Hi there, and welcome to what is destined to become your new favourite blog. Unless, of course, you're not very cool. In which case, you probably won't like it very much.

My name is Lance.

I'm a Philosophy major using a philosopher's toolbox to investigate philosophy(*GASP*), politics, literature, nutrition & fitness, education, history, science, religion, technology, the general human condition, and more.

Activities that I enjoy include making bad jokes, playing chess, go, & other strategy games, solving puzzles, cooking, eating food drenched in hot sauce, exercising, reading, socializing, taking long walks, and generally striving towards self-improvement and living a fulfilling, virtuous, happy life.

I'd rather not establish a group-think echo-chamber, so I've purposefully left my various personal identities and "isms" out of my description:

Followers genuinely interested in what you have to say based on its merit are preferable to followers who follow because they agree with you ideologically or personally identify with your orientation, gender, race, etc.

A thoughtful counter-argument is always more appealing to me than unthinking agreement.

 

Anonymous asked
How did you disciple yourself to read? I'm having a really hard time actually cracking open a book and reading it.

I had a hard time with it for a while, too. Even with topics I was extremely interested in, I could only get a bit of reading done before flaking out.

What worked for me and could potentially work for you: stop using the internet, televisions, cell phones, etc except in situations that absolutely require you to do so for two weeks. About a week and a half in, reading became something I could sit down and do for hours without becoming jittery or losing focus.

It may require a longer time for you due to the fact that this happened for me over summer break in high school. As a result, I didn’t have many responsibilities or requirements; thus the only electronics I used during that two weeks were occasional texts to tell someone that I wasn’t texting for x amount of time.

For those who are interested in my reasons for this recommendation, I recommend some reading material:

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For those whom might have trouble reading full books, I’ll provide a shortened article by Carr and a video of Mander:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3NBEurnIqY

Igniting A Revolution - Voices in Defense of the Earth
With essays by John Zerzan, Derrick Jensen, John Wade, Fred Hampton Jr., Jeffrey “Free” Luers, and many more.

Igniting A Revolution - Voices in Defense of the Earth


With essays by John Zerzan, Derrick Jensen, John Wade, Fred Hampton Jr., Jeffrey “Free” Luers, and many more.

This is something that very many out there who debate religion get wrong.
It’s difficult to blame them, most don’t exactly study epistemology (study of/theory of knowledge) for fun as it’s a pretty difficult subject. The basic explanation is like this:
We’ll start by acknowledging that what one believes is what one believes and that what is true is true. These two things must be separate:
If you accept realism, it is obvious that two people can believe opposites in which case only one can be true.
If you accept some sort of solipsism, chances are that you will admit that you do not have complete control over the reality that is represented to you and as a direct consequence that which is true is separate from that which you believe.
In epistemology, the term “belief” is used to describe any sort of cognitive content that is held as true. Whether it is true is completely irrelevant, what defines a belief is simply that one holds that something is true within his/her consciousness.
When epistemologists use the term “truth” they mean simply that something is fact, that it is in accordance with reality. 
Finally, we have knowledge. In epistemology, knowledge is justified true belief.
Here is a visual example:

You will notice that knowledge must be both true and believed. But there is more to it than that, one must be able to properly and logically conclude that this belief is true in order for it to be considered knowledge - otherwise it’s just happenstance true-belief (purple).
I lack a belief in a deity and do not claim to know whether one exists, so I classify myself as an agnostic atheist. There could very well be a God out there, but if it does exist that does not change the fact that I do not currently believe in it. Not only do I lack the believe but also the means to justify such a belief as truth, so I will stick to this position until the day when justified true belief concerning a god avails itself to me, as I do not see the point in holding a belief that doesn’t hold up to a standard of justification that I find competent.
Are you crazy like me and interested in knowing more about this knot of information called epistemology? If so, here are some good books on the subject that each provide an introduction worthy of merit:

This is something that very many out there who debate religion get wrong.

It’s difficult to blame them, most don’t exactly study epistemology (study of/theory of knowledge) for fun as it’s a pretty difficult subject. The basic explanation is like this:

We’ll start by acknowledging that what one believes is what one believes and that what is true is true. These two things must be separate:

  • If you accept realism, it is obvious that two people can believe opposites in which case only one can be true.
  • If you accept some sort of solipsism, chances are that you will admit that you do not have complete control over the reality that is represented to you and as a direct consequence that which is true is separate from that which you believe.

In epistemology, the term “belief” is used to describe any sort of cognitive content that is held as true. Whether it is true is completely irrelevant, what defines a belief is simply that one holds that something is true within his/her consciousness.

When epistemologists use the term “truth” they mean simply that something is fact, that it is in accordance with reality. 

Finally, we have knowledge. In epistemology, knowledge is justified true belief.

Here is a visual example:

You will notice that knowledge must be both true and believed. But there is more to it than that, one must be able to properly and logically conclude that this belief is true in order for it to be considered knowledge - otherwise it’s just happenstance true-belief (purple).

I lack a belief in a deity and do not claim to know whether one exists, so I classify myself as an agnostic atheist. There could very well be a God out there, but if it does exist that does not change the fact that I do not currently believe in it. Not only do I lack the believe but also the means to justify such a belief as truth, so I will stick to this position until the day when justified true belief concerning a god avails itself to me, as I do not see the point in holding a belief that doesn’t hold up to a standard of justification that I find competent.

Are you crazy like me and interested in knowing more about this knot of information called epistemology? If so, here are some good books on the subject that each provide an introduction worthy of merit:

In spite of thedifferentsideofannie

Also; Look at all those books he has! Look at how clever he is! :O

I’m reading White Like Me by Tim Wise

I’m reading White Like Me by Tim Wise

My obsessions tumblr-fied. Nobody will like this. Nobody will reblog this. But it’s me and my obsessions so I like I should anyways.

I actually just got a book by Kurt Zube published; It’s called “An Anarchist Manifesto: The Manifesto of Peace & Freedom” with the subtitle “An Alternative to the Communist Manifesto” and I highly recommend that you get a copy if you can. It’s available for printing-cost and shipping here: