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In honor of vibinc‘s new title/header/thingie which is:

EDUCATE YOURSELF – The more informed you are the less fear you will have
I bring you a word of the day:

Autodidacticism

 

Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is self-education or self-directed learning. An autodidact is a mostly self-taught person, as opposed to learning in a school setting or from a tutor.

A person may become an autodidact at nearly any point in his or her life. While some may have been educated in a conventional manner in a particular field, they may choose to educate themselves in other, often unrelated areas.

Self-teaching and self-directed learning are not necessarily lonely processes. Some autodidacts spend a great deal of time in libraries or on educative websites. Many, according to their plan for learning, avail themselves of instruction from family members, friends, or other associates, although strictly speaking this might not be considered autodidactic, unless the emphasis is placed on collecting specific information as opposed to being guided in a general course of study by a teacher figure.

The term “self-taught” is something of a journalistic trope these days, and is often used to signify “non-traditionally educated”, which is entirely different, as the flow of information and its focus is usually governed by the teacher or educational source and not the student.

Inquiry into autodidacticism has implications for learning theory, educational research, educational philosophy, and educational psychology.

 

I am of the opinion that many people who presently believe in various myths, superstitions, false ideologies, etc.  are far from hopeless. I believe that the internet will bring about a lot of consensus among the people of Earth. People now, for the first time ever, have an amazing degree of access to information. And the truth tends to shine.

I think the day will come when most people agree about most things, because they can’t be debunked. It will take generations, unfortunately, but it’s coming.

It is the nature of our species to want to understand. Just like few now contest the spherical nature of the Earth, the reality of human behavior in different social scenarios will eventually be beyond controversy. The reality, whatever it is (and as a progressive, I have my deep suspicions about what’s up) will just shine as fact.

I believe with every fiber of my being that the era of the Demon Haunted World is coming to a close. What we’re seeing now with healthcare reform, etc, is a death pang. A temper tantrum from the mythology-true-believers.

In the end, the truth always shines. It’s why Russia collapsed. 

At the end of the day, truth always wins. Humans are driven by nature to think critically and laterally. All they need is an (at least) mostly corruption-free fact base to derive facts from. So I don’t think it a coincidence that in 2008, Americans joined the rest of the developed world in proclaiming healthcare a basic human right. The masses are able, for the first time ever, to actually talk to and compare notes with citizens of other nations. And the truth, as it tends to do, shines.

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Tonight I participated in the first of an 8 week course on grassroots organizing through the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center.

I’m not really “political” by nature. I’m really a “science person”. I like well tested evidence and facts. I only came to hold the liberal views I do by becoming curious about stuff like the gini coefficient and trying to debunk ideas about the social determinants of health in google scholar on my own.

As a child and teen, I attended ECS (Evangelical Christian School). There, a relentless devotion to truth was instilled in me which, ironically, served only to lead me away from the rightwing Christian perspective of “reality” as I matured.

I’ll never forget being 11 and being told that yes, the Earth is around 6,000 years old. I enquired about the fossil record and was told it was all the work of Satan. I enquired about the fact that the light we see from stars is light that must have been sent out millions or billions of years ago, and the response was that God himself “created the universe with age”. Ok. So Satan was handed the biology and God took on the deceptive astrophysics? Ooookaaay.

I switched denominations a lot in my late teens and early 20’s trying to find a theology that was internally consistent. I eventually began to wonder if maybe I was just brainwashed.  After becoming a parent, the gravity of the situation hit me, and I decided it was my Christian duty as a seeker of truth to start from scratch as an atheist. And here, as an atheist, I still am. I really, honestly hope to someday have reason to view things differently eventually.

 

______________________

I’m a married white chick with kids living in inner city Memphis. The gang issue and the infant mortality issue keeps me up at night. In some ways, I’m in a great spot to help. In other ways, I’m totally the wrong person. I guess in the end, I’ll just try as hard as I can and do what I can.

I just want to be able to die knowing I contributed to making the world (or Memphis, specifically) a better place for my own kids, and all citizens of Earth. We’re all in this together. I’m just wanting to do what I can, when I can.

I went to Drinking Liberally tonight and was delighted to find that the author of vibinc is someone I used to (sorta) work with. And he’s someone who I always liked a whole lot whenever I worked with him.
So…nifty. That’s pretty darn cool.