#Ideas,  #Politics,  #Tech

The Working Thesis: Technology, Thought, Politics

*Authors note: I make no warrants on claims or viewpoints, and I reserve the right to change my mind, thoughts, and/or opinions at anytime, for any reason.  At no time do the contents of this experiment (andrewjneumann.com) reflect my employer or anyone else unless explicitly stated.*

*Second note: I know this is a little hard to follow, it’ll become more clear as I post.*


Welcome to my blogging experiment, a collection of things I find interesting and have thoughts and/or opinions on. I enjoy philosophy and writing, and this is my attempt to do more of both more consistently.

I make no warrants on claims or viewpoints, and I reserve the right to change my mind, thoughts, and/or opinions at any time, for any reason. At no time do the contents of this experiment reflect my employer or anyone else unless explicitly stated. I won’t even claim that I endorse or believe some of what written. Often thought experiments are made to challenge or progress one’s thought.

All posts exist on my blog as well as the Steem blockchain forever and ever and ever.

Technology, Thought, Politics

I’ll be writing about three main topics and tagging posts accordingly.

Technology
I have over 15 years of experience working in/with technology “tech” (at time of writing). I’ve worked in startups and Fortune 100 companies. I’ve also worked in healthcare as well as education (K-12 & university). Technology is something I’m interested in, passionate about, highly experienced in, and it’s a part of nearly everything we do.

Thought
I think a lot about a lot. I have my whole life, and I’m an intensely curious person. When I attended university, I explored all the liberal arts had to offer. I had over ten declared majors and minors because I found a lot of things pretty damn interesting. I ended up graduating with a custom-built major in Liberal Studies (apparently if you don’t use your credits, they start expiring >_<) and a minor in Mass Communication. After my first year, I decided I wanted a high level, broad understanding (and the ability to get into higher-level classes that were not available to non-declared majors) and to learn how to think (process and discern information). I also wanted to learn how to communicate— communicate what I don’t know and of course what I do know. I also planned to pursue Ph.D. studies and figured Liberal Studies would be a good foundation. At the time of writing, I’m enrolled in graduate school for business. I’m not ruling out a Ph.D.; only time will tell on that.

Writing also helps me learn, reinforce my thoughts, and inspire new thinking. It’s my hope this experiment might do the same for others—or at the very least inspire readers to think and/or write more. I want to add to the intellectual debate because as I see it, it’s the only thing that’s going to solve the issues humanity has currently and issues that will occur in the future. I can only hope that this collection of works will help inspire and push humanity forward.

Politics
Fuckin’ politics.


Fuckin’ politics is a necessary part of a functional society, and it’s the best methodology we have invented to not only (mostly) get along but to develop society. I studied political science, but what I found most interesting was political theory. I had a fantastic professor (she knows who she is) who not only challenged my basic assumptions but forced me to broaden my understanding of the political. Politics has developed Democracy; political theory has asked questions but also pushes further and questions the very existence of topics and more — questioning the very (basic) assumptions of power, if and how it might exist, and if or how it could be shared (or taken)..

Politics is so much more than the 24-hour cable news networks and so very much more than many identify with the word— it can be as liberating as it can be oppressive, just as it can be unjust. I aim to broaden what people think when they hear the word ‘politics’ and to explore the problems, complaints, and new ideas that encompass nearly every aspect of our lives.

THE INTENT

I want to share my thoughts and the ideas I have. I want to get people thinking for their own and questioning what they think they know – and hopefully – drive to understand what they do not know. It’s very easy to fall into a track in modern society. It seems even more comfortable to categorize intellectualism as an unobtainable skill— something only those with elite college degrees can obtain. I know this to be quite silly as some of the most intellectually curious people I know have no formal education, nor do they allow themselves to be limited to or by what others project on to them. We have allowed ourselves to be convinced that questions are not something to seek, that they are themselves seemingly dangerous or threatening. The exact opposite is true and adopting a stance of the anti-question is to completely limit any growth, perspective, and curiosity. The individual is in-fact, frozen in development.

Intellectualism is not a dirty word, nor is it something only a few can obtain. To have intellect is: the faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively, especially with regard to abstract or academic matters (New Oxford American Dictionary, 2018). Objectivity is quickly leaving our national narrative and possibly our greater society. This is very dangerous.

The mind is our most significant human aspect, and quite possibly the thing that made and continues to make us human. It is something that continually collects, processes, and stores input. Just as learning to throw a ball or learn a sport, developing the mind takes active intent. However, unlike learning to throw or learning a sport, anyone with a mind has unlimited potential— that is to say, potential that is only limited by the individual. Yet many of us choose not to use our minds and envy physical skills that many of us will simply never be able to master. While I intend to expand more on this in future posts, the primary intent of this collection of works is to be a conduit for individual, societal, and community development.

THE NAME

I thought a lot about a grounding concept for this work. In the end I concluded that the best brand I can establish is myself and that a name isn’t as important as the content the name contains. Creating a brand for one’s identity to become one’s identity seems silly.

WHY BLOG & BLOCKCHAIN?

  1. Thoughts, opinions, and ideas should be free and accessible to everyone.
  2. People that create content should be able to benefit from it economically.
  3. Members of a community should be able to benefit from the community. This facilitates the exchange of ideas.

Steemit (a community built around the Steem blockchain) creates a pretty good ecosystem to reward creators as well as members of the community for their contributions. It’s the best place I’ve found at the start of this project. The blockchain creates a system that provides an immutable record of creation and use of creation. The Steemit community also provides a way to reward creators and community members within the ecosystem.

I’ve published on platforms such as Medium in the past. Nothing is without cost and most platforms at the time of writing start free then try to monetize in some way. Most platforms take the generated content of the uses and either charge for it directly (Medium) or indirectly (Facebook and Twitter). I don’t want others making money from my content. I haven’t been able to find a platform that supports this while providing total and complete ownership of the work to the creator. So I publish everything here (on a blog I own). I do and will likely continue to push content to other places, but I also expect those places to come and go.

I choose to originate posts on my blog to provide absolute ownership of my content and guarantee access under terms I want; without the threat of change to remove the content. I also publish to various social platforms to spread the reach of my writing.

SUPPORT

While this is starting as a project I can do in my free time; I hope that it can and will become a community. Over time, I hope to develop mechanisms that support community digitally through this site but inspire others to develop community in their immediate offline and online spaces.

While I currently fund this site, I hope that it can one day become my sole focus. Because living in a capitalist society requires access to capital, I’ve decided to accept non-tax-deductible donations.

I never intend to paywall any content, that is to only make available content for those who pay; however, I do have some ideas to make certain perks available to those who can and choose to support my project. I understand that everyone’s financial situation is different, and I appreciate everyone that chooses to support this project – and by extension, me. Likely more on this later.

More info

About the author:

Andrew lives in Portland, OR, and has worked in tech for over 15 years. With a foundation in philosophy, political theory, and communications, he is an avid thinker & tinkerer, continually learning and exploring the world around us.

Published initially on andrewjneumann.com and is best viewed in person. Support | About Andrew | About Site | Feedback

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License © 2019.