Ernest Hemingway – Rules for writing. Number 3 will shock you!

  1. Use short sentences.
  2. Use short first paragraphs.
  3. Use vigorous English.
  4. Be positive, not negative.

These “rules” can help you present what is important to you. You will be able to present what you are most proud of. You will make clear what you want to accomplish. And the bonus is that people will enjoy reading what you wrote.

Richard T. Scott – Please do not tell me we can paint a philosophy

Will someone please tell me what’s going on? Life used to be simple. Using words to write a philosophy was the one true way to come up with what you are all about. Then Juliana and Mark come along and crush it with their vision boards. They twist my mind into a pretzel. I had to admit there are now two ways to approach philosophy.

And now Richard T. Scott comes at us with a paint brush. A paint brush! Mad Dog Mattis said I should read lots of books. He didn’t tell me to go to any art galleries and look at paintings.

The way Scott tells the story of what is going on in the last painting reveals a whole new framework for learning about life. We can look at a painting and say hmmm that’s a nice painting. Or we can make up our own story about what’s going on. It won’t be the same story the artist was thinking about when he painted it. He is giving us enough to spark our imaginations.

Maybe, just maybe, if we have enough curiosity to think about what’s happening on a canvas, then we can develop some curiosity about other things we see in life.

Richard Overton – will it take you 109 years to be as much at peace as this guy?

Have you ever met a guy as much at peace with life as this guy was? Yup, I said was. He passed away last year. Last year was the end of what seems to be an incredible win streak for Mr. Overton. You sit and listen to this guy, and doesn’t he just lull you into a quiet, calm feeling? He gets asked about his secrets to life, and what does he come at us with?

Don’t use a credit card. Ride that truck into the ground. Don’t buy a new one if it’s still running. Get to church, and never stop learning while you’re there. Find a nice lady and spend lots of time with her. And don’t stress yourself out about your cigar smoking or your ice cream habit.

It seems like he knows what his community wants from him. I’ll take a stab at it and say the community wants him to be at peace with himself, and spread that feeling to somebody else. It’s like he knows not to overload us with advice. His focus is all on the delivery. Like he is telling us that we are winning if we have one day in our lives feeling at peace like he does.

He doesn’t waste time talking about what he is most proud of. He has it written on his hat. The guy is a Vietnam Vet, and if blockbuster hollywood movies have taught us anything, it is that this guy has seen some seriously intense stuff in his time. There were probably big parts of his life that he was pretty far from O. K.

If pressed, he knows he can match pretty much anyone in an interesting story battle. And yet, he knows he doesn’t have to.

Batman was an Existentialist?

Batman studied philosophy? Or, it was just the way he was? I dunno, but this video blew my mind. He makes a good case for the ins and outs of how Batman’s mind works. He even has the foreign accent that makes him sound like he knows what he’s talking about.

This is a great place to go after watching the Stoic videos. This philosophy seems similar to the grin and bear it, deal with the situation in front of you, and soldier on mentality that the Stoics seem to have embraced. But this seems better because it brings into the equation the value of human life. Seeing value in every human being, and refusing to kill is hard core.

Value for every human life? Respect for all. Hmmm, this has me thinking. Maybe we need to rewatch the Mother Teresa clip and see if she was imitating Batman. Maybe she was fighting crime, and kept it on the down low.

A stoic thought he could let go. But could he let it be?

Here we are connecting all the dots and creating the masterpiece. This stoic guy thinks we can let it go. It seems like a high strung way to get relaxed and chill out a bit. It seems like the “try these 10 steps and you’ll be living a higher self kind of life” overthinking that leads so many of us to sadness. It is the agony of living like a perfectionist.

There is a subtle difference between what the stoics are telling us, and what the Beatles told us. Let it be and let it go are similar but so very different. The Beatles weren’t overthinking. They were starting with “All you need is love” and getting to “Let it be”.

The stoics are definitely not saying that all you need is love. They seem to be coming out of left field claiming that love can be controlled and that damage from love can be limited. Keep your nose clean and you’ll be able to let it go.

I give the edge to the Beatles in this philosophical think-off.


“Do what feels good.”

She doesn’t give her name. She prefers to be a mysterious woman with a solid philosophy. Coincidentally, her words are remarkably similar to what Adriene Mishler said. “Do what feels good” seems like a nice little slogan if you are a casual listener. However, for the armchair philosopher, it is controversial and bold.

What is Philosophy?

It is 2:00 a. m. and I’m combing YouTube looking for the next latest and greatest blog post. This clip comes across my radar and now I’m embarrassed. This whole fantastic site is about philosophy and we really haven’t gotten into the simple question of what it is.

But then I watch this video and my head is spinning with overwhelmed confusion. This guy goes on and on about lots of different stuff. Most of it seems to be way over my head, and I’m feeling how tired I am.

Then he hits us with the good stuff at the end. The Philosophy of Batman explained. The Philosophy of the Matrix explained. Now we are cooking with gas. Now I’m interested.

I, I, I, I’m peppering this post with the word I. I know I’m doing it and want to be creative with the writing. I should be focused on the reader and what your favorite movie philosophy is. But tonight, I have to admit this is going to be self-centered. Perhaps that’s all part of my philosophy.

Enjoy the video. It might help you in your struggles to understand the Batman Lego movie that is surprisingly good.

Massimo Pigliucci showed he knows everything about Stoicism

Self-control. Discipline. Empire Building. Everyone in Ancient Greece had one of those t-shirts with that slogan on it. They all said it was their way of life. Then, the t-shirt got worn out and got thrown away.

Everyone moved on to other philosophies with more pizzazz, and left stoicism behind. Everyone except for Massimo. He figured out that 5 minute podcast episodes on stoicism was a winning idea that will shoot up the charts.

They say that Stoics and Epicurians were the two competing camps fighting to be king of the philosophical hill. Neither one won, but it was a main event for the time.

Take a listen to this sales pitch for stoicism and let me know what you think.

P. S. I think Jocko Willink must love Massimo’s podcast.

Hegel would have liked the Sopranos?

The world of Youtube is filled with so many amazing videos. There is a reason why the Sopranos was such a great show. I had no idea that the reason was advanced philosophical themes throughout the entire series.

It’s one of those things that happens when a “smart guy” explains something and when he’s done you say ohhh yeah that was staring me in the face the entire time.

The world does ask a lot of us. We find ourselves trying to play different roles. There is no way around that, or is there?

Philosophy of Epicureanism Made Simple

I’m gunna need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday.

The guy that put this video did a spectacular job. How he made the connection between Office Space and Epicureanism is mind bottling. That’s what makes the difference between smart guys and bloggers.

The philosophy is user friendly. It is straightforward. It is easy to explain. It is also easy to do a quick check in when thinking about taking a course of action.

I can picture myself asking if doing something is going to lead to mid to long term happiness or to mid to long term pain. It is also a good way to frame things when asking someone for their opinion on what I should do.

There are lots of Epicureans out there that just don’t know there’s a name for the philosophy.

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