A Perfect Summation Of My Perspective​ On Death

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

Mark Twain

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly, those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”

Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

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A Synopsis of my Views on ‘Free Will’

“Free will is defined as the belief that there is a component to biological behavior that is something more than the unavoidable consequences of genetics and environmental history of the individual and the possible stochastic laws of nature” (i.e., the laws of physics and chemistry)

Anthony Cashmore

That is, there is something that you can do that violates naturalism and the laws of physics and chemistry. Which is making free decisions, one can not simply obviate the laws that predominate reality, this is the bone of my contention and why I reject the very notion of free will. We live in a universe that is determined at bottom by fundamental particles, so to say you as an individual can intervene and induce the system via your own will is absurd. We are animals constituted of baryonic matter whose actions are determined by the laws of physics and chemistry, our environment and the stochastic nature of reality promulgated by quantum indeterminacy. Continue reading

Self-concept and The Manufacturing of Consent

I recently began taking an interpersonal communication class at my university and had to write a piece on advertisings effects on what we think ought to be. After reading comes of Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. Manufacturing Consent, I was inspired to integrate it with what I was reading in my course’s book, this is the result, I hope you all enjoy and as always, now, what will you think?

Advertisers are just a division of a considerably larger apparatus known as the mass media which its self is controlled and owned by a relatively concentrated network of corporations, conglomerates, investment firms, government executives, and obscenely wealthy individuals who are in the position to make significant decisions that then determines the way society functions. And in the case of mass media/advertisers, their primary role in this system is to mobilize public support for the special interest that dominate over the government and private sector.

I postulate that the mass media has an overwhelming influence in determining how we ought to be and it does this by manufacturing our consent. This is done through numerous means, and I will outline some here. It begins by the selection of topics, followed by the distribution of what the society should be concerned with and what concerns should be emphasized. We can then see how mass media influences our framing of issues, through filtering information and the bounding of what is and is not debatable, within certain limits. This all to determine, select, control, and restrict how the society thinks things “ought” to be, To serve the interest of whatever elite group dominates that particular country may it be Thailand or Iran, the model of propaganda and manufacturing consent follows relatively the same order of progression and operation.

All of the products and services outlined in the purpose of this discussion, phones, hair dye, and plastic surgery are all disseminated by corporations and conglomerates, which sell to a market. That market is advertisers (other businesses) which keeps the mass media functioning, it’s not like the audience is funding the mass media, but it is indeed the corporations that pay to have their products advertised on a particular channel (media) may it be done through the internet or television, this is what is funding and allowing the mass media to operate. These advertisements then go to influence the audience that views that specific channel of media, whose views of the world are shaped to be more conducive to the buying of whatever product/service is being sold to them. Because what advertisers (mass media) are selling is not only a product but also an audience, to corporations willing to pay them.

From here I think it is abundantly clear as to what kind of perception is going to be promulgated via the mass media, and that is one that satisfies the needs and interest of the select few within a society that owns and operates the mass media and private enterprise. Irrespective of the consequences of a skewed worldview on the civilization at large, may they be beneficial or detrimental as long as it terminates in the maximization of profit these institutions are apathetic.

The effects this kind of system has on our individual self-concept is one that is of great interest to me. Because those who point out flaws in the system and aim to hinder it are often excluded from the society at large. For no institution would develop a self-destruct mechanism within itself, so those who hold and propagate inhibitory views of these institutions are marginalized, excluded, and, ostracized to ensure the survival of that system. The effect this has on individuals self-concept can be detrimental, in that even if that person is correct in their criticism they may begin to question the foundation of their beliefs and attitudes and endeavor to conform to the established system. Breaking under the immense social pressure, and end up living a life that is not only unfamiliar to them but also anathema to their very being. Humans have a social need to belong to a group, and while their self-concept may be in line with fact, they may be willing to sacrifice portions of their beliefs, attitudes, and values to fit in and go along with the social gradient. And in this scenario, the institutions have won in their effort to eliminate dissent and manufacture consent.

Greater Professional Resources:

Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. Pantheon Books, 1988.
Kirsten Weir. “The Pain of Social Rejection.” Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association, Apr. 2012, http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/rejection.aspx.

Stray Thoughts

Science is a process that produces a testable body of knowledge that is open to rejection or confirmation, and the first rule to this endeavor is not to fool yourself because you are the easiest person to fool. So while science can’t disprove an unprovable hypothesis (that being god), it can, however, render it so preposterously improbable that anybody who still takes it to be viable has a serious problem on their hands.

This method gives us the best and only approximation of objective reality, although one should always remember that we are organic creatures with specific capacities and limitations and can only do our best with the tools we have to gain knowledge of this world.

We should do our best not to have faith, and by that, I mean “An intense and usually confident belief that is not based on evidence sufficient to demand consent  from every reasonable person.”Ascribing to the principle annunciated by the philosopher Bertrand Russell, in that we should try to evade irrational beliefs, singularly holding a degree of confidence in propositions we can substantiate with evidence.

Eliminating that which is improbable, and accepting whatever remains, however, subjectively improbable, to be comparatively closer to approaching the truth than we once were. Furthermore, it would do us good to remember that what can be asserted in the absence of evidence can be dismissed without consideration.

Life Update

Wow it has been some time since my last post, and I think that means its time for a life update

Where do I begin well I am in my final year at university, and I changed my major to Genetics and Cell Biology with a minor in Chemistry. And over the summer I had to take a five credit hour Bio-Calculus course witch remorsefully predominated my time, consequentially I did not get to read an write as much as I wanted to. However, I hope this semester I can get some more writing done

When it comes to my family, my brother graduated and is now working a job he does not necessarily want to do but since it pays well he is tolerating in for now. My older brother went off and joined the Air Force which I had/have regards about, but that is another discussion. Overall I am proud of him, and he is succeeding so what more can I ask.

That pretty much wraps up the last six months of my life; I hope all who reads my small blog here is doing well and has an auspicious year. And as always, now, what will you think?

An Intriguing​ Cosmic Phenomenon I Came Across

This graceful arc is an example of a cosmic phenomenon known as an Einstein ring. The ring is created as the light from distant objects, like galaxies, pass by an extremely large mass, such as the apparent galaxy cluster in the image.

The light from a background galaxy is diverted and distorted around the massive intervening cluster. Due to the creation of a gravitational well created by the sheer mass of the galactic cluster, time and space are literally warped, forcing light to travel along various distinctive light paths toward Earth, making it seem as though the galaxy is in several places at once producing the Einstein ring.

This primordial and inconceivably enormous universe never ceases to amaze, intrigue, and inspire me, as I learn more about it, and its connection to us humans, on the small blue pebble, we call Earth. And as always, now, what will you think💭?

The Progress Of Claimed Roots To Knowledge And How We Know What We Know

By our very nature, we humans are natural sinks of profound error, and throughout time we have been able to deem, through conjecture and dissertation of empirical evidence (science) that certain claimed roots to knowledge are erroneous. Such as that of authority, scripture, dogma, the feeling of subjective certainty (intuition), charisma, revelation, tradition, faith, and the hermeneutic parsing of ‘sacred’ text. The antithesis of what these supposed claimed roots of knowledge allegedly sought was discovered, in that, they conversely generated delusion, not erudition.

Through the disapprobation of those claimed roots to knowledge only one generator of truth accretion has been found, that being science broadly construed, fueled by the ability to offer hypotheses and to see if they can withstand falsifiability via logical consistency and empirical evidence. If this freedom to present wrong hypotheses and open criticism were to be taken away, then we would be left without the only fuel that generates truth, leaving society suspended in a state of ignorance and self-deception. And as always, now, what will you think💭?

Recent Thoughts: Inspired By The Moral Landscape And Enlightenment Now

On more than one occasion, I have come across the school of thought that brandishes religion as useful, while acknowledging that it is an untrue convention created by humankind. But I found this to be a non sequitur because religion, in some cases, could be useful, but in light of that, it is empty of all content and truth; functioning like a placebo. We can’t just believe things based on their utility, this line of dubious reasoning leads to a whole host of deleterious consequences. We should strive to have our conscious state and emotional life track the reality of our circumstances in the world, conforming to it if you will, as the mysteries of this grand universe are uncovered. Skepticism, fallibilism, open debate, candidness, and empirical testing are the sole ways we should formulate reliable knowledge about the universe and ourselves.

I would also like to add that this is a profoundly condescending, cynical, pessimistic and unimaginative view, the idea that, I and you don’t need religion, but of course the rift raft out there needs to be sedated by pious delusions. Not to mention there is real social, environmental, and economic cost associated with being entrenched in this grand delusion. Ranging from personal cognitive dissonance which generates stress, to the needless subversion of the health and safety of millions, through the imposition of a heritage of contradiction and obfuscation on our social institutions. Continue reading