Saturday, January 3, 2009

First post

I wanted to change my blog's URL, but I don't know how to do it except by creating a new one and copying all the old posts manually, so I am about to become the most prolific blog writer ever, with thirteen posts in just minutes.


Here I begin. This is not my first attempt at keeping a blog; during some of my most successful periods as a fledgling professional poker player, I kept another.

"What is my purpose?" I ask myself. That is a good question, I reply, as I am often long on ideas, short on eloquence. I aim to set down some of my ideas here as I get them, however awkward my language may be. I hope to use it as an outlet to share my ideas and receive some feedback from others with similar areas of interest, but I will be satisfied simply to have them set down, so I can develop them over time, and get a better sense of my own personal development. When I get an idea that intrigues me, I tend to work it out a bit by discussing it aloud with my empty living room. Little is preserved, and I get less of an objective perspective from myself. Is this relevant? Is it interesting? Is it ridiculous? Is it trivial? Hopefully (it's a disjunct adverb, grammarians, get over it), this no frills blog will provide me that.

What are those areas of interest? Specifically: Humanity. Broadly: Education, ethics, morality, politics, war, religion, U.S. foreign relations, collateral damage, torture, genocide, tolerance, atheism, theism, anthropology, biology, evolution, social progress, sexuality, science, faith, superstition, secularism, logic, reason, classical music, technology, statistics and probability, game theory, history, medicine, law, psychology, conspiracy theorists, cults, racism, free speech, hate speech, philanthropy, abortion, poker, and traffic safety.

Wha? Classical music? Poker? Traffic safety? I used to play and teach music for a living, and my passion for music remains. I dropped out of school and changed professions (to poker). Okay... but traffic safety, you say? Yes, I think the issue does not receive enough attention. Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do, and it carries with it a high fatality rate, about 1% (over the course of a lifetime). Granted, biking and walking are even more dangerous, but only because most people do these things near moving cars. And what qualifies this gambling degenerate to speak about our great social issues? Nothing, but I submit my ideas are worth testing on their own merits. And that is what I intend to find out, as I return to school in January, after three years off, and work towards making a positive impact in the world.

"Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" (Gauguin)

Biology, history, anthropology, and psychology have helped us answer the first two, and should help us to answer the third as well.

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