Philosophy of Life: Starting Principles


It turns out I’m not a very systematic person. I still want to work toward a coherent philosophy of life but I also want to leave room for chaos and spontaneity within that larger project.

So instead of finding some kind of, oh I don’t know, rational starting point, I decided to just start picking at whatever seems most urgent — whatever lights up, in an inductive sort of way. I figure if I pick a topic I’m actually interested in and meander from one to another, I’ll gradually sink some signposts into the territory and, over time, a path will emerge.

I also had to admit to myself that introspection, outside of any guiding framework or ongoing conversation with other people, can easily lead to wrong turns and getting lost. I found myself reviewing previous projects and life decisions that were the result of long-term thinking in isolation — and they were, let’s face it, mistakes. Hubris. So rather than pretend I’m doing much truly original thinking, I decided to be a good student and hit the books.

It’s not much but there you have it: a couple of guiding principles.

  1. Proceed topically.
  2. Let better thinkers map the territory.

The first topic I found myself drawn to — media and technology. We’re all drowning in tech. It sets the conditions for so much of modern life, yet I’ve never made much of an effort to think carefully about it.

First I’m reading Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. Next I’ll be writing a review on it — possibly on another blog — and then moving on from there. I feel like I need at least two or three books under my belt before I can start piecing together informed or nuanced opinions.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at with it. Not sure what the future holds as far as this blog goes. I feel inclined to start producing more polished, intelligent pieces but this has never really been a venue for that kind of thing. So we’ll see.

Uh, cheers.

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