Posts

Showing posts from 2017

My Spiritual State in 2017

I don’t think I’ve accumulated and articulated where I’m at spiritually in the past several years, and this facebook post from Mike Duran seemed like a good springboard for doing so.  

Mike Duran: Why is it that SO MANY Christian creatives -- musicians, novelists, filmmakers, artists -- drift from orthodoxy to religious progressivism? Nowadays, it's becoming a rarity to find a Christian creative who believes that Adam and Eve were not a myth, that the Bible is God's Word and speaks authoritatively to all aspects of our lives (for example, they don't argue that Paul was a misogynist and his commands about women were culturally conditioned, etc.), that personal feelings and social mores should not take precedence over Scriptural Truth, that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven, that Christ was actually God and was born of a virgin, that He actually walked on water (and an assortment of miracles typically disavowed by secularists), that marriage between a man and woman is God's i…

Chance Disguised as Skill

I just finished the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.  Being in the general cultural bubble (of tech culture, skeptical, philosophical, ethical podcasts, blogs, etc.) that reference the material in this book constantly, I figured I better go back and read it even though I feel like I've absorbed most of the ideas by osmosis already.  Kinda like the way I made myself watch Blade Runner for the first time a couple years ago; and yeah, it's impact on me was almost negligible because its ideas have be retread, expanded upon, and improved over the years.  I was afraid that would be the case with this book, and most of it was indeed kind of a slog over the various cognitive biases I've heard about a hundred times now.  (Kahneman and his research partner were the ones who discovered and named many of them.)  Also, I should note, this is an extra hard book to read when you’re aware of the replication crisis that is apparently extra bad in the social sciences, and how…

Reverse Engineering my Goals

The year is 2075.  I’m on my deathbed.  I’m surrounded by family and friends.  My son and his two children, and several of their children.  Along with my closest friends collaborators in my business, Breath of Life Art Studio. They are a diverse bunch.  I took a lot of risks in hiring people based more on the shared value of propagating love than on raw talent.  I’m about to breathe my last and I’m content.  I feel like I accomplished just enough to have met my life’s goal: to make the world more loving with stories.  I know I can’t quantify that.  But I have evidence. The wall of my bedroom is covered with print-outs of letters from people who claim that their lives were changed for the better by the work my company has done.  I’ve highlighted the ones where a person has claimed that they respect and love others more because of the stories that Breath of Life has created, the characters that inspired or challenged them.  The metaphors they’ve drawn from the adventures and world of Ta…

When Our Evidence Doesn't Hold Up

We are in a funny time in culture when we have all these social science studies that are being cherry picked and used for political purposes (most of which I agree with) and in the last year or so it's been discovered that there's a major replication crises with so many of those studies. So now, if you point out the problems with the studies you get labeled as a racist/sexist/etc. When I first heard of The Implicit Bias Test I was skeptical. Not because I didn't think that we all have implicit biases we don't acknowledge or admit. But because the core assumptions seemed inadequate to me. The idea that minute time gaps in associating words and pictures could only be explained by latent racism/sexism/homophobia/etc. seems preposterous to me. My understanding of human psychology (as a layperson with no official education on the subject) is that all kinds of biases fall under a giant umbrella bias, which is simply this: We are more comfortable with what we are familiar with…

Culture Bubbles and Purity

http://www.cracked.com/blog/why-every-terrible-person-thinks-theyE28099re-hero/


My thoughts about this piece. 1. I think Wong is totally wrong about (whatever percentage he's referring to... that's unclear) about people on the left who are willing to do violence to the alt-right. He implies they are only there (in the far left culture bubble) because they just want the fun adrenaline of doing violence. He accused them of not being FOR something and only being AGAINST something. I just doubt that's the case for many of them. I assume that like me (someone closer to the SJW end of the spectrum than most) they are doing what they do because they want JUSTICE for oppressed people. That's IS being FOR something. 2. I think Wong is absolutely right on the money about how culture bubbles compress, refine and 'purify' people to get more and more radical, which makes more and more of the world an 'enemy'. I spent most of my life on the Right, and in conservative re…

Morals without Morality

Image
Below is a facebook thread spawned from someone sharing my last blog about “Ethical Street Violence” and why I disagree with the concept in the current context.  I don’t expect anyone to read this unless I become super famous, and then some poor biographer’s assistant is going to given the unenviable task of reading it.  And to that person, I apologize.  The reason I want to have it on the record is simply for myself because I think it illustrates a couple interesting things about my intellectual journey.  First, it demonstrates how a person’s choice with whom to engage in deep conversation can impact one’s thoughts and attitudes.  My primary interlocutor here is a very interesting fellow currently calling himself Rathaille.  I’ve e-known him for several years now and always find my run-ins to be… interesting.  He has a lot of positions that I’ve previously only heard from really stupid people, so it’s tempting to lump him in with them.  But for that one historian’s assistant who’s go…