What can I say? I’ve been swamped. By life. Between me and my wife, we’ve moved half a dozen times in the past two years. We’ve been raising our first child, anticipating the birth of our second, wrangling with immigration and Homeland Security, and I’ve been bitch-slapped countless times by reverse culture shock as a new teacher at a public high school. My old chum, depression, has, of course, stalked me through much of it.
I was warned a couple years ago by a rather cranky scholar-in-making that, upon marrying and having children, my productivity and intellectual output would shudder to a trickle. Here’s $5 for him, since he was right. While having access to Kindle books and e-readers via my phone and other devices has helped, I can’t deny I have read less, and at a less rigorous level, than at almost any time in several years. Plus, aside from Twitter and a very fitful relationship with Facebook, my online presence has all but disappeared. (When was the last time I commented on Doc Feser’s blog, Crude?)
Much of the problem is that I haven’t had a proper, personal work station since about mid-July. Amidst all the packing in Taiwan, and then whilst living with my parents for a few months, I haven’t been able to really sit down and hammer away at my own PC for what feels like ages. Just tonight I had a friend tweet me, thus: “I think tweeting is your writing diet pill. Maybe just write real things instead.
#genuinelySatiate“. Well, on top of the dozen or so “blog notes” I’ve scratched out and left behind over the past few months, here I am, trying to satiate the itch.
Politically, I’ve been mortified, truly scandalized, at Obama’s reelection and what it means for this country. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch or hear more than the passing sound byte from the Executive Ego, and for the first time I’ve taken up active, steady critique of a political figure as a hobby. I’ve also been galvanized in recent months to present myself as a true conservative. For several years I remained aloof from the usual debates precisely as “the usual debates,” but as time goes on, I find that moral and intellectual integrity require I make some noise about the regnant liberal idiocy encroaching with every day. My first, and perhaps only, Pinterest board perhaps says it best: http://pinterest.com/ebougis/the-joys-of-our-illiterate-age/.
Intellectually, my latest query is, “Can there be unknowables?” and how it relates to the realism-antirealism debate, as well as to the theistic basis of science. If all things can be known, then humans must in principle be able to devise a method for observing them. String theory — and who knows what else is heading down the intelligentsia pipe — seems to refute this possibility. As such, there are either things than can never in principle be known, or there are no such things. If the former, then, even empiricists must grant there are existents that escape the grasp of human perception, quantification, and description (i.e. things which ‘the scientific method’ cannot address). If the latter, then, again, even on an empiricist basis, we’d need to have absolute knowledge of where knowables end and unknowables begin, since knowing why some unknowns are unknowable — and not merely empirically inaccessible — requires knowledge beyond empirical knowns qua the basis for any theory of knowledge. In a word, empiricism can’t, precisely in its own methdological terms, seem to exclude unknowables, and since unknowables seem metaphysically licit, a metaphysics that transcends empiricism is metaphysically acceptable. Meanwhile, my goal, Lord willing, is to get an MA in applied philosophy, though this probably means I will leave my public school job in favor of a private school position, in order to replace the former’s numerous red-tape hurdles (below) with the burdens of full-time-employed-family-man-grad-student life. Pick your poison, the devil you know, and all that.
Spiritually, I’ve been appalled at how measly and shallow I am. I am a Catholic by grace alone. Every encounter with the Lord in Confession is not only a true renewed birth but also the only thing that keeps me going. Not sure what else to say about that right now.
Hopefully, now that our home furnishings and a general life flow are taking shape, I will be able to sit down and write more, as I used to. Until then, though, I must prepare for my general knowledge test and Spanish competency test, take up to 120 hours of ESOL training, and jump through a bunch of other little hoops as part of my teacher certification, all by June.
I wish I had more to offer right now, but you can always see my Twitter feed (at right) to know I’m still trying to fight the good fight.