Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Review of Christopher R. Browning’s Book, Ordinary Men

I came across this text on Dr. Jordan B. Peterson’s reading list, which he has published on his website. I have previously listened to many of his academic psychology lectures via YouTube and upon stumbling across this work, I found the necessary desire to order it. Once I began reading, I was captivated instantly by the writing style, approach to the issue, and the academic methodology which was applied in the writing of this book. The basic premise of the text, is to provide both a psychological understanding of what drove normal individuals to commit horrific acts of genocide, while also providing a clear historical picture of events carried out by the 101 Police Battalion in Poland during the early 1940’s. (Click the link to read the full article.)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Thought

In the film, we are shown the brutality of war. The inhumanity, the struggle, the depravity of human existence. We see that unlike previous wars, civilian populations were not in the clear during the Second World War. Neither side of the conflict fought in a respectable way and moral deprivations occurred daily by every army of the day. The reality is if you were a person who grew up under Nazi rule, chances are you would have been a Nazi. Just as if you grew up under soviet rule, you would have been a Bolshevik who would fight just so Stalin could send you to the Gulag or a forced labor camp in Siberia. If you were lucky enough to not be condemned for treason against Russia because you were a prisoner of war, you may have been able to occupy east Germany were the rape of German women was so high that suicide rates exploded post WWII. If you were born in Japan, you would have been a Japanese soldier who at the battle of Okinawa pulled American soldiers into caves and torched, beheaded, and gutted them alive. (This was if you were lucky). Or perhaps you would have invaded china and participated in the “Raping of Nanking”. For a read that will really mess with you head, read Testimonials of Unit 731. A Japanese army medical unite that operated high in the Japanese government and universities. Or an American who was complicit in the never-ending bombing raids over Germany and Japanese civilian populations. A comprehensive study of the atrocities of the 20th century was done by Dr. Rudolph Rummel (Ph.D in Political Science) and if you want to grasp a comprehensive understanding of the killing done by governments it would be a solid place to start research. Understanding the 20th Century is an obsession of mine and to simply explain away these events as bad does not do them justice in the slightest. Using strong language such as disgusting or volatile may have a since of truth to them but the reality is, war brings out things in human psychology that would never rise to the surface in ordinary circumstances. I study history, economics, psychology, and philosophies as much as I possibly can; because to fully grasp any social issue it requires a universal grasp of the time. These events are not even a hundred years old yet, a mere couple generation ago they would have been current events. To say that history is rewritten by the victors is simply an understatement. To say that we will never forget the lessons of the past is even more ironic since they apparently are forgotten by the majority who make up the voting population. If there is one thing I have found to be true in history, it is the reiteration of old ideologies and philosophies which are then repackaged under a new name then resold to the public with a fancy new bow tied to it as a new, a better, an original idea that must certainly be the new craze. Which just goes back to the idea that anything will be bought if given the right sales pitch. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Another day of school done, now its time to actually get to work. I have four days to get through two books and a 40 page paper. Write an analysis of the paper then take two test over the books. I also have a quiz for another class. My political philosophy class has a paper due Tuesday and a test due Monday. This is one week of school on top of which I work three jobs. A bit crazy especially knowing that the following two weeks are only going to increase in work since that will be the end of the 8 week summer semester. If I can pass all these classes, graduate school really shouldn't be any worse.... We'll see.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Great Starting Point

"But the truly strong ones will quietly wait, observe, and then fight wars such as there have never been in mankind's earlier history." pg. 116
If you are interested in diving into a study of existentialism and the writings of Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Kofka, an amazing starting read is a small book by William Hubben. It is a concise overview of who they were, why they were who they were, and outlines in broad strokes their career and works. An excellent read for those just who just wish to grasp a basic understanding of these philosophical giants.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What should you strive for from your Undergraduate Education?

Have you ever wondered why you should pursue an undergraduate education? Perhaps you have  and spending so much money for a piece of stock paper with some printed words. Many students go off to college because it is either expected from them or because it is a standardized requirement for a good paying job. I have heard both reasons given in my time at university. While they are both correct in why we attend university, they do not explain the reason behind why the degree is important or what it represents. If we acknowledge that this small piece of paper is a symbol of something much more, we may begin to grasp the purpose and value of an undergraduate education.
wondered what was the point of taking so many classes

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Purpose of University

Jordan Peterson talks about what the purpose of university truly is. Every person who plans or is currently in college should watch this video and learn its message.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson Research crowdfunding endeavor...

Below is a video explaining the situation of Dr. Peterson. His research has been denied funding do to political reasons and this is a great tragedy. Below outlines what donations would cover and how to go about making donations of any size to his lab. If a person is looking for a good cause to support, this is one which should be considered.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

New Project / Venture

I am planning to start a new project soon. Once I get through some meetings and find some other information I will publish an update that outlines the full project. Hopefully this goes the way I want it to, so far it looks as if it will launch. Fingers crossed....

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Comment on Education by Norbert Wiener

“Lord only knows that there are enough problems yet to be solved, books to be written, and music to be composed! Yet for all but a very few, the path to these lies through the performance of perfunctory tasks which in nine cases out of ten have no compelling reason to be performed. Heaven save us from the first novels which are written because a young man desires the prestige of being a novelist rather than because he has something to say! Heaven save us likewise from the mathematical papers which are correct and elegant but without body or spirit. Heaven save us above all from the snobbery which not only admits the possibility of this thin and perfunctory work, but which cries out in a spirit of shrinking arrogance against the competition of vigor and ideas, wherever these may be found!”

The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society, Norbert Wiener, pp. 134

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Quotes From Today's Reading

Below are a few quotes I came across in The Human Use of Human Being: Cybernetics and Society by Norbert Wiener.

"Variety and possibility are inherent in the human sensorium- and are indeed the
 key to man's most noble flights- because variety and possibility belong
 to the very structure of the human organism."

Image result for cybernetics

"The human species is strong only insofar as it takes advantage of the innate
adaptive, learning faculties that its physiological structure makes possible."

Image result for cybernetics

"Cybernetics takes the view that the structure of the machine or of the organism
is an index of the performance that may be expected from it."

Monday, March 27, 2017

Another Day

Today was day two of my new job. The computer systems were not working so I was only productive in the since that I showed up on time and left only moments after arriving. At which point, I spent a better part of two hours with my mother. After this, I went home where I watched a documentary on the history of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. This was about an hour long, but it was interesting to learn how unknown Einstein was up until his elder years. Following this my brother and his girlfriend wanted to go to the gym, and I myself felt the need to get out of the house for a while. We spent about and hour there, splitting the time between cardio and lifting exercises. We did close grip bench press, dips, and sets of hammer curls. As for cardio they both enjoy running; I however prefer to walk at a fast past. I have always found this to be much more enjoyable and it always feels like I produce some of my most productive thinking as I walk. While walking today, I tuned on a YouTube video produced by Dr. Jordan Peterson. He argues for free speech and in the video I watched he talked to another professor about this topic. I will link the video here. Dr. Peterson is one of a handle full of people that I am constantly watching and listening too. This may in a large part be due to the fact I study psychology and wish to pursue clinical practice. Anyway, I digress. Once I got back to the apartment, I sat outside with a Pepsi and one of my books and read a chapter out of it. This was a new book I just started yesterday, and it talks about the use of cybernetics. The chapter I read today was mainly focused on the concept of Entropy. I went back inside after the sun went down, and read a couple of pages from Beyond Good and Evil. I find this book very hard to read, mostly because I can read one page and it promotes a whole day's worth of thought. The last book I have been reading before I head to bed is always Crime and Punishment. I'm about a hundred pages into it now and I am finding it harder and harder to put down. It has been a long time since I have been this fascinated with a narrative. I have a personality test tomorrow and I have done nothing today to prepare, I am beginning to feel very sluggish when it comes to school. I feel as is I learn and understand more when I study on my own accord. Four months of lazy, busy work is not for me I guess, but what is there to do other than suck it up to receive that magical little paper that states you can now earn a decedent living pay. Anyway, today was overall a good day. Tomorrow I am back at school, and I hope something will interest me....     

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A quote I ran across today while doing research:

If modern science is a religion, then one of its presiding deities must be Sherlock
Holmes. To the modern scientist as to the great detective, every mystery is a problem,
and every problem can be solved. A mystery can exist only because of human
ignorance, and human ignorance is always remediable. (Wendell Berry 2001, 27)