I need to finish writing this essay and beginning writing another. It’s 430. I am on entirely too much stimulants, wide awake and rambling. I have two papers due tomorrow, one at 10am, the other at 1pm. I am coming to grips that the second will very well be handed in late. I asked for an extension last week but was denied on grounds of fairness. Oh well.

This semester, and pretty much every successive semester since I’ve been at Vanderbilt, I’ve let myself care less and less about taking on the stress of failing or inadequacy. Anxiety plagues me, and at this school there’s so much pressure to perform. Its practically ruined my ability to excel and maintain a sense of self and peace.

I need to write more. Its killing me that I don’t. When I write, the core of my being is alive. That’s about the only time it is. Writing and conversing. But conversing is short lived, like everything. Writing is eternal and intimate. It endures.

My greatest pleasure is sharing my soul, be it with myself or another. My greatest fear is that this will not be well received. But like any fear, that is irrational. I cannot appease myself, nor can I appease the tastes and whims of those whom I engage with.

I need to write more often… more stories. Less expectation. More feeling. More passion. More heart. More umph. More of whatever it is that moves me and fuels me.

Alright, enough rambling… off to write.

Late Night Nagging


It is a massive machine that grinds out the curious conscious of a person. It fills the mind with temporal facts that have no seeming use or application in the immediate desires. Before me there is always a path. This path has always been my own. My certainty of it wanes each time I prostitute my desires out to others.

God. I swear. Since I’ve been in college, I sure know a lot more. Sure sounds like a good thing. Trouble is, I feel like every passing day I know less and less about myself. I become more and more of someone else.

I need to figure this out. Do I like school, or do I hate it? Do I really like it? I mean, I choose a major, or at least one of them, because it brought about a deep fascination within me. Economics? Enthralling. Sometimes dry, but interesting as hell. Philosophy? Supremely delightful. I enjoy mediating and assimilating its meaning into my life. I enjoy the process of understanding, and attaining an enlightening that illuminates the remote recesses of nonsense. I truly enjoy learning. But school. What is it? It is hurried and depersonalized. It leaves me feeling gorged. I don’t have time to digest it and make it apart of me. I regurgitate or excrete it as quickly as possible to move on to the next topic, to survive. I want to thrive. I want to set ends and goals that are mine and mine alone. I want to take my damn time. It is a process. Learning is a process that involves close intimate acquaintance. Learning should be growth, not accretion. Living things do not grow by piling on matter to their being. No. They grow by taking it in within themselves. They digest it, slowly, so as to utilize every modicum of nutrition and energy to propel it to the next meal.

I cant even think straight. My thoughts are fragmented.

I’m going to try to assemble fragmented thoughts. It doesn’t matter if they make sense. They don’t need to rhyme. I am a confused person. But I’m not. I will never take 18 credit hours again. I don’t even know who I am. I can’t enjoy the material. I can’t get into it. Its all for nothing, so it seems. I mean, I love knowledge, I love learning, I love thinking, and it would seem that I am growing in these things, but it doesn’t feel that way. Yea, more and more. Less and less. Less and less of a person, that’s what I feel. Less and less sure of myself. Less and less confident in what and who I am. Mostly an act. A facetious act. I am an actor. We are all actors.

I have the uncanny ability of adaptation. Why do I say this? Well, because I not only survive, I thrive. Whatever the environment is, I excel so long as I want to be there. The catch is developing the ability of wanting to be there. Of course people can adapt to things they like. The trouble is when they don’t like the situation. That is where my erudition lies. In the ability to choose, decisively, at will.

But therein lies a foible. There is no reason to choose one over another. My choices appear more aesthetic than pragmatic. The criteria hinges on whims, on wandering wonder, on the efflorescent imagination and possibility. This endless world is imbrued with indeterminacy. The self: incomplete.

I have so many things I want to write about. I file them away in the back of my mind and there they lay, day in and day out, collecting dust. I never go back and tend to them. They just keep accumulating.

I have stories I want to tell. I’ll begin with some of the freshest. I’ll get them out as quickly as possible. Better sooner than later. I can revise and refine and rekindle and remake the story once its captured. Too much time allows the acuity for details to whither and warp.

Contextualism and Indeterminacy: A Critque of Gettier Counter Examples

This essay will examine the nature and legitimacy of counter examples that contest important characterizations of knowledge. The thesis hinges on considerations of contextualism that render knowledge within a determinate context infallible and its analysis incontestable. To support this thesis I make two claims. First, there is no perfect knowledge without a perfectly determinate context. Second, all knowledge claims are perfect the moment upon conception according to the author’s determinate context.  I will present an argument supporting this claim by holding that JTB is correct and citing Gettier case counter examples.

There is no perfect knowledge without a perfectly determinate context.
As it is, there are two modes of knowing: relationally and substantively, with the former derived from reason and the latter from experience. Relational knowledge does not rely on ontological qualification, but instead functions from universal relationships outside time and change. This renders its operations within a contextual determinacy. Substantive knowledge claims rely on ontological qualifications which are subject to time and change. This renders its operations from a contextual indeterminacy.  As a result, any claim to perfect knowledge that is not purely relational can be contested on grounds of insufficient experience or information. So long as there is change, there is the continual possibility of new information and new knowledge. This is because all substantive knowledge claims rely on the limitations of empirically derived sense data information.

All substantive knowledge claims are perfect the moment upon conception   according to the author’s context.
An author instantiating a claim qualifies its legitimacy according to a context that accounts for all the information available in that moment. A substantive knowledge claim made about the world is never more accurate than in the moment of its conception. In this way, substantive knowledge claims are perfect in that they are instantiated in a contextually determinate moment where all possible considerations regarding all known facts are accounted for. From that point in time forward, however, the knowledge claim becomes indeterminate and must be reevaluated according to any new information that may alter the context in which the claim was initially instantiated. Because no substantive knowledge is perfect, any analysis of that knowledge claim in a context other than the context in which it was initially instantiated can be reinterpreted in counter examples.

The problem with an analysis of knowledge is determining the contextual limits in which it operates. A context can accommodate any number of conditions for the analysis of knowledge and successfully function to confirm knowledge. What is important is defining those conditions when a knowledge claim is made.

One would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t implicitly abide by the pragmatics of JTB. Most generally, all empirical knowledge derived from experience fulfills the criteria of verity, commitment and justification. Without one of these conditions knowledge is left to luck or unverifiable knowledge. However, all empirical knowledge claims are derived from evidenced phenomena limited to the context of experience.

The analysis of knowledge as justified true belief states that S knows that P, IFF (i) P is True, (ii) S believes that P, and (iii) S is justified in believing that P.  What is important in a knowledge claim is how the author understood these conditions at the time of the claim: P may be a relative value; S may have believed P at the time, but no longer does; S may have been justified, but due to the addition of defeaters is not currently justified that P. According to the variability of these conditions, the knowledge claim still stands within the context it was instantiated. A counter argument only invites the reformulation of a knowledge claim under an entirely new information that yields a context incommensurable with the old.

It is too easy to perform an analysis of knowledge with figures Smith and Jones, who have no subjective perspective to talk about, and come up with counter examples of JTB. What we over look is the perspective of Smith and Jones and the knowledge limited to the evidence at their disposal. Given the context of their perspective, they can be skeptical about a previous claim to knowledge, or they can assert the knowledge claim and exercise it and correct for inconsistencies in the conditions of JTB along the way.

It is important to include what is entailed when referring to ‘context’. Context is the extent of coherent information within a perspective. It is a paradigm that contains a web of beliefs, values, maxims, facts, and semantics in which all other information and experience is filtered and viewed. Any given counter-example recontextualizes the initiatial characterizations of knowledge to accommodate the new information within a given perspective. It is plausible to take a characterization of knowledge and reject counter-examples on the grounds that the counter-examples destroy the intended context of the knowledge.

If we hold the JTB analysis as correct, can we say that people whose intuitions run that Gettier cases aren’t cases of knowledge are misled? The answer lies in knowledge as a tool of reconciliation, both with the memory of experience and social agreements. With memory, the JTB allows us to compare knowledge claims according to the context of past memories. We can compare and contrast these knowledge claims and make adjustments according to new information and context. In this way we refine knowledge claims against the ever growing reservoir of contextual experience.

Regarding social agreements, the function of knowledge as a social utility must not be overlooked. One would never need conditions for knowledge such as those in JTB if the context of our perspective was all to consider. Only because of the value of coherent experience among individuals do we analyze knowledge in order to verify knowledge among our various contextual experiences. All knowledge is formulated according to specific conditions within a specific context. To say that a characterization of knowledge is wrong is to overlook the social utility of arriving at an agreement regarding the knowledge of a coherent human experience.

The Gettier cases took the subjects Smith and Jones and superimposed information not privied to them. In ordinary life, such ignorance occurs regularly, yet we cannot say whether our knowledge claims are ultimately accurate or inaccurate unless according to all potential variables and defeaters. We can only consider the context of our experiences and make pragmatic judgements from there.

In conclusion, all characterizations of knowledge and the substantive knowledge claims they produce are ultimately incontestable given that they were instantiated within a contextually determinate moment. Any counter examples brought against a characterization such as JTB implicitly consider new information and conditions and offer the knowledge claim up for reinstantiation according to the new context. It is not that the counter examples are wrong, but rather they are incommensurable so long as they operate within a context with new information.

Poetic Stirs

Colorful images seep synchronistically at the margins of my meditating mind. Shadows dance on the back of my eyelids. I open my eyes. The sweeping sound of rain pitters against the paned glass. The sky leaks onto the earth like a faulty faucet. I turn my eyes to the squinted blinds and observe: muted silver carpets of rolling moisture blanket the upper atmosphere and heather the heavens.  My mind baths in this stillness.

I think about the work ahead of me: fifty pages of writing within the next seven days. No easy task. The thought of it wrenches my gut.

My existence is binary; my mind, on or off. It teeters at the peak of propensity. Like a push car, once momentum is gained, it is an unstoppable force. Without the initial force, it lays unstirred, waiting, dreaming in quiet desperation for an impending impetus.

When I walk, I like to think that the world moves around me, like a standstill treadmill. The universe hinges on my perspective. All change is a discontinuous illusion extending from the reticent reaches of awareness. Life is but a recall of disingenuous memory. Labor and difficulty, a figment of flouncing imagination.

Warmth emanates from my underside. I lay prostrate. My supine stare fixes on the fan as it spins sedulous waves of coolness into my leeway of leisure.

I don’t have anything to say. I suppose my mind drifts to past relationships, with family, friends and females. Work, school, play.

Lovers. What is a lover? These intimate bodies are too numerous to value seriously. They multiply and divide and subside. What makes a lasting lover? The mark of friendship is the foundational formulation of any marriage of minds. Lovers are nice, but that’s about the extent. Friendship is much more rare. Much more loving and supportive and understanding. There’s substance that goes beyond the intimacy. That is how I judge these matters. Substance is to be prized above all else. The aesthetics of romance incite the passions, but the passions are prone to whither and change. Substance, real substance, principally endures. There isn’t sufficient time to spend chasing shadows and ‘licking the earth’, as Pascal puts it. I value a person’s values. That is appreciable substance.

Not Divisible

I want individuality. I apologize for not being more honest. I think most people do. I believe they long to be. This life of ours, the times, we’re swept up in the illusions, the lies. People want real. That is what is lacking. It’s all so superficial. It’s all symbolic. Everything is a metaphor for something else. But we haven’t gotten a clue as to what the hell is at the bottom of it all. As a result, it leaves us feeling entirely disconnected. Empty.

I just want to say what I mean and mean what I say. I feel like if there is ever a flame that illuminates the shadows, that is it. Honesty. It’s not easy. You gotta know the truth to say it how it is. The truth about who you are, where you’re at, where everyone else is in relation. Don’t sugarcoat it. The world does enough of that for us.

Do people think? Do they think about what it means to be an individual? Perhaps these notions are entirely misguided. Perhaps we’re suppose to be drones working for the queen, for the government, the nation, the invisible ideals that bind us together.

I don’t want to buy that. There are heroes (God, am I really opting for the heroic? Is that what I want? To be a hero, rather than an individual? Not every individual is a hero, but every hero is an individual). These heroes make contributions and their names echo in the ears of eternity. Philosophers, leaders, artists, scientists, athletes. They inspire generation upon generation. They left a mark. Probably unwillingly. More than likely they just followed their passion without a moment’s thought to their legacy. That very thought adds to their greatness.

Do you ever feel like a chameleon? A creature that adapts and loses itself among a background? A backdrop of people? and things? and occurrences? ‘Most people are other people’ says Wilde. I don’t want to be anyone but myself. But who is that? I’ll tell you what… an individual isn’t ashamed of who they are. They proclaim it wide and loud. They let it blare with every gesture and remark. They declare it. They don’t hide it. They don’t blend in. They don’t water themselves down. They break rules and conventions. Proudly. They don’t shrink.

I always get the feeling that it’s been all said before, all done before. I look around me and my perspective is two fold. On one hand a misanthrope festers inside me and I despise the lack of originality and boldness I see in people. On the other, I am enthralled, lost in utter wonder at the achievement, the creativity, the innovation that my fellow beings produce.

I read great writers, philosophers, I look at great works of art, I talk with well traveled men and women and think to myself: where is my place in the world? I wanna carve out a home for myself. I wanna make my mark as a unique creature. God. I am terrified of being a duplicate. I wanna think. I wanna really really think.

I think the trick is this: less think, more do. There needs to be a productive praxis of action and reflection. When you are doing you aren’t worried about the world. You are not reflecting on the past or future or others or success or failure. All that matters is what is at hand. The now. Eternity is in the now. That is where lives are made. Stories are formed. If we spend all our time other places besides the now, we’ll definitely never leave a mark.

I was thinking the other day: If you never make the same mistake twice, you will never fail. It’s alright to make mistakes. For god’s sake, it’s how we learn. The problem is, people are terrified of making mistakes. There is a perceived failure in mistakes. Instead of a learning opportunity, mistakes become something terrible and life changing.

What is it to think? Creatively? To do? To produce something meaningful? Insightful? With force? I feel like a person plants seeds. Slowly. They generate a following of ideas. They construct a cathedral of knowledge reinforced by specific experience. They hone it and then act on the world with this arsenal of ideas. They pierce the hearts and open the minds of men.

Daydreams: you’re heart grows wings and takes flight… you get excited and lost in wonder… you imagine.

Today, I did absolutely nothing. Actually that’s not entirely true. I slept, surfed the net, read, watched a documentary called “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, drank a beer, and downed a bottle of wine. I justified it to myself. I tell myself I’m taking 18 credit hours, I work 15 hours, I go to extracurricular meetings for the fraternity and other on campus obligations, I study… so a day off isn’t gonna be the end of me. Of course, it may be considering how much work I have. Double the work for tomorrow. Such is life.

Individual: “a single object or thing,” c.1600, from M.L. individualis, from L. individuus “indivisible,” from in- “not” + dividuus “divisible,” from dividere “divide.”

Recent Random Thoughts

Don’t tell me how to live, man. Show me.

Random thoughts collected the past few weeks:

Words. The vehicle of ideas. Words are empty without affect. Like ether hitting the air, once spoken their sedating effects escape and are gone. One may find their memory trapped and resonating in the occasional hearts and minds of men. Words implant ideas: sewn through vapors; inscribed on soft tissues. Men are the leaves of time. And every man must fall.

Never wait till it’s too late. Never wait till the time is right, for that is too late. Prepare the soil long beforehand. Prepare, organize, go out of your way, smile, pay compliments. No detail is too minute. Everything you do will lead to a moment. Do not wait for that moment. Treat it as if it has already arrived. Not as a point, but a process.

That which moves me is that which moves the world.

If you cannot instantiate a generality, you have no imagination. The task of philosophers is to produce generalities from particulars. The task of teachers is to produce particulars from generalities.

Perspective requires distance between two points. You must allow time to fill this distance. Time is necessary for experience.  But not all time yields experience.

The young are naive. It is curious that people long for youth.

If you are going with the flow, you are not swimming against the current.

There is no unity. There are only modes. Modes of being, existing, thinking, feeling, perceiving. Do not seek to unify, but to diversify. Employ these modes, these states of being. Make them work for you. Do not be one person, but many.

Intelligence: Novel Enterprise & Life Outcomes

Intelligence should be reconsidered. Adaptability should be the measure of value.

“….more intelligent individuals are more likely than less intelligent individuals to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel preferences and values that did not exist in the ancestral environment and thus our ancestors did not have, but general intelligence has no effect on the acquisition and espousal of evolutionarily familiar preferences and values that existed in the ancestral environment.”     -Satoshi Kanazawa, The Hypothesis from The Scientific Fundamentalist: A Look at the Hard Truths About Human Nature

According to the Savanna Principle, The human brain has difficulty comprehending and dealing with entities and situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment. As a result, “more intelligent individuals should be better able to comprehend and deal with evolutionarily novel (but not evolutionarily familiar) entities and situations than less intelligent individuals.” According to The Hypothesis, the most intelligent among us should be most apt to engage in experience and adapt to entities that yield novel insight. To reiterate: this doesn’t mean they are best suited for dealing with the familiar entities that shaped them in past history, but that they are more capable of dealing with novel contemporary entities. That is, they are able to comprehend and deal with new challenges previously unpresented.

Fascinating really. Darwin said in one word or another:

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

I believe intelligence should be reconsidered. Adaptability should be the central measure of value. Call it intelligence, but being able to respond to change should be the hallmark for mental progress.

I just read the article titled Why Intelligent People Use More Drugs posted in this series. Their conclusion:

People – scientists and civilians alike – often associate intelligence with positive life outcomes.  The fact that more intelligent individuals are more likely to consume alcohol, tobacco, and psychoactive drugs tampers this universally positive view of intelligence and intelligent individuals.  Intelligent people don’t always do the right thing, only the evolutionarily novel thing.

The safe bet isn’t always the best bet, which is why people of stellar intelligence take risks. They push boundaries and explore the unknown. They are curious and desire to understand the farthest frontiers of experience. In this way they are more prepared for the changes to come.

More thoughts later.

Science as Logic of Discovery: Examining Kuhn’s Critique of Popper

This essay will examine and critique Thomas Kuhn’s thesis in his article titled Logic of Discovery or Psychology of Research. To accomplish this I will summarize Kuhn’s thesis, identify key critical arguments made against Karl Popper, analyze these arguments, and critically evaluate the argument with supporting examples. Each of Kuhn’s arguments will be stated clearly and analyzed so that the evidence in favor for or against Kuhn’s claims becomes clear and distinct. I will then present an argument in favor of Kuhn’s criticism on Popper.

Continue reading “Science as Logic of Discovery: Examining Kuhn’s Critique of Popper”

Temporal Materialism

Who knows why I’m so morbid.

I look around me and I see people. My reaction is bizarre. As much as I am moved with empathy and love for my fellow (wo)man, I am simultaneously repulsed. Not just repulsed, I am abhorred. I see little these little mice scampering here and there, decked out in fanciful costumes, pasquinading for all to see. They are in college. The illusion of life is at its precipice. They maintain their chic wardrobes, their piquant purses, meticulous manicures and shimmering shoes. You name it. They are accessorized. They trot around wrapped in black stockings conveniently outlining their trim and prim curves honed by hours of ellipticizing at the gym. They have their hair: high lighted, dyed, extended, crimped, and blown. A fine layer of foundation yields an angelic visage that glows with gloss. Here they apply strokes of paint that form lips and eye brows. They blush their pallid cheeks with passionate powder,  elongate and darken their pale stubby lashes, and accentuate the shadow of their starving eyes.

I see these people, sporting these signs, and I think to myself: one day, you will die. But before that, I think to myself: one day you will find that no amount of work will save you from the grips of age. Everything you desperately save to maintain will rot eventually. You will either coalesce into a single curve, plump and bulbous, or be reduced to a frail rail. Depending on whether or not you fill it out, paper thin skin will hang off your bones. You will grow increasingly translucent, veiny and purple. Your breasts will drop.You face will sag. Your butt will mush. You will piss and shit yourself.

The endless hours of attending and maintaining this fabricated facade, and for what? Such temporal investments. Have we forgotten the eternal life? Wait. What is this eternal life you speak? Ah. The spirit. The mind, the imagination, the character. Should we invest wisely, these things endure. If only people sought to invest a fraction of their time into such pursuits. Personal development. Character growth.  We need to multiply experience, heighten awareness, spread the profusion of passion and penetrate appearances with vision.

There is a trend though. Materialism is on its way out and post-materialism is on its way in. It’s hopeful to see that the standard of life is no longer measured by the things we possess, or rather the things that possess us. The post-materialist is concerned with meaning that extends beyond the manipulation of physicalities and into a relational world where the subjective mind and spirit juxtapose with a natural environment. This is the world of ideas, or information. It has subtly sewn its way into our life as technology has lead to growing advances in communication, transportation, and social networking. We learn from such encounters: literature, art, discourse, adventure. Blogs, flickr, twitter, facebook. The quantitative method has shown its failings and the qualitative has risen to meet the challenge. Ethics has gained traction once again as aesthetics steps in to answer questions of meaning and fulfillment.

Experience is the essence of life. It is the filament of human existence. It allows us to burn brightly.

Anyway. Duplicity, blind duplicity, is what really bothers me. I understand we can’t all be individuals, but the less individuals there are, the less tolerant people are to change and difference. Adaptation rests an change. It relies on difference. On positive difference.

I succumb to these delusions just as anyone else. But I buy in so that I may buy out. So that I can manipulate the system from the inside, like a mutation, but deliberate and viral.  Change must occur from within.


I reread this and felt the need to amend this post for clarity: I want to emphasize that I do appreciate appearances. Beauty enhances life. I desire to live in a beautiful world marked by beautiful people and an aesthetically pleasing environment. What troubles me is the lack of attention to dimension, that is all. We are body, mind and spirit (I would say the heart is in there, but I feel like it’s integral with the body and/or spirit). It is important to spend time being a quality person of depth and substance. And I’m not talking knowledge and reason, I’m talking wisdom and character. End.

Human Habitat

Ah. You think you see me? My habitat is humans. It is there I dwell; with the dark and distressing, the sublime and sombre imaginings of man. I beg you, do tell: who am I? I exist in all of you. I am you, a shallow reflection of your ego. No wonder you cannot resist. It is not I you fawn, but your self. You cannot look away from such beautiful trappings. Pride is the vice I leverage. You know me as well as you know yourself, dear one.

Goal of Education

“The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.”
— Jean Piaget

Do you think this is being accomplished? What can be done about it? What is the utility of raising generations who only know how to repeat rather than think? A well trained and well behaved populous? Perhaps the cause of a generation caught in cyclical misfortunes?

I just read an article by NPR that detailed the lack of critical thinking, reasoning and writing skills being learned by college students today:

“….[the study showed that] more than a third of students showed no improvement in critical thinking skills after four years at a university was cause for concern…”

“Part of the reason for a decline in critical thinking skills could be a decrease in academic rigor; 35 percent of students reported studying five hours per week or less, and 50 percent said they didn’t have a single course that required 20 pages of writing in their previous semester.”

I am inclined to say that it is of no fault of the university. Rather, it is indicative of the protypical American culture. Payment does not guarantee education. It requires work, vision, and sacrifice, something that very little of the populous is inclined to embrace.

At every university, however, there are students who defy the trend of a decline in hours spent studying — and who do improve their writing and thinking skills. The study found this to occur more frequently at more selective colleges and universities, where students learn slightly more and have slightly higher academic standards. Overall, though, the study found that there has been a 50 percent decline in the number of hours a student spends studying and preparing for classes from several decades ago.

This is sad.

I’ll add to this post and write more later.

A quote:

“Modern schools and universities push students into habits of depersonalized learning, alienation from nature and sexuality,obedience to hierarchy, fear of authority, self objectification, and chilling competitiveness. These character traits are the essence of the twisted personality-type of modern industrialism.They are precisely the character traits needed to maintain a social system that is utterly out of touch with nature, sexuality, and real human needs.”

–Arthur Evans

The Rational & Intuitive Struggle

There are ages in which the rational man and the intuitive man stand side by side, the one in fear of intuition, the other with scorn for abstraction. The latter is just as irrational as the former is inartistic. They both desire to rule over life: the former, by knowing how to meet his principle needs by means of foresight, prudence, and regularity; the latter, by disregarding these needs and, as an “overjoyed hero,” counting as real only that life which has been disguised as illusion and beauty. -Friedrich Nietzsche

What is it about life that I just can’t get a grip on? Where is the consistency? Do I give life ground? Or does it just float, to and fro, out of reach? I’d like to say my life was whole, was coherent and clear, but that simply isn’t the case. I envy those with naive dreams. I long to be whisked away into ethereal imaginings, but that simply will not do.

What is nauseating is routine. What is terrible is the familiarity. It breeds boredom. The stale nature of permanence. Tradition. This is why I yearn for adventure, for chaos, for the unpredictable. I want the painful, the scary, the out of control. I don’t want to get a grip. The harder you squeeze, the more it escapes through your fingers.

I wish I could write about something important. I wish I could produce a novel insight that actually leaves me feeling inspired. I’m tired of talking about flames and fire and passion and mind and wit. Its stupid. I just want to wake up. Wake up forever. How do I shake myself out of it? Sadness, the despairing shadow that keeps in step, follows me. It lurks on the other side of the sunshine. How do I ignore its bleak contrast? It elucidates nothing. It gives depth, but it obscures and blurs.

What is important? I can’t figure it out. I can’t seem to see past the same old thoughts. My identity? It fluctuates. It is never regular. Not inside anyway. Success today? How about sadness? Deep? Trivial? Adventure? Security? Why oh why can’t I find a balance. Why can’t I ingest some illusions that allow me to transcend this skepticism?

Normally I’d find something wrong with this situation, but what criteria would I judge it by? I am not ‘sad’ per se. Nor am I ‘happy’. I am constantly overflowing, and this leaves me feeling incomplete. Why can’t I fit anything more into my world? Where is the color? I don’t know how else to describe it other than color. Color incites the senses. It is phenomenal. It actually moves you into a mood. Moods are powerful. Temporary as they are.

I think I know what my problem is. The will. My will. I have lost control of myself. My vision has faltered. My body has slowly settled. Settled with what? Demands. Expectations. Routine. It kills me inside. But I know these are permanent facets to life. I cannot escape them. School, work, whatever, the real world, they will persist and remain. I must learn to direct myself, master the sub conscious, and overcome the will.

Deciding is the issue. Having a self generated purpose seems so fabricated. I’d like some spiritual, transcendent calling. But why? Just so I can escape the responsibility of individuating my own being? Of declaring an original voice?

I’d like to wake up with a bolt of lightning. I want it to zap me and keep me charged all day and when night comes, I soar into open dreams.

There is something wrong with my thoughts. With my conception of self, of the identity. I don’t have to acknowledge everything. I am biased anyway. My current perspective is not whole. It is mostly lies. I don’t see the whole picture. In fact, I’ve got myself believing that there is a whole picture. There isn’t. Us humans can only indulge in slivers at a time. Our perspective is a simple slice of possibility. We need to flow from slice to slice accidentally, free forming our experiences from the vast material of the moment.

I need wonder. WONDER. SMILE & WONDER. Do I generate it? I also need justification. It provides a confidence in my intention. I need a strong intention. A wild imagination. I want to throw myself onto the world. At the world. With the world. I want to preserve what’s mine. I don’t want to become one with them.

I feel totally out of my mind. Something needs to give.

50 Habits of Successful People

Simmer in its wisdom.

Habits of successful people….

1. They look for and find opportunities where others see nothing.

2. They find a lesson while others only see a problem.

3. They are solution focused.

4. They consciously and methodically create their own success, while others hope success will find them.

5. They are fearful like everyone else, but they are not controlled or limited by fear.

6. They ask the right questions – the ones which put them in a productive, creative, positive mindset and emotional state.

7. They rarely complain (waste of energy). All complaining does is put the complainer in a negative and unproductive state.

8. They don’t blame (what’s the point?). They take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes (or lack thereof).

9. While they are not necessarily more talented than the majority, they always find a way to maximise their potential. They get more out of themselves. They use what they have more effectively.

10. They are busy, productive and proactive. While most are laying on the couch, planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands and generally going around in circles, they are out there getting the job done.

Continue reading “50 Habits of Successful People”

SoJourning Love.

Time to journal. I was going to write in my hand-written journal but I decided to log this one digitally.  Not sure why.

What do I want? Right now I’m feeling emotional. Not sure why. Well. Lies. I actually know why. I just have problems expressing vulnerability. I like a girl. I desire her. I am attracted to her. Yet, I don’t know what that means. I’m usually so detached from those feelings. They occupy deep hidden places within me. I obey them from afar so when they get unwieldy I’m at a distance.

What do I want? Right now. What is it? Ok, more specifically: What do I want from a female? I realize I could subsist off of my own imaginings and writings and thoughts and dreams and studies and friends… but there always seems to be something missing. It leaves a dull ache, a dull emptiness. I know that no female will ever take it away, but I feel as if it could be allayed more than it is. Intimacy. Intimate encounters that last longer than physical climax. An intimate encounter that endures and subsists behind the daily happenings of life. Where I can seek comfort. Intimacy that persists long after those endless gazes. How is this intimacy achieved? Well. Great question. I’ve been struggling to figure this out myself. I achieve a great level of intimacy with a large number of my platonic relationships, but it eludes me when my heart is involved. Perhaps expectations ruin the momentum? I tried sex. Raw hot heavy sex. That didn’t work. When sex is achieved before an investment is made, why bother? Subconsciously I resist making that pledge. Maybe I lose respect? I can’t respect a girl when I already own her. Especially that easily. Make me care enough to work for it. Please?

Eh. I don’t know what to think. Relationships. These courting encounters. They’re fun. The masquerades. The lampooning. The dancing gestures. The intimations. All behavioral and empty.

Meaning is difficult for me. When I say things I mean, I feel them. Meaning and feeling seem inextricable. They are one in the same. How do I mean anything when I feel nothing? Words. Empty gaseous words. The effluvium of desire. Yearning pleasure. Sexual banter. Until the impulse subsides and I stare at a stranger.

What is it that I want? I want someone to want me. Nay. Need me. Right? Isn’t that what anyone wants? To feel irreplaceable? How to convey that without ripping your heart out? How to convey that without faking it? Jesus. I have no idea.

I almost feel bad for girls that are into me. As much as I long to shed and share all, I resist out of courtesy. I don’t want to overwhelm them with my complexities. My complicated spirit. My ornery soul. It overwhelms even me. Even I struggle to appreciate something so beautiful and so appalling.

I can be anything to anyone. These masks. People need consistency. How does one disarm their masks. Who is the true Michael? Intimacy, love, whatever you want to call it, it extends beyond these masks. It requires pulling down the veils that honesty hides behind. What lies behind is something beyond me. I like to think that my closest friends are familiar with this person. I appear in various fractals.

Honesty hides behind veils. It is always there in full view, only obscured by a veil.

Okay. So I lost my train of thought. Not too unusual. Tonight I’m hanging with some friends at a local microbrewery. I guess I’m going stag at this point. Amongst three other couples…awkward? Awkward is a state of mind. Nothing is awkward unless you think it so.

What to think… Saturday. Went to brunch.. worked out at the gym…. played raquetball… showered. I think I’m gonna grab Chipotle.

Beauty, like a dream, fades. Faith endures. It stipulates nothing.  Intelligence wanes. Physicality and success, all seasons in time. They all play leads at one time or another, only to fade into the background. What is left? Love. Faith. I suppose a variety of virtues.

It’s so much easier to hide your heart. To keep it all for yourself. But the unequivocal joy of extending it to the other, and having them cherish and bask in its naked state? It lights you on fire. It is unbelievable to love and be loved.

I don’t think one can be in love without vulnerability. No. I know it. Be prepared to expose yourself. God. What a dilemma.

So. I’m at a point in my life where I desire substance, in people and relationships and tasks and goals. No more petty aspirations. No more temporary longings. Have some long term vision. Use imagination beyond the moment Michael.

I don’t have time for people that don’t have this. Confusion? Fickle? Flaky? I will have none of it. I might be around, but not for long. I will learn briefly and find someone else who’s pursuit is for the real. For the thick of it. For the substance that extends through space and time and is with you in all the oscillating experiences, the undulating sine waves of life, where it peaks and rockets toward the trough, only to crest again. I want substance through it all.

Temporary Madness

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

-St. Augustine.


The sadness swells. It pulses along the body, pushing up through the throat. Squeeze it down. It dissipates momentarily, covering the body with insentience, dousing the senses. The pressure surges once more. It presses against the insides. Squeeze. Up it goes. Swallow hard. Please, press it down. It swells. Hold it in. Squeeze the eyes shut. It comes, in waves. The stomach aches and tightens but it is no use. The eyes. It seeps out the eyes. Moisture mounts. Drops of sadness fall. The dark cloud leaves.

Hello me.

I need to form a relationship with myself. That is what I have failed to do. I live in the past, or the future, but not in the moment, not with myself. It sounds weird. I’m fully aware. But one needs to feel comfortable with their self no matter what the situation. When I write, I write for myself. Not the throng. When I think, it comes from me. It spills out of my own intention. It doesn’t look back and evaluate. Its as if it looks itself in the eye, with confidence and an earnest smile, and utters whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t blush or look away. It persists and awaits a reply. A reply that warms over, resonates, appeals, swallows, envelopes. I talk with myself. I relate to myself. I have a personal relationship with myself. I discuss my flaws, my concerns, my anxieties, my achievements. I do not boast to myself. Nor am I proud. I respect myself, and the self respects me back.

Hello self.

Oppression: Education and Femininity

A recent study was published and reviewed in the NYT that detailed growing pressures in education and its affect on well-being.

A particular passage stood out in the essay:

Professor Sax has explored the role of the faculty in college students’ emotional health, and found that interactions with faculty members were particularly salient for women. Negative interactions had a greater impact on their mental health.“Women’s sense of emotional well-being was more closely tied to how they felt the faculty treated them,” she said. “It wasn’t so much the level of contact as whether they felt they were being taken seriously by the professor. If not, it was more detrimental to women than to men.”

She added: “And while men who challenged their professor’s ideas in class had a decline in stress, for women it was associated with a decline in well-being.”

I don’t want to extrapolate, but I saw a connection regarding education, gender and the suppression of the critical consciousness.

Continue reading “Oppression: Education and Femininity”

Thoughts on the Philosophy of Science

Recently I’ve read a variety of essays on the topic of philosophy and the natural sciences. Some of the philosophers I’ve read include Kuhn, Popper, Thagard, Lakatos, Ruse, and Lauden, to name a few. Some of the topics include the demarcation of science and non-science, and the criteria for pseudoscience. Subtopics include astrology, biorhythms, and creationism.
I just read an essay written by Michael Ruse titled Why Creation Science is Not Science. I wanted to expunge on some thoughts…

Michael Ruse carefully defends his position that creation-science is indeed, not a science. He centralizes his arguments against creationism around key philosophical principles that act foundationally to support his notion of real science. At the crux of his argument is empiricism, the basic tenant of science, whereby sense experience and observation of consistency and order ultimately yield understanding which scientists distill as laws through rigorous standards of criteria.

Continue reading “Thoughts on the Philosophy of Science”


What is virtue? Moral excellence. I’ve recently drifted from notions of virtue, relying instead on my philosophical knowhow and personal ratiocinations to guide appropriate and pragmatic behaviors.

Once upon a time I was obsessed with the notion of moral excellence. I strove daily to master the principles and virtues that upheld an outstanding character. I’d meditate daily on aphorisms and parables and definitions extolling the virtues of a moral character. I reasoned that, if I am in fact a product of my thoughts, I should take take strides to hone and refine those thoughts.

Thoughts become actions. Actions become habit. Habit becomes character. Character becomes destiny.

Ben Franklin committed himself to the upbuilding of a moral character. He created a plan to internalize and embody thirteen virtues. Each day he committed himself to fulfilling and practicing one. At the end of thirteen, he’d begin again. He kept this up for years and recorded his progress in a daily journal. The thirteen virtues he strove to emulate are listed as the following:

1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.
2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.
3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.
4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.
6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.
11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

I desire and strive to surround myself with people who typify these virtues. I’m going to make a habit of looking at these thirteen daily and be extra conscientious about whether they are being appropriately exemplified through my actions.