This page explains why I started this website.
I started it for you, of course. But I also started it for me.
Table of Contents
- My Voice May be Limited
1.1 Life After College
1.2 Life can be Unpredictably Unfortunate
- Demons and Tyrants
- Thinking is Fun
My Voice May be Limited
Right now, I am a student with some time to have reflective thoughts. In the future, I probably won’t have this luxury. That’s because it’s likely that I won’t have the time, resources, or ability to have opinions, or I won’t have the time, resources, or ability to voice them. Here’s why.
Life After College
After I graduate, I may attend graduate or professional school. If I attend graduate school, then I will probably be spending most of my intellectual energy on trying to convince people with fancy degrees at wealthy institutions that I am smarter than I am by writing about very obscure topics and publishing in academic journals that are read by very few people. There will be little to no time to think about issues that affect normal people.
Professional school is also very demanding, so if I do that, I won’t have time for those issues either.
If I don’t attend graduate school or professional school, then I’ll probably be living paycheck to paycheck like 80% of American workers today.
If that happens, then I will probably be more concerned with surviving until the next paycheck than reading books and articles about important issues and thinking critically about them.
Probability suggests that after I graduate from college, I’ll be too busy to think about matters of public concern, or perhaps even matters of personal concern. I probably won’t be lucky enough to have reflective thoughts, so I want to take the opportunity to share what I can, while I can.
Life can be Unpredictably Unfortunate
There’s also the possibility that unexpected, unfortunate events will reduce my ability to think or to share what I think. I might have a bad fall or get hit by a vehicle going the wrong way and lose an eye, a hand, or an important part of my brain. Police might shoot me through my window if I don’t shut my front door. Or I might simply get sick and not be able to think clearly. Young people get cancer, too. Whatever the cause, it’s clear that people’s lives can be cut short unexpectedly.
The possibility of any of these happening to me in the foreseeable future is low, but their effect is high, and it doesn’t have to be me who gets hurt for my abilities to diminish. Like most people, I need economic, physical, and emotional stability in order to think well. If I or somebody else I care about gets seriously hurt (e.g., my family and friends), then I probably won’t have all that it takes. If we recognize how much we currently depend on others, we can see that much of our future abilities will also depend on their well-being. So if we cherish those abilities, then we must use them while we have them — while they are well and we are supported.
Although, of course, I might be part of the minority whose work aligns with matters of public interest. I would be very lucky if that were to be the case. ↩︎
Demons and Tyrants
The media tends to demonize people who make it less convenient for them to tell the stories that they want, especially if those people are persons of color. It’s often very difficult to have a good understanding of a person based on what the media says. In each story, there are many details and perspectives that are left out because they are inconvenient, unknown, or too complicated.
Yet, for many of us, perhaps most of us, the content we consume is produced primarily by large media corporations that are owned by people motivated by profit and power. By writing and thinking for ourselves, we can stand up against their stranglehold on free thought and democracy. We can use our voices in ways that make it harder for them to demonize us if, for whatever reason, we are inconvenient for their narratives. By setting up our own pages, we may be able to help contribute to the political revolutions that some of our bravest politicians are leading today. With this page, I hope to encourage others to do the same.
Thinking is Fun
I enjoy working through difficult or complicated issues even if I don’t get the solutions or even the problems right. Trying is invigorating. It makes me feel alive, like I’m using my brain to be a part of something greater than myself. I think everybody needs to feel that sometimes. So, as much as I want others to be more aware of their potentially limited time on this planet as a human being and to stand up against the powers that threaten our freedom and democracy, I write because I like to think, and writing helps me think.
We label many of the situations we face as ‘problems’ because we care about something. Economic inequality is a problem because wealth accumulation destabilizes freedom and democracy, and we care about freedom and democracy. Lack of clean water, sanitation, and housing is a problem because we care to avoid unnecessary suffering. Climate change is a problem because we care about our children, grandchildren, and fellow creatures. Trying to solve these problems means we have to make sacrifices and accept inconveniences. If we don’t care about anything, then we won’t have any genuine problems, but that would leave us with empty, depressed, and unfulfilled lives.
One of the inconveniences of sharing what somebody writes is that it costs them some of their privacy. Everybody has a fundamental right to privacy, and it’s important that our society protects it. However, I care enough about humanity that I think the greatest problems of our time are genuine ones. We must all think seriously about them if we want to make substantial progress towards solving them. For me, that involves writing. So I accept these inconveniences and invite you to read my mind, my thoughts, and my protests now, while I am still able to produce them, as well as later, when I am not.
Thanks for reading why I started this website. If you’d like to contact me, you can read how on my contact page.