Beta Culture: Culture Itself

In pursuit of my Beta Culture concept, I've been thinking a lot about Culture over the past couple of years, and I've recently been making some interesting connections. I like to think I'm getting close to understanding the meat of it. Here's a recent thought:Your culture offers you Values, Ways, and Place.VALUES are obvious: Honesty is the best policy. People are suckers and deserve what they get. Hard work is the stuff of life. Honor your mother and father. Family above all. Never stop … [Read more...]

Pile-On Against ‘Rationalia’

Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) fired out a tweet on Wednesday, June 29: Earth needs a virtual country: Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence ... and the response was weird.I know absolutely nothing about Tyson's motivation, but I suspect he put it out there in mild and humorous frustration at how utterly NON-rational current society and government is. Suggesting ONE way it could be better -- with a more-rational, rather than … [Read more...]

Thoughts on the Fourth of July

I'm not very big on saluting the flag, or flying one at my house. To a lot of people, that would probably spell a serious lack of patriotism.But my view of America is probably different from yours. To me, America isn't about a flag, or soldiers marching in parades, or posts on Facebook about "Support the Troops." It isn't even a country. It's this whole other thing, something you can't see or point to or wave overhead.America is a body of ideas. As such, it can be anywhere. It's the idea … [Read more...]

Bear People, Wolf People, People People

I've been thinking about that gorilla that just got shot to death at the Cincinnati Zoo.The outpouring of sympathy for the poor, poor mother who only looked away for a few seconds, the tearful "You people just don't know what it's like being a mother!" is only one of the annoying mass responses.Meanwhile, here's this innocent gorilla, killed with no second thought, the moment a human child plops down in his enclosure.Something I've said on social media: What bothers me is that we're … [Read more...]

Random Stuff I’ve Learned

•  Dogs like icewater in the summer, just like people do. •  The burger you get at the counter has no resemblance to the picture of the burger on the poster. •  If they tell you it’s “for your own good” or “to serve you better” … it isn’t. •  Once you lose half your hair, the pressure’s off. •  Everything mouse-sized and bigger has feelings. •  The death of a loved one makes everything else small change. •  Most everybody else is too busy dancing to watch how good or bad your dancing is. Bu … [Read more...]

Thinking Tools: Weather and Will

Some of what you work out -- hopefully, anyway -- as you go about your daily life, are what I call "thinking tools." These aren't just facts, they're ways of viewing or understanding the world around you  in a way that allows you to deal with life in a more productive, or less painful, way.I wrote about something I call "Nailing" quite some time back, and that concept is one of my own thinking tools, something that helps me understand a bit of seemingly irrational human behavior. (Such as … [Read more...]