Vertical Thinking

by Nathan Cheever

DeadTED #1: God Is Dead

A fictional TED-talk-like speech given by Nietzsche from his book 'The Gay Science'.

A fictional TED-talk-like speech given by Nietzsche from his book 'The Gay Science'.

Why I Recommend Philosophy

Mark Twain once said: “Philosophy is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime." Actually, the first word he said was ‘Travel”. Read it again with “Travel” and you’ll see that the two are interchangeable. They’re similar in that respect.

Human Free Will is a Qualitative Reality

In which I talk about why you should care about the free will debate

A year ago, free will was freedom to do what I wish. Eating a bowl of delicious honey nut cherrios now or later. Wearing the button down shirt I wore yesterday that doesn’t smell bad or a fresh one. Also, to decide who I will be, my attitudes, my priorities. To be the captain of my soul. That fullness of ability I often neglect yet that can still inspire me. That was free will.

Compulsion Without a Core

A look at what’s behind Political Correctness

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”1 The Allure of Correctness My senior year of high school I fell perhaps too much in love with English. I gained a bit of a reputation as a grammar Nazi. I took a sort of pleasure in catching people when they dangled prepositions, failed on their subject-verb agreements, and said who when they should have said whom.

Brooks, Connors, Emerson, and Tolstoy on How to Balance Commitment with Change

We're told to decide and commit, but how do we stay flexible for change?

Introduction Sometimes it’s useful to call up a meeting with your personal board of directors when faced with difficult decisions. In this article, I’ll call in a few of mine to see what I can learn about the interplay of commitment and flexibility. Tolstoy’s Young Man with a Big Problem Nikolai Rostov was a young man with a major dilemma. He was betrothed to his cousin Sonya but he wasn’t in love with her.

How The Mental Models of Orienteering and Topographic Thinking Can Help Us Understand The World

Introduction Recently, I picked up an old college textbook I’d saved, thinking someday I’d peruse its pages and maybe get interested in Biology again. Well, the other day I finally did. While reading the introduction, two mental models stood out to me: the mental models of Orienteering and Topographic Thinking. In this piece, I’m going to relate these two models as my professor taught them, and then perhaps in later posts extend it to other concepts and writers.

Don't be upgraded

The phone is nothing compared to the hand holding it

Over the weekend I bought a fanny-pack, an analog planner, and a bunch of note cards. It felt weird, but refreshingly analog. That's how much of a degenerate I am.

Can Science Really Answer Moral Questions?

Science cannot hold the authority to determine the philosophy for its use.

Sam Harris debunked traditional morality in favor of science in a 2010 TED talk entitled “Science can answer moral questions”. I disagree with Sam Harris that science can answer moral questions. But first a small preface. My goal is not to criticize unfairly, but attempt to tackle the core of his argument head on, not sidestep to arguments that, though they may be valid, don’t hit his main points. I also want so say that I am not personally attacking Mr.

Is that True?

Are there any authentic and absolute footholds?

“It’s all relative”. – A relative. Demolition brings a draft Five years ago, I decided it was time for spiritual and intellectual remodeling. I was more excited for the demolition than the rebuilding. My faiths and philosophies were flimsy and distorted. And they needed to go. So I picked up my proverbial wrecking bar and went to town. It was my life and I was determined to search for truth on my own.

How to get up and running with an analog Zettlekästen (slipbox)

Three months and 110+ cards in, the lessons learned the hard way

Preface There is a veritable plethora of videos and articles on how to setup a digital Zettlekästen. There are tons of blogs and forums about Niklas Luhmann’s practice, his prolific publishing record. So why add another one? Frankly most of them aren’t that helpful. I learn by seeing how something is actually done, especially an analog process. And more importantly, I want it to be true to the process Luhmann discovered.