The Greatest Conspiracy

The greatest danger isn’t that too many people will fail to show up at the voting booth. The greatest danger is that too few people will ever take themselves seriously as creative forces.

What concerns me isn’t the fact that we mock politicians. It’s the fact that we mock any messages that dare to tell us that we’re more powerful than politicians.

What scares me isn’t that my neighbor might vote for the “wrong” person. What scares me is that my neighbor probably defines “power” in a way that makes his existence relevant only when he’s voting for someone other than himself.

The greatest conspiracy isn’t some hidden agenda to get a certain crooked person into office. The greatest conspiracy is to have a world where people genuinely scoff at the idea that they have the permission and power to be the predominant creative forces in their own lives.

The greatest conspiracy isn’t that we’re being secretly screwed by a shadow government. The greatest conspiracy is that we’ve been duped into believing that freedom is only possible through a process of systemic begging and wishing. Even worse, that we’ve been brainwashed into believing that our efforts to be free are a waste of time no matter what we do.

The next time you find yourself saying “we can’t win.” Ask yourself who wins when you allow yourself to believe that losing is inevitable?

The next time you find yourself laughing at someone who dares to remind you of your own power, ask yourself who’s laughing at you as you laugh at the idea of your own power?

Drop Your Judgments or Drop the Conversation

Whenever you spend time arguing, debating, or philosophizing with someone, you must either assume that your conversational partner is sincere or that they are insincere.

If you genuinely believe they are sincere, then it would be reasonable for you to stay involved in the conversation in spite of difficulties and disagreements. After all, misunderstandings are a part of life and it’s not a big deal for people to talk past each other as long as they’re sincere in their efforts to get it right.

If you don’t believe that your conversational partner is sincere, however, then it would be unreasonable to continue engaging them further. After all, why would you waste your time trying to convince or communicate with someone if you genuinely don’t think they’re interested in being honest?

These observations about what is and isn’t reasonable might seem to be commonsense, but if you take a look at people’s arguments and debates on social media, you’ll see just how uncommon it is for people to put two and two together in this way. Hardly a day goes by without someone saying “you’re an idiot” or “you’re being intellectually dishonest and you know it” or “You’re choosing to be insane” or some other condemning statement of this nature. My problem isn’t that people say these sorts of things. It’s that people keep on debating after saying these things.

The next time you find yourself condemning someone for being insincere, here’s a simple question you might want to ask yourself:

What does it say about you when you insist on conversing with someone that *you* believe is an idiot?

It’s one thing to have conversations with people who others regard as irrational, idiotic, and insincere. It’s a tragic waste of time, on the other hand, for you have conversations with people *you* regard as irrational, idiotic, and insincere.

Why waste your time with such a self-defeating practice?

Drop your judgments and keep the conversation going or drop the conversation and keep your sanity.

Fridays With Isaac Morehouse & T.K. Coleman: My Rap Debut, Working for Free, & Uncensored Thoughts on Neil deGrasse Tyson

After I kick things off with a little rap, Isaac and I hit this week’s “Facebook Warriors” segment hard, covering the weird smugness of aversion to learning on the job for free instead of paying to not learn in a classroom.

Then we take questions.  Tons of questions.  The NBA, hip hop, books, Neil deGrasse Tyson, movies, impostor syndrome, homeschooling, logical consistency, and lots more.

Recommendations: The X Files, The Lost Room, Stranger Things.

If you are a fan of the show, make sure to leave a review on iTunes.

Don’ Talk Trash About The Air You Breathe

…but if you do, at least keep breathing.

That advice is inspired by some words spoken to me by a philosophy professor:

There’s a difference between talking trash about the air you breathe and actually trying to breathe without air.

It’s my conviction that mocking the value of philosophy is like talking trash about the air you breathe. Living without philosophy is like trying to breathe without air.

I discuss my views on the value of philosophy in more detail in a blog post I recently penned for the Praxis blog. You can check out that post here: Who Needs Philosophy?

Additionally, we’ve recently made the Praxis philosophy module available to the general public for free. We believe that being a good entrepreneur means being a clear-headed thinker. The best entrepreneurs are really philosophers who put their ideas into action in the marketplace. That’s why we encourage our Praxis participants to spend one month delving into the materials in our 30-day course. To preview the course, click on the image below:



Omission is Key

It’s impossible to be inspiring, influential, or interesting on any subject if you try to say everything that can possibly be said about that subject.

Omission is a necessary condition for transmission.

Every writer must give as much thought to what they will leave out as to what they will share.

Writing requires the courage say what you have to say even though you know you can easily be criticized or misunderstood for all the things you don’t have time or space to say.

For now, that’s all I have to say.



Jesus, Politics, & The Culture of Fear

I never recall seeing any verses in the Bible where Jesus was depicted as someone who treated his creative power as if it depended on anything that politicians were doing.

When Jesus was a baby, King Herod (a politician) tried to murder him. So he had a pretty good reason to live in fear of crooked politicians. When Pontius Pilate (a politician) claimed to possess the authority to determine if Jesus would live or die, Jesus was completely unintimidated by Pilate’s claim. In fact, he used the conversation as an opportunity to point out the fact that Pilate’s authority was inferior to the source of power that truly governed his life.

Can you imagine how weak Jesus would have looked if he had failed to turn water into wine, or failed to multiply the fishes and loaves, or failed to raise Lazarus from the dead, or failed to restore sight to the blind because of some argument like “I can’t fulfill my mission to usher in the Kingdom of God because these politicians are too corrupt.”

Can you imagine Jesus saying “Sorry guys. I’d love to make some miracles happen and stuff, but we’re screwed. Herod’s in office.”

Jesus was angry at corruption, but never afraid of it, never intimidated by it. His sense of purpose and power seemed to be defiantly independent of what the rulers of his world thought of themselves. And after all this, he dared to say that his followers would do greater things than Him.

This seems to be at odds with the contemporary practice of walking about as if we’re irrevocably screwed as long as the “wrong” person is in office.

If you’re an atheist or an agnostic, you can easily file this under “More reasons to think Christians are irrational.” But if you call yourself a believer, this observation should give you pause.

Do you really believe that your ability to combat evil, perform miracles, and advance the cause of unconditional love is limited to who you vote for? Do you really believe that your purpose, your calling, or your mission in life can only be fulfilled if the “right” person is in office? Do you really believe that you should feel intimidated by anything that comes out of a politician’s mouth?

You have every right to be passionate about politics and angry about injustice, but you might want to rethink your premises if you find yourself treating politicians as if they are the primary source of power in your life.

I don’t claim to know exactly what Jesus would do in every situation, but I’m pretty confident that he wouldn’t let fear and anxiety dominate his life in any situation.

Here’s an interesting little tweet I saw the other day that I’ll leave with you as food for thought:



A Conversation on Intellectual Optimism with Steve Patterson

I recently appeared on the Patterson in Pursuit podcast to discuss a little philosophy with Steve Patterson.

Here are a few of the topics we discussed:

  • What does it mean to be an optimist?
  • Must one deny reality in order to be positive?
  • Do most people examine their beliefs?
  • What’s the best way to show someone that they have errors in their beliefs?
  • Why it’s so important to focus on the meaning of words.

Steve describes himself as somewhat pessimistic about others while I tend to be more optimistic. Here’s what he had to say about our discussion:

It’s no secret that I am a curmudgeon. My motto is that “everybody is wrong all the time about everything.” However, this extreme skepticism might be a mistake. To challenge me, I’m joined by T.k. Coleman, who is arguably the most positive and optimistic thinker around. While I say, “People contradict themselves all the time!” TK says, “People don’t actually contradict themselves.” Great interview.

It was a fun discussion indeed. I hope you enjoy.


T.K. Coleman