A minority can be LOUD and they’re instantly covered by the media. Beware of pluralistic ignorance or the “spiral of silence” where a minority or toxic ideology can take over.

—Michael Shermer

There’s a selective focus because of social media and real-time coverage of these incidences. I wonder to what extent the problem really exists on college campuses, because I’ve never seen any of the outrage or riots at any campus I’ve taught at or given talks. You never see anything. Most of the time it’s just people and students doing their thing. It’s a minority, but they’re LOUD, and they’re instantly covered. So it SEEMS like, based on the coverage, that I should expect to walk onto a campus and see rioting everywhere. In reality, you don’t see anything. There’s the idea of pluralistic ignorance or the “spiral of silence” where a minority or toxic ideology can take over a country (like Germany). —Michael Shermer (paraphrased)

Global phenomenon of people getting outraged over small things.

Amy Chua says later on here. (Another Paraphrase) When you do get attacked by those blinded by outrage it’s easy to feel insulted, feel like you’ve been attacked, and to make that person or group your enemy and “hate back!” It is perhaps better to “turn the other cheek”.

Featured Image : Pixabay

The spirit and the dogma of a religious tradition are always in conflict, because on the one hand, dogma provides structure, and the spirit provides transformation.

I’m attempting to be more mindful about the podcasts/video that I’ve been consuming by taking high-level notes. I haven’t gotten to a point where I can start deconstructing, critiquing, applying to my life, or even taking an opinion on anything just yet, but I thought I’d use this space to take down notes. I have a feeling that after a while I (you) would probably start to see some themes that resonate.

Warning, I took these notes with my speech-to-text app on my phone. Unedited notes are below. Chock full of error.

High-Level Notes

  • Atheism is without an ethos (agree) and it’s existential concept is rather hollow.
  • Can’t measure the maximization of well-being
  • Sam Harris : Benefits of meditation, better actions follow, compassion
  • Compassion alone does not work for a sophisticated Society
  • Naturalism does not explain everything.
  • Genes: are copies of chemical processes in bodies.
  • Meme: copies of imitations between people. Gives rise to culture. virus of the mind. Ideas are contagious
  • Memes are just as shallow derivation of archetypes. Archetypes of a pattern of behavior.
  • Some ideas are so contagious we’ve actually adapted to them biologically (e.g. dominance hierarchies)
  • Some religious ideas are instructions on how to optimally navigate within that dominance hierarchy.
  • Western societies work well because they act out a Judeo-Christian ethic. Sovereignty of the individual. Peterson claim that this idea is fundamentally religious
  • The more religious a society is the more dysfunctional it is. UK, Sweden, Canada
  • Two kinds of religion. Dogmatic (conservative) . Spiritual (progressive) . Tension and dialogue between the two hemispheres. (Editor’s note: I liked this explanation. It made me think of religion in a way I hadn’t before. Religion, even despite having a fundamentally conservative attitude, DOES have a tension of two hemispheres. This is why I selected the featured picture of the water-bug. It’s existence on the surface of the water is perfectly in tune with the water’s ability to push back, which makes it a sustainable creature.) 
  • People try to divide the moral substrate away from religious substrate.
  • Gratitude. Nice, but Vapid. Gratitude is something that you feel towards something. Peterson is arguing that she feels gratitude toward the thing in her mind that she doesn’t Define but he is calling it God.
  • Peterson says we don’t seek happiness we seek meaning.
  • Post-modernism says that all beliefs systems are equally valid. Peterson says that is a real problem when you try to establish a belief system on rationality.
  • Rationalist are enmeshed in a circle of modern comfort, which is protection that allows them to think what they think. The rationalists are living on resources that have been gathered painfully by their ancestors.
  • She listens to the body and does what it says “write books”
  • 41 minute mark. I feel like they get wrapped around the axle of what are atheist is and isn’t. An atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in a literal God? Who cares if the rest of it is based on a judeo Christian system of values? The question why don’t we go around murdering people? Is a red herring
  • Proper mode of being is encoded into the book. “Oh I don’t believe in God” and undermines the proper mode of being
  • I don’t get the “miracle” comment at the end –render into Ceasar. seems like a cop-out answer.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Easy to Follow Diet for Busy People

Consistent, sustainable weight loss. Fast, and easy to prepare meals to keep you from falling off the bandwagon.

After following the Scarsdale Medical Diet (SMD) for a little while, I discovered a way to make this diet even easier to follow. Most of the food in this diet (especially for the breakfasts and the lunches) require very little preparation, so you can put them together in minutes right before you leave for work.  Continue reading “Easy to Follow Diet for Busy People”

Scarsdale Medical Diet—FAQ

Yes, you’re on a diet. …But don’t forget to enjoy yourself too.

  1. How long do you have to stay on the diet?
  2. While on the diet I started to lose weight, and then I stayed the same or gained for two days in a row! I haven’t cheated—am I doing something wrong?
  3. Do you ever eat fast food on the diet? How do you manage?
  4. Do you ever eat at nice restaurants on the diet?
  5. What about the holiday season? Do you stay on the diet at parties?
  6. Can you substitute meals or recipes on the diet?
  7. Other tips and insights.

Continue reading “Scarsdale Medical Diet—FAQ”

Scarsdale Medical Diet—My Experience

I don’t really like fresh vegetables or fruit, but this diet has helped me appreciate them more.

Summary of Scarsdale Medical Diet

Dieters follow the Scarsdale Medical Diet (SMD) strictly for two weeks, and during which fast weight loss is promised (7-15 pounds). After the two weeks, you switch to “Keep Trim” for two weeks, where you plan your own menus. “Keep Trim” permits additional foods, and more calories. You repeat this cycle until you reach your goal. Continue reading “Scarsdale Medical Diet—My Experience”

Ideology, Logos, and Belief | Jordan Peterson

I came across this interview with Peterson last month, and as a year-long fan of his, this is one of the best interviews I’ve listened to. This is a good video to share with people who’ve never heard of Jordan Peterson before, because they’ll get a nice primer of his body of work. It does a good job of encapsulating the arc of Peterson’s thoughts over his career (especially recently) and the interviewer does a great job of asking timely and well-articulated questions that help Peterson explain a complicated idea to those that might not be familiar.

Continue reading “Ideology, Logos, and Belief | Jordan Peterson”

The Traveling Musicians | The Brothers Grimm

“The donkey brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, and the cock screamed.”

This is a continuation of my “Secular Lessons“.

This is a funny little story about teamwork and farm animals–from the Brothers Grimm, “The Traveling Musicians”. Continue reading “The Traveling Musicians | The Brothers Grimm”