Oct 27, 2016

Beliefs and attachment

We all have beliefs. They're designed to help us survive. Sometimes they work well, sometimes poorly, and sometimes they are self-defeating.

Sometimes we merely have beliefs and sometimes we are attached to them. I am going to talk about the difference between having a belief and being attached to a belief. It's an important distinction. A lot of human misery is due to this attachment.

Let's start with a definition. From Wikipedia:
Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. Another way of defining belief sees it as a mental representation of an attitude positively oriented towards the likelihood of something being true.[1] 
For this discussion, it does not matter whether your belief is based on evidence or not. It does not matter whether it is due to the way you were raised, or what your friends profess, or the result of thoughtful analysis. For purposes of this discussion what matters is whether you have the belief without attachment, or whether you are attached to it.

We have beliefs, just as we have other things--money, clothing, cars. The important difference is this: no one can take or break your beliefs. Even your smallest belief is invulnerable to harm. Indeed, not even you can injure your beliefs. The only thing you can do is to replace a belief with a different belief, or with no belief at all.

Beliefs, unlike almost anything else we possess, are immaterial and invulnerable. We don't need to protect them and we don't need to defend them. So why do we defend them? I claim we don't need to, but we think we need to when we are attached to them; when we see our beliefs as part of ourselves; when we confuse who we are with what we believe; and when we confuse who others are with what they believe.

The difference between having a belief and being attached to a belief is how we react to challenges to that belief--or to attacks against it. If we can't stand apart from a belief, see it as invulnerable to any criticism, challenge, or attack--if we react to an attack against a belief that we hold as if it were an attack against ourselves,  we're attached.

Some beliefs are good--that is, they lead toward better outcomes for most people. Some are evil--they lead to unnecessary harm. But having an evil belief, even being attached to an evil belief does not make a person evil. Nor does holding a good belief make one good. We are good or evil based on what we do and what we incite others to do, not merely based on what we believe.

Whether you view yourself through the lens of science as a conscious phenomenon or through the lens of religion as an immortal soul or being, you are also not a material thing. You may depend on a material thing--your body, or the universe, for your existence--but you are not it. So unless your body is being threatened or attacked, you are invulnerable as well.

Your body can be injured, but you can't be. And neither can your beliefs. So why do we feel threatened? Why do we feel a need to defend?

That felt need is a historical artifact, conditioned into us by our cultural experience. It is usually unnecessary in a civilized society. If you are in danger of being physically attacked, punished, or tortured because of your beliefs then defending your physical body makes sense. But defending your beliefs is always unnecessary. They don't need your help.

You can feel passionate about your beliefs, without being attached to them. You can encourage others to adopt your beliefs, or let others encourage you to adopt theirs without attachment. Your beliefs can stand on their own.

Sometimes it's hard to separate yourself from a belief. We say "that belief is part of me" or it's "part of who I am." But that's an illusion. A conditioned way of thinking, and an illusion.

Like all illusions, the conditioning is easy to break if you examine it. If you look, you can see that whatever you are (or are not) is independent of any belief that you might hold. If you look, you'll see that the idea that you need any particular belief or any set of beliefs in order to be yourself just can't be true. You are what you are (whatever that may be) regardless of what you believe.

The experience of consciousness is not based on any particular thought or idea. If you change your mind you don't become someone else.

If people threaten to harm you because of your beliefs or threaten to harm others because of their beliefs, you don't need to defend those beliefs. Instead, you need to challenge the belief of those who make threats that their threats are justified by what others believe.

It's their belief that needs to be challenged, questioned, and if need be, attacked.

Oct 25, 2016

Hey liberals, want to help Trump? Then behave like jerks.

I'm not kidding. Every bit of assholery helps. Call him names. Make bad arguments. Mock his supporters. Yeah, that will help a lot.

I'm not talking about stuff that is actually funny--although be careful with humor. I thought Trump was funny when he mocked Clinton at the All Smith dinner. She laughed along with everyone else. And she was funny mocking him. But he went too far. His last few jokes went flat, and a lot of the good will that he'd gained was lost.

But stuff that isn't funny? Please stay away from it.

Please don't be a jerk. You're just helping someone that you don't like. Or hurting someone (a friend) who you do like.

Think about it. It's human behavior to withdraw when you're hurt. And it's also human behavior to want to strike back when you're hurt.

And if you get someone mad enough, and the best way to strike back at you hurts them, too--well, so what.

I've done that in my life.

I'm not proud of that, but I admit it. I guess that makes me human.

Imagine someone who is a principled conservative and who has--because of those principles, almost always voted Republican. They oppose liberals and the Democrats reflexively--as well as reflectively. They dislike Hillary Clinton way more than they dislike most Democrats. Maybe they even hate her.

And now their party has picked Donald J. Trump. And they are not happy about it.

If you're that person, and you look at some of Trump's policy positions alongside some of Clinton's you favor his positions. On the basis of intellectual choice of policy positions, he'd be your preferred candidate.

But imagine that you're that person, and you've come to see things about Trump that you dislike. Maybe things that are worrisome. Still, you oppose Clinton both intellectually and viscerally. What do you do?

In a safe state, you know your vote won't decide the election. If you're in Idaho, Trump will win, regardless of what you do. If in California, it's going to be Clinton.

If you're that person, and most of your friends and family are conservatives who are likely to vote for the Republican (who just happens to be Trump)--if for no other reason than most of their friends and family are mostly conservatives and likely to vote for the Republican--then failing to vote for the Republican is letting down your side.

I'd feel that way if the situation was reversed.

So even in safe states, your vote matters. Maybe only to you. Maybe to friends and family--if they knew how you'd voted. It matters.

So what do you do? I think you feel conflicted. Maybe you vote your tribe--because your tribe matters. Maybe you vote for Gary Johnson.  Maybe you don't vote for anyone.

Maybe you don't tell anyone what you're going to do--or what you've done. Why get in needless arguments with people you care about? Maybe you feel bad about that. Maybe you don't. I don't know, but I wouldn't want to be that person.

It's a balancing act. You're balancing one set of values against another set and another set and another set. Every answer is displeasing. None is easily made.

And then someone comes along and helps you make your decision, by acting like a total jerk. Fuck you. I'll vote for Trump. I don't like him, but you pissed me off.

So liberals, you can make a difference. You can tip the balance. You can cause someone to vote based on a different principle. Not the principle of loyalty. Not the principle of concern. But the principle of fuck you, asshole, take that!

Please don't.

And don't make bad arguments against Trump. Assuming you want to actually want to discuss--rather than name call--there are some good arguments and some bad ones.

But that's a subject for another post.

Oct 24, 2016

Intention Deficit Disorder

My problem isn't Attention Deficit Disorder. It's not even Attention Management Disorder, a malady that I invented and  blogged about.

A better name is Intention Deficit Disorder.  Sadly I didn't invent the term. That's OK. It's a good term, and I'm going adopt it.

Attention Management Disorder
Let's start with my old post on Attention Management Disorder. I explained:
If what I've got is called ADD, it's misnamed. I don't have an attention deficit. I've got enough attention for somewhere between two and ten ordinary people. My problem is another of my inventions: Attention Management Disorder (AMD). According to Google, Attention Management Disorder is not yet a thing. So I invented it.
I've got so much surplus attention that I can carry out most simple tasks, fairly effectively. using a small fraction all of my available attention. Writing this post is about as demanding as it gets, and it takes a fair amount of attention--but not all of it. Once I know how a sentence ends, I need very little attention to get my fingers to type the rest of the words. With attention to spare I'm watching the New England Patriots kicking the butts of the Miami Dolphins on TV between thoughts as I type words.
Go Pats!
But Attention Management Disorder is also the wrong term.

Intention Deficit Disorder

I have a new diagnosis, and I'm calling it "Intention Deficit Disorder." It turns out I didn't invent the idea. Someone has already posted about it here, and here and here among other places. Still, I think I have some insights to offer.

Here's how I perceive my own IDD: I intend to do something. I start to do it. And then I find myself unintentionally doing something else. Something that I did not intend to do. My distractibility may be due to poor management of attention, but under that, I think it's a deficiency in intention.

A simple example: I'm eating dinner. I've had enough food. I put down my knife and fork. I intend to not eat the rest of what's on my plate. Next thing I know, I'm eating again. Or worse, my plate is empty. Unintentional.

Since I came up with the idea I've been reviewing how I carry out intentional acts and when unintentional acts intrude. I've been thinking about what I might do to improve my ability to use whatever powers of intention that I have.

I've learned a couple of things worth sharing.

What is intention?

Let's start with intent. In law, there's a nice distinction made between motive--a reason for acting--and intent--the purposeful carrying out of an act. I might have a motive for killing someone, and then not do anything. No intent, no action. The law recognizes the difference and treats intentional and unintentional acts accordingly. Hitting someone with your car accidentally (unintentionally) is different than hitting them intentionally.

Intent is a mental state, and unless we are mind-readers or an individual confesses their intention, we can't know what it actually was. We infer it, though: if a person has a motive (judged from the outside) for performing an act, and then carries it out, we tend to believe they had an intention (only known internally). And if we deem that the act was intentional and injurious, we punish it accordingly.

Right now I'm writing this. I have several different motives for writing. I started writing it as part of my Daily Pages. I have a streak going, and I'm motivated to keep it going. I enjoy writing. That's another. I came up with this idea of Intention Deficit Disorder and I wanted to explore the idea. Writing is a good way to do that. Another motive.

My intention to write proceeds from my motivation. Without intention, I wouldn't be writing. Why? Because I'm motivated to do lots of other things. And I might even intend to do other things at one time or another. But I'm doing this, rather than something else because I looked at the universe of things that I'm motivated to do, and from the many, I have chosen this one. Deciding was not enough. There's something between decision and action, and that's intention.

Great. That makes sense to me. So what happens next? What are the failure modes for intentional action?

Failure modes

Let's take motivation as a given and start there.

To move from motivation to action, I need to make a decision. That's the first failure mode: sometimes I don't. I go back and forth between alternatives and never decide. That's the first failure mode.

Another failure mode: I make a decision, I form an intention, and I don't act.

Another failure mode: I start, and I don't see my action through to the end. I don't produce what I intended to produce.

Let's look at these failure modes in order.

Not deciding

First: I don't make a decision. If I don't, the usual reason is this: I never intend to decide. My decision process is itself unintentional. I'm sitting around with stuff going through my mind and considering alternatives, thinking about deciding. But there's no intention to decide. There is--wait for it--an intention deficit. It's a deficit so great that I don't have enough intention to form an intention.

Seems easy to fix. Just intend to decide.

Not acting

Next: I make a decision but don't act. I don't start. Most times when that happens it's because the intention that I have formed is not a very strong one. It's what you might call a casual intention.

Likewise, seems easy to fix. Intend to have stronger intentions.

Not producing a result

This is the big one. I intend, but I don't follow through. I don't produce what I intended to produce. But did I actually intend to produce something? Or did I simply intend to do something?

Right now, as I write my first draft of this post, I have a clear intention to write, and a vague intention to turn this into a blog post. Alright! I can sharpen that intention. I can intend to write this as a draft, then intend to turn it into a blog post, and then publish it. Which I've done? Well, if you're reading this, then I have.

Overcoming obstacles

I intend to do something, I have an objective, something I want to produce and something gets in my way. There's an obstacle, but my intention isn't strong enough to be me over, around, or through it. Then what happens? Well: I've got an intention deficit. I need ten units of intention to get past the obstacle, and I've only got five. Most times, I'll veer off into unintentional behavior: get up and grab something to eat. Pick up my phone, and go to G+ or Facebook, or Twitter, or Reddit. My so-called ADD behavior is the result of an intention deficit.

What I'd like

What I'd like to do instead--what I intend to learn to do--is this: when I run out of intention, I'd like to reassess, make a decision, and form a new intention. I might increase my intention so that's enough to get me past the obstacle. I might decide to work on something else and intend to come back later--or not. But whatever I do, I'd like to do intentionally.

Well, I intended to write this, and I have.

And I intend to post it.

And I will have.

Oct 9, 2016

President? Supreme Court? Human Level AI? Putting things in perspective.

So let's put some of the things we worry about in perspective:
  • The possible threat of super-human AI. 
  • The possible threat of climate change.
  • The possible threat of a Trump presidency.
  • The possible threat of a change in the composition of the Supreme Court.
Let's take the extremes, then move to the middle spectrum.

Super-human AI: My previous post argues that the threat of super-human API is substantial. Something is almost certain to happen, to happen relatively soon, and we have no f**ing idea what it's going to be. There are good reasons to believe that it could be very, very bad for humanity, as we know it.

Supreme Court: This is last refuge of people who have bought into "hold your nose and vote Trump™" They think Trump could very bad for the country, maybe, possibly and for four years; but a liberal Supreme Court will be bad for the country, for sure, certainly, and for decades.

To which I say: bullshit™.

The Supreme Court cannot decide to invade Iraq. It can't decide to "take their oil." It can't decide to build a wall. It can't start the nuclear launch procedure. It can't decide to change the tax code. It can't send a budget to Congress. It can't pardon felons, or reduce their sentences. Or arrest people who disagree with it. The president can, and many of these things (war, budgets, pardons, and arresting those who disagree) has been done by at least one president. And the rest could easily be done.

The Supreme Court is far more limited in what it can do. It can only act as the moderator of decisions made by elected representatives who have made laws, or decisions made by elected representatives who have enforced laws; and only when not resolved by lower level courts, and only when the Supreme Court decides to hear the issue.

Nearly half of all Supreme Court decisions are unanimous. The percentage decided by single-vote margins has never gone much above 20%.

Yes, it's true that the court has become far more polarized than it has been for most of its history. But the Supreme Court is not setting direction. It's settling corner-cases. Sometimes those corners are pretty big, but they are still at the margins. And the biggest issues--not the ones that get the most attention--are usually settled by sizeable majorities.

So the Supreme Court's composition is the smallest threat.

Climate change: Depending on your perspective, this is an overhyped threat; a natural process over which we have little control; or a problem of catastrophic proportions. But even in the worst case we are talking about changes that happen relatively slowly. Unlike the AI threat where we can honestly say: "we have no f**king idea what's going to happen" and pretty good theory that says changes can occur with enormous speed, the range of climate change outcomes is pretty constrained. It might be this bad. It might be that bad. But it is unlikely to destroy humanity in an eye blink. I'm not being hyperbolic when I say this is in the range of AI threat possibilities.

Trump: Which brings us to Trump. Again, there's a range of possibilities, but unlike Climate Change, and like AI, we don't know what the f**k is going to happen with Trump.

I can imagine Trump being really good. But that's only because I've got an incredibly good imagination, and that's only if I work really hard at it. It's not easy imagining that someone who seems so resolutely ignorant, who says so many things that are false to fact, who has a history of temperamental reactions will do much good.

On the other hand, I find it ridiculously imagining these attributes leading to what we call Really Bad Things.

You might be one of those people who sees no problem with Trump. Or one who sees no essential difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. If so, I applaud your imagination.

But if, like me you see a big difference, and a big problem, then don't vote just to keep control of the Supreme Court.

Notwithstanding MSNBC, Fox News and Common Wisdom™, it's not all that important. 

Sam Harris, on the AI threat

As promised (or threatened) in this post, here's my next article on Sam Harris.

Sam recently gave a TED talk on AI. It's worth watching, before or after reading this.

He argues, in a clear and non-technical way, why human-level and super-human-level computer intelligence is almost certain--if we don't destroy ourselves first.

Then he explains why it might well be a threat when it comes.

Finally he makes the following, important argument: people who understand the problem--even him--under-react emotionally to it.

Here's his nice analogy. Most people knowledgeable about AI agree that we will "eventually" produce non-human intelligences that are smarter than humans. We've already done that in some narrow domains.  As reported in Wikipedia, most expert estimates of when that will happen range from ten years to over a century.

Now imagine that we got a message that says " Hello! We are intelligent creatures from another galaxy. We will be landing on earth in large numbers in ten to one hundred years. And once we arrive we will <message garbled>"

The message is garbled because we don't know. We can't predict what other humans will choose to do, so how could be possibly predict what an equally intelligent non-human might decide?

So how does their arrival in--split the difference--fifty-five years feel to you? To me, it's an eye-blink, because I've lived more than that long, and boy has it passed quickly!

To make matters worse, if we can't predict non-humans of equal intelligence, how could we possibly predict the behavior of creatures that are smarter than we are? And creatures that would be continuing to get smarter far faster than we can. Computer intelligence can evolve at the speed of technology, and we can only evolve at roughly the speed of biology. It took four billion years of carbon-based evolution to get from the first carbon-based critter to human intelligence.

Starting with the computer it will take--at most--a couple of hundred years to catch up to our four billion year head-start. And things don't stop there.

And then what happens? No one has any idea. Isn't that worrisome?

Our only hope to compete--if you want to call it a hope--is that we make ourselves smarter by genetic engineering of our children, and integrating their carbon-based brains with silicon-based computer intelligence.

But then what will they be? Still humans? I would claim that they will be a new kind of human, and the prospect is awe-inspiring.

You may think it's scary awe-inspiring, aka awful. Or you may think it's kind of wonderful.

Whatever the case, I think it's something to think seriously about.

And not to make less of the issue, but only to put it in perspective--it's way more important than who's on the Supreme Court.

Oct 5, 2016

Some things I've learned about love--Part I

I’ve learned that loving someone is a skill, and like any skill, the more you practice--deliberately practice-- the better you can get.

I’ve been loving my wife, Bobbi, for nearly 50 years, my daughters a few years less than that. Add friends, sons-by-marriage and a few grandchildren, and I’ve been getting a workout. Lots of practice. And I’ve learned a thing or two.

I've also learned that if you wait until you've finished a long post that you care about, like this, that you never finish.

So here's part 1.

Love is a choice.

Some people believe that love is something that happens to you. Certainly that’s true for a babies; they are hard-wired to love any human being that they see regularly and treats them nice. Also puppies.

But adults have a choice. You may not be able to choose who you are attracted to, or who you lust after, love is a choice one you grow a rational brain. For me love has been a concious choice since I was in my teens, and thought about what love meant.

And love continues to be a choice. The only change: I’ve gotten better at choosing.

I love Bobbi. When I first started to love her, biology gave me a boost. She was a beautiful woman when I first met her, and she is a beautiful woman, still. That might have been part of why I chose to love her back then, but it’s not why I continue to choose to love her.

I could say I that I love her because she is one of the most thoughtful, considerate people I know. That’s true, but it’s not why. Or because she’s intelligent -- which she is. But that’s not why. It’s not because she’s a hard worker, though that’s also true. Or because she takes good care of me -- which she does. Or because she is the one person that I am absolutely sure will always be there when needed. Though that is true, and highly valued, that’s not it. Or because she’s incredibly reliable -- which she is -- and I am not. Nope. Or because she’s been a great mom and a wonderful role model for our daughters -- which she was and is. Or because she’s an accomplished poet and writer; also true.

My decision is influenced by all of these reasons, but in the end, it’s none of them. Some years ago I realized that I didn’t need reasons to justify loving her, and I stopped using reasons to justify my choice. I realized that I loved her because I chose to love her. And I’ve made that choice over, and over again. And as far as I can predict, I’ll keep choosing her the one I love most.

Likewise my kids. People expect you to love your kids just because they’re your kids. And there’s a lot of biology and social approval that gives you a push in that direction. But by the time we had our first kid I knew I would not be one of those parents who loved their kids just because they were their kids; I would choose. Fortunately, my kids made it an easy choice. They are awesome.

Love is a gift.

Love is also a gift. That means that once you choose to give your love, you don’t expect something in return. Not even love returned. Otherwise it’s not a gift, but a transaction.

That’s important to remember when loving teen-agers. You love them, and sometimes nothing is exactly what you get. Sometimes it’s worse. Nonetheless, I learned to keep giving.

Each of our three daughters got an initial birthday gift of love: undeserved, but by choice. I continued to love them they grew from being interesting babies (what’s not to love!) through troublesome teens (loving them was really hard sometimes) to hard-working, talented, ethical, and thoroughly admirable women (loving them is now effortless.)

My love is a gift and I don’t give gifts to people who don’t deserve them. My love is valuable and not because of the law of supply and demand. Market economics don’t work here (and many other places.)

So I don’t love the undeserving. Giving love to the undeserving devalues it.

But in the end, it’s a gift.

Love is a verb.

About twenty years ago I read a book by Steven Covey (author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) that stuck with me. Here’s the story he tells of a man, an attendee at one of his seminars, looking for advice on his marriage.

“...my wife and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other that we used to have, [says the man] I guess I don’t love her anymore, and she doesn’t love me. What can I do?”
“The feeling isn’t there?” I [Covey] inquired.
“That’s right, he reaffirmed. “And we have three children we’re really concerned about. What do you suggest?”
“Love her,” I replied.
“I told you, the feeling just isn’t there anymore.”
“Love her.”
“You don’t understand. The feeling of love isn’t there anymore.”
“Then love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s a good reason to love her.”
“But how do you love when you don’t love?”
“My friend, love is a verb. Love--the feeling--is the fruit of love the verb. So love her.”

Love is a verb. It’s something you do. It’s something that you can choose to do or not.

More than once when I didn’t feel the love that I once felt, I remembered Covey’s story. And I did some more loving.

My reward then was that loving feeling. My reward now is the life I've got.

I learned: do the work of loving, and you'll get your reward.

Love takes work.

Because love is something that you do, it takes work. Sometimes it’s easy work. Sometimes it’s fun, and sometimes it’s almost effortless. But sometimes it’s hard. And sometimes it’s really hard.

But easy or hard, it’s always some amount of work.

Work takes energy. You’ve only got so much energy and everything you do takes some amount of it. If you’re burning a lot of energy on your job, or if you’re little bit of energy on other activities--even pleasurable ones-- then you’ve got that much less energy available for loving.

(Hint: if your other activity is one that burns energy but reinforces love, then it’s a great two for one deal. That’s a good justification for kissing, cuddling, or sex--if you’re both inclined.)

Conflicts are energy burners, so loving in the face of conflicts is much harder than loving when things are aligned. Stress is an energy burner, too. It’s a lot harder to love when you’re stressed, even if the stress has nothing to do with the person you love.

Babies make things worse. They are energy sinks and stress producers. They take time and attention. They deny you sleep. You worry about them. And loving them reduces the energy available for loving your partner.

And they promote new conflicts. You have ideas on how to raise a baby. Your partner has different, incompatible ideas. If you both feel strongly, you argue. That takes energy and there’s that much less available for loving.

I learned that the times when I felt least loving--toward my wife or one of my kids--were the times that I needed to work hardest. I chose to do the work.

And the life that I have today is my reward.

Loving is a skill.

Because love is something you do, you can do it well or poorly. It’s a skill And as with any other skill: the more you practice, with deliberate intention, the better you can get.

Casual loving can help, just as mindless practice can help. But deliberate, conscious, knowing practice is the best.

Writing this essay I realized that loving the same woman for nearly fifty years, and working at it, has made me much better at loving her than I was our love was first blooming.

And love is a transferable skill. The better you get at loving one person, or a group of people, the better you get at loving others.

Deliberate practice is important. Some people just go through the motions. Then they get divorced. Going through the motions won’t get you where you can go if you put your mind (and your heart) to it.

Practice not only helps you do more, it helps you know more. You do things better and you know better what you’re doing. That can help when you are in unfamiliar territory. And it can help you transfer your knowledge so that others can love better.

Stay tuned for Part II.

Sam Harris: thinking in public

I've been binge-listening and binge-reading a bunch of Sam Harris' stuff the last several days, and I am moved to write several posts in praise of him. I've written previously about his book "Waking Up" and its impact on my life. But there's more. The is the cover post, a quick TL;DR of some of the things that I've run across and intend to write on.


First: "Thinking in public." Which is what Harris does. It's inspired me to do more of that. More on this topic at the end of the section.

Second, his recent TED talk on AI. He makes the right argument, clearer than anyone else, and points out the fact that none of us--him included is reacting appropriately.

Third, his guided meditation. A companion to his book, Waking Up. There are two meditations. A short one, 9 minutes, and a longer one, 26.

Fourth, his podcasts on Trump. Actually not on Trump, but on other things, but with long sections devoted to his analysis of Trump. I've transcribed one of them. More later, linked here, once I write. Here's the first, on YouTube, and my unauthorized transcription.

Fifth, his posts on Islamic Jihadism and the intellectually vacuous response of the Left. Best arguments I have seen. In particular what Hillary should say.


Thinking In Public

I came across this phrase somewhere over the last few days, reading a bunch of Harris stuff, and the idea stuck. When I decided to write this post, and I googled for "Sam Harris thinking in public" the top links were to a podcast with Neil deGrasse Tyson. (YouTube here. Web site here. Soundcloud (downloadable) here.) I have not listened to the podcast, so I am not recommending it, though I may come back with a follow up.

For now, I'm just pimping the slogan.

Harris has been thinking in public for a while about important topics, like the ones above. I find his public thoughts to be valuable, cogent, well documented, and well argued. He's not all that funny. In fact he's kind of dry, but hey, we can't all be perfect.

So I've decided to emulate him a bit, and do a bit more thinking in public.

Who knows what will come of it.