Something Rather than Nothing

A Quick Proof That There Must Be Something Rather Than Nothing, for Modern People Who Lead Busy Lives

Suppose there were nothing. Then there would be no laws; for laws, after all, are something.
If there were no laws, then everything would be permitted. If everything were permitted, then nothing would be forbidden.
So if there were nothing, nothing would be forbidden. Thus nothing is self-forbidding.
Therefore, there must be something. QED.

This “proof” is incorrect and over simplified.  The author is conflating the scientific and socio-political definitions of “laws”. Scientific “laws” are descriptions of properties of observable phenomena. Socio-political “laws” are prescriptions for social order.

“If there were no law, then everything would be permitted.” It’s not like if there were no laws, physical phenomena would do whatever the hell it wanted. Things just do what they do, because of the properties contained in what they are. The physical world doesn’t follow laws because it has to. We apply scientific laws to describe what they do.

Scientific laws are applied posteriori, as descriptions of the physical-material universe, according to observable phenomena.

Socio-political laws are applied apriori, as prescriptions, to instantiate order and modify behavior.

So: If there were nothing, then there is nothing. Full stop. You can’t jump to “everything would be permitted” because that’s supposing a “thing” and the initial premise is to suppose there is “nothing”.

Because there is not “nothing” in the absolute sense, then there could have never been absolute nothing.

First law of thermodynamics: Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Because there is something, there will never be nothing, because “something” (universe/energy) can neither be created nor destroyed: it just is, it always has been, and it will always be. Something will always exist in various forms.

The universe is an isolate system.

The universe is simply energy.

It was never created.

It always was.

The universe and energy simply change form across time.

So it’s not that something came from nothing.

There was always something. Full stop.

Also, there is nothing beyond the universe.

The universe is all there is. Thoughts about what is (ideas such as math and physics) only exist because of energy. Energy because there is a subject and object. A mind to perceive and an object to behold. So long as this is the case, we can never speak about “nothing”.

You see, so long there is a subject and an object, there is something, even if that object is referred to as “nothing”.

If I refer to “nothing”, then it is an object in my mind or in space, and that is something. Therefore, we can never speak about nothing.
Beyond that, defining nothing is simply semantics. What does nothing refer to? What can we exclude?

There are infinite things we can exclude from nothing, so it’s impossible to ever refer to nothing as an ontological possibility, or a nothing completely devoid of something, because there are infinite things it is not.

Romantic Consumerism and US Debt

The United States current culture is best characterized by “Romantic Consumerism”, which is a type of materialism that refers to the idealization of consuming goods and services.

This value system leads to the endless pursuit and consumption of more and more products and/ or services (experiences).

I’ve been thinking about some qualitative questions:

  • Why does the USA have so much debt?
  • Why does the USA public and private debt highest compared to all developed nations?
  • Why is public and private savings the lowest in recent US history?
  • Why have real wages stagnated since 1975, while real GDP has increased 350% since then, and inequality become the highest of any developed nation?

Is this increasing debt and consumption a good thing?

When I was in college studying economics, I took some “macroeconomic policy” courses and “history of economic thought” courses that at blew my mind…

There are a number of factors at play with Romantic Consumerism, and US private debt:

  • Sociological: Keeping up with the Jones’s (Veblen) is key to understanding Romantic Consumerism
  • Psychological: we are not rational creatures, and we don’t do what’s in our best long term interest, and advertising and marketing really exploit this (Kahneman, Tversky)
  • Federal Banking: the monetary policy used to justify “growth” incentives lending, which really just helps the people with money get more money (Galbraith)
  • Lack of regulations: Lenders have more power than borrowers , and they can lend irresponsibly and fuck borrowers
  • Financialization: it used to be that lending was a capitalist enterprise, where money was used to invest in business or things that would yield returns to grow the economy, such as a business or a house or education. But now you can borrow for anything: appliances, food, lingerie, etc. “revolving credit” or CC debt has exploded… which historically was never really a big thing. (Freidman)

Financialization refers to the growth of the finance/lending industry as a % of gdp. This is not good in the long run, because lending creates money from thin air, which inflates the actual prices of things higher than their real value… this leads to economic shocks and depressions etc.

Financialization is bad for a number of reasons, but mostly because it drives inequality: lending just gets the rich richer.

How or why is it bad?

The wealthy lend to the poor, charge interest to make money, so the poor can buy things from the rich (1% own like 90% of stocks, aka Corporations) so that the rich/ corporations make more money/profit, which they then use to lend to the poor again, so the poor can buy from the rich, etc etc, round and round.

Hence you see this massive inequality since 1975 when they did away with the gold coin act and instituted fiat currency which allows for monetary policy… which directly incentives lending etc round and round

This is exactly what “trickle down economics” refers to.

Also, monetary policy (aka adjusting the money supply to modify lending behaviors, which according to the prevailing “neoclassical economic theory” used by the fed) is “supposedly” good because it stimulates consumption by increasing the money supply by lending more money.

HOWEVER, the inflation rate and the unemployment rate are causally inversely related in the short term, but NOT in the long term, as the natural rate of employment always prevails. (Friedman)

Why is this significant?

Stagnating in Real Wages

Why? Current neoclassical economic theory says “inflation” is good. Like we just said, more money supply = more lending = more consumption. If the inflation rate is 3-4% your dollars today are worth more than your dollars tomorrow. You spend your money today, and don’t save it. (Also probably why we have the lowest historical savings rates.)

How does this effect employment rate?

The higher the inflation, the more consumption, and hence more jobs. So workers can bargain for higher wages. Great. This causes a decrease in unemployment. Great. But on the long term? They have their job, but inflation is causing CPI prices to go up and up, but their wages don’t. They maintain the same. Hence stagnating wages.

But the fed doesn’t want to decrease the inflation, because they believe this stimulates lending and spending and consumption.

But the reality is this whole policy is the Primary economic driver for inequality

Monetary policy also impacts wage bargaining power. By preventing full employment, workers cannot bargain for higher wages.

Who knows if this analysis is 100% right, but these are my current intuitions.

Brand advertising

Advertising may not immediately be effective. Repetition is the key. At first, it’s unknown and foreign. But after seeing it many times in different places associated with different platforms and people, consumers are more inclined to make the purchase when the time comes.

Brand awareness is a slow and steady task. It’s about building up brand capital in the collective imagination. Videos and advertising are essential to getting people familiar and comfortable with the brand, so when they see it or hear it, and have to decide whether or not to pull the trigger, they are more inclined to rationalize because they’ve been exposed many times before, and have positive impressions.

Intelligent Design

Complexity is not a substitute for intelligent design. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean you substitute god for an answer. Religious apologists need a course on physics, thermodynamics, evolution, genetics, etc etc etc.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed (First law of thermodynamics). The universe is simply energy. It was never created. Created implies a creator, and that isn’t the case. It always was, even before the big bang. Energy just changes form. We described the way this energy materializes and behaves using the discipline of physics. Physics is not truth. It’s just a description of how physical bodies behave.

So long as we are always exploring and accumulating more data (science) there will always contradictions, because new information causes us to revise our understanding. When we toss out old ideas, and adopt new ideas that possess more explanatory power and utility, we progress our understanding of the world.

What does Ray Comfort believe? In a book, the bible? Who wrote the bible. Men? Who wrote the Vedas? Dao de jing? Qur’an? Dhammapada? Qur’an? The Catholic Bible is different from the Protestant Bible; which one is correct? Who wrote those books? Men? What makes one book better than another book? Who possess the truth? Who’s God is correct?

Are men fallible? Yes. Would you rather put your faith in a book, written hundreds or thousands of years ago, by a man or even dozens of men, who supposedly heard the voice of a supernatural being?, or evidence?

What is evidence?

Evidence is data, and data is collected by our senses when we experience the world. When we study a subject, such as biology, we collect data via our senses, using direct observation with our eyes, nose, ears, or touch, or indirect observation using instruments like microscopes or mass spectrometers etc. Evidence is data that is accessible to every man, because it can be experienced and evaluated. We can say: Look at this data. Here is a particle, and this is its behavior. We can measure it and quantify it, and identify patterns, and then infer the significance of these patterns. After we formulate an inference, we test it. We start with a hypothesis, and we try to falsify it with experimentation. We subject the hypothesis to tests. If the hypothesis fails, we revise the hypothesis and do the experiment over again. If the hypothesis is upheld, we then go to other experts and show it to them. In the scientific community this is called peer review, where other experts in the field look at the methodology and results and poke holes in the hypothesis. They even try to duplicate the results. If the hypothesis is upheld under scrutiny and it cannot be falsified, then it is established as fact. Facts form the basis of theories. If enough facts are accumulated, they form the basis of our understanding of the world and its nature. “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world.” In time, some theories even become laws, because they are so reliable for explaining our world, we can even use them to make predictions.

This is science.

It is constantly wrong, and constantly updating its beliefs in light of new evidence. This is progress. It doesn’t pretend to know it all. That’s why it’s great. It always gets better.

And the alternative is what? A book? What book? your book? Ray Comfort’s book? Written by who? Lots of people? One person? Why believe them? Because they heard the voice of god? They were chosen? What about the Mormons? The the guy down the street who hears voices? Or Muhammad? What makes anyone more legitimate for writing divinely inspired texts than anyone else?

And are these books wrong? Never? They never change? They just want the world to conform to their beliefs? This sounds dark and twisted and controlling.

The people that believe in religious texts are never wrong? Or, only christians are right, but everyone else is wrong? But then, every christian has been graced with the truth, but everyone else in the world is just lost and suffering because why? God wants to punish them to hell for eternity?

But didn’t we establish that humans are fallible and wrong? They make mistakes? So then, we have to admit, there’s a good chance that a religious person’s belief in the absolute correctness of their religion is probably mistaken.

So what’s the alternative? Science. Why? Because it humbly looks for ways it can be wrong so it can add to its body of understanding and progress its knowledge and explain more things that we don’t understand.

Sociology Concepts

Define the following concepts and provide examples:


Social psychology


Structural functionalism/Functionalism (social structure/organization)

Structuralism (linguistic theory/semiotic analysis)



Practices, norms, rituals, customs, traditions






Enculturation vs socialization

Cultural reproduction



World view

System justification

Social evolutionism





Stories Manifest Reality

Stories mediate conscious experience and form the basis of reality as we know it.

This aligns with everything I’ve read and know about philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, theology, religion, and the methods of science… stories and narratives form the basis of our conscious experience; they are the hallmark of the human condition, and what separate us from all animals. 

Everything I’ve read and experienced and reflected upon confirms this.

My studies have made it more and more evident throughout the years, but the book Sapiens boldly distills broad empirical research to support it.

It’s difficult to wrap the mind around what this means exactly, and see it’s far reaching implications. It’s difficult because, our minds are embedded in narratives, embedded within stories that mediate our conscious experience. These stories or narratives operate unconsciously, like programs running on your computer, like an eye trying to examine itself without a mirror.

But they impact our ability to perceive, to engage with reality in different ways, even our ability to see and hear phenomena directly acting upon us. The stories we become conditioned to either enhance our ability to perceive and adapt and explain and engage with our world, or limit it.

We only hear what we understand.

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.”
—Ludwig Wittgenstein

“When we change the way we look at the world, the world we look at changes.”
—Leo Tolstoy

Contemplation and reflection are the mechanisms which allow the mind to examine itself and it’s unconscious assumptions, to detach from ideas— the thoughts and feelings produced by stories— and identify inconsistencies and contradictions and paradoxes (problems) that create dissonance and discomfort and suffering (pain). Reflection is the basis of all enlightenment, and how we reconcile conflicting stories and the beliefs they produce.

Every story and narrative mediates our experience with the world. They act as a filter that organizes data and information for our senses and the faculties of our mind that we can then use to make decisions.

Every story has contradictions and inconsistencies, because no story completely explains everything about our world, because our world is always changing and evolving.

If we believe our story is absolutely “True”, we won’t revise our stories and change our beliefs. As a result, we will want to revise and change the world to conform to our narrative. The latter is incompatible with the highest realization: impermanence is the only permanence; change is the only constant.

It is the philosophers and critical thinkers duty to expose those inconsistencies and contradictions, so we can revise our stories, update our webs of belief, and provide a more comprehensive story and understanding of the world.

Our ability to choose a story relies on our understanding of the relative nature of our conscious experience. Traveling and exposure to new cultures, reading books, meeting and befriend those with different beliefs, (even taking psychedelics), all enlarge our understanding that Truth is not an absolute construct. The stories that form the basis of our beliefs all mediate our perception of Truth.

Those who share the same stories agree to the same truths, and see the same world. Those that don’t have fundamental contradictions about what is.

Stories vary in simplicity and complexity, and therefore have a spectrum of explanatory power. The stories of hard sciences may not possess the same utility as religion or Jung’s theories of mind when treating psychological illness. Likewise, the stories of religion may not possess the same utility as hard science when treating physiological illness, or solving environmental crises.

Placebo’s (stories that have no basis to the material world) have consistently been shown to be more powerful than many pharmaceutical treatments.

The only explanation is the power of stories, and the mind’s power to manifest the experience it believes in.

The basis of personal development and self-mastery lies in the understanding and acceptance that we can update and revise personal narratives and beliefs that alter our behavior and lead to desirable results.

We are not fixed, static creatures, unless we refuse to let go of limiting stories and beliefs.

It is difficult to let go of assumptions that have deep emotional attachment. Many people are unable to accept that their conscious experience is relative, that their experiences are not True, in the capital T sense. Your conscious experience is true according to your story, and anyone who shares your story.

Your feelings and thoughts are real. You cannot tell someone they are not. But it’s not the whole story. Those feelings and thoughts are not “necessarily” true. There are other ways to feel and think about the same events and people and ideas.

Your conscious experience is limited to the stories you are conditioned to believe about the world. Pain and pleasure and everything in between. And those who share your story affirm your beliefs and reinforce the conditioning of those stories, which in turn operate more pervasively as unconscious assumptions of the world, as cosmic Truth.

In this way it becomes increasingly difficult to accept the relative nature of the conscious experience, and examine personal narratives and the beliefs they produce in ways that allow for the adoption of updated stories, which stimulate growth and enlightenment and progress towards harmony and flourishing.

Because self-preservation is the highest aim and prerogative of all life, and because life requires constant adaptation to maintain equilibrium, it would seem evident that stories which allow us to revise and update themselves, to accommodate new information about the world, and enhance our explanatory power about the world, would be the best operating narrative. This is precisely the task of science and philosophy.

By examining a story’s explanatory power, we can evaluate its utility and merit, and determine if it’s good or bad, if it should be adopted or rejected.

Every group of humans possess narratives. Some are global, like religious stories, and some are local, like cultural traditions, or personal historical narratives. Some are specific to domains or subjects of thought, like the mind (psychology) or society (sociology) or the body (medicine), and some the world (geology) and life (biology), and some deal with abstractions (mathematics and physics) and methods (philosophy) for organizing experience in an intelligible way.

It’s important to realize that stories provide meaning. They guide our behaviors and provide a moral framework for action and productive social collaboration, and point us toward a worthwhile purpose to struggle and labor after.

Because there are endless stories to tell, and endless stories that exist, one may conclude a nihilistic attitude, that all is meaningless.

It is accurate to say that no story possesses inherent meaning, other than the meaning that the collective imagination gives it. But that is meaning. Realizing that there is no inherent meaning imposed by transcendental truths establishes a freedom to create stories and meaning relative to your experience, which allows you to be the hero, the protagonist, rather than a spectator caught in stories imposed by others, such as religious orthodoxy, demagogues and charismatic personalities, or brand advertising that reinforce cultural values such as consumerism.

You can create your own story, and live it out, with the peace of mind that you have a purpose as fulfilling and meaningful as any story you would have inherited.


Ultimately, stories (which organize our perceptions and form the basis of beliefs) manifest our conscious experience, and explain:

  • Why placebos work
  • Why self help works
  • Why brainwashing works
  • Why religious people insist on their religious experiences
  • Why people who believe in supernatural shit seem to also experience it (I don’t believe, so I will never experience it)
  • Why propaganda works
  • Why paradigm shifts occur
  • Why political parties have such divisive narratives
  • Why brands are so powerful
  • Why spiritual phenomena seems to exist for believers 

Will the Way

Where there is a will there’s a way. No one is a victim to circumstance. We can let circumstance define us, or we can define circumstance. I’m a firm believer you don’t need to have all the answers, you just need to have a goal, a vision, and know where you want to go and be, and persist with grit and grind until you get there. It’s never linear. You figure it out. Trial and error. Up and downs. But, those who refuse to compromise their vision, who refuse to be broken, will always achieve one day. Life never gets easier, you only get stronger. If we had all the answers, we would be exactly where we want. But we don’t, so we must learn. The learning process is the journey to our destination. There is no such thing as failure if you learn. Never quit. Carve out a vision, craft it and sculpt it with the powers of your mind, and make it a goal to materialize and actualize it. Make a decision to take steps every day to carve that vision into reality. Our brains doesn’t know difficulty. We either have the answers or we don’t. Time passes whether we dream big or small. Always dream big. Always. Make sure your goals and dreams scare you. Because if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. And if you don’t change, you don’t get better. And if you don’t get better, you’ll be exactly where you started.

Fundamental Reason for Political Divide

How can you be a reasonable, intelligent citizen, yet arrive at such ludicrous policy conclusions?

The classes I took in symbolic/ Formal Logic taught me something exceedingly valuable.

I learned about the nature of logic, its forms and methods, and the various conclusions you arrive at with arguments.

I discovered the difference between Truth, Validity, Cogency, Strength and Soundness.

Truth and falsity is a property of statements or premises.

Deductive arguments are Valid or Invalid, Sound or Unsound. An argument is valid such that it is impossible to have all true premises and a false conclusion. An argument is sound if it is valid, and all its premises are true.

Inductive arguments are Cogent or Un-cogent, Strong or Weak. An argument is cogent if it is valid, and all its premises are probably true. The argument is strong or weak according to the probability of its premises being true. (Probability is a function of statistics, or data point frequency given a sample set and hypothesis)

All this being said, what is important here is understanding that the premises themselves are composed of “facts” or “assumptions” or “beliefs” about the world. Facts are typically universally agreed upon, usually affirmed by the scientific method and a community of scientists that critique experiments.

But some premises such as assumptions and beliefs, derived from limited experience or here say, are not universally accepted and agreed upon. In this way you can have very complex, intelligent arguments that are valid, assuming you believe all your statements are true, but someone else may fundamentally disagree, because they don’t hold all your statements true.

As a christian you accept a belief about mankind that is radically different from most secularists: Man is a sinner, and inherently evil. And without God, or accepting jesus, you are evil, lost, and ignorant.

Secularists believe that man is inherently good, that all men strive for the same end, to survive and flourish and be happy, and that circumstance and trauma makes him “bad” and selfish, and love and community is at the heart of rehabilitation. Not god.

This fundamental difference in belief leads is drastically different approaches to prescribing fixes to society.

As long as you live according to the Bible, believe in God, and claim to be a Christian, you pretty much can justify a lot of behaviors in the name of God.

This explains the Trump phenomenon, and why is deplorable behaviors go unnoticed by his supporters, and are even praised. We’re all sinners and make mistakes, but we can be good, just so long as we ask God for forgiveness.

But in the eyes of Christians, if you’re a secularist, no matter how “good” you are, you will always be “bad” because you’re a sinner, and not pursuing the will of God.

In a very simple nutshell, this is how two groups of seemingly intelligent people arrive at such dramatically disparate and even competing prescriptions for society.


Reading with Reason

I possess a desire to derive more from reading and the many books I consume.

I’ve been contemplating ways to get more out of each book. I have many books, many unread books. But every book has a purpose. I purchase books because there’s some facet of ignorance in my storehouse of knowledge that needs to be filled in. So I buy these books, and they accumulate on shelves. I pick through them, read a book, and discover references to other books, and this is how the majority of my library grows and reading is guided.

However, many times I forget the exact reasons I was inspired to read the book in the first place.

As a result, I want to write a list of reasons on a sticky note of why this book needs to be read, and attach it behind the front cover. This way, whenever I pick up the book, I can see exactly why this book is important and relevant, its significance, how it fits into my understanding, and the history of knowledge and understanding and discovery.

In addition, I would like to write blog posts summarizing every book I read, maybe just hashing out thoughts as I read. Which should force me to read one book at a time, because at my current rate of 3-4 books, it’s far too much to write every day. It’ll keep my focus and allow me to get more out of my studies.

I’m currently reading 3 books:

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Harari
  2. Ideas by Husserl
  3. An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology by Bourdieu and Wacquant


I was in Nashville last week, and met with my psychotherapist twice, and was introduced to a psychiatrist, whom I met with twice. My therapist recommended I meet with this psychiatrist because of my chronic, persistent, depression.

It’s not your typical depression, where you’re incapacitated with sleep, incapable of pleasure, obsessing with death, lack of eating, and the like. No. This depression is existential in nature, and always has been, which is probably why it’s so persistent and enduring. The age old questions that leave me feeling alone, and that life is inherently meaningless, have plagued me since childhood. We all die eventually, sometimes sooner and sometimes later. This brief period of wakefulness that we call life is a fleeting dream we neurotically try to make sense of. Then there’s the overwhelming weight of possibility, which paralyzes most decisions. What to choose when you can do anything? What to think when everything catches your attention? What to study when everything is fascinating? It leaves me with a certain angst, a frustration, that materializes into… well… feelings of suicide. But not because of an emotional reaction. Mostly because of a lack of emotion, a neutrality that pervades all aspects of experience. Then there’s the feeling of isolation, the realization that we are forever alone, that no matter how close we come to another person, physically, mentally, emotionally, we’ll always be forever apart, trapped and contained within the headspace enveloping conscious experience.

So the psychiatrist I met with gave me some diagnostic questionnaires after I provided a brief (and I mean brief) overview of my life, and ultimately determined that I was suffering from existential depression.

He indicated that it was obvious I had a high IQ, and that gifted people often suffer from existential depression, most from a lack of meaningful stimulation or challenges in their life.

Whenever someone speaks to me about being gifted, I have this awkward reaction. Half is my ego delighting that some other mind acknowledges the rarity of my condition, and thinks that I have some value, some intellectual value. This is immensely validating, especially since I struggle with vast emptiness and unworthiness, qualities I’m forever attempting to cast off, and compensate for. Who wouldn’t feel nice?

But then there’s the realization that my ego is inflating, and the other half of me becomes embarrassed, like I’m under inspection, in the spotlight, only to be discovered that I’m a sham, a complete fraud, like fools gold. The bigger your ego, the bigger your ignorance. I don’t want to be ignorant. If you think you’re so smart, you’re more likely to make serious errors in judgement, because you fail to acknowledge your errors in reasoning, and the overall frailties of the human mind.

Intelligent? Maybe. I have a way with words, perhaps more than most people. I can adapt quickly to any audience and individual, so I can appeal to their mind’s attention, stroke it, enrapt it with feeling and inspiration, captivate their curiosity. I can read, and have an uncanny ability to absorb information and learn quickly. Very quickly. These are qualities that I know I possess. But so what?

I also know I have immense trouble concentrating. My attention is ethereal, fleeting, wandering. It sabotages my most sincere efforts to apply myself to tasks. What’s required by me is passion and curiosity for a subject. I need to be totally absorbed in order for this attention to focus. But even then, it leads to lateral thinking that leads to bunny trails and non-sequiturs.

Because of this attention defect, or trait, my processing speed for problems requiring prolonged concentration is greatly inhibited. I struggle to focus, to keep the problem and its particulars in mind, so they escape to the periphery and I’m forced to circle back around to the beginning and gather all my thoughts again. This is time consuming, and makes me come across as slightly indolent.


So, while I know I’m bright, I also know that I feel stupid and slow. And I’ve always struggled historically in academia, in the formal education setting, but never with learning, per say. I absorb just fine, at my own pace, especially in a I have the company and support of another person to guide and engage me.

All this being said, my psychotherapist and psychiatrist recommend I restart my interest in learning and academia, and devote myself to serious learning once again. They believe this will give my life more meaning and significance. Which, I agree. I just tabled thinking so I could focus on building my career and achieving financial freedom. But perhaps these aren’t so mutually exclusive.


I attended my 5 year college reunion this weekend. 

Everyone was black out and paralyzingly stoned throughout the weekend. 

Disappointingly enough, it seems these are persistent, regular behaviors. Or at least, it’s still the ritual when they get together: black out drunk, incapacitatingly high. It’s quite pathetic.
It’s rare that people impress me, unfortunately 

But I think it’s a generational thing.

I almost expect people to disappointment me with their base, unreflective, juvenile behaviors 

Unfortunately, we have a very enabled, entitled generation, which has lead to self absorption, and decently functional narcissism, where personal pleasure is the justification of pursuits, rather than virtues or principles or justifiable convictions that lead to flourishing lives in thought and action.  

Taught by shitty, bureaucratic, mostly spineless, post modernist professors, who coddle and enable, who have no fucking backbone, who simply follow the rules, who fail the test of radical conviction and revolutionary ideas and attitudes. It’s all pathetic. 

College is a country club where students are catered to, where freedom to indulge in Peter Pan fantasies is encouraged, where students future earnings are preyed upon by intellectually irresponsible academic board members, where rote memorization is the mark of achievement, where neverland is reality, at least for four years. 

And the faculty bitch that the institutions are against them, that a decent paying professorship of 45k a year is unlivable. What assholes. Their spineless bureaucratic conformity ushered in their own exploitation 

No one has conviction. No one rocks the boat. No radical thinkers and doers make waves. It’s all placating. It’s all conformity. It’s all coddling feelings. Dissonance (the essence of discovering ignorance) is shunned 

It leads to these diseased minds, hopelessly drowning in mindless media and marijuana, listless and lazy. Their spirit is weak.

Their will is weak.

One one seemed convicted, enthused, about their profession, or some higher purpose pastime 

I feel very fortunate I’ve cultivated friends who walk to the beat of their own drum. 

Outsiders, who live in the world, but are not of the world. 

Our generation is embarrassing. I don’t care if it offends sensibilities. The majority of people I met at college don’t know struggle, and if they do, they paint themselves as victims of the struggle. For those who don’t know struggle, they live shallow lives, filled with superficial indulgences. They appeal to the most superficial and unreflective pop-cultural values, thriving on social validation, fitting in, appealing to whatever tribal values they identify with, never questioning the utility or significance of these values, whether they’re being fed to them to program consumptive behaviors, or they’re inherited by antiquated traditions. I’ve exercised both these mentalities. I’ve been a victim. And I’ve indulged unreflectively as one of the mindless herd. 

I don’t need to elaborate on my unique journey. I feel that would be more narcissistic than anything else. I’m not unique. I’m a frail, fleshy hominoid stumbling through life, performing a balance social gymnastics and individualism, until I die. But I’m an idealist, so I encounter dissonance whenever I see my fellow man wallowing in repetitive, sedating, mindless behaviors. Life should be about flourishing. Death is inactivity. Life is activity. Don’t feel less, feel more. Don’t feel and think what everyone else feels and thinks, produce some authentic original contributions.

I don’t have a static self. My “self” is a fabrication, contingent to whatever context or audience you’d like me to entertain. The herd has an allegiance to this ego, to this sense of self, this identity, that they try so desperately to cultivate for the world, or themselves. What is the self? It’s a psychological construct, dependent on others. It only exists in relation to the other. It’s chocked full of static labels and ideas. It’s inflexible and unadaptive. The self is necessary for navigating the social world. But it handicaps understanding. People depend on a solid representation of self if you’re to succeed in the world. “Who are you?” they ask. And you describe this character that you’ve developed, that you’ve invested in, that’s nothing more than a retroactively constructed historical narrative that’s true for you, and whoever else you depend on for validation.

What does it mean to be free? To be independent, from the herd? A rejection of any constraining identity, a devotion to reason, an obsessive self-reliance, an embrace of the struggle and the dark unknown, since that is the essence of life. Anything less is debasing to the human spirit. 
What makes you part of the herd? If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll get what everyone else is getting. If you read or watch or listen to what everyone else is reading or watching or listening to, you’ll think like everyone else. If you value the same shit as everyone else, you’ll manifest the same shit as everyone else. Step out of the echo chamber. Step out of the comfort zone. 

It’s not safe there, but that’s the point. 

Don’t worship anything but pure reason and understanding, devote yourself to the pursuit of wisdom and eradication of ignorance, no matter how uncomfortable, and this will lead to flourishing, independent of the herd.