Month: June 2017

Bible, Christianity, Philosophy, Spiritual Life

Passions: Natural or not?

The Passions In Christian theology, the passions are the desires of the mind and body that often tempt people to sin. One of the big debates among ancient theologians and writers was over the passions: are they created by God or are they a deformation of character as the result of having sinned? I’m simplifying …

Christian Mindset, Bible, Culture, Mindset, Philosophy

Gary North on Training to Lose

Gary North wrote an article in 1980: Training to Lose, in which he observed: The athlete has to train before he enters the race. He must discipline his body and his will, in order to be fully prepared for the exertion of the contest. The contest has winners and losers, and the Christian is not …

Culture, Philosophy, Spiritual Life

Cro-magnon vs Cro-Ipod

Geoffrey Miller offers this thought experiment on the differences between ancient and modern life. While I enjoy the trappings of modern life, thought experiments like this make it easy to see how much of it is contrary to human nature (in an Aristotelian sense): Consider the average Cro-Magnon of thirty thousand years ago. She is …

Culture

Nobody’s Job: Civilization

A few weeks ago, I posted that civilization is everybody’s job. Bruce Charlton claims the opposite in a remarkably pessimistic post: However; ‘civilisation’ is (quite rightly) nobody’s priority to sustain – not least because it is a by-product rather than a strategy; and is anyway a very long-term and remote problem – so it will always …

Culture

Virtual Reality is dangerous?

While I’ve only used it once, the virtual reality revolution in gaming seems like an anti-civilization time bomb. The people who tend to use it will be young men with high openness to experience and intelligence. The more immersive it becomes, the less frequently men with those traits will reproduce, etc. I quipped in college …

Education

Six cool tricks for sounding smart

People are always telling me, “Geoff, you’re such a smart guy.” Lot’s of people think I’m a smart guy. It’s an empty compliment, but I enjoy it. Sherlock Holmes was the same way: “I shall never do that,” I [Watson] answered; “you have brought detection as near an exact science as it ever will be …

Christianity, Culture

Winning: Fighting to Win in Ender’s Game and Life

On the value of winning I think winning is a dirty word to some people. I used to think that way, but it’s simply not true. Competition in itself is not evil. Losing teaches lessons that can turn into positive experiences just as much as winning can. Similarly, winning a debate, a legal case, or …

Economics, Film, Culture, Education, Parenting, Pedagogy

Youth Science Projects and American Aspirations

I came across an archived usenet post linked on social media: How come the heros of our movies are no longer Micky Rooney or Spencer Tracy playing Thomas Edison, or Paul Muni playing Erlich or Pasteur, instead Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison and Woody Harrelson playing Larry Flint? And movies whose heros are lawyers.   …

Ethics, Mindset, Pedagogy, Philosophy, Spiritual Life

Effort Habit: Keep the Faculty of Effort Alive in You

William James on the Effort Habit One of my favorite selections from James’ psychology text book is about developing an effort habit: Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day. That is, be systematically ascetic or heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something for …

Christianity, Culture, Education

Education is Necessarily Religious

Jordan Peterson on religion as knowledge of “shouldness.” Jordan Peterson below explains how he, as a scientist, reconciles science and religion from a Darwinian point of view. Whether you accept Darwinism or not, his claims are important for how we define, pursue, and reflect on education. He says that science is trying to explain what …