When I was 18, I took my English 101 class at Cypress College, the local junior college. It was actually a pretty good experience; I have fond memories of my math teacher, Jack Gill, and my psychology instructor, Jorge Ampudia. As well, my English teacher was named Ambika Talwar. Ambika recently put out a travelogue about her time visiting Greece. In it, she shares thoughts and feelings that are present-oriented, literal, and even pedantic. At other times, she waxes philosophical. I wanted to share a passage that is interesting from her book, My Greece: Mirrors & Metamorphoses. She is an interesting person, to say the least. You can read more about her here.Read More
December 12th, 2017
December 2nd, 2017
Wisdom is the heart of the enterprise Values of the Wise, so I look forward to today’s discussion here on the radio show, Values and Ethics: from Living Room to Boardroom. Wisdom is an apparently simple, yet surprisingly elusive matter, so I’m geared up to interview two capable and conversant individuals who can speak with me and help us all understand wisdom a bit better. First I have Wes Nisker on the program; he goes by “Scoop.” Usually I call the guest by their first name, with permission, of course; however, today I will see if I can call Wes, Scoop! He is an author of a best-selling book called The Essential Crazy Wisdom, an underground classic.Read More
December 1st, 2017
As this stanza shows, this poem is an attempt to discover the true nature of my existence, my being, my self.
Is there one constant, a part always the same?
Something I would take from one reality to another?
Who shall I thank, or conversely, who to blame?
Do I owe God, chance, society, freewill, or my mother?
December 1st, 2017
“Great spirits” are individuals who exemplify magnanimity and other virtues. This poem attempts to capture a bit of that beauty.
Great spirits exemplify numerous virtues
They view the world in vibrant hues
She personifies the loftiest human values
He knows many elusive and profound truths.
November 30th, 2017
Sigh. I entitled this blog what I did because I am having a difficult time of it at the moment. My dad did die this year. And Trump did ascend to power this year. But $hit has really been hitting the fan, as they say. Today, Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor have been caught in the thorny bramble of bad behavior. I was also a bit shocked by Louis C. K., Senator Al Franken, and Representative John Conyers. I look around and institutions seem to be tarnishing, crumbling, under attack, and failing. It feels like we are more divided and that there are more dangers than I am comfortable with. In this blog, I will try to make sense of my angst, and use reliable, positive values as a consolation.Read More
November 28th, 2017
Siddhartha in the ancient language of Magadhi means “one who has accomplished a goal.” This is a very fitting name for a very influential historical figure that is still shrouded in myth and legend — Siddhartha Gautama, also known as The Buddha. While we do know he existed, there is still a lot that we don’t know about him (and will never know). It has been over 2,500 years since The Buddha’s death, and to this day his insightful and inspirational message influences and motivates hundreds of millions of people every day. This is what living a life of value is all about: pursuing a path for oneself that is functional and fulfilling, while at the same time helping, loving, and guiding others the be the best possible versions of themselves. Let me share a bit more about Siddhartha Gautama, and then I will present some very interesting quotes by the man who literally invented Buddhism.Read More
November 27th, 2017
The truest and best conceptions of masculinity are measured in this poem. Here is an example:
Despite popular conceptions, the ideal measure of a man
Is not gauged by braggadocio and aggressive displays;
Neither by number of toys or lovers he managed to collect,
Though many try in vain to be manly in these ways…
November 27th, 2017
I want to examine characteristics, demarcations, and aspects of the self vis-à-vis various groups and divisions within society. Hopefully doing so will shed some light on internal values and virtues, and the idea of a “values divide” between political ideologies, groups, states, philosophical orientations, religions, and so on. As well: wise as opposed to conventional (or, dare I say, wise as opposed to ignorant)! I have two guests I am eager to speak with about this intriguing topic. First, Alan Abramowitz, Ph.D., professor of political science at Emory University, and then Earle F. Zeigler, Ph.D. a very interesting polymath and wise old man who wrote many books, including A Way Out of Ethical Confusion: Untangling the Values Fiasco. I have many questions about the multifaceted self in society, but I want to be sure to take the opportunity to ask my guests questions about the philosophy of a good life I call “living a life of value.”Read More
November 24th, 2017
I happened to look up the commentator and author George Will to demonstrate to a friend that his use of the word “bathetic” was neat but counterproductive, because it is simply too esoteric. It apparently means “insincere, intense emotional display.” I indicated that it was of limited utility in communication because it was so rare that it was obscure, myopic. It reminded me of George Will. I began to look up Will quotes I imagine for the first time, and wow, he said some interesting things! Much was politically-right, but still, neat stuff. It led me to Star Trek pioneer and social activist, George Takei. I then added George Bush, deep thinker George Orwell, and philosopher extraordinaire George Santayana quotes. Voila! — a blog! I present to you quotes from the five George’s: George Will quotes, George W. Bush quotes, George Takei quotes, George Orwell quotes, and George Santayana quotes. They will make you laugh; they will make you sad. But they certainly will make you think.Read More
November 16th, 2017
What is applied philosophy? How should we live? What is the right thing to do? Are we really free? What ancient ideas and teachings are still applicable to modern life? What can professional philosophers offer us that we can use in a practical way? These are important questions from the realm of applied philosophy, which is an ideal discipline to identify astute questions and provide insight into potential answers. In this excerpt from chapter 14 in the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom, I interview Tom Morris, Ph.D. and Arthur Dobrin, Ph.D., both philosophers, authors, and former professors at major universities to achieve some insight into applying philosophy to your life.Read More