9 Comments

What an awesome well written piece Mathew. I really enjoy how you craft your narrative. Someday I hope to be able to sit across a table enjoying a cup of joe and talking with you in person. I believe at least on my end it would be enjoyable and I feel I would be a better person because of the conversation.

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I appreciate your kind words. And having a coffee conversation sounds like time well spent!

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Sep 17, 2023Liked by Matthew Moran

Great post - it's refreshing to read logical, rational beliefs clearly outlined. I'm an atheist ex-pat who lives in England and looks back on what's happening Stateside with horror. But not disbelief, because I grew up in Western North Carolina where religious fundamentalism was a creeping menace. I also like your focus on the importance of STEM, but in the UK it's now STEAM - A has been added for the arts. Science will fight ignorance's brain, but it'll be literature, history, art and philosophy that will destroy it's heart. Thanks for the posts!

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I agree with most of what you say, but I have two points of departure:

Political Parties: Of course they can be revolting for many reasons. However, being a member of a party is, in many states, a pre requistie to being able to participate in the poltiical system. For Example, in New York State you can only vote in the Democratic primary if you are a registered democrat. So if you want to have any say as to which candidate the Dems will nominate for an office, you must be a member of the dem party. In other states, such as New Hampshire, independents can vote in either the Dem or Republican party primary.

Why do you stress Stem. I don't want to sound like an old fogey or a wooly headed lover of allegedly soft subjects such as philosophy, but there is more to life that the development of the artifical intelligence, and other phenomena that reminds me of Churchill's warning about the dangers of German "perverted science."

It is not enough to determine how to master the universe. One must also ask: What should I do with my time, and for that one needs philosophy.

If you want to read a philo text which can blow your miind, read Rousseau's esssay, entered in a contest at the academy of Dijon in 1750, on how the "arts and sciences" have helped us.

In his essay (He got first prize, which was 1000 francs), Rousseau said that the arts and sciences have ESTRANGED US FROM NATURE, MADE US MORE ARTIFICIAL, MADE US MORE INSINCERE, MADE US LESS VITAL AND CORRUPTED OUR MORALS.

Also, I get irritable by people who reflexively say that we must adhere to science and follow science. However, they often don't know what science is. For example, I know intellectual ninnies who are so uptight about carbon dioxide that they think it should be eliminated from Planet earth. I suppose they forget 7th grade science: Sugar is created by plants from carbon dioxide and water. The plants do this with clorophyl and sunlight, but of course some lovers of science seem to think the sun should be banned becasue it can cause skin cancer. Dump the sun and we would all freeze to death.

Also a real scientist does not believe that scoientic truth is equivalent to the mouthings of the editorial board of the New York Times. A real scientist questions, examines and does not follow the crowd in the media. A real scientist knows that today's scientific truths are tomorrow's BS. For example, scientists from oxycontin said that it was less addictive than other opioids, and now we know that their asssessements were made only to boost sales for Perdue pharmaceuticals and were FICTICIOUS.

I could go on, but I gotta go.

John Money of John Hopkins said that sexual identity was solely a function of the environment, and that whether one was born with a penis or vagina is immaterial, and we now know that HIS SCIENTIFIC STUDIES LIED ABOUT THE EVIDENCE CULLED FROM THOSE STUDIES becasue he wanted to disseminate a particular message, i.e., that sexuality has nothing to do with biology.

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I certainly don't adhere to a "believe science without scrutiny" - but I do maintain that science, of all things that can impact the world, has the most built-in self-correction. It is sort of what science is. ie: Science is the study and testing of ignorance.

Also, when I suggest that we focus on STEM, again, the pragmatic reality is that we can build a better world where the majority of people are reasonably well-versed in tech and science. They can take (and should study) some philosophy and arts. My daughter attended a performing arts high school - so all good. I think music and art should be taught throughout school.

But I also believe people need to eat - and I suspect the number of philosophy majors making a living wage - without some tech knowledge - is pretty low.

Stressing STEM is a matter of simple pragmatics. The alternative is $100,000+ of student debt and no tangible skills for the market.

Also, I have no problem with someone being a plumber or mechanic or other high-value trade. I'd suggest those are "technical" skills to a greater or lesser degree.

As far as political parties - Years ago I registered for a party when there was a need to be able to cast a vote in a primary. Soon after, I changed my registration. Again pragmatics and principles.

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Sep 14, 2023Liked by Matthew Moran

Other than being shy with your opinions, you're OK :-) Any other commentary will require a personal discussion with no weapons close at hand. Be well.

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Jorge... as I tell anyone who says, "That's just your opinion."

Opinion is for amateurs. ;-)

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Sep 14, 2023Liked by Matthew Moran

I truly appreciate your openness and honesty. My favorite section is about the political tribalism. I believe that the tribalism mentality is detrimental in almost all of its incarnations. If you will as you said, it’s any of the we good versus them bad attitude, it reminds me of one of my biggest pet peeves, and that is arrogant ignorance, when people are so uninformed and unable to think things through yet believe they know the whole truth and judge everyone else who disagrees it’s very hard for me to be around them.

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Absolute certainty - especially when coupled with a lack of data - is a dangerous thing.

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