Why (write a blog)?

Internet discussions!

I think a lot, and I like to have interesting discussions with people, and often I come away from such discussions with new information or a new perspective that allows me to maintain a sense of the world beyond my own experience. My hope is that this blog will serve as a forum for such discussion, allowing me to share things that I find interesting (“brain candy”) and giving you a way to respond.

Inspiration and a hopeful future

Many of my posts come not from sudden sparks of curiosity or insight but rather from ideas that have been percolating in my mind for years. However, I never thought seriously about sharing my thoughts in blog format until I started following the NPR series “New Boom,” which is about emerging trends among members of the Millennial Generation (those born in the U.S. between 1980 and 1996). Some of these patterns, such as moving to urban areas and seeing charitable donation as a type of investment, suggest to me an opportunity. If we pay attention to these trends and determine collectively some things that matter to us the most, we may have the ability to enact widespread changes to reduce poverty, protect the environment, etc. I hope to further this possibility here by promoting awareness and sharing knowledge.

Avoid Ulro*

It’s important to know things, especially strange or upsetting things. If you know how many elephants are killed each year by poachers in Africa (about 30,000), you can tell other people, and eventually such information may become common knowledge. Once it’s common knowledge, the topic becomes much easier to address. Maybe one day the number of elephants killed will be zero. Or maybe not, but that goal is still worth working toward.

So…

Please comment! Challenge me, tell me I’m wrong, share your opinion, and ask questions. Always question.

 

*Ulro is a possible life stage imagined by William Blake. In Blake’s mythology, the state of innocence experienced by children (known as Beulah), transitions to adulthood when the dark side of human nature is discovered and the struggle to survive is experienced (Generation). From Generation, people have a choice about where to go which depends on how they deal with the darkness of Generation. If they accept that the darkness exists but refuse to be ruled by it, they can move ahead to a state of poetic creation called either Eden or Los (I learned it as Los in one of my Romantic lit classes, but information I have come across since suggests otherwise). If they try to ignore it and return to a Beulah-like outlook on life, they inevitable fall into Ulro, which is a state of denial and is essentially a living hell. This is only a cursory introduction to Blake’s whole deal, and there are many scholars much more knowledgable about it than I.