My name is Scott. I'm not an easy guy to figure out, especially considering I'm still trying to figure me out after being alive for almost a half-century. That being said, I have a lot of interests, and I hope we can discuss them here with some logic and reason. I'm privileged to be an American, a Southerner, and to be in the company of some truly amazing people both here and in my personal life.

My name is Scott. I'm not an easy guy to figure out, especially considering I'm still trying to figure me out after being alive for almost a half-century. That being said, I have a lot of interests, and I hope we can discuss them here with some logic and reason. I'm privileged to be an American, a Southerner, and to be in the company of some truly amazing people both here and in my personal life.

Of Logic and Reason

While discussing the creation of this blog, the most common thought shared among myself, Paul, and Kyle was a concern over the near complete absence of logic and reason in society. While politics is the obvious shining example, one need not wander far from that topic to find a similar vacuum throughout our culture today.

What then, is logic? Or reason? They are not interchangeable terms. Reason is described as being subject to opinion, as opposed to logic, which is an actual science with rules and tests to guide one’s thinking process. To many, if something just seems to make sense, then it must be logical. In many cases, that would be incorrect. I contend a dumbing-down of our society has been going on for decades now, to the point your average person is totally incapable of applying basic concepts of logic and/or reason. Given my future posts here will likely include no small amount of discussion of the same, I think it may be useful to both myself and future readers to touch on some basic concepts.

There are types of reasoning, two of which are inductive and deductive. Deductive reasoning is from the general to the specific. “All Drebs are left-handed. Harold is a Dreb, therefore Harold is left-handed”, for example. Inductive reasoning is the inverse; from the specific to the general, e.g., “Kathy is from the Pacific Northwest. Kathy’s I.Q. is only 10 points higher than the minimum required to be self aware. Therefore, all people from the Pacific Northwest are blisteringly unintelligent.” As you can see, conclusions aren’t always valid. A third type of reasoning is called abductive, which can be described as “take your best shot”. Multiple pieces of evidence are considered, some possibly conflicting or irrelevant, and a conclusion is drawn. This is the type of reasoning you might use when answering questions like “Is she guilty or innocent of this crime”, “…from what illness is this patient suffering?”, or “…which one of these jackasses is going to get my vote?”

One definition of logic: “The science which studies the formal processes used in thinking and reasoning.” Since it is a science, there are specific rules which determine whether or not your reasoning is sound. There are simply too many to list – my intention is not to write a textbook! In the course of my lengthy and varied formal education, I never once took a dedicated course in logic. As a student of the subject, I simultaneously enjoy being able to discern faulty reasoning as it is encountered as well as feel overwhelmed at the frequency with which it is found. In my future posts I hope to illustrate some of these rules as well as learn more about them myself. Hopefully, I’ll find a way to do so which will be thought-provoking rather than a possible cure for insomnia. Since we are now in the midst of a Presidential election, there will plenty to discuss, no doubt. This could be a wild ride, folks!

Another Welcome!

Like my friend Paul, I am somewhat new to the world of blogging and I expect to have quite the learning curve. I share his feelings in many areas, especially that of frustration with Facebook as a place for meaningful discussion on anything of substance, especially when it comes to politics.

I will follow Paul’s example with a bit of an introduction. I grew up in Boaz, Alabama. I graduated from Jacksonville State University in 1990 with a degree in Music Education, followed almost immediately by spending the next year and a half  or so doing various things for the United States Army, nine months of which were spent in various exotic locations in the Middle East (the careful reader should take note – if you are not fond of sarcasm, my blog may not be your favorite). After returning home from that service, I continued my education at JSU, stopping just a few classes short of my Master’s in Music Education to take a job as a band director. Over the next decade, I finished my Master’s, decided teaching was not for me, moved more times than I care to remember, taught again, stopped teaching again, tried other things, taught again in another state, walked out of it for good with one ridiculous statement from a principal, and became proficient in the art of the run-on sentence. I currently work for one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. As A (see what I did there?) claims adjuster. I’m the guy you call when bad things have happened. I’m a guy with a lot of interests, and I hope a lot of interesting stories.

Like Paul, I’m a bit of a round peg/square hole guy politically speaking. I am very Liberty-minded, which by definition means I simply cannot support the Democratic party. It also means I simply cannot abide by the Republican party’s lip service to smaller government while doing less than nothing to actually implement it. The Libertarian party is appealing, but has yet to gather enough traction to attract either meaningful voter support or strong candidates with enough name recognition.

 

This blog was conceptualized and created in a short amount of time. I have a private social media page which I created some time ago as a place where I could post the ocassional rant, or items which may be a bit on the salty side without offending some of my more genteel friends or suffering the onslaught of the oh so tolerant left. Paul is an active participant on that page. He posted one day with an expression of dissatisfaction with that form of media, stating he was thinking of blogging, and asked to know our thoughts. That resulted in a message to both myself and Paul from a common friend, a brilliant computer/IT/internet professional, offering to set us up a blog. We chatted a bit about our thoughts of what we wanted to do, and discovered a remarkably common vision. Paul had the idea. I came up with the name. Our common friend (I’ll leave it to him to introduce himself), the real brain of the operation, corralled enough spare electrons from his world to make this website a reality.

I hope this to be a place where we can discuss things we feel to be important with an aim toward logic and reason. I feel those qualities to be almost absent from most public discussion. I ask you to join us in the same spirit. I expect limited feeding of trolls here, but I certainly do not want this to be an echo chamber. I appreciate substance far more than symbolism, and I certainly hope to learn.

Thank you for reading, and please share your thoughts!