My Radical Ideas and Opinions
This is yet another collection of various ideas and my opinions
on a variety of different topics. If you are offended, keep it
to yourself. But if you feel that something important was overlooked,
or want to expand on an idea here, feel free to send an email
(see the contact page for our address). Moving on...
We're told that we have a duty to do this or that based on
the family or country we happened to be born in. Little else
is said to justify this assumption, and when justification is
offered the reasoning is weak to say the least. It seems the
real purpose for the existence of the concept of duty is to create
power over others by way of imposing unlimited and unending obligations
which are always defined by those wielding the word.
There is such a thing as cause and effect. Without
laws anarchy would prevail, and without taxation we would not
be able to support an army. But cause and effect does not imply
any obligation on any person unless, at the very least, the person
agrees with and desires a certain effect. Duty was just invented
to control other people's behavior.
So-called "success formulas" are over-hyped. Yes,
there are formulas that increase the odds of success, but there
are none that guarantee a given outcome.
Interestingly, the more certain formulas are those that lead
to failure. For example, you can be more certain of a formula
that says "do nothing in order to fail." Doing something,
even the best things, only gives you the probability of succeeding,
but no guarantee. So avoid actions (or lack of action) that leads
to failure, do what seems to work for a goal, and hope for the
best. If that doesn't work, try again. It may not be the most
inspiring message, but what else have you got to do with your
time on Earth than to keep trying?
Here are some probably-true stories: Jesus farted, Mohammed
wiped his runny nose on his arm, Ghandi kicked a dog and the
Buddha yelled cruel things at someone who woke him up too early.
What's the point of saying these things? It is to humanize these
historical characters and to shock some people into seeing how
unrealistic their ideas about them are. Until we can see all
humans as the humans that they are, we are engaging in idolatry.
The message matters, and though a man or woman may matter, he
or she is still human, and so is fallible. To believe otherwise
is to engage in idolatry.
Knowledge is of the mind and body. You can know how
to drive a car through books and teachers, yet fail to drive
well at first, because you only have mind-knowledge. Your body
needs to learn be feel how far to turn the steering wheel, how
hard to push on the gas or brake pedal, what to watch for on
the road. Such skills are the knowledge of the body. That which
is in the mind is not enough.
Another example: A man can know about hammers, and even read
about how to properly use them, but if you needed a house built,
would you trust this man to do it over a man who cannot read
yet has been a carpenter for years? Reading about how to build
a house doesn't get it built.
The brain is part of the body, and so even here we see that
learning theory is not enough. A salesman, for example, will
not be a good salesman until he has the experience which alters
the brain and makes the process more fluid and effective. We
can learn from books, but we need to learn from life as well.
An IQ test measures something, but it also suggests more than
it should. Intelligence is just too limited a part of who a person
is to think that it says much about a person by itself. Even
when it comes to academic success it has been shown that self-discipline
is more predictive than intelligence.
Here's an analogy to consider; temperature measures heat,
but the very fact of measuring can mislead us. I can tell you
from experience that a summer day in Michigan can be a hotter
and less comfortable than one in the dry deserts of the Southwest,
because of the humidity. In other words, any given measurement
addresses just one aspect among many. Look beyond the measuring
to other measures (and sometimes to what cannot be measured).
It is not mature to mindlessly cooperating with authority,
but mindlessly rebelling against authority is also not a sign
of maturity. A mature person thinks, has his own opinions, and
chooses when it is best to cooperate or not cooperate with authorities,
according to important self-determined criteria.