‘You’ Don’t Exist: Why an Enduring Self Is a Delusion | Alternet

The article linked below immediately piqued my interest, and I believe it deserves at least a quick read by anyone who has ever pondered the nature of their existence or their level of self-awareness.

The article questions whether “we” actually exist, not in a mental construct like the Matrix (where humans are harvested for their btu production to run AI machines), but rather more generally, addressing THE question–whether “we” exist in any manner at all.



'You' Don't Exist: Why an Enduring Self Is a Delusion | Alternet


The Terry Clarke Daily (March 19, 1015) is out!


The Terry Clarke Daily (March 3, 2015) is out!


The March 3, 2015 edition of The Terry Clarke Daily is out. I appreciate the response so far, and I have incorporated several issues into regular articles at the request of many of the publication's readers. I continue to request additional areas of interest readers would like to see in future editions.

Please click the link below to access today's edition!

The Terry Clarke Daily.


Time is running out on a continued “free” Internet

Declaration of Internet freedom

It was just a matter of time in a capitalistic world–How long could a service (connection to the Internet) remain free when so many high dollar investors have been salivating for years for their share of profits from a slice of the Internet pie? Now that nearly every person in the world has become addicted to the Internet to manage their daily lives, it is only fitting that the deep pockets are now swooping in to ensure that every one connected to the Internet pay for their Internet service. Pick an adage: “If it seems to good to be true. It is.” There is no such thing as a free lunch.” And on and on and on . . . .


People throughout the world advocating Internet freedom


The publication, The Nation, has issued a warning that global citizens had better act fast if they wish the Internet to remain free–actually very fast, as in 5 days fast, as discussed in the article linked below.


The folks who run blog.startpage.com have also begun an ad campaign advocating everyone interested in keeping the Internet free post the image below. I would be interested in hearing differing views on where people stand regarding Internet “freedom.” If you don’t mind sharing your position publicly, please provide your position in the comments section of this post.

Stop the cable companies from charging for Internet service–a widespread movement


Emil Guillermo’s great idea for virtual reality goggles–using empathy to reduce racism


Racism is taught

Racism is taught

Privilege can lead to feelings of superiority which can lead to racism.

Privilege can lead to feelings of superiority which can lead to racism.


Virtual reality COULD produce empathy for victims of racism.

Virtual reality COULD produce empathy for victims of racism.

Scientists solve 2,000-year-old Terracotta Army mystery

Admittedly, the article cited is a bit for scientifically technical for my tastes, but the authors do a brilliant job of explaining when the army was created (210 BC), how they were formed (too technical of a description to be summarized accurately in this small pace) and how the tens of thousands of perfectly formed soldiers, more importantly, kept their precise forms in such unbelievably great shape over the millennia (Polychrome layers applied to these sculpted imperial guards were composed of natural inorganic pigments and binding media. These pigments have been identified as including cinnabar [HgS], apatite [Ca5(PO4)3OH], azurite [Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2] and malachite [Cu2CO3(OH)2], etc., but the precise composition of binding media used in the painting process had long eluded scientists until China scientists discovered a proteinaceous binding media which had been successfully made and applied for the polychrome Terracotta Army.)


Connectivism as a solution to the “critical thinking crisis? My humble view.

This is a very interesting concept in education–one I have found to be very effective in the graduate university courses and seminars I have taught. The style I have found most beneficial to my students learning complex and controversial material is to: (1) I begin each course period with an overview of the concepts to be learned and applied in that period [Students are warned in the initial introduction class that a if they fail to complete the assigned reading in advance of attending the class, there is little chance for mastery of the material.]; (2) After completing my lecture and handing out to the students copies of my lecture materials, I randomly and arbitrarily assign each class member to a group of 3-7 students, depending on class size [To assure the best random sample possible, I base placement into groups on arbitrary, meaningless criteria such as zodiac signs, favorite cartoon characters, and so forth.]; (3) I then pass out to each “small group” a written hypothetical statement of facts, prepared in advance of class and using the students names as the “characters” in my “stories” (and given that I have primarily taught environmental/natural resource courses, the characters are typically engaged in activities viewed as compliant or non-compliant with statutory and case law and guidance and regulations, in numerous ways); (4) Each small group is required to appoint a spokesperson and then provided a given length of time (typically limited to 30 minutes to avoid extemporaneous conversations) to IDENTIFY each relevant issue spotted in the hypothetical story, IDENTIFY each character's culpability listed in the story (liable versus compliant, etc.), and PROVIDE A WELL-REASON CONCLUSION FOR EACH ISSUE; (5) I reassemble the small groups back into their ordinal seating configuration, and then I ask each group leader to identify each issue in the “story”, the potential fate of each character–all supported by a reasoned conclusion, and I then ask which issues were most controversial among the group, (6) Finally, we have a general class discussion in which I answer any questions, point out issues which every missed (and explain why those were important enough to be identified and analyzed).

I am not suggesting my teaching technique is unique, that I “invented” it or that it isn't less effective than other teaching styles. All I can say is that the rapid evolution of the students' critical thinking skills and mastery of the materials throughout the semester is shocking to me each time I teach a new course. I have been told by students in every class, who come into my class with diverse educational backgrounds (degrees in Biology, Engineering, Occupational Health and Safety, Geology, Teaching, Law, Political Science, and Physics, to name only a few), that my course is the first course, at any level, that they have ever been made “to think”, rather than memorizing copious amounts of information and “puking it out onto an exam” –never to think about how it might be applied in “the real world” or ever thinking about the material again. I am also frequently told, particularly by those students with a physical science background, that at the beginning of the course they felt I was being evasive by refusing to reveal “the correct answers” to their questions, but instead suggesting to them that there is “no” wrong answer, provided the answer is responsive to the question and backed by a strong, well-reasoned analysis. Typically, those students would tell me the lightbulb came on just about at the midpoint of the semester, and that they then became comfortable with working with subject matter that is very gray, as opposed to the black and white world through which their physical science courses were taught.

In order for the small group discussions to continue to be dynamic, I must reassign students to new groups each new class–so they can experience the collective experience with all of their classmates (and to avoid the problems with cliques, but exposing them to the real world working environment by rquiring every student to work collectively, toward a common goal, witth students from diverse educational, socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic and racial bakgrounds).

I realize that I have used, actually overused the term “critical thinking” in this post and it is now fashionable in academia to bemoan the inability of this current generation of students to critically think, but rest assured, I slowly developed my system of teaching over the last 15 years because I observed first hand the students in my graduate classes the dearth of students possessing the ability to critically think. I was caught completely offguard 15 years ago when an entire class of students (except one, whom I will list by name–Cory Wilson) would respond any time I asked a question that required an answer based on reasoning and analysis, “What page is that on, Professor?” In any event, I am not simply jumping onn the bandwagon decrying the loss of critical thinking skills nor do I even have a working defintion of the term. I simplistically view the term “critical thinking” just as did U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart viewed hard core pornography in the case of Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964), in which he infamously and imprecisely stated, “I know it when I see it.” Only in my case, the reverse is true: I know it when I don't see it.

I am always interested in learning of teaching styles which require students to “critically think” in an effective and enjoyable way . . . so please feel free to share with me any tecniques that have been beneficial in your teaching experience.

Below is a link to an excellent article written by Robin Bartoletti regarding her experience with connectivism.




Drug Abuse: Incurable Illness or Hedonistic Choice

I have several friends, including my best friend (formerly an excellent attorney, with a high income, a loving family, and a large number of friends) and a number or relatives who worked hard in college and moved up professionally, only to, in essence, trade all of the fruits of their hard work for a life of depravity, sacrificing everything important to them for an opportunity to score more drugs, requiring higher and higher doses of their drug(s) of choice to reach their “high.” More than one of my friends confiding in me that he had reached the state that he no longer felt high with the massive doses of drugs he was abusing-he now needed that large quantity to feel “normal” ( which I assumed meant avoiding symptoms of withdrawal.

Some of ny relatives/friends simply made the conscious decision to “quit partying” and have now had good jobs for years and apparently no longer “crave” the feeling of being high. I have other friends who hover near the bottom of their potential (professional, social, spiritual and appear to be moving, albeit slowly, toward becoming a productive membe of society again) and just when it seems they have turned the corner, they encounter another relapse, withdraw from (or even pick fights with) those few friends and family members who have not totally lost hope of a successful recovery (however low the odds may be).

As so often happens, I read an article in the excellent digital publication Aeon (which should be required reading by every human on earth) that discussed this very issue in great detail. It is far too well written for me to summarize so I will simply provide the link below: