Progress on Goals, White Privilege, and More
Q&A Radio: 29 December 2013
I answered questions on progress on long-term goals, claims of white privilege, and more on 29 December 2013. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers was my co-host. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.
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Segments: 29 December 2013
Question: How can I make better progress on my long-term goals? I have the curious affliction of stagnating, often for very long periods of time, on long term goals. That happens even when those goals pertain to pursuits I enjoy. This pattern has me confused and somewhat alarmed, because I know that these long term goals I have set for myself will be the most meaningful for me to accomplish. Although I see the great value in skill-building for a new career, learning to play the piano, learning a new language, and so on, I cannot seem to get myself to take the daily, repeated action required for more than a week or two. That happens, despite my applying GTD and breaking down the larger task into manageable pieces. My neophile personality simply takes interest in something else, and I miss a day (then two, then three) of taking action, preventing me from ever establishing an activity as a habit. How can I break this cycle of mediocrity, so that I can really start making progress on long term goals?
Answer, In Brief: You can get more done if you (1) know the real-life purpose of your endeavor, (2) track your progress in objective way, (3) respect the major effort required to concentrate, (4) are realistic about what's possible to you, and (5) monitor yourself as you work.
Question: What is the individualist response to claims about "white privilege"? In May 2013, you published a blog post entitled "Personal Motives for Benevolence" where you introduced the idea that prejudice is often formed by favoritism and not overt bigotry. Clearly, such favoritism can be based on race too. So what is the proper and just response to claims of "white privilege" – such as found in the article "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh?
Answer, In Brief: Talk of "white privilege" is often saturated with collectivism and other false assumptions. However, the phenomena of in-group privilege is a very real and important influence on social behavior, due to our natural affinity for people similar to us. However, we must ensure that such doesn't render our actions – and particularly not the criminal justice system – unjust.
Rapid Fire Questions (1:08:31)
- If the universe has always existed, does that make it an actual infinity?
- Why do the philosophical skeptics, who claim that even skepticism could be wrong, seem to be the ones least willing to entertain any argument that concludes that such is the case?
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell. I'm a philosopher specializing in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or discuss a topic of interest.
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I can be reached via e-mail to [email protected].