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A little recognized and under-appreciated fact about the august Richard Richards is that he is a gay scientist. I know what you may be thinking—Richard’s never shagged dudes, and if he has, it’s shitty to out him in an essay that’s meant to honor him. That’s strictly his business. Or you may be thinking that that Richard identifies as a philosopher, not a physicist, biologist, or even (egads!) a psychologist. As far as I know, you would be right in both cases—and it would be terrible to call him out--despite the fact that this will hardly rise to the level of an essay.

No, what I mean is that Richard Richards practices the sort of approach to philosophy that Nietzsche prescribes in The Gay Science. Now, I won’t pretend to know fuckall about Nietzsche—but that’s okay because there are roughly 7,500 budding philosophy majors lurking in coffee shops, craft breweries, and organic grocery stores around the country who’ve got him figured out and would be delighted to expound on my ignorance. If you are genuinely curious about whether I’ve got Nietzsche right, ask one of them. Or read some Nietzsche. In any case, I’m not entirely convinced that getting philosophers “right” is the point; rather, good philosophers plunder brilliant ideas from better philosophers or scientists, looting those concepts for their own ends–just ask Schopenhauer—and I think Richard might agree with this (c.f., his devotion to Provine and incongruity theory). [excerpt]

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