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Posts from the ‘just whatever’ Category

How to Twitter Better

Social media platforms can be better or worse depending on how we use them. Facebook doesn’t “cause” jealousy, but jealous people will definitely use Facebook in a way that inflames their jealousy. Instagram doesn’t “cause” anxiety, but people with anxiety use Instagram in a way that makes anxiety worse. The platforms themselves matter — I think Reddit is best for content seeking, Twitter for network building, Instagram for IRL friends, etc. — but far more important than their design is the way you can mod the system to your advantage. Here are some ways I have learned to Twitter better.

Clean the algorithm

Twitter’s algorithm puts weird things in your feed, like tweets from accounts that are followed by accounts you follow. Go to this page, and copy and paste each term into your Mute list. It cuts out the gunk.

Unfollow if annoyed twice

If you get bad vibes more than once from the same account, unfollow them. Nobody is owed your attention. Be loose with unfollowing. Careless.

Ditch “Influencers,” follow real humans

Retweet memes

And follow small meme producers instead of the bigger pages that aggregate memes from others.

Follow journalists, not their publications

When you find a well-written opinion piece or well-researched article, go follow the journalist. I don’t bother with the NYT or WaPo main accounts. Journalists promote their own articles anyways. Plus its more fun to get to know them as thinkers with whole perspectives rather than just someone who wrote that one article.

Follow interest Lists

If you find a semi-popular account, chances are, someone has put them in a list. Go to [their @ ] /lists/memberships and you will find other accounts like them. For example if you like Liz Bruenig (of NYT) as much as I do, you would go to and find smaller but just as good accounts.

Follow at least 2000 accounts

Good rule of thumb, or you will see the same people’s posts too often.

Find best of the out-group

You want to follow members outside your in-group to avoid the echo-chamber effect. But you don’t want to follow out-group plebs who just retweet others and provide no insight of their own. The goal is to find high quality out-group posters. This is very difficult but rewarding.

Limit one hour a day

Unrealistic but a good goal.

Block Bad Actors

Bad Actors are people who are only in it “to win” the game, have no commitment to changing their minds if wrong, or just troll others and call people names. I recently blocked Rick Wilson (a GOP strategist who is very Never-Trump) when he called someone a pukeface or something. The very next day he was on TV mocking southerners as idiots, to considerable backlash, so I felt vindicated in blocking him. If you are a Christian, I highly recommend blocking Pulpit & Pen, a site notorious for its inaccurate hitpieces designed to get rage clicks. When you’ve blocked them, you can’t give them attention, and they lose power.

Mute key terms from Bad Actors

Sometimes the followers of Bad Actors will have insider terms to signal their in-group membership. A while ago I decided to mute “1689” because it had become one of these signals. I still see their other tweets. But any discussion from them about themselves or from others about them which uses the signal 1689 gets hidden from my feed.

Don’t Brigade, don’t get Brigaded

Brigading is when an influential account sics their followers on a smaller account to hound them. Don’t do this to people. If you see yourself quote-tweeted in this way, just block their account and unblock it the next day.

Follow your retweeters

If you attract people who retweet you often, follow them back. They probably retweet other things you’d like. And they are worth getting to know.

Start threads with Thread Starter

Never start a thread with the first point you want to make. Always say something like “Why do conservative Protestants hate gay people? A Thread:” and then in the second tweet make the first point. If you don’t do this, people won’t read the thread. I learned this last semester when a thread I posted went viral… but 98% of the views were on the first tweet only. Most people missed the whole thing. If you start with a Thread Starter, more people will read beyond the first point.

Soft block

Someone going full reply-guy and annoying you with their constant commentary on your tweets? Most often this happens to me when someone isn’t obeying the 2000+ following rule, so I am one of the 100 accounts they follow, half of which are inactive. It is their fault. But one way to ward off the reply-guys is to Soft Block: block them, then unblock them, then mute them. This causes their account to unfollow you. Then can always refollow, but hopefully they will forget for a while. When they come back, you’ve muted them.

Revoke old apps

I revoked old apps that still had access to my account from TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE. Go to Settings, then Account, then Apps and Settings and click revoke access on each one you do not use. Keeping old apps is a security risk.

Delete all old tweets

Make sure to save your data archive first, since there really is no way to get deleted content back. You should delete your old tweets. You should. This is becoming more imperative over time, not less. Unfortunately it is not very easy to do this for free if you have more than 3200 tweets. So I used Tweet Eraser for $7.


For three years I have been hunting for a verse my OT prof showed our class that absolutely slams ostriches. It never occurred to me to just google “ostrich in the bible.” Anyways, today I was translating 2 Corinthians 4 and saw a cross-reference to Jars of Clay in the OT (Lamentations 4:2) and found it in the next verse: Lamentations 4:3b, “my people have become heartless, like ostriches in the desert” (NIV).

Unfortunately this does not seem like a good translation. The Hebrew text is corrupted (someone tried to put the first letter of Ostrich as the last letter of “like”) but we can quickly resolve that to mean “Like ostriches,” not “Likeo Striches.” Okay. So assuming we now have the right word, the other problem is that there is a clearer text (Job 39:13-18) that mentions Ostriches being terrible moms and letting their eggs sit on the ground where they can be crushed. And that word for Ostrich, ranan, is totally different from Lamentation’s word for Ostrich, ya’an. So why would we think Lamentations 4:3b means “Ostrich”?

But it gets worse. Lamentations 4:3 gets translated in the Greek OT (the LXX) as “Sparrow” instead of Ostrich, so that it is the same word Jesus uses to say “are not two sparrows sold for a penny?” Leaving aside the synoptic issue that Matt 10:29 says “two sparrows for a penny” and Luke 12:6 says “five sparrows for two pennies,” and 50¢ is not equal to 40¢ —just totally leaving that aside — I honestly do not think that an ostrich would sell for less than a dollar, period. In modern Capitalism that would never fly, much less the Roman patronage honor/shame economy. I’ve just googled it and found that an Ostrich egg costs about $1000, which given the current minimum wage is 3 weeks wages, or 21 shekels. Just for the egg!

But it gets even worse. Remember how I said that Job 39:13-18 is clearly about an Ostrich? Well, there is no reason to think that is the case. The word ranan is also a single-use word, and the Greek LXX translation of ranan is totally missing! The translators of the LXX just skip it. “Wings flap joyfully,” it says, refusing to specify which bird’s wings so flap.

BDB helpfully connects ya’an with the feminine form of the same root, ya’anah, or Greed. Their implication is that “bat ya’anah” is “daughter of greed, of ostrich as voracious bird.” Similar cognates in Aramaic and Arabic gloss as “daughter of the desert or steppe, from [an Arabic word I can’t transliterate] meaning hard, unproductive soil.” It seems like there is some semantic value as Desert Bird or Greedy Bird, though it probably comes between those, with some broadly Semitic “Desolation Bird.” BDB also connects ya’anah to “wailing (as mourning) (Micah 1:8)… a symbol of loneliness (in Job 30:29)… of desolation, as dwelling among ruins (Isa 13:21, 34:13), and living in a desert (Isa 43:20).” Most interestingly of all, it is associated with “unclean (Lev 11:16 (&par. Deut 14:15)),” where it is a bird prohibited from being eaten along with many other strange birds whose exact translations are uncertain.

Enter A. Walker-Jones and his balls-to-the-wall article “The So-Called Ostrich in the God Speeches of the Book of Job (Job 39,13-18).” He argues that Job 39:13 should be translated as “Sand Grouse” not Ostrich, for a number of biological and contextual observations, not to mention linguistic. He found an early Christian reflection on nature which blurs together Job 39:13 and Jeremiah 8:7, which influenced Jerome to translate ranan as Ostrich. He also compares the physiology of sand grouses, hoopoe larks, and stone curlews, ruling out the latter two for the lines on its neck and the sound of their mating call, respectively. He thinks Lamentations 4:3b refers to owls, not Ostriches, and that it would not make sense in the ANE for Ostriches to be criticized, since their feathers were the symbol of truth and justice. Instead, “The danger here is that impressive, modem folk stories are being read back into an ancient Near Eastern text,” especially Pliny’s criticism of Ostriches, which was particularly unfounded anyway. Owls are chaos creatures, while Ostriches associate with truth and justice. Which is more likely to neglect its eggs? That’s right, the chaos creature.

There are more links I cannot trace down (I’m supposed to be translating 2 Corinthians 4 for my Paul class) to Ostriches: vision strong enough to hatch their eggs by looking at them, Ostriches that can eat glass and metal, and tremendous confusion throughout the ancient world about whether Ostriches were birds or mammals. (Aristotle thought mammals, because they have eyelashes). Three years. I spent three years trying to find that Ostrich slam, just to find it was never about Ostriches at all.

Photo by Dušan Smetana on Unsplash

8 take-aways from #TGC19

Earlier this week my friend Matt and I went to The Gospel Coalition’s national conference in Indianapolis. This was our second trip and we both thought it was a great experience. Here are my reflections on the conference, on TGC, on some of the talks and breakouts and books, and the themes in our conversations that arose from it all.

What my hair is doing I do not know.

• Three of the sermons are worth watching once TGC posts them online. Ligon Duncan, Trip Lee and David Platt had excellent biblical-theological exposition and preached with intensity from the heart. Avoid the John Piper sermon. The other messages fell somewhere between.

• The Gospel Coalition has shifted its target audience and content over the past 2 years. They focus less on nerdy, technical Bib studies topics and now write about everyday living, missional lifestyle, applied theology, cultural apologetics. This is a good shift! Coincidentally though, I have moved in the opposite direction as I have fallen deeper into the black hole of Christian academia. I have become less applied, more technical, and far more nerdy. (At some point we must have crossed paths. Maybe last Spring?) At the conference Matt and I could feel it. I love this change — now it is easier for me to share the website and conference content with others.

• The conference had a refreshing and normalized diversity. Worship, plenary addresses, announcers, breakout speakers, and the conference attendees themselves represented more backgrounds than the white evangelicalism in which I dwell. And it was so natural. I am very over the train of thought which says “why select for diversity when you could just pick the best people.” We don’t need the absolute best person to give announcements or play piano, and anyways there are tons of qualified people from different race and class backgrounds who can do just as fine a job. (It is weird that I have to talk myself out of implicit white supremacy but this is America). In other words it dawned on me that on-stage diversity should not be a goal but rather is prerequisite to doing ministry in globalized, multi-cultural 2019 America. This should not be controversial but standard.

• Jackie Hill Perry. I went to her presentation which was good. In her talk about sexuality she put a huge emphasis on the identity critique. And I agreed with it! Something that really needs to be clarified is that Revoice, SF, WH, Side B etc. also agree to a large extent with this critique but disagree that LGBTQ+ labels imply identity. I have found myself reflexively disagreeing with the identity critique (because I fall on the other side of the label debate), which is unnecessary of me. The real answer is that Revoice’s language is being misrepresented and that they have much more in common with conservatives than they are being credited for. JHP’s talk also showcased some important points about intersectionality. Many more thoughts here.

• One person I follow on Twitter makes fun of Evangelical Thought Leaders™ for being pretentious brainiacs who care more about getting the messaging right than getting the message right. Yikes, that’s me! And yikes, that was on full display at the conference. Maybe we should dial it down. And something to chew on: maybe this impulse in me stems more from my desire to be famous and publicly-smart than a desire to help people understand God, his word and his world.

• Conversely, at this conference I saw less Evangelical Celebrity Culture going on than usual. Somehow these speakers are humble enough (and not fake humble, “fumble”) to not makes themselves into a huge deal. Matt went to a breakout with Tim Keller and apparently someone asked him a question like, “Since you are such an amazing preacher, and everything about you is incredible, how did you come to be like this?” To which Keller replied “Well I don’t really know how to answer that, or want to. Can we get a question in here about Jonah?” The temptation to idolize these speakers is huge and I was feeling that temptation myself with some of them.

• On Tuesday morning I got coffee with another conference attendee who is same-sex attracted. We had a great conversation about our own stories and some of our thoughts about the current debates. More than anything I was blown away by how different our personalities are. As in, besides being celibate and Christians, we have nothing in common. Maybe this is encouraging because it means that one or both of us doesn’t fit “the stereotype.” He was also encouraging to be around, just himself. I could tell that he prays more than me and that he has more compassion than I do, two traits that are not coincidental.

• I bought eight books.
James K.A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies series,
Josh Chatrow’s Apologetics at the Cross,
Hannah Anderson’s All That is Good, and
Elliot Clark’s Evangelism as Exiles.

And then there’s the gay books.
Jackie Hill Perry’s Gay Girl, Good God,
Brad Hambrick’s Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk,
Ed Shaw’s Same-Sex Attraction and the Church, and
Preston Sprinkle’s People to Be Loved.

Honorable Mention (books I almost bought):
Os Guinness, Fool’s Talk,
Nancy R. Pearcey, Love Thy Body,
Robert Spaemann, Persons,
Trevin Wax, Eschatological Discipleship, and
Paul Gould, Cultural Apologetics.

The Shortest Verse in the Bible?

A paragraph from my Greek textbook:

Everyone knows that the shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). But is it? In Greek, John 11:35 is ἐδάκρυσεν ό Ίησοῦς; three words instead of two (and sixteen characters). There is a two-word verse that is shorter in Greek: 1 Thess. 5:16, Πάντοτε Χαίρετε, “Rejoice always,” is only fourteen characters. The next verse, 1 Thess. 5:17, is also two words, but it contains twenty-two characters: ἀδιαλείπτως προσεύχεσθε (“pray unceasingly”). Both of these two-word verses contain imperatives.

From Decker, Reading Koine Greek: An Introduction and Integrated Workbook.”  Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2014. 29.5 (484).

The problem is that the past tense word “wept” is much longer in Greek because the aorist tense requires an augment and extra letters at the ends, while in English “cry” is only lengthened by one letter to make “wept,” and that the noun for Jesus takes an article. These both add letters in Greek, but make little difference in English.

Conversely, the Greek imperative has no augment, and only adds two letters or three letters more than the indicative conjugation would have. Not to mention that there is no article, because the imperative needs no subject.

For both of these reasons, and obviously also because 14 just is less characters than 16, 1 Thess. 5:16 is the shortest verse in the Bible.

2017 in Review

Just to briefly list some of the events of the past year…

  • Took 39 college credits
  • Read well over 100 books
  • Got hired to work with an organization I love
  • Heather and I are now dating (?!)
  • Camp counseled through 6 groups of guys
  • Settled into a much healthier housing arrangement at school
  • Started exercising again
  • Became a volunteer at my church’s middle school youth group
  • Lost most of my appetite for politics
  • Considered changing majors / schools / jobs at least a dozen times
  • Actually changed majors / schools / job exactly zero times
  • Coached / coordinated with middle and high school students at: De Pere, Hononegah, Lincoln Park, Thomas Middle School, Schaumburg, Hononegah (again), Deerfield, and Washburne Middle School.
  • Two missions trips
  • Attended three conferences
  • Hosted discipleship training at school
  • Preached 8 different sermons
  • Was sick at least 10 times, the final three being devastating for my body and GPA
  • Completely changed by opinion on Calvinism and determinism
  • Went from 0 to 60 with respect to philosophy this year
  • Started writing a book
  • Became a Democrat? Or something? Not sure how this happened.

And the last point, which deserves much more than a bullet point but which will be brief anyways, is that I have seen the Lord at work in me in all kinds of confusing, redeeming, and sanctifying ways. He has eliminated a good amount of pride from me, and used a few things that were 100% my fault to do it. He has opened me up to a whole emotive way of being. He has graciously reaffirmed my calling to working with youth as a youth pastor. He has blown my mind away throughout the year by breaking out of doctrinal boxes I had held him in (Calvinism in particular comes to mind) (and Rationalism). He has opened my eyes up to seeing new connections between who I was, am, and am becoming. He has pushed me into greater Christlikeness, even to my own frustration at the time. He has shown me how sweet he is.

2017 has been big, even for someone who says he hates nostalgia as much as I do. “Big” not in the sense of containing important things — although that is true. See the above bullet-pointed list. “Big” not in the sense that it is some pivotal turning point, since for the most part I have only continued in a trajectory that began at least six months before. I mean “Big” in the sense of densely packed. The events, learning, personal growth, etc. that happened the past 365 days seem like they should have taken years, not one year, and I barely remember the Ross I knew in January. Barely remember him. I already cannot empathize with him or his decisions, because they do not make sense to me — which is true of everybody with their past selves, but it seems to take more time than this has.

As a hint of what 2018 may hold, I will be taking (another) heavy course load in the spring, frolicking across Europe for a mayterm trip, serving as a Cabin Counselor again at Timber-lee for the summer, and then finishing up my undergraduate studies in philosophy in the fall semester, with the other bachelor’s degree still in progress via the attached 5 year masters degree.

Looking forward to whatever comes next.

Two years of

Two years ago today I wrote my first post on this blog!

It was around Thanksgiving break my senior year of high school that I decided to give blogging a try. It turned out that I never got into it too much, but have still kept it around as a place to host anything I have written.

Here are some stats from my two years:

  • I have written 78 posts,
  • 5,578 views to these posts, and my other pages
  • 3,352 viewers have visited the site
  • my top post ever was… eyeroll… the Unicorn Frap review from April of this year.

I have several dozen posts lurking in my drafts, waiting to emerge once I have finally got the concept down right. The quantity of my thinking and writing has also improved so much since my senior year that I could, if I had time, write a new post each day rather than each week or so.

I have not yet turned on ads, but if I had, then given the 1/100 of a cent per view, I would have made 50 cents so far. So. There’s that.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this project, regardless of how much support that has been or what it has looked like.

Should you buy the Zombie Frap?

Starbucks brings around exotic new frappuccinos in the same way that a black market organ dealer brings around exotic new internal intestines: infrequently, usually of low quality, and always with significant risk to your health.

This Zombie Frap. Did it come around as an infrequent addition to the broader assortment of fraps? Yes. Could you consider it low quality? No. Does it pose significant risk to your health? That depends on your body’s ability to process 54g of sugar in one sitting.

How can we forget the fiasco that was The Unicorn Frap? After that moment, it seems like all subsequent wacky drinks will be forever judged against that benchmark. Not that this would be a fair comparison — it is a very, very low benchmark — but because of how traumatized we all felt.

This drink is better than the Unicorn Frap, of course, but to say as much is to say nearly nothing at all. Instead I will make a bolder claim: the Zombie Frap is, in itself, a good drink. You should get it. It is worth your money.

The green apple flavor did not overwhelm my taste, nor did the egregious sugar content. They came bearing the same subtle, lo-fi mood that I imagine of Eckhart Tolle trying to scream at someone with as much intensity as he can muster, i.e., not much intensity at all.

As I drank this frap in the 3rd space of a new Mariano’s in town, and the smooth piano man riffed on B-list indie-turned-rock-turned-pop tunes from 2014’s top radio hits (American Authors, anyone?), I felt calm. The two year old next to me kept asking me questions about his toy elephant’s feet, pointing several times to the trunk and asking, “why does it have 5 feet?” but even still, I felt no annoyance. I needed to buy a fruit platter for a meeting tonight, but Mariano’s only serves Fresh Organic Local Healthy Artisonal Foraged Kale-infused Plasticless produce, so I couldn’t find a fruit platter. Even this did not upset me, because the Zombie Frap’s effusive vibes kept me in lingering calm.

Brain-colored foam domed the drink, though it and the mocha spices (intended to look like blood) carried little flavor. Everyone can appreciate a drink with matching name and design.

In all, you should buy this drink, even if just to sedate yourself into perpetual coolness.


bad frap


Don’t do it!

This is not worth your money. Do not buy it. Every fiber in your Millenial being wants to be hip and trendy — DON’T!

This drink is, without question, the worst thing I have consumed in the past six weeks.

(Don’t ask.)

Mango? Who would have thought! That the PINK and PURPLE and BLUE drink would almost entirely be made of Mango??

This drink is worse than Ed Sheeran’s most recent album — and if that doesn’t make my point, nothing else will.


I don’t even want to type the name because I fear that someone has not yet heard about it, and by not telling them the name, they will be spared the pain of DRINKING 59 GRAMS OF SUGAR THRU A STRAW.

The onset of diabetes is determined by two separate things: first, the person must already have the necessary genes; second, something must physiologically activate the expression of those genes. The gun must have a bullet in the chamber, and then the trigger must be pulled. For some onset cases, the patient had consumed a dramatic amount of sugar — enough to overload the pancreas’s (vastly reduced by genes) ability to break down blood glucose. The pancreas stops functioning momentarily, or for a period of time, and the trigger has been pulled.

This drink may have the potential to do something along these general lines that may or may not reflect actual medical science about diabetes for which I am no qualified specialist to give you advice. But it’s probably still safe to take caution?

Not to mention that it tastes like glitter and Ugg boots blended with an expired mango and a plastic phone case manufactured by wage slaves in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

By the way, speaking of terrible conditions in other countries, I should mention that for $4.35 you can cover the cost to purchase and distribute one malaria net in Malawi via the Against Malaria Foundation.

This drink costs $4.95 before tax.

An Additional Response to Revitalized Residence Hall

This Letter to the Editor is in reply to the Johnson Hall article in the November 11 issue.
Please title this letter: An Additional Response to Revitalized Residence Hall

This publication’s November 11 issue contained an article glowing with praise about the Johnson Hall segregation of freshmen. The author mentioned a “possible detriment,” which should be corrected to “serious detriment.” I will explain the issue and provide two solutions.

The lack of interaction between Freshman and older students is tremendous. This extends beyond housing, where it has been intentionally crafted; it carries over to the rest of campus life. Many freshmen have minimal interaction with upperclassmen throughout the week.

Hopkins’s argument that “research overwhelmingly points to the need” to segregate Freshmen, and it has become “standard practice” reminds me of my former youth pastor who always made a similar point. Forget being original, or making decisions based on the needs of the community; if there is a “proven ministry strategy,” employ it.

The Freshman Experience planners have ignored one major difference between Trinity and the other schools where freshman segregation has worked: Trinity cares about the development of the whole person. A Christian institution sees no need to divide heart, mind, body and self. Integrative, intersectional experience is necessary for spiritual development. Do we value discipleship? Do we value inter-class mentorship and role modeling? I say that we must, and the Freshmen segregation experiment minimizes it.

This has become a spiritual problem in my own life since arriving. I have found it difficult to bond with other freshmen, and so I have sought upperclassmen as friends. But even these are notoriously elusive, an uphill battle from the start. I probably have gone farther out of my way than most freshman have gone or will go, and even still I have returned with mostly empty hands.

Seeing as there is no opt-out mechanism, I will be remaining in Johnson this spring. Since I hope that the administration reconsider the need for inter-class interaction, they has two solutions: returns to the model used before this year (which is unlikely given bureaucratic inertia) or build-in a new mechanism to intentionally develop these friendships. If neither, one wonders what unanticipated consequences to the spiritual climate will follow.

Ross Neir

346 words.
Please notify me of any edits to this letter before publishing.
Please treat each enter on this email as the need for a new line and an indention.

A Sociological Primer, BTYB Scott Alexander


Over the past year I’ve followed Scott Alexander’s blog Slate Star Codex.

It is obvious from his writings that Scott has a strong background in sociology and philosophy. Over time I’ve started to pick up on his writing style and insights (and his sense of humor?).

He has mastered the synthesis essay. This helps, after all, when your stated hobby is to ‘say complicated things about philosophy and science.’ It’s really quite breathtaking to read a good SSC essay and realize “this is what he’s been cluing me in on for months, and now, though it took mental effort, I understand.” I need to coin a term for this.

I also appreciate that he doesn’t try to systematize everything. SSC has no grand overarching philosophy to Describe Everything. He has some common themes, but Scott just tries to “package an obvious truth in a way that people would notice it.” This builds a “useful model and explanatory tool,” and soon enough you have yourself some amateur sociology (link).

So then, most of his ideas are very helpful, regardless of your political views. In these essays he has seemingly transcended the political and entered into a discussion of the mind itself. This can be described as critical thinking, epistemic virtue, intellectual honesty, or what have you.

Thought experiment:

If I were teaching a class on critical thinking, my syllabus would look something like this:

  • 15 classes on logical fallacies
  • 10 classes discussing readings
  • 12 classes debating on pre-assigned topics
  • 6 standalone classes
  • Begin each class with current events from the media
  • An essay on any current events topic, 15 page minimum, due at midterm
  • An essay disagreeing with someone else’s midterm essay, 25 page minimum, due a week before the final

For the sake of consistency, every class discussion reading would be from the same author. And for the sake of quality, that author would be Scott.

So then, I offer you an opportunity: over the next several months, in just your free time, you can take Ross Neir’s introductory critical thinking class, with some benefits:

  1. You never have to show up to class.
  2. You never have to debate other people
  3. You never have to listen to me discuss current events (unless you know me in person, in which case, you have no choice, as I dictate this aspect of your knowing me).
  4. You have no 15 page paper
  5. You have no 25 page paper

This reduces the class down to just the SSC readings. 10 of them, each an exercise of Scott’s critical thinking, from which we all can learn. This is like taking my college class, but much easier, with unlimited flexible hours, no grading, and no 8:00 am cross-campus trek.

Here are the 10 assigned readings from SSC for my critical thinking course:

End thought experiment.

In all seriousness, these essays have reshaped my perspective on political engagement. Society is complex, and it’s hard to take it all in at once, but Scott’s bit-by-bit breakdown will help you begin to make sense of it all.