This is a mini-series of comics about a naive but curious ten-year-old boy who pesters a crude but wise old man while he sits on the steps to their dingy New Jersey apartment building trying to read the newspaper.
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An Old Man From Jersey Explains Life
- The meaning of life
- How to grow up
- What came first, the chicken or the egg?
- Is man inherently good or evil?
- Does free will exist?
- The social contract
- Right and wrong
- How to think
The Meaning of Life
- How do you find purpose without knowing the meaning of life?
- My quest to find the meaning of life
- The value of life
- Reality is amazing
- It’s okay to be lost
- The cosmic perspective
- If life is a game, how do you win?
- Why you shouldn’t commit suicide
- The danger in telling people life has no meaning
How to Think Like a Genius
- 8 steps to becoming a genius
- My quest to find enlightenment
- Your ability to think obligates you to
- Enlightenment through logic
- The map of everything
- My approach to thinking/problem solving
- 10 steps to winning an argument
- How to solve a problem with a team
- Creativity is logic, not magic.
- My two rules about rules
- What is wisdom?
- Wisdom I learned working in IT: Nothing is magical
- Wisdom I learned working in IT: Answers come from questions
- The relationship between sanity, reality, truth, religion, and science
- 11 ways mainstream academic philosophy has come to resemble religion
Knowledge and Learning
- The value of knowledge
- Every grain of knowledge is valuable. Every grain of ignorance is destructive.
- Why you should have high intellectual standards
- We’ve never raised an entire generation of adults ever
- They’re giving away free superpowers on the internet
- The Alphabits analogy (Why it’s bad to be stupid)
- It’s not cool to be stupid
- How to become an expert at anything
- How to read for truth
- Recommended intelligent books and videos
- 10 ways people get dumber as they get older
- A biker looks at social conformity
- A biker looks at bad weather
- A biker looks at the road
- A biker explains why we ride
- A biker makes a lot of beginner mistakes
My Tweets About Philosophy
Kid: Hey Mister!
Old Man: What do you want, kid?
Kid: Does everything happen for a reason?
Old Man: Does my answer have to be based on observable data?
Kid: Uhhh. Okay?
Old Man: Everything that happens is the logical product of the event preceding it.
Kid: So everything does happen for a reason.
Old Man: Yeah, plain old cause and effect.
Kid: Does that mean that everything that has ever happened was destined to happen exactly the way it did? Because that kind of seems like a waste of time.
Old Man: Well, there’s not data to support either conclusion anyway. So… that debate’s pointless.
Kid: What if like, all the inanimate matter in the universe is following a logical, preordained path, but humans get to move around free, and sometimes the inanimate matter in the universe reroutes itself to make our lives more convenient?
Old Man: Hmmm. That would be like moving out of your parents’ house and having your freedom, but your parents still come over to your house every night to wipe your butt.
Kid: How about we not be rude?
Old Man: How about we just go about our lives not worrying about hypothetical situations that there’s no evidence of being real?
Kid: Because I’d sleep better if I knew the entire universe wasn’t out to get me.
Old Man: Kid, you are the universe. If the universe is out to get you then it’s out to get itself.
Kid: That would be silly. So the universe must be out to help me then, right?
Old Man: It already helped you get here in the first place and gave you a brain, legs and opposable thumbs. How much more help do you think you should get?
Kid: As much as it takes for me to get a girlfriend and a car. Do you think if I pray to God or the universe, things will rearrange themselves like on that one movie, “The Adjustment Bureau” so I’ll get what I want?
Old Man: If there is a God, it probably knows better than you what you need and already has everything under control. God also probably already knows what you think, which raises the question, why are you wasting time talking to yourself when there are problems that need your attention?
If you’re praying to the universe, you may as well ask yourself to do the work. You’re the only being in the observable universe we know of that has the power to rearrange the universe at will according to a custom design. Which raises the question, why are you wasting time talking to yourself when there are problems that need your attention?
Kid: I came here to feel coddled, not to saddle myself with the responsibility for my fate.
Old Man: Maybe that was your preordained destiny.
Kid: Does that mean your preordained destiny was to destroy children’s dreams?
Old Man: Maybe that’s the universe answering a prayer you didn’t know to ask.