Monday, February 25, 2013

In Other News...

I'm not sure if anyone still reads this or is interested in following my writing exploits, but on the odd chance you are I am currently writing a weekly column for www.everything-voluntary.com which can be found here: http://www.everything-voluntary.com/search/label/IYU

Enjoy and keep it touch if you feel like it.  Or don't.  Whatever.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I've been published in print!


One of my first articles on education titled "The Trouble with Traditional Schooling" has been selected by Skyler J. Collins to be included in his book, Everything Voluntary- From Politics to Parenting. It feels good to take this milestone to reflect on how my writing has shifted over the last year since this blog was started and I have since been paid to write for several websites... but knowing my thoughts now exist in tangible form is much inspiration to keep going.

The book is available for purchase for $12 here. I know many of the others included and they are all top quality thinker and writers. It is honoring to be included in the same publication as such champions for freedom and intellect as Murray Rothbard, Wendy McElroy, Leonard E. Reed, and Henry Hazlitt.

Jack Pugsley would be proud.

In freedom...

Vahram Diehl

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Comforting Lie


I know you often feel alone in this life. I know at times you feel lost and overwhelmed by the seemingly insurmountable forces stacked against you. I know at times you wish you could just forget all this and fade into nothingness. The temptation can be truly unbearable. But the most important revelation you can have is that it is not the world that needs changing. It is this very mentality you must do away with.

I'm certainly not going to attempt to mystify with beautiful lies the enormous atrocities being committed directly against you and those unimaginably more severely upon others. Go find a guru for that. He'd love to have you buy his book or attend his workshop retreat and learn why the universe is just so damn perfect and wonderful. I have little use for flowery rainbow painkillers or esoteric voodoo distractions. We both know the odds are stacked against us.

It is the nature of your mind to seek out order even where there is none. So desperately needing pattern and familiarity, the mind notices only what appears to conform to a presupposed system of coherence and congruity. It needs a map to organize what the senses bring upon it in every moment. It has been shaped with the singular purpose of finding and solving problems every chance it gets, and to do this it requires a superimposed plan of action and order. Left to its own devices, it will never willingly acknowledge The Terrible Truth that pervades our world... the Terrible Truth that 
THERE IS NO PLAN

Saturday, May 5, 2012

How to Find Your Perfect Woman


There are, without fail, times we all feel more productive and on fire about life and our chosen pursuits than others.  The best and brightest of us will always have our low moments which slow us down and threaten to majorly stunt our development and progress.  The mind easily bores of repetition, and reality can seem overwhelmingly filled with hurdles and factors of incredible discouragement.

In these times of shattered spirit and wayward resolve, the practical panacea and instantaneous cure is an unavoidable reminder of man’s natural burning desire.  Desire is what drives us toward positive change in all of life’s circumstances.  Inspiration is what happens when desire is pushed to entirely new levels- an expansion of paradigm and the limit of realistic imagination.  However, much like happiness, perpetual and sustainable inspiration for new heights in life eludes us.  Passion for living seems to come in short bursts followed by a sunken emptiness of equal and opposite magnitude.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why I Became a Teacher


There was a time when I didn’t know what part there was for me to play in the world.  On all sides of me I saw desperate social problems that to my young mind lacked explanation or sense entirely.  I assumed, naturally, that someone somewhere higher up in the hierarchy of running the world must know what they are doing.  Somebody more qualified than me had to see more clearly than I could at the time what held the world together and how to shape things toward their best possible outcome.

The startling revelation that omniscience can never come with age or influence gradually edged forth from the wings of my consciousness.  The innate reverence for authority that is inborn in every child withered within me and in its place sprouted cynical skepticism and and unwavering drive to see for myself what had previously only been conveyed in words and images.  I entered what I now fondly reflect upon as my “second childhood”.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Noble Empathy


Love drives a person to do many wild and crazy things.  Love brings us closer and urges us to respect one another, to go out of our way to help.  It plants in us a desire to benefit our beloved in very much the same we are automatically inclined by genetic birthright to seek to benefit ourselves.  Empathy is psychological bonding- it is the developed capacity to view separate volitional autonomous individuals as extensions of ourselves.  In other words, it is an expansion of the ego.

Love and empathy are considered by many to be the highest of human virtues.  This is not to say that these capacities are entirely absent in other animals by any means.  Certainly, the mollusks, arachnids, or reptiles seem far less orientated toward group or family development.  But it is one of the most defining traits of mammals that most of us have learned to work in conjunction with other members of our own species to perform tasks for the benefit of the others, which in turn gives us an emotional reward of joy and furthermore ensures that in the future they will be eager to reciprocate such kindness back onto us.  We readily perform this same exchange even between foreign species of certain pets and domesticated animals.  The birthplace of civilization lies in the capacity for empathy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Focus is Strength


It has often been touted that women are naturally better multi-taskers than men. The reason being that our respective evolutionary psychologies have developed to help us function under different types of circumstances. The women of our tribes stayed closer to home and took care of everything that needed attending simultaneously as the need arose. They'd be off gathering berries and roots all the while preparing to cook, attending to the basic needs of the children, or handling whatever emergency occurred. The tribal woman developed to be a "Jack of All Trades" out of the necessity created by the huge amount of demands constantly pressed upon her. That's why even today we still say that moms have the hardest job in the world.

The man's story is different, however. Males of our species developed stronger specializations than females. While women necessarily became pretty good at a lot of things, men took advantage of the opportunity to become incredibly good at a few select things. These tasks, under primitive tribal conditions, typically involved some combined aspects of critical thinking, logical sequencing, physical strength and speed, hand-eye coordination, precision semantics and language, and complex group coordination. The right combination of these talents and focus enabled male hunter groups to fashion sharper and denser weaponry, utilizing these weapons in ways that increased their hunting range, and providing specific instruction to each other in teams to take on tasks or game that no single hunter could accomplish on his own.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Real Factors for Success


I've accumulated a lot of experience over the last several years teaching people new things they had never previously attempted to know or do before.  The process usually begins with the learners or students approaching the new subject or skill like a tourist in a foreign country, or a toddler experiencing something new for the first time.  They view the new information or required motor skills (usually a combination of the two, such as in learning to play a musical instrument or speak a second language) as something totally different and outside of what they consider to be themselves and their established identities.  They struggle with the new concepts, semantics, and physical motions for a long time, attempting endlessly to fit these ethereal square pegs into the round holes of their acknowledged personal abilities and limitations.

There comes a certain point, usually early in the education or training, where I ask the learners to make a choice, a choice which until made no significant further progress can occur.  I tell them to decide if this is really something they are passionate about learning.  I ask them to introspect far enough into their own desires and wants to see if the potential end result is worth the long-term investment of time and effort.  I ask them if they will be willing to keep trying and pushing themselves further along in their knowledge and application of the subject even when it gets most difficult or frustrating, even when it seems like they've run into countless walls that halt their progress along the way.   Nothing great is ever accomplished without serious effort and attention, but without serious effort and attention nothing would ever be considered great.