The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson


Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts, Meanderings,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).


Over the last several years I have decided to write about what I have learned and loved throughout my life. They have become such a collection that I have decided to loosen them on an unsuspecting world. I hope that you will enjoy them, and perhaps it will give you something to think about. The various topics are as follows:

  • Classical Music Appreciation - (Sep 2018) - An Introduction for those that know little or nothing about Classical Music, with lists of recommended composers and compositions.
  • Classical Music Lists - (Sep 2018) - Various lists relating to Classical Music (the Composers lists are in the above web-page).
  • Life - (Sep 2018) - A collection of different thoughts and meanderings on life, living, and death.
  • Miscellaneous Items - (Sep 2018) - Some random miscellaneous items I have written.
  • Observations - (Sep 2018) - My observations on American Government, Politics, and Society
  • Readings - (Sep 2018) - Some of the books that I have read and enjoyed, and that I believe that the general public can read, understand,and enjoy.
  • Science - (Sep 2018) - Articles I have written on various scientific topics.
  • That's Entertainment - (Sep 2018) - An amusing list of my all time favorite Movies & Television.

If you have any comments, concerns, critiques, or suggestions I can be reached at mwd@profitpages.com. I will review reasoned and intellectual correspondence, and it is possible that I can change my mind, or at least update the contents of these articles. This is why these articles are dated. Whenever I make a change to these articles they will be re-dated. So check back and see if any articles have been updated (or perhaps I shall add articles).

Who Am I?

I am an overweight, out-of-shape, newly minted senior citizen. I am a heterosexual male, married, and father of one adult daughter. I am of European descent (mostly Scottish, English, German, and some Eastern European), but most importantly I am a Human Being (this is what I put on all forms that require I state my race).

As a human being, I have intelligence and can think and learn from knowledge, experience, and education (autodidactism). I attempt to keep my mind active and engaged and learn and think about the world around me. I have interests and hobbies (mostly classical, popular, and rock-n-roll music, movies, television, historical America, and the history of the physical sciences, as well as astrophysics & quantum mechanics). I have written various observations and articles on these topics, which is the reason for this website.

I was born (on the Ides of May - 1952) and raised in Philadelphia, PA. I spent my entire adult life in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I attended the Thomas Holme Elementary school, and Abraham Lincoln High School of Philadelphia, PA, and I have some undergraduate credits at the University of Pennsylvania.

My career has been almost entirely in the Information technology field.  I have taken brief respites (for fun or sanity purposes) as a Traveling Science Show Instructor for the Franklin Institute during the Bicentennial school year and as a Pet Sitter. I have traveled somewhat (mostly business) and have spent several months, weeks, and days in several U.S. cities, and England and Germany on business trips. My vacations have been to several places in the United States, Bermuda, and Mexico, as well as various places in the Northeastern USA from Maine to Virginia.

I have had and have several minor medical conditions throughout my life, but I fortunately never had any severe medical conditions, broken bones or serious injuries in my life. Mostly all of my current medical conditions could be improved if I exercised regularly and had a better diet. But being busy, lazy, and unmotivated I do none of these things.

People who know me claim that I have a good sense of humor, but a very poor joke teller. I do, however, have the ability to tell stories from my own life, and well as historical and scientific stories, and as such, they regard me as a good storyteller. I have tried to live a legal, moral, and ethical life, and honesty and integrity are very important to me in my dealings with myself and others (therefore I am a straight-shooter).

In other words, I am much like most other Americans, and there is nothing special about me, other than I think a lot. I have often said that English is my second language, while thinking is my first language. Those that know me, and my writing, know that my second language (English) can be very poor in both spelling and grammar (thank God for computer spell checkers, thesaurus, and grammar checkers), and I struggle to write anything. I also have some difficulty with pronunciation (especially non-English words). I am a very organized and logical person, and I attempt to keep my writing organized and logical. I attempt to write clearly, concisely, completely, confidently, and understandably. As such, I hope that these articles are readable to all with a high school education.


For more detailed information on who I am click here.

A Personal Note

The incandescent light bulb has often been described as a heat source that provides some light, given that a light bulb generates more heat than it does light. In today's public debates we often find the proponents of an issue providing a lot of heat and only a little light. These observations are meant to provide illumination (light) and not argumentation (heat).

Opponents in today's society often utilize the dialog and debate methodology of Demonize, Denigrate, and Disparage their opponent when discussing issues, policies, and personages. To demonize, denigrate, or disparage the messenger to avoid consideration of the message is not acceptable if the message has supporting evidence.

The only acceptable method of public discourse is disagreement - to be of different opinions. If you are in disagreement with someone you should be cognizant that people of good character can and often disagree with each other. The method of their disagreement is very important to achieve civil discourse. There are two ways you can disagree with someone; by criticizing their opinions or beliefs or critiquing their opinions or beliefs.

• Criticism - Disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings.
• Critique - A serious examination and judgment of something.

Most people, and most commentators have forgotten the difference between Criticism and Critique. This has led to the hyper-partisanship in today's society. In a civil society critiquing a viewpoint or policy position should be encouraged. This will often allow for a fuller consideration of the issues, and perhaps a better viewpoint or policy position without invoking hyper-partisanship. We can expect that partisanship will often occur, as people of good character can and often disagree with each other. Criticizing a viewpoint or policy position will often lead to hostility, rancor, and enmity, which results in the breakdown of civil discourse and hyper-partisanship. It is fine to criticize someone for their bad or destructive behavior, but it is best to critique them for their opinions or words. We would all do better if we remember to critique someone, rather than criticize someone.

I would ask anyone who disagrees with what I have written here to please keep this disagreement civil. I am open to critique and will sometimes take criticism. I will always ignore demonization, denigration, and disparagement, or point out the vacuous nature or the character flaws of those that wish to silence the messenger rather than deal with the message.

Please remember that if you disagree with the messenger it is not acceptable to kill the messenger. You may kill the messenger, but the message will remain.

If you have any comments, concerns, critiques, or suggestions I can be reached at mwd@profitpages.com. I will review reasoned and intellectual correspondence, and it is possible that I can change my mind, or at least update the contents of these articles. This is why these articles are dated. Whenever I make a change to these articles they will be re-dated. So check back and see if any articles have been updated (or perhaps I shall add articles).

Acknowledgments

 The Author wishes to thank the editors and contributors of the Wikipedia website. Their many fine articles on this subject have made my task in creating these articles much easier. I have attributed and hyperlinked the Wikipedia article whenever I have utilized it in an article (and place the Wikipedia article in a frame such as this). For a more fuller understanding of these topics, I would direct you to the appropriate Wikipedia article.

 

I would also acknowledge that the graphics contained in these articles were obtained from various websites. I have tried to obtain non-copyrighted images, and if I have failed to do so I would sincerely apologize to the copyright holders for not attributing the image to them.

Finally, I wish to acknowledge my good friend Jeff Goslin for the efforts he put into reviewing the contents of these articles. He contributed his knowledge, wisdom, and experience to assure that my observations were with facts, intelligence, and reasoning. He also was extremely helpful in editing this article for spelling and grammar, as well as to assure its understandability to a layperson. His contributions, friendship, and support helped improve this article and gave me emotional support to publish this article. The opinions expressed in these articles are entirely of the author. As always, any mistakes or errors are the author's responsibility and should not be a reflection of Jeff’s efforts.