Thought of the Month

I’ve had this idea for quite some time but I don’t think I’ve put it down in writing yet. In either case, I’m not going to make this a long post (though it deserves it). Ok. so here’s the thought. Pay attention to the types of conversations that people are having. Either on the cellphone “I’ll be there in 5 minutes”, or just sitting around eating lunch in some diner or on the subway or whatever. You will find that most conversations are completely inane and pointless. We talk about work (not what we’re working on, but office gossip or complaints), we talk about entertainment (and not the topics that are brought up but of the social lives of the entertainers themselves), we talk about society (but not about social issues or problems, but of who is dating who and who said what to who).

Most conversations in America are simply pointless in the big scheme of things. As a good barometer of the importance of a subject, just ask yourself (If I changed the names of the people in the conversation, would it be any different?). We talk about the same shit all the time. We waste all this time together and all this thinking energy doing nothing at all but spinning our wheels. It’s kind of like what I complain about all the time when it comes to political apathy and the local news. We just don’t want to get deep about anything at all.

To do something useful with our existence we as a race need to spend some of our time and our brainpower on things that matter. We need to sit down at dinner with each other and actually talk about something of substance. We need to debate, we need to advance ourselves. If we just did even a little of that we would be better all around. Our brains are what separate us from other animals. We should use them.

So here is my proposal. I don’t have the specifics worked out yet but what if every month we had a national issue raised… Some question that we could all ponder… And that month we as a people would have a responsibility to talk about that issue? Perhaps the local news instead of doing pieces on celebrity gossip could do something about the issue of the month… maybe interviews some college professor about it, etc. Bloggers could comment on it, groups could meet to debate it, etc. Every month we could as a county have something interesting to talk about with each other and perhaps we could solve some problems, perhaps at the least we could focus on things that are useful and important. Perhaps we could transition to a society that uses their brains.

What kind of topics? There are dozens of them. Take almost any of my previous blog posts. Take anyones. “Should we spend more on the space program?”, “Should drugs be legalized?”, “What is the benefit of organized religion?”, “Why don’t people vote anymore?”, “Why is there so much killing in our inner cities?”, “how do we end poverty?”, etc. One topic a month, every month.

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2 thoughts on “Thought of the Month

  1. Great post! I also think about this often, and usually just get frustrated and blame it on my friends who I don’t consider to be intellectual, but know that I am as much to blame as anyone. I like the monthly topic, and think there should be weekly ammendments to it. Like, if the topic was should drugs be legal, then one week we could ammend it to be a specific drug and/or class of drugs, and then the next week could expand it to the pharmicutical industry, or just go off on tangents that are extremely pertinent, but not necessarily obvious to those who aren’t that familiar with the whole context of the debate.

    I’ve also been a little less arguementative due to the self conscious feeling that I often came off as abrassive and annoying (this was long in the making, but was mostly a reaction to reading Franklin’s autobiography). I’ve now realized that as a result of I have totally become mind numbing in my conversations, and need to get back to debate in a non confrontational Franklinian approach.

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  2. Which is one of the main reasons I started blogging in the first place. I don’t know how to start something like this, but I at least know how to get the idea out there. Maybe some of the other bloggers who read here (not many left since I went AWOL) can help publicize this more?

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