I’ve been struggling for quite a while about what to write to reintroduce this blog. I want whatever I post to be the perfect statement of what I want this blog to be.

That’s the problem.

Like many Americans, I am addicted to the notion of perfection, especially with what I create. I want it to be right to my eyes the first time without fail, and as anyone who is honest with themselves knows, it’s just not possible.

Many of my creative undertakings suffer from this malaise. I think about them often and agonize over how I can somehow belt them out perfect in one go. That’s just not possible.

Instead, writing, and all other forms of creative acts, are a process in motion. They take time and most often miss the imagined mark. Yet, that does not mean we should not attempt them or even take the time to expose them to public scrutiny. Criticism is how we grow, and when it comes to philosophy, it is how we craft our thoughts into a better, more cohesive whole.

So, here it is, my first post reintroducing my philosophy blog, Difficult Things, with a post indicating the reason it has been silent for so long. This post is not perfect. My thoughts are not perfect. The blog itself isn’t even perfect. But I have returned to the road of writing about what I think, perfect or not.

My goal here is to present topics that I think about, struggle about, and that I want to develop further as part of honing my own thinking on myself and the world around me. I hope you will join me on that journey and that, along the way, we can grow into something more than we now are.


A thought on creativity

For whatever reason, I’ve come across several discussions recently wherein someone has opined that one creative person “ripped off” another creative person and that supposed theft was then presented as evidence that there is no real creativity anymore.

These sorts of observations make me shake my head. My study and observation of creativity–not just art, but all forms of creation–reveals to me that there has never been any other form of creation but theft by the standard presented above.

What makes me sad about that standard is that it has become so commonplace in everything from creative education to corporate litigation to patent law that fewer and fewer people are trying to create anymore. Far too many people believe that, in order to be truly creative, they have to create an astonishing new masterpiece the first time or they are a failure.

That last sentiment is a lie society has concocted on the basis of not even knowing, let alone understanding, the history of creativity. The fact is that there are very few new things and that nearly everything is in some way tied to something that already exists. In a lot of ways, creativity is about refreshing old ideas and combining them in new ways rather than about creating something new.

So my advice to all the creative types out there is this: steal and make it your own. The future will thank you for having done so even as the past approves of your method. These naysayers have no idea what they are talking about.


Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum

I doubt, therefore I think; I think therefore I am. —Rene Descartes.

Philosophy: my pursuit of truth through reason along with faith and empiricism.

Yes, I consider myself a philosopher. Perhaps that is a conceited self-title, but matters of truth, reason, intellect, faith, and science have consumed my thinking for as long as I can remember thinking.

From my point of view, a philosopher is not someone who pursues a degree or has been awarded that title as a result of long study, but is someone who dedicates himself to understanding the reality we inhabit as well as he is able within the confines of his own mind, observations, and experiences. I do that thing, and so I consider myself a philosopher.

Perhaps more correctly, I consider myself a logician, and that is the specific kind of philosophy I have formally studied, particularly deductive logic and a little bit of ethics. My greatest preoccupation is with the idea of internally consistent reasoning, and I spend a lot of time with that subject.

I believe that philosophy is part of a trifecta of thinking that also includes faith (or religion if you prefer) and science (empiricism¬†or the scientific method) and that together make a person’s worldview complete.

My goal in writing about philosophy, however, is not simply to espouse my own observations. Certainly, I will do some of that, but more importantly, I hope to encourage anyone reading this weblog to think in detail and with thoroughness. It is my hope that, with such depth of thought shared among even a few people, the pressing problems of our age will seem less daunting and may even be, if such a thing is possible, solved.