Close Your Mind: A Response to Zigmund Reichenbach’s Guest Post

Hey everyone. In case you missed it, my response to Zigmund Reichenbach‘s guest post has been posted over at his excellent blog, All My Small Thoughts. In it, I discuss how using Zig’s idea of methodological skepticism can strengthen your own arguments and how this relates to debates and even the law, if you’re into that sort of thing.

But I also get into how an excess of skepticism can lead to an inability to judge. In other words, that there is such a thing as being too open-minded. An excerpt:

“Judgment” has become a dirty word, as though making a decision–and sticking with it!–is somehow a bad thing. How dare we place value on anything that anyone alive on this world decides to do or say? Who are you to judge?!

I’ll tell you. I’m a thinking human being.

Open-mindedness is good and all, but at some point you have to close your damn mind and discern and decide and yes, judge.

Read the whole thing at Zigmund’s blog, read the rest of his writing because he’s posting a lot of good stuff over there . . . and tell him Alex sent you.

Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade and Gab.ai @DaytimeRenegade

And check out my Instagram here.

One Year of Failure

Oh my goodness I’ve been writing on this stupid blog for over a year.

My first post was published on May 14, 2016. So I missed the official one-year anniversary. So I failed at commemorating the occasion. Big deal.

Here’s how I opened that post:

Hello. My name is Alex, and I’m a failure.

And that’s okay.

If you’ve never failed at anything, that probably means that you haven’t tried anything.

So you see? I’m merely living up to expectations.

All kidding aside, it’s always cool to look back and see that you’ve been doing something consistently over a long period. I’m going to claim victory on this one, since it’s the longest I’ve ever kept a blog.

And you know something? I’ve actually learned a few things during this time. Things I’m gonna go share because this is a blog and pompous, long-winded explanations are what people do: Continue reading “One Year of Failure”

Sunshine Blogger Award

Well, file this in the “Unexpected, Undeserved, but Welcome” file: Writer, blogger, and all around cool guy (and decent fellow) Dylan Cornelius nominated me for something called the Sunshine Blogger Award. 

The SBA (no, not the Small Business Adminostration) is, from what I can tell, a way to promote yourself and promote others. It’s a “pass it along,” chain type of thing, but not a scam. In fact, you’ll probably discover some cool blogs!

I’ll get into the rules, but first about Dylan: I discovered his writing back in 2013 or so when I somehow stumbled upon his site Questicle, an entry into the chronogaming thing, where people play and blog about video games (or anything pop culture related, really) in chronological order, tracking their development and so on. 

Questicle happened to be about my favorite old system, the NES (yes, I have a soft spot for retrogaming). Dylan wrote short, funny reviews on each game (and he is the KING of funny captions). Through commenting on his site, which I used to read on my phone while holding my then-infant son as he settled in to sleep, I realized Dylan was a cool guy as well as a good writer, and that we had a lot in common. 

He is now doing the same thing he did for the NES with Sega systems on his most recent project Sega Does, and also writes about religious and spiritual matters on Dylan In Transition–you should check out both! 

And now, the SBA rules, cribbed from Dylan:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you 
  2. Answer the questions given to you 
  3. Nominate at least 3 bloggers
  4. Write questions for your nominees to answer

I’ll tackle them in order. 

1. Thank the person who nominated you. Thanks, Dylan!

2. Answer the questions given to you. These are great questions, and I expected nothing less from Dylan. Here we go! Continue reading “Sunshine Blogger Award”

Travel Time and a Brief Hiatus

What’s up everyone? Just a quick post to let you all know that the family and I am traveling internationally for a couple of weeks and, as such, I won’t be posting much, if at all. I was hoping to have some guest posts lined up, but alas that did not work out as planned. 

(That said, my man Avtomat Khan of Hidden Dominion was game enough to submit a guest post a few weeks ago that you can read here, and my reflections on it are here.)

Anyway, I’ll try posting when I can, but in all likelihood I won’t see you crazy people until May. 

In the meantime…

…check out Sword & Flower by my friend Rawle Nyanzi.
…listen to some Frank Zappa.

…stop by my friend Dylan Cornelius’ new blog.

…sign up for Alexander Cortes‘ mailing list if you’re into fitness

put down the devices and spend time with your kids like my man Neil White suggests. 

And in general, be excellent to each other. 

Take care. 

Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade and Gab.ai @DaytimeRenegade

And check out my Instagram here

Be My Guest: Introducing Guest Posts on Amatopia!


Exciting news everyone! I am hosting my very first guest post here at Amatopia, this one from an interesting guy I have gotten to know on Twitter, Avtomat Khan (aka AK).

AK runs a blog called The Hidden Dominion, which I took a liking to immediately because he, as I try to do here, covers a wide range of subjects–culture, philosophy, economics, survival, personal finance, politics–but with a strong focus on achieving independence in all facets of life. Interesting stuff!

AK goes deeper into the news-of-the-day, and covers topics that I don’t here, like self-defense, but there is enough overlap and similarity of overall philosophy about life, particularly a mutual sense of curiosity, that we thought it’d be fun do some guest posting.

The way I plan on doing guest posts is to start with an introductory blurb like this, give each writer their entire own post with none of my writing, and then later publish my own post reflecting on what they wrote and why I thought it was a good fit for this blog. Amatopia is all about learning and curiosity, so I hope you find these guest posts as interesting as I do!

So here he is, writing about an oft-discussed subject–staying authentic–but I think AK offers a better explanation of what that means, and an interesting way of thinking about the concept, than you might have read before.

So a hearty thank you to AK for writing this! Hope you enjoy his post as much as I did, and I highly recommend you check out The Hidden Dominion!

Follow me on Twitter @DaytimeRenegade and Gab.ai @DaytimeRenegade

And check out my Instagram here

True Truthiness

Today, for both Eastern and Western Christians, marks the start of Great and Holy Lent, the 40-day fast culminating in Easter Sunday and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But this post is not about religion per se, and is intended for a universal audience regardless of your religious proclivities (if any).

I’m inclusive like that.

You see, what strikes me about Lent and Easter is its thematic link to most other major Christian holidays in that they all seem to be about renewal and rebirth.

From Christmas–the conception and birth of Jesus–to Epiphany–the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist–to the Transfiguration–the Revelation of Jesus’ true nature to John and James and Peter–these events involve humanity being able to overcome its fallen nature and put on a new form, new wine in new bottles.

But if this isn’t a religious post, then why am I writing about religion?

Because this focus on rebirth can also be seen as a quest for truth. And as a blogger I very much enjoy named Insanitybytes22 put it recently, absolute truth is difficult to come by, but us Christians like to think we have a starting point:

However, human flaws aside, objective truth and Absolute Truth are still real things in the world. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” -John 14:6. The truth is important in the Christian walk, and it is an objective, tangible thing, outside of and beyond ourselves, our feelings, and our sentimentality.

This is what I try to use as my starting point as well: If you are going to have a standard, it’s better for that standard to be as immutable and true as humanly possible. And since “humanly possible” is not always best, I think the teachings of Jesus Christ–who us Christians consider to be God on Earth–are a good place to start.

This all still sounds religious. Where am I going with this?

I am going to a place that may seem disproportionately mundane when compared to the resurrection of the dead: My own life.

Specifically, my purpose.

Specifically, what am I doing here.

And by “here,” I mean blogging. Writing. Anything. Continue reading “True Truthiness”

Write From the Heart

I hate lists. 

I hate bullet points. 

I hate how-to guides. 

This is not entirely accurate. I do enjoy reading them, but I sure hate writing them. 

Lots of great, high-quality bloggers wrote these things. I read them and enjoy them and learn from them. 

But I don’t like writing them, even though I’ve tried from time to time. 

It’s a pretty American thing, isn’t it? Lists and bullet points? “Here’s how you do it, bang bang bang.” No pretensions, no bullshit, no flowery language. Get to the point. 

But here’s the thing: I’m a bullshitter. I’m a dissembler. I like flowery language. 

I’m a storyteller, and a story-reader. I like stories. I like writing narratives.

Successful blogs, though, tend to have bullet points, lists, and “actionable items.”

These are great. 

But they’re not my style. 

I always feel disingenuous when I write like this. 

It’s funny, then: Why blog? What am I trying to do? Continue reading “Write From the Heart”