Population Pessimism and Diminished Personal Freedom

No Limits 1

Face it, if your Superbowl party includes a sofa that comfortably seats four people, and you have game snacks for four people, but two more people show up ... Everybody has less room. Less popcorn. Less beer. Those two extra people COST something to the others. Further, if you lived on an island with sharply limited resources, in a situation where growing population had finally bumped up against those limits, you’d be forced by the situation to demand less for yourself, to work more … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Sometimes It’s You

car alarm 1

Outside my bedroom window, three floors down and about 50 yards away, a car alarm began going off. At about 10 p.m. Sunday night. Thirty blasts of the horn, then silence. For about 30 seconds. Then another 30 blasts. Silence. Again. And again. And again. For more than two hours. I was reading in bed, as I always do, and I’m able to ignore a lot when I’m caught up in a book, so it wasn’t a big problem. But it was annoying. And it went on. And on. And on. I finally looked out the … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: More About the Nexus

Nexus-2

One of my central ideas about Beta Culture, about creating it, is that every culture on Earth, past and present, is potential source material for designing our own unique cultural environment. We can borrow, copy, or just outright steal ideas and ways of doing from any and every culture. Borrow cultural goodies from the Mormons. Steal from the Catholics. Copy good stuff from the Romans, the Shakers, the Japanese, the Italians, the Navajo. Borrow, copy, steal ... and make it ours. If you've … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Necessity of Change

fire

This is a bit more heated than I'd say the thing ... Burn the Fucking System to the Ground ... but there's one quote I view as absolutely accurate: The system is not fixable because it is not broken. It is working, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to give the insiders their royal prerogatives, and to shove the regulations, the laws, and the debt up the asses of everyone else. I don't see "burn it to the ground" as a workable solution. This is more a cry of impotent rage -- the same thing … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Self Defense in the Medical Arena

Catholic Hospitals

So you go into a hospital and it looks like every other, right? Doctors, nurses, beeping monitors, an overall air of concern for patient well-being. And for most of us, it's probably even true. But for one targeted class, women in need of emergency, or sometimes even routine, reproductive care, one in ten hospitals in the U.S. take a radically different approach to medicine. Read this paragraph from Miscarriage of Medicine – The Growth of Catholic Hospitals and the Threat to Reproductive … [Read more...]

Clarification of an Argument for Atheism

Bull copy

What follows is an excerpt from my book (Red Neck, Blue Collar, Atheist: Simple Thoughts About Reason, Gods & Faith), specifically a section from Chapter 20: Uneven Ground, about a double standard in arguments about atheism. The double standard is that one side gets exacting scrutiny, while the other side too often gets a pass. I made reference to the argument — "As I explained in my book ..." —  in my most recent post, Beta Culture: Proposing A New Definition of Atheism, but so … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Proposing a New Definition of Atheism

experiment

One thing I’m adamant about in my thoughts on Beta Culture: That the people within it must be atheists. As I’ve said before here, if you haven’t taken the mental journey of freeing yourself from religion, Beta is not for you. And again, if that sounds harsh, the foundational distinction OF Beta Culture is the idea of a culture – a community, a virtual nation – of people who are free of religion. Free in every aspect of their lives, including all that we’ve inherited socially. The … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Morning Thoughts

teethpaste

Toothpaste or teethpaste? The fact is, if it had initially been called teethpaste, we'd be perfectly comfortable with that. If someone then suggested it should be called toothpaste, every one of us would come down on that fool. “You dumbass, it’s for TEETH – teeth, plural – not just one tooth. TOOTHpaste would be silly.” The things you’re used to, that’s the way you think things should be. It’s why we live the way we do, despite some bits of it being so obviously crazy. … [Read more...]

Reason Riders Are Really Real

Print

You know about my horseback career, I'm sure. But way back when (and still more in the future, I hope!)  I also used to ride motorcycles. Had three of them and rode year-round, as my sole transportation, for several years. Remember this post? Hey, Where's OUR Motorcycle Gang? I posted my mockup of a possible back-patch for atheist riders, and demanded that I be given a charter membership if anyone ran with it. Someone did! Pierino Walker sent me an email a while back (I've been a … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Stench of Royalty

sheikh

I'm convinced there are two major classes of people on Planet Earth, with a very sharp dividing line -- almost a species division -- between them. The two classes are: 1) Real People. 2) Cattle. If you're reading this, you're probably one of the second category. Just as I am. Writing the most recent post Beta Culture: To Not Be Owned, I came across this rather annoying article from the 2011 Business Insider, The World's 15 Biggest Landowners. Here they are in reverse order, the … [Read more...]