Month: March 2017

Omni Culture

Culture binds and blinds – we say it often in the Mixed Mental Arts community. Growing up for the first part of my young adult life outside of Pittsburgh was idyllic. My mom stayed at home and my father owned car dealerships. The public school system in Moon, PA was awesome, but there were some older teachers left over from the 60-70’s when I got to elementary school. The first lesson in a child’s life isn’t always that adult authority figures are full of shit – but it was one of mine. That particular teacher taught me that bullying...

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If you build a vision of a better world, people will come. And then those people will have to rebuild it better.

“There is a hidden truth in science, and it is unveiled in this book. Science is interesting when it is about us, and when it is useful to us. This is why the ideas in this book are about our needs and how to achieve them, and how to construct a better future for humanity.” – Adrian Bejan, The Physics of Life  The most important teaching experience of my life was having to #TeachTheControversy around evolution at Oaks Christian because it forced me to think long and hard about why humans adopt or reject beliefs. Coming from the culture of science and academia, I had somehow picked up the idea that Fundamentalist Christians were stubbornly refusing to adopt the latest scientific thinking. After all, evolution was 150 years old. The evidence was overwhelming. Why wouldn’t they change their damn minds already?!? I couldn’t change the whole school but I could do something about the one kid I was tutoring. If I had to #TeachTheControversy, then I was going to teach the shit out of that controversy. I was going to test every single one of the ideas laid out and rely on the evidence to speak for itself. Me and my student were going to have ourselves a little intellectual thunderdome. Except the fifteen year old boy I was tutoring didn’t seem to care about any of the ideas....

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If You Want to Remember a Lot of Things, Ask Why.

There are two questions I get asked more than any others. How do I remember so many things? How do I speak so many languages? Don’t they all get confused? It turns out these are all one question and that the key to you getting it is to realize just how dumb much of the educational practices that the Western world has created are. On Sunday night, I saw two students back to back for AP Euro. They had the same complaint that every AP History student has. There’s just so much information!!! How do you remember it all?!?...

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Ep234 – A Prepper’s Guide to the #Jobocalypse

With the sounds of Bryan’s offspring gently playing in the background, Bryan’s thoughts turn to how to prepare the progeny he has sired from his loins for a world of constant technological disruption. Obviously, Bryan has already prepared them for the apocalypse. They’re both proficient in using compound bow and dressing their own kills. They can also strip a firearm and set a bone. And thanks to Bryan’s beautiful wife they have (like Alexander the Great, the Comanche, Mongol warriors and slightly foppish aristocrats) they have been rigorously trained in equestrian. These are basic skills that every Callen must...

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Where I’ve been…so far.

I was born and raised in a rich white suburb of Chicago. My parents (who would eventually come to make a great living for themselves down the line) were definitely not the “type” that “should” have lived in that area in the beginning. (“I’m from Naperville” is all one really needs to say in the Chicagoland area to be judged as an entitled yuppie piece of shit.) Throughout my entire life, the stuck up materialistic culture of Naperville has been the butt of many jokes between my parents and I. Nevertheless, in spite of modest beginnings, my parents always made it a priority to travel. Over the course of my 18 years worth of growing up, we traveled all over the US, the Caribbean, Central America, and Europe. The mission, upon arriving at each of our destinations, was to find cool locals that would point us in the direction of fun off-the-beaten-path things to do and see. From the subtle differences in culture between the US states, to the old embedded history feel of Europe, to the way Central America goes from prosperous city to utter poverty with in the span of a few blocks, each destination was an opportunity that I took to imagine how I would go about setting up a life in the place I found myself. Each destination also threw into sharp relief just how...

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