The podcast where Neil deGrasse Tyson calls me an idiot

Tyson sweepingly dismisses the entire history of philosophy. Actually, he doesn't just dismiss it. He goes much further — to argue that undergraduates should actively avoid studying philosophy at all. Because, apparently, asking too many questions "can really mess you up."

Yes, he really did say that. Go ahead, listen for yourself, beginning at 20:19 — and behold the spectacle of an otherwise intelligent man and gifted teacher sounding every bit as anti-intellectual as a corporate middle manager or used-car salesman. He proudly proclaims his irritation with "asking deep questions" that lead to a "pointless delay in your progress" in tackling "this whole big world of unknowns out there." When a scientist encounters someone inclined to think philosophically, his response should be to say, "I'm moving on, I'm leaving you behind, and you can't even cross the street because you're distracted by deep questions you've asked of yourself. I don't have time for that."
"I don't have time for that."

OK, he doesn't single me out by name, but since I think Zen is intriguing and may point to the fallacies of conventional thought, AND the mere idea that you should “examine yourself” like philosophy, makes it something worthing of study...NDT tosses aside like a rancid piece of meat.

From this podcast we now know NDT is insistent there is only ONE correct (and Rigid) way to look at the world. Why is it so hard for people to say...”well I don’t get it, but if you want study philosophy, Zen, poetry, pottery or whatever..knock yourself out”

No, he as to tells how stupid we are all for not thinking exactly like him.

Personally I think it is Backward looking not Forward looking. He cannot just revel in the coolness of Science, his view of science is only important because it is not..well, something else. So, he has to dump on people who think there are other things of interest, especially bad is Philosophy. But why stop at philosophy, remove poetry, fiction, and drama since it delays your progress. Screw it, why not just burn the books you don't like.

Strangely he is actually a fundamentalist in regard the religion of progress. Anything that interferes with this goal is detrimental. And it is really an unquestioning acceptance of own world view

The thing is he is taking techniques from science and applying them to the different area of an interior life.

Plus he has only disdain for Philosophy and Zen, but they are not like fundamentalism trying to declare what science is.

NDT feels self reflection and any examination is pointless and in fact dangerous


Pindar Says...

Become such as you are, having learned what that is 
 - Pindar

This could be pithy wisdom or something so vague it can mean anything.

Right now I think it is a cool variation on "Know thyself".

Or maybe that living is a process (becoming) and the trick is to not be pulled into somebody else's idea of what is the "right" way to live.


RELAX...Don't Do It

3rd class of Aikido since my break. On the first night I think I hurt, if not tore, some abdominal muscle. On Monday I discovered that when I did a forward roll it hurt like heck across a line in the area a few inches below my navel. BUT if I really relaxed my abdomen it was totally OK. I had the same problem tonight. So when like a novice I tensed up on a back roll, I felt the pain. And it was only when I paradoxically forced myself to relax when I was tense...I really did relax. And it mostly worked.


Yet another new beginning

Another birthday. That makes it seven years of blogging. And I saw on the internet that blogging is dead now, so I hope it doesn’t apply to me.

So what does it mean? You know I may be old enough that I will chuck the whole “meaning” thing anyway. For some reason now the meaning of "meaning" just doesn't seem as important as it once did.

I guess I decided to go back to my roots, so tonight I went back to Aikido after being away for more than a year and a half. Sort of a birthday gift to myself.

It physically took a lot out of me, since I am older, fatter and lazier than ever. But if you excuse a short break I took, I made it through the class. As of now I am planning to return.