My podcast has a very clear subject: what I think about just about everything hahaha. Below is a brief history of my personal philosophical mind set and what lead me to the name of my podcast.
My Econ class with May Akabogu-Collins was the best philosophy class I have taken. She was so interesting to me. Her explanation of the concept of Opportunity Cost changed my life. No philosophy class or explanation of Economics or Opportunity Cost before her's had any impact on me. But with her thick Nigerian accent and sharp mind, she sparked something in me that sent me exploring the subject for the next 4 years of my life, and the path my life would take. [see Economics]
My own personal brand of philosophy is made up of the experiences, knowledge, and pondering inspired by a number of very important people in my life. And of course StarTrek, which let’s be honest taught me everything I need to know. I watched a great episode of StarTrek TNG: "Ship in a Bottle" in which one of the characters, Beverly Crusher, becomes trapped in a warp bubble. The bubble is collapsing and this means that she would stop existing as things could only exist inside the bubble she was in. As it collapsed even the parts of the ship which would be outside the bubble seised to exist. Trying to understand what was happening to her she says "Here's a question you shouldn't be able to answer. Computer, what is the nature of the universe?" The computer replied "The universe is a spheroid region 705 meters in diameter." This was so profound to me. Amazing to think of a scenario where the nature of the universe was completely explainable and limited.
StarTrek really did give me a lot to think about. But my greatest influences were mostly a few great teachers, a handful of insightful professors, and some key family members. Oh! and two complete strangers: Father Ulman and Henry David Thoreau.
While Economics was a huge influence on me as an adult, my philosophical path was set when I was just a kid. I was raised catholic, and did a lot of listening to sermons growing up. None really mattered much to me. My unreligious grandfather had taught me early on that religious rules all just fall under one overarching rule: don't hurt other people. He said to the extent possible, follow that one rule and you would get into whatever heaven there maybe without much trouble. I agreed and believed it, so church seemed very patronizing and repetitive.
One day there was a sermon that I did find interesting. It wasn't about how great god and jesus were, or how most of the enjoyable things in life are sins, or what hates about us. As a kid no one would tell you much about death other than that we are all going to die someday. But today Ulman was talking about death and so he had my full attention. He said "You know not the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." He was referring to a quote about the return of jesus to judge us... but he didn't focus on that. Instead he went on later to repeat the quote as "you know not the day nor the hour of the time of your death." This time he was paraphrasing the quote he had previously made from Mathew, and I was smacked into realization that the truly critical thing to know about death wasn't that you were going to die but that you didn't know the timing.
Ulman's interpretation of that quote blew my mind wide open. Maybe he knew that the powerful thought there was not that we didn't know when our time would come for judgement but that we didn't know when our actionable life would end. That either way, we would have no more time to think, no more time to speak, to build, to protect, to love. It was pencils down. As a kid swinging my feet in a pew, hearing this and really understanding it when I was still so young seems remarkable and lucky now. This singular event changed me right there; an instant transformation. I didn't cry in the shower anymore thinking about my parent's or grandparent's future deaths after that sermon. I became and continue to become more and more concerned with right now.
I was forced to read Walden in school. Getting kids to read the work of an American philosopher was a good idea I guess. Considering there really aren't many others choose from, you end up with Thoreau, Jefferson, or Emerson. Walden is a dumb book about the forest and it is mostly a bunch of old-time sounding talk about working as a farmer and stuff. It is so boring and irrelevant. Or so I thought when I was a teenager. I rediscovered this book in my 30s. WOW! How had I missed the most self assuring and commiserating written work I would ever read. Reading this book opened my eyes to some huge revelations. But mostly my life and influences, only by chance, had already given me insight to a lot of what I would come to read in his book. It organized my thoughts, cement critical concepts, and provide me with an incredible link to the passage of time; a comparison of the validity of these thoughts back then to now resulting in a sense of the accuracy and credibility of these thoughts. (I honestly think many Americans demonized Thoreau's philosophy the same way we demonized LSD [see blog entry]).
I have listened to a lot of audio talks, lectures, ted talks, podcasts, radio talk shows, NPR and still do. So it wasn't any wonder that when internet radio stations came about, I would create some with my friends in college.
Because of my obsession with my philosophical concepts, I have always had a lot to say about just about anything. Some of my friends would point out that a philosopher, advisor, hell even life coach... I am not. I don’t feel I need a title to express my philosophies. They have made my life a very content and happy one and so now I created a Blog and Podcast for the benefit of other similarly situated individuals. When discussing the name for my new show I told a close friend that I wanted to talk about anything and everything I wanted this time. I didn't want the name to limit it. When I said this out loud I immediately knew what to name the show which became the future name of my blog and podcast.