Matt Smith

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Matt Smith
Posted over 1 year ago
What's the point of novels?
Sure, sure, no worries, you seem to suggest that reading a novel doesn't apply facts or knowledge. Or that the two are wholly separate. In all three cases, you're learning, take the story of the celebrated Ahmad ibn Fadlan. Popularized by Crichton's book and the adaptation, the 13th Warrior. It's unquestioningly a novel, as a lot had to be invented or reasoned into it to create a story. You learn great lessons about people as a species, and you're wildly entertained. At least, I was. Also at the risk of being offensive, if so, forgive me, but I think these are some of the better examples, take the Bible and the Qur'an. The stories in it are allegorical, mythic, symbolic and most are quite simply made up. The themes they present are still worth learning, people still cling to them, for whatever reason. Just as, ugh, Twilight, I'm sure provides some insight to sheltered teenage girls for its' themes, beyond mere entertainment. Personally, I have never read a novel that did not have me thinking, indeed this is my favorite part about reading, it fosters an environment where I question ideas or branch on theirs. Just as someone said, you can pause and reflect while reading, this is one avenue of tremendous intelligent discussion, albeit, with yourself! I'm still curious though, why do you ask this question? What lead you here? Thanks all the same my friend!
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Matt Smith
Posted over 1 year ago
Is college really as important as our society today has made it out to be?
Is it necessary to succeed? Definitely not, think on the wildly successful Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. For me neither, after my three years in the military I found myself competing with master level graduates in IT and beating them soundly. That was one surprising aspect of life without college for me, it's a bit of a joke really. It used to be, and depending on where you live, college prepared you for an actual position based on what you know and can demonstrate, now... in America it doesn't by and large. If you're an American, or for any in earshot, the system is built on some kind of ridiculous approach to fostering or creating an 'every-man'. A well-rounded person, educated in the classics, but forgets them after a month (that goes for everything by the way you're not interested in personally). Well versed in communicative skills but actively erodes them in their personal life. I envy the European system, a straight-forward approach that seemingly works better. Through my many years of travelling, without doubt, those students are more mature than your average American. My gut tells me this approach we take isn't working at all. So, a simple life? Nothing wrong with that at all, I grew up that way and once I had all my youthful ambition tempered with my service, I live a relatively simple life. I contend that it is a far better thing to be anti-authoritarian than taking an authority figure at their word and acting accordingly for the entirety of your life. As a young man, you've had to accept that, no doubt, throughout your entire life up until this point.
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Matt Smith
Posted over 1 year ago
What's the point of novels?
I can't resist the implication that the two, that is, facts/knowledge--learning--to widen our perspective, are mutually exclusive. How could they be? All stories, novels, have themes. I'm sure, well, at least I hope, this wasn't the intended meaning because you can see that it is a bit ridiculous. Because I couldn't resist, why do you ask this question? What lead you here? At the risk of being wrong, my gut feeling is that that is the more interesting discussion! More to the point, nothing is a waste of time, I think if you really put thought to what that statement is, you'll find that it's meant in production terms. You should be working! You should be doing something productive! Is your cognitive well being not of the utmost importance? As Americans, you know, we see this a lot, and I feel a bit enlightened by you that perhaps you folks feel some of the same pressure. I suppose though, that's only for me to take away :D
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Matt Smith
Posted almost 2 years ago
"Why Can't We Solve Big Problems?"
I wonder if it's just as simple as we cannot agree on how or why to tackle a problem. Perhaps it is a real lack of imagination for the long run, or big picture. Which, as odd as it is to say, is a skill and rare attribute.
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Matt Smith
Posted almost 2 years ago
We will NOT find an alternative to energy dense, easily transportable conventional oil in time to sustain indefinate economic growth.
This discussion should be promptly ended if you do not provide evidence for your claim that we absolutely WILL NOT find an alternative energy source in time because this is an old issue, and rather dead at this point, a simple google search can provide you with plenty of research done on our current situation. As much has already been mentioned by Barry and Lawren. We're not really having a debate, this is very one-sided, so to do so, provide some evidence to support yourself. I hope you're not fishing here either.
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Matt Smith
Posted almost 2 years ago
Is there any way to prevent religious debates from turning into a big fight?
There's a talk show out of Austin, Texas, USA, that promotes a positive discussion about religion. Naturally, they're atheist's and they have open calls from the public trying to assert their claim about their religion. I'm not a regular watcher, I've watched an episode or two and assorted clips but people carry on rather well there. http://www.atheist-experience.com/ http://www.youtube.com/user/AtheistExperience People on the show rarely show anger, when they do, it's because people, usually callers, aren't listening or understanding the arguments being made. On the other hand, this isn't something that's unique to religion anyway, you can watch the same stuff on FOXnews with any number of hosts, and in regard to any subject they take a position on. Anger is inherent in some people, a weapon they wield with any cause. For me, I don't think you get critical or bright people in religion. You get a lot of broken people too, because they need religion. In the same way that I'd defend my freedom or my needs these people are of the same situation, but with religion, because it's a need for them.
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Matt Smith
Posted almost 2 years ago
Celebrity scientists
He's sort of a rising star at this point but Neil deGrasse Tyson has to be inspiring people to don the ugly white labcoat. Bill Nye did a lot for the average American too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHbYJfwFgOU