education

Making Their Words Your Own

Culture today is very “ego-centric”, or more appropriately, “self-centered”. People are encouraging others not to think for themselves – an act of independence and freedom of expression – but to think about themselves. Culture says that it’s important for a person to have their own uniqueness – to be an island that stands out in the vast ocean – than it is to have a name stamp proclaiming agreement. People hate it when you stand with someone else, as if somehow you’re not supposed to agree with people who came before you or that somehow their expression ought to be exclusively theirs and you have no “right” to touch it or associate yourself with it.

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global issues, religion and spiritualism, philosophy, psychology, Christianity

The Most Anticipated Online Interview of 2019 Has Arrived: Peterson – Barron

Audio below.

Bishop Robert Barron is a Catholic ministerial priest who has set out on a quest to show the legitimacy and relevance of authentic Catholic Christian teaching in people’s lives.

Jordan B. Peterson is a clinical psychologist from the University of Toronto.

The two of them have made significant ripples in the water, attracting audiences of millions – both religious and non-religious, Catholic, atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, Protestant, and so on – for their remarkable insights and thought-provoking arguments on the human condition.

Followers of both men have encouraged the two great minds to meet and have a dialogue, so in March of this year, Jordan Peterson interviewed Bishop Barron for his podcast. The result was nearly two hours of polite, fantastic intellectual conversation… and the potential for more.

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education, psychology

Effective Teaching

Originally composed May 1, 2019.

I have taught many people over the years, both old and young. Teaching ability seems to come naturally to me. I love the truth and want to convey it, thus teaching can often be a great joy. I prefer tutoring one-on-one over teaching a class for a number of reasons, the least of which is that I prefer intimate settings so that my brain can focus on joust one individual, which is easier to handle than more than one individual. When my brain can focus, I can provide the best teaching I have to offer.

Another reason tutoring is preferred is that it is better for the student. First, a student sees that attention is on them and therefore they are more willing to ask questions, which in turn facilitates learning. When attention is on their needs, they feel more comfortable expressing them. Furthermore, they don’t have the fear of being embarrassed in front of their peers. Such fear can keep them silent, leaving them with unanswered questions and forcing the student to find answers for these questions in other perhaps less effective or less accurate ways.

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Christianity, global issues, history, politics, religion and spiritualism

“In God We Trust” – Reflections on Tiananmen Square

June 4, 1989, the communist government of China mercilessly massacred countless people (hundreds, thousands, and even 10,000, according to Sir Alan Donald), including students, residents, and even other soldiers. The events serve as a seemingly timeless testimony to the brutality of authoritarian regimes who fulfill the predictions of Orwell’s 1984 and is remembered in films like Black Night in June by Arther Kent (youtube: watch?v=hA4iKSeijZI ).

Yet the sheer reality of those horrors has escaped the minds of common individuals, even in democratic nations, where policemen argue they need facial recognition software and cameras and the legislative branch of the US government still permits the needless bulk collection of everyone’s internet communications by the NSA, all for “security” (whose?). After the Bolshevik revolution, communism became taboo in the US with the J.E. Hoover FBI squashing resistance for decades. Consequently, it has been rebranded as “social reform” and socialist policies (F.D.R., J.F.K., L.B.J. and such presidents). It’s easy to argue for idealistic systems, but people forget that when anything is put in practice, the one variable causing all of the problems hasn’t been fixed: the wickedness of a human. That brings us to an interesting point.

Standing and watching the real events take place were three “gods”. The first was the communist state, the self-proclaimed god that dictated the lives of the people. The second was the “Goddess of Democracy”, a statue constructed by the students of the protest (which survived, or perhaps as a replica). The third was the real God.

Each of these “gods” was in some way part of the events, and each one called out for action.

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art, media, videogames

A Beautiful Journey – thatgamecompany and the Aesthetics of Mysticism

I like how video games have a way of drawing the secrets out of people. We can put on social facades in front of our friends and acquaintances (our “public face”, which the Japanese call 建前 (tah-teh-mah-e)), but in private settings, we can express our true feelings (本音 (hone-nay)). Games have a way of making the private known public in a statistical way because people don’t pay for what’s fake; they like having entertainment that appeals to their deepfelt desires.

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global issues, language, philosophy, politics, science

On the Definition and Usage of Words

1. Philosophical Underpinnings

As a fledging apologist, my earliest experiences in the debate sector led me to frustration with people who couldn’t quite see the argument I was trying to make. They would often misinterpret and misunderstand what I had to say, taking ideas and twisting them. It seemed we had no common ground, so I endeavored to find that common ground – some set of ideas we ALL know are true. With such a common ground, I would hopefully be able to prove my points.

One of the first things I did was try to define words. In highschool, I read Socrates, and one of his famous lines that I took to heart was “the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms”. What Socrates found was that people never really had a clear definition of anything, and thus no one really seemed to know what they were talking about. However, as I tried to come up with some philosophical terminology for defining words, I found the whole endeavor fruitless and meaningless. The truth was, words on their own had no exact definition.

That’s an important conclusion that can be and is very often misinterpreted. The underlying problem was that I was trying to find something “exact” and “specific”, defined in terms of words. But defining words in terms of words is philosophically identical to the problem of putting a rigid box into an identical copy of itself.

However, you’re reading this right now, which says that words are not as arbitrary as they seem. Let’s talk about that.

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science

Argument For A Universal Reference Frame From Newtonian Physics

An exercise for fun.

Copernicus argued that the earth revolved around the Sun. What’s odd about this statement is that the Sun is presumed to be static. However, the Sun itself resides within the universe and occupies a location, which, oddly enough, is presumed to be an absolute location. However, does the Sun move? And if it does, how? Isn’t the Sun outside the center of the Milky Way Galaxy? Does it revolve around the core of this galaxy? Does the Milky Way itself revolve around a central galaxy?

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science

Neuroscience, Sandberg, and the Illusion of A Better Society Through Tech

Now and then, I explore my old subscription emails to IEEE to find some nugget I may have missed out on. Recently, I ran across an article on prosthetic limbs, which was fascinating and talked about the progress in neuroscience with regards to enabling the sensation of touch in the mind of the prosthetic wearer. This led me to a couple of other articles. The first was of DARPA (the US governments military research arm) wanting mind-reading technology. The second was a Q&A session with Anders Sandberg in regards to the ethics of “upgrading” your brain. These articles are a testimony to the hope people have in technology solving their problems. However, the truth is, technology will never solve the underlying problem, and for the historically-aware, it would seem only dystopia is on the horizon. To understand why, we have to take into account historical trends, psychology, and legitimate ethics. But I’m not interested in solving the unsolvable. I’m interested in a better response to all this. In this article, I’d like to analyze the aforementioned articles and then provide my own positive response.

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anime and games, art, books, media, tv

Introducing FLAT STUDIO

There’s a new animation studio making its debut this month on the animation scene. Named “FLAT STUDIO“, it’s run by none other than pixiv‘s famous artist “loundraw“.

The company was launched back in January when loundraw set up a website and declared he was recruiting. And according to the look on loundraw’s twitter page, he still is. He stated the company would be very open, and although now he has a bunch of people, you might still try your luck to get in the door.

loundraw as an artist has an impressive background – or should I say, prolific. He has quite the eye for light and shadow, which makes his works – now including animation – more fascinating. Critics are already saying he may be the next Makoto Shinkai.

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