Facebook Memes #2

Warbucks copy

I tinker up these things occasionally, just for fun. … [Read more...]

If All Your Friends Jumped Off a Bridge … (repost)

bridge_jumper

A phrase popped into my head yesterday while I was thinking about something completely different, and I’d like to toss it at you: “challenge food.” A challenge food is that stuff you’re expected to eat, not because it’s good, not because it’s something you would normally like, but to prove to your friends that you’re tough. Or daring. Or ... willing to go along with the joke. How many times have you heard people rave about chili hot enough to bring tears to your eyes? Or read … [Read more...]

Deserts In The Blind Spot

Layers

Driving through Nevada on vacation a week or so back, I had this epiphany about deserts: In the presence of green and wet, we become blind to deserts, in the same way sociopaths are blind to the existence and reality of other people. On the desert highways of Nevada, you'll occasionally see an oasis off in the distance, a green, lush place — maybe a hay farm, or a little spring-fed resort — and you'll think "Wow, that's beautiful." Your eye is drawn to green, and in that drawing, it … [Read more...]

The Nature of Men, the Nature of Man

bull run

I posted something on Facebook today, and got a question that sparked some of my philosophical thoughts about human nature. The thing I posted was a link to this, an article about a film project by a woman director that delves into a perceived social problem for men (and society), "toxic masculinity": The One Thing All Men Feel, But Never Admit ... with the accompanying remark: There's some good stuff here, and this is a project worth doing. It will get more conversation going on some … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Bridges and War and All Things Daft

Bush & Bridge

I know there are people who don't like driving across long, high bridges. I'm one of them, I guess, but my job requires me to gird my loins and cross the huge, 3-mile-long, almost-60-year-old  Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River near New York City twice a day. The collapse of the Interstate 5 highway bridge in Mount Vernon, Wash., on Thursday, brought that roaring to mind over the past few days. On days when traffic is slow and you're standing still on the Tappan Zee — like … [Read more...]

Religion vs. Reality? I Vote Reality

apes

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Philosophy for Two?

Ten points if you recognize the Monty Python reference in the title of this post. But seriously, here's something you don't see every day, and it might be something you'd want very much. Fellow blogger (Camels With Hammers) Dr. Daniel Fincke is once again offering real-time online video courses in philosophy for atheists: Hammer Out Your Philosophy Face to Face with Dr. Daniel Fincke This Summer They are ideal for our ex-believing atheist readers who would like to piece together a … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Earthman’s Journey – Part 8 of 8

LAKEHank

[ Part 1 — 2 — 3— 4 — 5 — 6 – 7 — 8 ] The Final Doorway The payoff of going through the transition from the House of the Tribe to the House of Humanity is very large. If we can make it across the painful threshold from our small but formerly comfortable dwelling space into this new and grander place, we gain an entire fascinating WORLD of people. People to learn from, to visit, to photograph, to love, to sing to, to listen to, to argue with, to trade with, even to combine … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Earthman’s Journey – Part 7 of 8

[ Part 1 — 2 — 3— 4 — 5 — 6 – 7 — 8 ] The Houses of Man (cont.) As you’ve probably already figured out, there are other steps in this bigger-house progression. At some point we discover the door to yet another Outside, and find that our original family home is only a small part of a bigger place – our neighborhood or culture. For want of a better name, call this dwelling place the House of the Tribe. Again, there’s an uncomfortable period of adaptation in settling-in to … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Earthman’s Journey – Part 6 of 8

[ Part 1 — 2 — 3— 4 — 5 — 6 – 7 — 8 ] The Houses of Man Picture a house. Not a real house, but a kind of metaphor-house, the place where your inner life takes place. The rooms inside are furnished with your everyday thoughts, feelings and understandings. In this particular house, there are secret doors. People can tell you that they’re there, but you never believe them, because you can’t see the doors, or any hint of them. Picture every little boy who has stoutly declared … [Read more...]