— Said everyone, always

One of the perks of being 31 in an era where everything happens faster and faster each year is that I get to be a bitter old man long before my ancestors had to. I’m not gonna turn this into self-promotion and tell you my story of why exactly I have grown up so fast.

Every year, at some point, I start hearing people say “___ sucks”. The positive among the bunch will joke and say that they will just go to sleep now and next year will be better. Well, there’s even a German song about 2020 called “WTF”. …

The Peaceful Kind of Weapons

Somewhere along the line, humanity seems to have forgotten that “the pen is mightier than the sword”.

Maybe it was with the invention of the bow and arrow some 1700 years ago, which allowed us to take down our enemies from a distance. Or maybe it was with the invention of pistons and machine guns, and their usage in WWI which allowed us not only to kill from a distance but also to kill without even aiming properly.

But arguably, it was the invention of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) that played a role in ending WWII.

How to overcome binary reasoning, and “good vs evil”

As I stated from the outset, the core purpose of these essays is to propose a new philosophy founded on will. However, every article after the first one seemed to be focused on black vs white and the concept of grey/grayness. The reason for that is because this whole conception of “will” relies on the fact that to overcome binary thinking, we need a willful/conscious effort to decide/create a middle path rather than accept a given set of binary choices (which are most easily represented as black-vs-white).

When I first introduced grey, some would argue that it was hypocritical.
After all, I introduced grey as a non-binary solution but paradoxically only allowed for “two binary options” to define grey. …

A fine line, yet a world of difference

If you’ve read the other articles about the world, black vs white mentality, and grey neutrality, you have probably seen the amateur diagrams used to explain some complex ideas. However I must admit that the diagram for this one is a lot harder to grasp conceptually. This is especially because regardless of the diagram, there can be so many ways to elaborate on the distinction between being, non-being, and not being. So before throwing out any diagrams, let me try to explain things linguistically.

A Mexican, a German, and a non-German walk into a bar…

The core of the issue here is: how many people are we talking about?
When you read that, you probably intuitively interpreted it as 3 people. …

The complicated nature of neutrality

Before going further, please familiarize yourself with the issue of Black vs. White Mentality. As the conclusion of that article states: 2=1 (black/white = grey). To put it differently, you could say that black and white are two sides of the same grey coin, but what exactly is this grey coin?

Theory of the Third

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©Sonderbodhi. 2=1 and the Theory of the Third

The previous article provided the diagram to the left. In essence, it argues that there are two ways to look at “grey”:

  1. As something that can be divided into black and white components.
  2. As something in and of itself.
    A “third” hybrid option.

You can see from this very Venn diagram that “zooming in” to the grey area could lead to the perspective that grey is simply a bunch of white and black dots put closely together (option 1 above), or it is an accumulation of dots that are inherently grey (option 2 above). Both of these options have their respective perks and…

How two mindsets create conflict

Let’s begin with the simplest of all representations.
What do you see when you observe the two images below?

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©Sonderbodhi. A simple representation of a white and a black sphere

This is not a trick question.
The answer is easy: there’s a white circle and a black circle.
You wouldn’t think that a simple image like this would be one of those that end up setting the Twitter world on fire.

Unfortunately, the implications of this simple distinction do seem to set our real world on fire. Let me explain.

Already with this one tiny representation I am making an indirect reference to a classic philosophical example about two spheres. It’s called the Identity of Indiscernibles and it essentially questions whether two things that are indistinguishable must be identical. Rather than diving into an extremely nerdy debate about the actual philosophical problem, let me explain that this representation also makes reference to a theory in social science: Moral Foundations Theory. …

A Philosophy for the 21st Century

Ok, so here is the biggest social problem of them all: humans are, almost by definition, willful creatures. I would argue that it is not our intelligence or our emotionality that makes us unique and special. It is our will.

Few philosophers have properly and directly focused on will. Most notably is “Nietzsche’s Will to Power”. But I place that all in quotes because it is likely that he borrowed/learned from another philosopher whose main work was “The World as Will and Representation/Idea”: Arthur Schopenhauer. …

“When your grandma found out, she tried to hide it from all of us.”

With these words, my mother confirmed the impression that I always had of my grandmother as a lonesome warrior. Back in high school, I wrote an essay where I claimed that thanks to grandma I learned to go through a personal hell without letting it show. The reason why I wrote that phrase was because my last memory of her was a chaotic morning at her house. Everyone was crowded around her bed and there was a sense of sheer panic in the room. Everyone was talking loudly, telling each other what to do, and simultaneously trying to figure out exactly what to do. I wasn’t exactly in the room, but something had made me run upstairs and turn the corner, which is how I became a witness to all the chaos. Yet, in that moment of calamity, before my own family kicked me out and shut the door on me, my grandma and I made eye-contact. …

Well, yes… but also: yes. Here’s why (and how).

I can’t tell you the number of times that I have had this debate. Sometimes it has come out of a good place where a friend and I simply want to know “is it possible to truly love anyone?” Other times it’s been a matter of me stubbornly choosing to love ‘the wrong person’ and my friends insisting that “there is something better out there.”

And see it all boils down to that. “Something better.” Someone better.

Whenever I hear that, I tell people “see, that’s fucked up. You’re inherently stating that some people are better than others”. Some people do genuinely think that x-types of people are better than y-types, but the safest way out of such an elitist perspective is precisely to talk about “fit”. So of course the first and most obvious rebuttal is “well, it’s not that they are better, what I mean is that they are a better fit for you.” …

At least as far as I understand them

I don’t mean to go all Haddaway on you by asking what love is, but I guess it’s no surprise that he and I both find ourselves asking the same question. We were both born in Latin America, moved to the US, and then relocated to Germany (I always find conveniently crazy patterns like these so let’s just do a collective eye-roll and say “o god, there he goes again 🙄”). Rather than singing a song about it (not my thing), I’m gonna publish my thoughts from this little fortress that I’m building in Munich. …


æ | Ed Alvarado

🌎 Citizen 📝 Citizenship, Diplomacy, & International Relations/Law + Philosophy, Logic and Psychology... but above all: Identity

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