A Little Ditty About Recent Events

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I became an atheist, and joined in with others, because I wanted to belong to a Community of Reason. This current (and lengthy past!) shit I see going on with the flaming, mob targeting, jargon-slinging, code-wording, character assassination, labeling and pigeonholing -- I hate being even on the edges of it, because the people doing it are as stupid and evil in their own way as the righty-religious community I escaped from. Waaaaay too many of the people I once thought were members of my … [Read more...]

Agency: The Myth at the Heart of Mysticism

Mountain Lion copy

I lived in mountain lion country for more than 20 years. Never saw a single one. A more skeptical man might have doubted they even existed, but even if you never see a mountain lion, you can know they're out there because -- like every terrestrial animal -- they leave tracks.Tracks are probably not something an animal ever intends to leave, nor are they in any way useful to the creature that makes them. They are a side effect of just being there, the visible, undeniable evidence of a … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: The Social Minimum

I've struggled for a long time to figure out the simplest way to say this, and never gotten it down to a short formulation. But here it is at last, I think:It's not your job to cater to others. But you DO have to live your life in such a way that they're not forced to cater to you.Unpacking this brings out a lot of little specific rules such as:Don't pee on the toilet seat, forcing the next guy to wipe it off before he can sit there. Don't park in the supermarket entryway, forcing … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Being Grownups on Planet Earth

Cowboy Dad

For most of the years I knew him, I unconsciously thought of my Cowboy Dad as “the grownup” in my life. Since he died, I’ve realized there were several side-effects of thinking that. One is that I cheated him out of all the years of ME being a grownup, so that we could be ... well, friendly equals, fellow MEN together. The other is that I cheated myself out of all those years of me being a grownup. All the endeavors and relationships in my life were approached in some degree of a child … [Read more...]

Zoning Out on Liberal vs. Conservative Issues

Con vs Lib

I woke up this morning with this diagram in my head.I tinkered it up in Illustrator later. Probably could have chosen brighter colors or a better layout, but I got tired of messing with it. You may have to click-and-embiggen it to see all the details.Especially note that the center vertical bar is labeled to indicate a gradation from Greater Factual Information (More Informed) at the top to Lesser Factual Information (More Ignorant) at the bottom, whereas the center section is labeled … [Read more...]

Looking Past the Bright Sun of Crazy

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[ This is about somewhat the same subject as my recent “bracket” post – the ignoring of the full array of facts on a subject at hand by narrowly focusing one's attention – but spotlighting a somewhat different aspect of it. ]I saw some people taking a “group of happy friends” picture a week or two back at one of those highway rest stops. Watching them, I felt an urge to take the camera away from them and reshoot the picture, because I just knew what they were going to get – a silhouette with … [Read more...]


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