You remember those plays you went to when you were a kid, where you’re suppose to cheer for the good guy and boo the villain, or else it’s all going to go to hell?
It’s a nice illusion for the kiddies. It makes them feel like they’re in control of the outcome of the story.
We’re still playing it, aren’t we?
Continue reading Forbidden Thoughts in the Pre-Election Frenzy
George R.R. Martin recently weighed in on allowing Syrian refugees into the country, and he did a fine job of stating the moral case for doing so, but I thought I’d just add a few thoughts of my own (on immigration in general, not just the Syrians): Continue reading The Case for (Completely) Open Immigration
“There’s a lot of scary stuff going on right now.”
Yep. I’ve heard some version of that from friends, colleagues, and family members pretty much my whole adult life.
Hey, they’re not wrong. Fanatical terrorism, genocidal wars, every Western government in the world going bankrupt (seemingly at once), the banking system and stock market on the verge of collapse, the spread of super-diseases, the industrialization and poisoning of the food supply, loopy fascist maniacs on the verge of being elected…
Here’s what’s certain: the world will look very different in ten years. Maybe sooner.
Does that mean we should just curl into a ball and wait for the end?
But let’s consider a few things first, shall we? Continue reading Should We Fear the Future? The Case Against Cowering
- Think for yourself. Most people accept the ideas they’re taught by their parents, school, peers, and culture. Independent thought is discouraged in our early lives. We are frequently punished for disagreeing with others (even if only with scorn) and rewarded for towing the line. This is how bad ideas perpetuate through the centuries. The older ideas are, the harder they are to question, challenge, or oppose. An independent thinker, however, is oriented toward truth rather than pleasing others or society. Independent thought is freethinking–they are synonymous.
Continue reading The Freethinking Manifesto
We’re all guilty of apathy every once in a while.
The world and its problems can be overwhelming. And absurd. Absurdity, as we’ve talked about before, can be especially paralyzing to intelligent people. It shuts the thinking mind down.
If you have an opponent who can articulate a position, at least you have an inroad for discussion. You can DO something.
But when things are happening in the world that just seem, well… ludicrous–things that you feel infants should be able to see their way through–the temptation is to throw up your hands, declare the world fit for its handcart, and shut yourself away while you wait for the grey goo implosion.
To me, the absurdity is not usually the problem itself. Humans have always had problems. There always has been (and always will be) a cast of villains trying their damndest to F-over humanity. (Here’s a hint: they’re usually the ones claiming to save it.)
The absurdity is what people unthinkingly accept. What they consider “normal”.
Consider. These are the new “normal”… Continue reading This is What We’re Calling “NORMAL” Now?