Beta Culture: Fresh Crops in Failing Fields

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Thinking out loud here ...I've written about converting at least one closed church into a Beta Culture Nexus in every large city in America. But I have this slightly different idea for ... well, think about this:Look at this article about abandoned malls across the U.S.: Completely Surreal Photos of America's Abandoned Malls.Say you acquired an abandoned mall at a fire-sale price.You turn most of the shops inside into dwelling units, nice condos, plus maybe a small hotel. You … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Social Sharing, Social Shaping

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Early on, I asked myself why anyone would want to join an artificially-created culture, which would, obviously, entail some sort of adherence or obedience to cultural norms. If you're going to be a member of the Water Buffaloes, you have to wear the Big Funny Hat, right? But what if you don't want to wear the Big Funny Hat?The answer is that people would join if they knew the culture would empower and protect them. If it made them BETTER people, healthier, smarter, more effective in the … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Forgotten Gods 2

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Following up on my thesis that "remnant religion" still occupies us in ways simultaneously invisible and rampant, I've been thinking about movies, and science.Maybe a dozen times in my life, I've tossed out the general question: If you could live to be 200/500/forever (the question has varied with each asking), would you? I've been amazed each time, not so much at the quantity of negative answers (a huge majority), but at the INSTANTANEOUS negative answers. No thought required, people … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Long Shadow of Forgotten Gods

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So you’re an atheist, and you’re totally free of religion, right?Oh ... maybe. And maybe not.Say one of your ancestors learned this thing in church a thousand years or so ago: The Book of Bob 9:17 — Verily, God saith that all men shall roll down the tops of their socks, or they shall never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but shall instead be bound screaming in a pit of flaming scorpions, which shall rend them even unto the ends of time. It’s safe to say that still today, somewhere in … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: A Citizen of Earth

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I don't think I ever really got around to explaining the title of this blog. So why “A Citizen of Earth”?When I was still in elementary school (grades 1-6, here in the U.S.), my oldest brother graduated to high school (grades 9-12). I’d been hearing him cheer for his junior high school (grades 7-8) football team — the Catamounts — for two years, but here he was suddenly backing his new high school team, the Eagles.Something about being a Catamount supporter felt natural and right. The Cat … [Read more...]

Please Don’t Plan to Picket Fred Phelps’ Funeral

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Word is that Fred Phelps Sr., the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, is dying.His estranged son Nathan Phelps, reported on Facebook:I've learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the "God Hates Fags" Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the "church" back in August of 2013. He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.I'm not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the … [Read more...]


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