Alienation, Alienation From Self, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Censorship, Community, Cultural Traits, Culture, Family, Freedom, Freedom and Liberty, Human Nature, Obligations to Society, Oppression, Society

How Small Town Reputations Work

(About an 8 minute read)

I think the best way to begin a discussion of how small town reputations work is by talking about Glen.

Glen shocked me that day I discovered he was an adamant creationist, but in hindsight I should have seen it coming, for evolution contradicted his faith.  In my shock I thought a few things I regret now.  Notions about him that lacked understanding and kindness, and that were absurdly false and misleading.

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Authoritarianism, Bad Ideas, Business, Cultural Traits, Culture, Human Nature, Myth, Sales, Work

Power, Persuasion, and Leadership

(About a 9 minute read)

In high school, I won the popularity contest for next year’s student council president by an overwhelming landslide.  There were only two dissenting votes out of about 500 cast.  The dissenters were my opponent and her best friend.

That summer, I completely rewrote the council’s constitution in order to make both the council and the office of president more influential. I won’t use the word “power” here, because that would be misleading.  Neither the council nor its president had anything approaching real power.

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Alex Jones, Authoritarianism, Bad Ideas, Censorship, Citizenship, Community, Conservative, Cultural Traits, Culture, Democracy, Ethics, Fairness, Fantasy Based Community, Freedom, Freedom and Liberty, Idealism, Ideologies, Intellectual Honesty, Intelligentsia, Internet, Justice, Law, Liars Lies and Lying, Liberal, Libertarianism, Logic, Morality, News and Current Events, Obligations to Society, Oppression, People, Political Issues, Politicians and Scoundrels, Politics, Reason, Skeptical Thinking, Society, Thinking, Truth

Alex Jones and the “Paradox of Tolerance”

(About a 7 minute read)

I think it can be said of Alex Jones that he is the poster-child for the “American disease” of tolerating the intolerable.  Perhaps out of all major democracies, America’s democracy is the most susceptible to the disease.  That’s because we tend to be extremists when it comes to protecting freedom of speech.

To be sure, America does limit free speech somewhat, but the limits are absolutely minimal.  You cannot advocate physical violence against someone and/or their property, nor can you “yell fire in a crowded theater” for the mere sport of it, since that might lead to physical injuries.

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Abuse, Alienation From Self, Bad Ideas, Courtship, Cultural Traits, Culture, Don, Erotic Love, Free Spirit, Fun, Guilt, Late Night Thoughts, New Love

Late Night Thoughts: Buttons and Trolls, Courtship and Regrets, Fake Knowledge, Brick Walls, and More (August 13, 2018)

(About a 3 minute read)

There are so many toxic people and places on the net — villainous people who will jump you, not for money, but out of gratuitous outrage, or for some ideology they’re too dull to know better than to swallow whole.

Bloggers have it best.  Almost no trolls.  Every blog comes with a ban button, you see, in order to put the kids to bed so that the adults can have a conversation.

♦♦♦

If humans had better foresight, there just would not be a whole lot of men who fail to ever ask out that woman.  You know, that woman they’re going to keenly regret never having made an effort for, never having courted at all — regret in about twenty years.

Continue reading “Late Night Thoughts: Buttons and Trolls, Courtship and Regrets, Fake Knowledge, Brick Walls, and More (August 13, 2018)”

Allies, Brotherly Love, Capitalism, Citizenship, Community, Competition, Consumerism, Cultural Traits, Culture, Fairness, Free Market Capitalism, Friends, From Around the Net, Giving, Human Nature, Life, Morality, Obligations to Society, Philos, Society, Values

Never Break the Circle

(About a 1 minute read)

Years ago, there was Mike,
A Native American man who belonged
To the people of a Southwest nation,
And who was trying to teach his son
The people’s traditional values.

Can you imagine how tough that was?
Maybe the values are the same
But the world is not.
No, it’s not the same at all.
But Mike was determined,
Still made the effort.

Each weekend he drove his boy
Eight hundred miles South
To the villages where
He could play with his cousins,
Talk with his grandparents,
Learn from the whole village
How to walk with one foot on the earth,
And with the other foot firmly planted
In the spirit world.

His son made Mike proud.
Once the whole community
Gathered to share candy —
I think Mike called it,
“Halloween, Hopi style.”

Forming a circle of young and old,
The people tossed the candies around
For several minutes, catching and tossing
Back the candies, the people shared
A good thing in life, and stopped
Only when everyone had something sweet.

Everyone.

“Cooperation”, Mike told me,
“It’s how the people live.
Not like what he learns in school.
There it’s fight for yourself,
Live for your close kin alone,
And screw all the rest.”

Anthropology, Behavioral Genetics, Belief, Biology, Creative Thinking, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Feminism, Genetics, Human Nature, Ideologies, Life, Morality, Science, Talents and Skills, Teresums

How the Internet Changed My View of Human Nature

(About a 7 minute read)

Back when I was in high school, I read B.F. Skinner’s Behaviorism, and was quickly converted to philosophical behaviorism — the deterministic notion that our behavior is solely decided by all that we learn from the moment of our birth onward.

There is no room in behaviorism for the notion of free will, but neither is there room for the notion that we might have an universal human nature rooted in our genes — or even a genetically based individual nature also rooted in our genes.

So by the time I got to university I was ripe to discover that all ideas were inventions. That each idea had a history, and that there was a time before it had been cooked up by someone, and then spread to other people.

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Alienation From Self, Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Being True To Yourself, Cultural Traits, Culture, Emotions, Free Spirit, Human Nature, Self, Self-Integration, Self-Knowledge, Spirituality, Wisdom

Dealing With Our Light and Dark Sides

(About a 4 minute read)

I have been thinking lately that, if we wish to live our lives to their fullest — that is, if we wish to flourish — then we will keep in touch with both the good and the bad in us, with both our light and our dark sides.

I’m not an avid fan of the notion — most famously expressed in Star Wars — that the two are separate discrete things, or that they can be split apart in any meaningful way.  However, it seems we are under considerable societal pressure to believe just that: That we not only can but ought to feed and nourish our good side, while starving out bad side.

But is that wise?

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