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There has never been a better time — there has never been more opportunity than right now — for people to do the right thing.

If we do the right thing as a society, we will become unimaginably strong. We will truly become the greatest and most powerful nation the world has ever known… or we’ll lose it. We’ll hand it over to China and take a back seat on the world stage like Great Britain. Right now, it has nothing to do with being first, but everything to do with idealism.

The United States represents the untethered spirit of mankind. Our unity and perseverance will solidify our values of democracy and republic. We will be the great country that was destined for us—that was preserved by the Greatest Generation, cultivated by hardiest of frontiersman, and industrialized by visionary innovators. Each one of you are the dream and beacon known the world over. You are their hope, but only if we unite.

The people of this country are in control. It will be through our volunteerism and cooperation at a local and community level — ignoring the pundits and partisanship — all of the thirsty politicians and their hollow rally cries. It will be us simply doing what is right for our towns and our people because it is the right thing to do. It won’t make up for our sins, but this selflessness will save our soul. This unity will fortify our unwavering dominance. This cooperation will prove that a free people is the most powerful people.

We are bigger than governments, we are bigger than financial systems, we are bigger than a natural disasters. We, as Americans, embody idealism — and we achieve it through hard work and unity.

This excerpt was taken from my personal, handwritten journal on Monday, March 16, 2020.

Article Archived

This article has been archived and is no longer available online.

Basically, the article you’re looking for is really old and embarrassing. Instead of digging through my past, how about you dig through my present? There’s plenty of current articles and videos available on this website. Stick around and check things out!

Should you need additional help, you can contact me directly. Maybe I’ll email you a copy / link of what you’re looking for… maybe.

Sean “SW” Hammond

The Mixtape Manifesto - Front Cover

This article has been archived and is no longer available online.

Basically the article you’re looking for is really old and embarrassing. The only way to access it is by obtaining a copy of my coffee table book, The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional.

“How would I do that?” One might ask. As far as I know, there’s still a few copies available here.

Should you need additional help, you can contact me directly. Maybe I’ll email you a copy / link of what you’re looking for… maybe.

Instead of digging through my past, how about you dig through my present? There’s plenty of current articles and videos available on this website. Stick around and check things out!

Sean “SW” Hammond

What Makes a Book Worth Reading?

Recently I contributed some thoughts on a series of questions revolved around what makes a book worth reading. It's a subjective question but I think there are a few core principles that the most enduring stories share; namely a strong stirring of beliefs, desires, and emotions.

What makes a book worth reading? In short, a connection with the characters. Characters are the most identifiable element of a novel. The more well developed they are, the more engrained any other philosophical principle the books strives to make will be become. Books that challenge or reinforce the beliefs and desires of the reader, then evoke an emotional connection within its characters usually tend to be the stories we carry with us and share with others.

Do books worth reading challenge ideas? Most of the time, yes. Generally, as humans, it’s only when we’re challenged do we remember the occurrence—a challenge indicates a memorable moment in time, and we analyze that moment for its successes and failures. Struggles, contradictions, and exploiting personally held ideas compels the reader into deeper contemplation. The reader may not arrive at the author’s desired conclusion, but regardless, the challenge inspired concerted independent thought of the individual. If the ideas are powerful enough, reflection upon the challenge will create an emotional response. Emotional responses have a higher likelihood of leading to action.

Read more ...

Daniel Dennett

I recently contributed to the following question: what are some of the best books for beginners of philosophy? This is kind of loaded question–are you looking to get "into" philosophy? Are you trying to figure out or define what philosophy is? Are you just looking for something that will make you think about life and your place in it?

Philosophy can be an intimidating subject, especially since everything we know at its highest level is a philosophy. For instance, a Ph.D. is short for Doctor of Philosophy. With an overwhelming number of disciplines and subjects to choose from, not to mention building philosophy's context by understanding its history which stretches way back to the ancients, beginners can be left with analysis paralysis. Greek philosophy set the stage of thought for western civilization; Heraclitus, Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle—and nearly 3000 years later we’re still arguing about the same topics. And, truthfully, even with all of the techological innovation, very little has been solved.

So, fast forward to now. Perhaps you're just dipping your toe. With all of human history behind us, what do we now know? What have we learned? From the moment single celled bacteria started a chain reaction of life on this planet, all the way to the complex being and genius mind of Johann Sebastian Bach, in From Bacteria To Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds Daniel Dennett explains how comprehension bootstrapped itself from mindless bottom-up natural selection. Praised by contemporary academics but written in such a way that a normal person can understand—without specialized training or years of philosophy—Dennett’s key theory breaks down the idea of competence without comprehension. How thinking minds can be very good at doing a variety of tasks, but never truly understand, nor need to understand, why they are doing them.

Read more ...

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