I am older and (marginally) wiser, I have come to realize that many questions of philosophy, of science, of history — they all have reasonable people on both sides of the question. The evidence just looks different to people.

Something I have noticed, though, is that people who are very smug in their knowledge are almost always wrong: people who sneer about the US funding the Taliban in the 1980s (when it didn’t exist), people who sarcastically sneer that torture obviously does not work because you cannot trust the answers you’re given, people who take the position that racism only exists in the US because people keep talking about it but that it is otherwise imaginary…it’s not just that they’re factually wrong, it’s that they’re wrong and cocky. In my experience, smugness is a pretty good heuristic for being uninformed. Being uninformed is, in turn, a pretty good heuristic for being wrong.

Therefore: I have decided that henceforth, should someone smugly assert p, I will assume not-p.


Welcome to The Persistent Seeker, a blog focused on philosophy, fitness, nature, Christianity, history, politics, and whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m Rick, sole proprietor. I’m a graduate student in philosophy, an animal lover, a Marine vet, and generally equal parts exasperating and amusing. I started this blog because I thought it was high time the costs of my opinions being expressed were externalized beyond my long-suffering family and friends.

I recommend ale for coping with my opinions, ale for coping with my writing, and ale for coping with me in general. (That’s how I cope with those things. It’s best if we’re on the same page.)