For me, learning to be an academic and a teacher is a lot like learning to sculpt, but with ideas and theories on paper instead of raw malleable clay. Instead of throwing a lump of clay down on paper, you throw ideas down on paper, and then you spend the rest of your life trying to mould them into shape. In the past, you’d do that in the privacy of your own studio, only giving to the world the ideas and theories that were kiln dried and fully formed. Now, not so much. Now, the internet allows us to throw our ideas out into space before they are completed. This is true whether you are a potter throwing your vid up on Youtube, or an academic spitting ideas and theories onto a page.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I can’t speak for potters but for people like me, it’s a mixed blessing. On the one hand, throwing your ideas out to the world democratizes the academy in a big way by opening the door to feedback and guidance from other than the intellectual elite. It also makes your ideas and theories more responsive, since you can see the impact in real-time. On the other hand, it can be hard for those trained in old print-based ways of distributing ideas to understand. They are used to seeing only the finished product and so when they see the interim, they often judge it as a finished piece. But what can you do? Either continue to produce and distribute theories and ideas in the old industrial way, with a plodding scholarly journal and book cycle that even in electronic form takes months and years to unwind, or embrace a more modern, large-scale and democratic Socratic form.
Not to be too dramatic or anything but if we, as sociologists and teachers, want to stay relevant and help save the planet, there’s really only one thing we can do. Out with the old, in with the new.
- Rocket Scientists’ Guide to Money and the Economy – Answers the question, what’s money, and what’s
- Rocket Scientists’ Guide to Authentic Spirituality – Answers the question, is there such a thing as authentic spirituality
- Sociology of Mysticism (forthcoming 2021).
- Abraham Maslow’s two hierarchies of need
- How environment creates the “alpha” male (pt. 1)
- Healthy Environments = Healthy Humans (pt. 2)
- The Seven Essential Needs as the foundations for healthy environment and healthy development (pt. 3)
- A more detailed look at the Seven Essential Needs (pt. 4)
- Thomas Szasz and the Myth of Mental Illness (also on Academia.edu)
- The damage we are doing to our children and ourselves
- Are bullies alpha males or sick puppies
- Teen suicide is on the rise and this is why
Sociology of Human Spirituality
- Three interesting things Einstein said about God and religion
- The trouble with atheists
- Everybody has a connection experience: prevalence, confusions, interference, and redefinition (academia.edu)
- Power to the people (academia.edu)
- What is religion?
- How the convervative right hijacks religion
- The Catholic Church is a rich male collective
- Star Wars is a religion that primes us all for war –
Politics and the Economy
- Greta Thunberg, the most dangerous girl on the planet
- The end of the world or sustainable future
- How money is destroying the world – Money is an addiction powerful enough to destroy the planet
- Why we should all cut the Facebook cord – Zuckerberg’s manipulation of the world
- Trump’s manipulation of mass consciousness
- World War Three is being waged in cyberspace