Challenge The Thought

all strains of a virus begin life as a variant.
Not all variants, however, become new strains

so it is with intelligence as with disease

all intelligence begins life as a thought exercise
not all thought exercises, however, become intelligence

The true epidemic of covid19 is to be overwhelmed by absolute certainty

Joe Rogan is a thought exercise in existential uncertainties, rendered in flesh

Canceling comedians is, in effect, an attempt to cancel laughter, and to shame those laughing.

Canceling teachers, however, is arguably more dangerous than attacking performers, because teachers’ end users are young adults under development. Just ask Stephen Kershnar, SUNY Fredonia Philosophy Professor .

Upstream, to cancel a teacher is to cancel learning; to cancel ways of thinking…

Would you rather a world without laughter, or a world without learning?

If nobody thinks, does anybody laugh?

If nobody laughs, does anybody learning?

Prof. Kershnar’s seminar comprised radical thought exercises, wherein a student wrestled with their conscience. The aim of undergraduate college is not to inculcate young adults with facts, but rather to define ethics and morality, in whatever discipline they pursue. Prof. Kershnar’s work was of the highest academic value.

Challenging yourself to believe and argue for something you would never morally believe or ethically act on, is a great way to find out what makes you you. And an almost foolproof way to deepen empathy and lessen cynicism. Academic settings are perhaps the safest and most productive places to engage in existential reflection.

Academic “freedom” is also to protect the most dangerous ideas, in order to scrutinize them

Imagine a dangerous virus laboratory, except instead of keeping smallpox in cold-storage, the lab stores and studies the complete range of human thoughts and ideas – from the most advancing to the most infernal…

That’s a university.

When we wrestle with our conscience, what is on the other side of that argument except that part of us that is built to dehumanize?

There is a nazi, a murderer… a hater… in each one of us.

Luckily none of those are the default state of the soul.

Still, what’s good and what’s evil evolve over time, and intelligence is independent of morality.

Some of the shittiest people are quite smart.

Denial of our darkness is self-oppression. Any organized system – religious, political, social – that punishes our exploration of challenging thoughts, is nothing more than a cult of conformity

People form ideas, but ideas don’t form a person

Doubt should never be met with derision

In a healthy academic space, doubt figures out how to form a more ideal world

We have to allow people to take risks with their minds and thinking as much as we allow with their bodies. You can’t allow people to free climb El Capitan and yet disallow people to free solo through their minds.

Most information sources contain at least one green grain of truth. The little lies on the margins determine others’ views of the source’s credibility

lol mandates are so the non-compliant fear exclusion, and yet as much so the compliant fear exile

How to cleave fear from obedience is a most necessary thought exercise to have right now

The threat calculus to the locked-in has changed in the last 2 years. The danger outside is ever more abstracted as covid waxes, wanes, and fails to approach end-days kill number standards. The pandemic continues now in part because the locked-down are convinced that they are the danger. “What, leave the house?” they are enabled to reason. “You think I want to be a serial killer?”

At the same time, the locked-down were labeled the “non-essential.” In the beginning, “non-essential” and “essential” were embraced as descriptors of the work that took someone out of the house, into contact with others. If your work was “non-essential,” your job brought more value to society if it could be done from home or not at all.

Today, however, “non-essential” is a fuzzy term. Some work and free movement is ok in some places; some places not – whether country-to-country, state-to-state, or city-to-city. Now imagine, if you, for years, were told “you don’t count enough to leave the house,” or “you’re not important enough to have your life back,” simply because you lived somewhere where an arbitrary majority of people within an arbitrary border determined your fate. You’d be pissed, and itching to move across that arbitrary borderline.

There may be “non-essential” work, but there are no “non-essential” people.