Kirk Bryan

Corpus Christi, TX, United States

About Kirk

Bio

Jack-of-all-trades 20 years in media, primarily broadcast. Numerous creative awards. Eight years substitute teaching in junior and high school, five years inspecting residential real estate, three years now as a stock trader. Married 20 years with 2 stepchildren, 2 natural, 1 adopted, and currently 2 foster. The foster children are mentally and physically handicapped. Educated in electronics technology (trade school diploma) and mass communication (B.S.), and residential construction / inspection via extension. A minor in philosophy. My foster parent training (30 hours per year) might qualify me for a second minor in psychology. Self-educated in finance. My free time is usually spent fixing things, going places with the kids, reading books I missed out on earlier in life, and expanding my musical horizons. Or napping.

Areas of Expertise

media

An idea worth spreading

Love divided is love multiplied.

I'm passionate about

Cutting the nonsense.

Talk to me about

Anything reasonable.

Comments & conversations

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Kirk Bryan
Posted over 1 year ago
What do you think happens after physical death?
The key word is Spirit - and it is a very misunderstood word. We hear much about the afterlife as some kind of version of our present life, where we recognize each other, wear shimmering clothes, have wings, have our pets with us, and other nonsense. At least, it is to me. Spirit is what we have that transcends our life. It is exercised by our mind and body, but it does not belong to them. It belongs to all who are affected by it and perpetuate it. At death, our ability to exercise it dies, too. What is left is carried in those whom we've affected - for better or worse. Their memories of our joy, our involvement, our hatred, our problems live in them after we are gone, and how they ignore, deal with, and exercise they way they have been affected with others determines their spirit. So, concentrate on what was good about them. Let the bad die. Good riddance to evil. If you admired something about them, do the same thing yourself. Do it better. Their spirit lives in you as you choose. If you revere their memory, tell others about them, and let their spirit affect them, too. If the afterlife is Spirit, where we are one with God, then we are one in spirit when we share what was given to us. The Afterlife isn't off in the ether somewhere, maybe on the other side of Jupiter - it's right here and now as we choose daily to keep their spirit alive.
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Kirk Bryan
Posted over 1 year ago
Has anyone here done any research into Julian Jaynes' theory on the origin of consciousness?
Belief is not evidence. The fact alone that we may be predisposed to believe something is not evidence of its existence. It is only when taken in the context of other facts, particularly those which are otherwise random or unexplainable that the theory gains meaning. All by itself, Jaynes's theorized brain development simply explains our belief in a willful consciousness greater than our own. That is not evidence of such a thing. But, when references are made, such as the one in Romans where is is specifically mentioned that the "invisible" qualities of God, "namely, his eternal power and divine nature" i.e. his ability to be perceived and responded to beyond a finite human lifetime and a pure, incorruptible nature centuries before we have any theories or research into the topic, and what he has found comes up a match with Scripture, well, Scripture starts to acquire a credibility that may not have been otherwise extended to it. I think Jaynes is very much a careful researcher, and he seems reluctant to attribute much to his work beyond a reasonable explanation of what he has found and how it may explain some of our development. I never got the feeling he was an advocate for Christ so much as he was an advocate of not speculating beyond his evidence. If my argument is anything, it is that Jaynes's work confirms Scripture in ways previously impossible. It explains why we believe as we do. And if in fact our belief is based in our neurology, we are foolish to ignore it. Just as we would be foolish to ignore our opposable thumbs and their role in our development. If we are made to believe, and God is real, that makes sense. If we are made to believe, and God doesn't exist, that still makes sense, because it at least explains why we believe. If we are not made to believe, and God doesn't exist, we have a lot of explaining to do. If we are not made to believe, and God does exist, things may be just like He says. I prefer the first way. It's just my nature.
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Kirk Bryan
Posted over 1 year ago
Has anyone here done any research into Julian Jaynes' theory on the origin of consciousness?
It's been a long time (about 25 years) since I read the book, but my distillation is this: We are physiologically predisposed to believe in God. Now, for non-Christians or non Westerners, you might substitute the phrase "power greater than ourselves" for "God" with no loss of meaning. For atheists, (most notably, the Objectivists) I'm afraid you'll have to deal with the physiology. If it is true that this is how we are built, then it is real. It would be a falsity to ignore it. If it is not true, you'll have to explain the physiology otherwise. For me, it provides one of the most powerful reasons for having faith I've ever encountered. Romans 1:19 "For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made..." The reference here, directly, is to the perception of things credited by us as having been made by God. As I see it, this perception is made possible by the neurological developments referenced in Jaynes's work. So, nearly 2000 years after Paul wrote this, we're presented with both a theory and physical evidence that support it. For me, that seals the deal. There remains much to be done in reducing his evidence to the level of scientifically-acceptable proof, but if you believe, you have a friend in Jaynes. If you don't, you have a lot of work to do finding sufficient evidence for refutation. We ignore our own nature at our peril, and so must accept it as wholeheartedly as it is instilled within us.
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Kirk Bryan
Posted almost 2 years ago
Projections for the next 20 years
It's not about being organized so much as the numbers. If enough people clamor for change and adopt behavior that encourages it, change will come. That's how cell phones and VCR's got to be so big. It was the acceptance of these innovations on a large scale that led to further innovation and change. It was the widespread personal tolerance of homosexual behavior that led to the change in laws governing such behavior, just as the widespread poverty of old age in the Great Depression led to the acceptance of a program like Social Security. There is some cohesiveness here in the form of organized support and resistance, but it becomes important only at higher levels of the market where actual negotiating for market share or power takes place. Unless the numbers of people interested in change are there, there is nothing to negotiate. Except for the seeming decline in our literacy, I disagree with the idea that communication between people is becoming more difficult or leading towards a frustration with socialization. Being social seems highly prized nowadays, and the churn of the numbers in a group that seek to either belong or drop out doesn't seem any different to me than a generation ago. I'm certainly not hearing "Turn on, tune in, drop out" like I did 40 years ago. Whether it's simple self-esteem or pecking-order status, people seem to want to "tune in" socially much more now than then. I don't see the difficulties as between ourselves so much as between us and those who mean to exploit us. Previously, we could tolerate this sort of relationship because the economics were straightforward, the values were clear, and there were timely remedies for transgressions. We stood a fair chance on a level surface. But the table is tilting, so my hope lies in this - that there are enough of us spreading our dissatisfaction with how tilted things have become that an alternative will get more support than the current model. Market rules in the marketplace of ideas.
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Kirk Bryan
Posted almost 2 years ago
Projections for the next 20 years
Everything not compulsory will be forbidden. Everything not forbidden will be compulsory. In any given situation, there will be only one action to be taken that is free from sanction, and it will be required to be taken. Or you will be sanctioned. Offending someone will be at least a misdemeanor. Newspeak is already taking hold on the front page of Yahoo! Apple, Amazon and Google are mining your data to sell whatever they think they can. Self-driving vehicles that deliver your mail, groceries, and clothing are just for grins. Being off-grid will mean you cannot engage in commerce. Cash will not be accepted. If you do not allow others access to your bank account, they will not do business with you. There will be less individual ownership of material goods and more licensing and rental, so that control of capital goods lies in fewer and fewer hands. You will not be free to modify, experiment with, or otherwise alter your capital goods (your car, home, appliances, etc.) You will not be allowed to resell them, as Google Glass is trying to establish. You will not be allowed to enter a contract for a service unless you give up your right to litigate for damages after you discover you've been had, damage has been done, or you were otherwise wronged. You will exist to feed the pockets of others. Because if you don't, you won't be able to feed yourself. What do I hope will happen? That people will seek to entertain themselves with education. That they will become increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of life they're being led into and rebel against it. But the odds are that they will be a minority. At least, until one of them taps the spirit of the masses in a way that has escaped coercion. Because we all know that once the masses get ahold of something, it's a done deal.
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Kirk Bryan
Posted almost 2 years ago
How can God exist beyond space and time?
Carlos, We can't discount the possibility of things outside our space and time because our comprehension is limited. If at one time, the entire universe were contained in a single elementary particle, in what space did that particle exist? The question is framed this way because that's how we understand things. We cannot conceive (at least I can't) of all the universe reduced infinitesimally to a singularity without picturing it inside a space. I think we must adapt our thinking to the model insofar as it is reliable. But so far it has yet to explain how we must adapt to meet the requirements it places on us. Until we know how to adapt to this concept, that next step will be elusive. I'm not looking for entanglement to justify the existence of spirits, simply offering that this concept explains phenomena otherwise attributed to them. See my reply to Obey about the "God" particle. Accepting something as beyond space and time is useful for explaining our current results and providing new directions to explore even if it they are beyond our comprehension. Only by getting results from these postulates will we have comprehension. It seems you would like to be at this point. Can't say I blame you. But for me, different models explain different things. What works in one may not work in another. There's one choice when you work in physics and another when you work in social services. What makes the world go 'round? Money or Newton? The answer depends on how the question is asked. And if you don't know enough to ask the right question, you can expect a confusing answer. Please don't take that last statement as critical of you, Carlos. I think you have great questions. I've had them, too.
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Kirk Bryan
Posted almost 2 years ago
How can God exist beyond space and time?
" its usually a mix of real stuff and magic with no evidence so people can speculate whatever." That's right. I'm just naming the model in a common way. Not trying to give it any particular attributes beyond those necessary to describe the phenomenon. There are endless interpretations, but the only ones that matter in physics are those observed to be physical in nature. Hence the "God" particle. It names the boson in a way that describes a heretofore predicted but unobserved physical phenomenon with characteristics that explain qualities we could only comprehend by using the term "God". Using that term does not seem to have interfered either with our quest to understand it or unduly influenced our conclusions about it based on observed behavior.
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Kirk Bryan
Posted almost 2 years ago
How can God exist beyond space and time?
It seems to me you're trying to explain something in terms that do not apply. "Existing yet not existing" is a self-contradictory statement. Something either exists or it doesn't. But our models may be insufficient to describe it. So, what we can't describe comes under another model we call God. There are many interpretations of what God is and we bring much to the table in describing attributes, but the one thing upon which I think we agree is that God is Spirit. There is no accounting for Spirit in the Standard Model. But the way in which it operates might be explained by entanglement. My layman's understanding is that particles having once been in contact may act as if they are still in contact even when separated by great distances. The influence of one to the other is not limited by the speed of light. If all particles were one at the BB, then they may all still be in contact today, influencing one another in ways that are not predictable because our model is insufficient. Spirit. "Supernatural" simply means outside our understanding. So, we apply a different model. We don't know as much about this one yet as we do our more familiar ones, but if it accurately describes the phenomena, why not investigate further. Even if it means rewriting the familiar. B.F. Skinner and Timothy Leary both did research at Harvard in the 50's on behavior modification. Skinner's ideas were accepted and Leary's rejected because Skinner used traditional methods and Leary's were non-traditional. But 60 years later, Leary's methodology (not the method of LSD, but the method of evaluating conditions and responses) is widely accepted. It's not Aristotelian, but it does describe phenomena usefully. It augments Skinner in ways his traditional methods could not predict. A variety of models might be necessary to describe what a single model cannot. We can know velocity or position, not both. That might be because we're using just one model.
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Kirk Bryan
Posted almost 2 years ago
What are classes would you offer to today's students to help improve their education?
Reasoning- Forget classes in reasoning. Simply require it to be done in every subject, and grade on whether or not the correct answer is reached. Start in primary and continue through 12th. Just like it used to be. I had to "use my head", not just look up or repeat rote answers. "Teaching to the test" because schools get paid based on test grades is incredibly destructive of reasoning ability. Student are encouraged to conform and accept what is given to them instead of questioning it. Teach differently. Learning - I think there are two big challenges: Showing them that they CAN learn, and that it is worth the work required. Most kids I see want answers handed to them and simply won't work in class. Again, you can't teach it as a course except at the highest levels. It needs to be tackled at every level. Right from Kindergarten. Critical Thinking - Well, it used to be called Reasoning. A course in Formal Logic might be useful in high school. Active Listening - This should also be a classroom technique employed by the teacher as an example. But, because it's so simple, could be started in primary school even as a daily exercise of just a few minutes. Require students to "feed back" the morning announcements and discuss them. Once they learn to do this, later grades can practice it in group projects. Study Skills - Again, these should be taught from the very beginning - as a part of class, not a separate one, unless the student has exceptional difficulty. Lunchtime and recess remediation time can be used for this as well as class material. I've been a substitute teacher for 8 years in Texas public schools, grades 6-12. I've subbed on every subject taught and spent a lot of time in behavioral, disciplinary, and special ed units. I'm not educated in education, but I have managed to teach a lot of students that their original thoughts are appreciated. That's something all teachers can do to encourage the love of learning. And improve their scores.