Not many people read the occasional rants I sneak in these posts. There are two reasons for that . . . one, many of my readers don’t really care about the rants and skip reading them. Two, I don’t add keywords relating to the various topics I write about.
If I did, it might invite more scrutiny than I care to handle right now. Not that I shy away from discussions; on the contrary, it’s what I live for.
However, I’m fairly busy and discussions take time. To be sure, I’ll always make time for discussions with regular readers but I don’t need to interact with strangers who might want to discuss things I write about.
Understand, I’d normally be all over that . . . but, as I said, I’m busy. Plus, the majority of people don’t really put the effort into working things out or even attempting independent thought so they’d basically repeat what I’ve heard and read hundreds of times before.
I heard a phrase not that long ago . . . I think it was Sam Harris or one of his guests who said we are the “ambassadors of our ideas.”
I really like that phrase . . . and I wish to FSM that it were truly the case but it’s not.
The majority of people — especially these days — are parrots of other people’s ideas.
Mind you, strictly speaking, we all are. It’s ludicrous to imagine any one of us — coming after multiple centuries of humans have lived and died — would come up with original thinking. In fact, if I do come up with an original (to me) thought, the first thing I do is research it.
I research it because I’m certain others have thought of it before me and have either found arguments and reasoning in support of it or arguments and reasoning against it. Either way, I’ll learn something and I can then — if warranted — adjust my own thoughts accordingly.
Not only if you come up with it, but even if you read or hear an idea you find attractive, it’s still your responsibility to research it thoroughly; both internally (you reason it out based on what you know and what you have experienced) and externally (read what others think about that same idea).
At the end of your research, you should know all the strengths and all the weaknesses of that particular idea and should be able to express them all in your own words (signifying understanding and not merely parroting).
I read another phrase recently; one I really liked. It was in a comment at the Colonialist blog discussing the tendency of humans to avoid uncertainty. The phrase is:
The old human trait of sorting things into black or white and leaving the grey shelves empty.
To be clear, I’m not talking about things like what to have for lunch or who will win the Superbowl of what’s the best condiment for pasta (FYI, buttered and lightly salted) . . . no; I’m referring to ideas that drive the wheels of human history, that shape the behavior of entire populations, that often result in conflicts which can escalate into personal and even global violence.
The big ideas; the important thoughts about who we are and what we are doing and why we do what we do and what we — maybe — should be doing instead.
Ask a question of someone with a strong opinion about something and if they respond with a slogan, understand they are ignorant. They are non-thinkers and aren’t worth your time. A lost cause, if you will.
. . . and they probably work at a cable news channel or are faithful viewers of one . . .
And now, the photo:
I’m really liking these variations on lava rocks walls.
Anyway, one thing I see that worries me is the same thing that always takes down empires; overreach, corruption, overspending, special interests . . . all driven by fear. The main fear is the fear of a little hardship. We avoid it like the dickens and in doing so, it eventually ends in widespread and massive hardship. Wars, economic collapses, or both.
I especially worry about our current path . . .
. . . because the majority of people are yelling at each other about the extremes and forgetting the gray.
That approach makes us blind to things we could do that might actually help.
Instead, we behave like a . . . Centipede Bachelorette Party After Eating The Cupcakes Laced With LSD.
And . . . that’s it
Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.
You can read about Project 313 HERE.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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