The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson
- Book It – Books that I have recently read that I think are noteworthy or illuminative.
- Chirps (Some Would Say Rants) - Short, succinct, and pithy comments on a subject that have piqued my interest or curiosity, or my ire or indignation. I have also congregated, by topic and the order in which they were written, a number of my Chirps into the following collections.
- A Tale of Two Cities
- Coronavirus Pandemic
- Despotism in America
- Progressivism and Progressives
- Resistance Movements
- The Decline of Free Speech in America
- The Weaponization of Government
- Classical Music- My thoughts on my passion for Classical Music.
- Classical Music Appreciation An Introduction for those that know little or nothing about Classical Music.
- Classical Music Chirps - Paragraph sized, succinct comments, and recommendations for listening to some of the most understandable and enjoyable Classical Music by all who listen to it, even those who are not all that interested in Classical Music.
- Classical Music Lists - Various lists relating to Classical Music.
- Classical Music Recommendations - Recommended compositions of Classical Composers, with associated YouTube videos.
- Documents, Letters, and Speeches - The most important documents to be read for much of the purposes of this website are, of course, The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights and Amendments, as well as the Gettysburg Address. There are additional letters and speeches from American history that I have found to be very wise and inspiring that I have collected in this article. I believe all Americans should read and ponder these letters and speeches, and take them to heart.
- Further Readings - Books that I have read and enjoyed, and that I believe that the general public can read, understand, and enjoy.
- History - A collection of essays on history.
- Humor The importance of humor cannot be understated. For humor provides the ability to laugh at yourself and with others. This is some of my favorite humor.
- Knowledgeable - From Information to Wisdom (updated Jul 2023) - An examination of the process on how to become a knowledgeable and wise person.
- Life - A collection of different thoughts and meanderings on life, living, and death.
- Miscellaneous Items - A collection of miscellaneous items I have written, many of which have been extracted and amplified from my "Observations".
- The Constitution and the Law
- Political and Economic Issues
- Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
- Social Issues
- Odds and Ends
- A New Declaration of Independence
- A New U.S. Constitution
- Movie Commentaries - Comments and critiques of individual movies that I believe have been overlooked or underrated by the public and movie critics.
- Now That's Music - You are all probably aware that I am a lover of Classical Music. What you may not be aware of is that I also love other genres of music, particularly Rock N’ Roll. I have not commented on these genres because I believe that I have nothing to contribute to this discussion that other, more knowledgeable, and qualified persons have said. However, I have decided to create lists of my favorite music in these genres.
- Now That's Entertainment - An amusing list of my all time favorite Movies & Television.
- Observations - My observations on American Government, Politics, and Society. Please note that these observations were the starting point for this website. Many of these Observations have been extracted and elaborated upon in the Miscellaneous Items section of this website. Consequently, my latest and greatest observations on various topics will be found in the Miscellaneous Items section of this website.
- General (Apr 2019)
- Politics (Apr 2019)
- Political Issues (Jan 2019)
- International Issues (Oct 2018)
- Economic Issues (Oct 2018)
- Social Issues (Oct 2018)
- Miscellaneous Thoughts (Sep 2018)
- Epilogue and Appendix (Oct 2018)
- Documents, Letters and Speeches (Sep 2018)
- Pearls of Wisdom - A collection of the Pearls of Wisdom that I have learned and thought about throughout my life.
- Pet Peeves - This article is about my pet peeves, in alphabetical order, about current American society. They deal with attitudes that many Americans hold, and how we have forgotten intellectual acuity and substituted emotional reactions as a basis for our actions.
- Quotes of My Own - In my many writings I have created a few quotes that encapsulates my thoughts on a topic. I have, therefore, collected these quotes on this web-page which I will update as I create new quotes.
- Quotes of Wisdom - My favorite quotes of wisdom from some of my favorite persons in history, because, "The world is full of quotes, but not so many quotes of wisdom." - Mark Dawson. A few wise persons deserve a separate web page as they have so much wisdom to impart. These Quotes of Wisdom and some of these wise people (and more will be added in the future) are:
- Abraham Lincoln
- Benjamin Franklin
- Friedrich Hayek
- George Washington
- Gilbert K. Chesterton
- James Madison
- John Adams
- Mark Twain
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Milton Friedman
- Ronald Reagan
- Thomas Jefferson
- Thomas Sowell
- Walter E. Williams
- Will Rogers
- William J. H. Boetcker
- Yiddish Proverbs
- Miscellaneous Quotes
- Quotes on the Majority
- Readings and Literature - Some of the books that I have read and enjoyed, and that I believe that the general public can read, understand,and enjoy .
- Religion - My thoughts and beliefs on religion and spirituality.
- Science - A collection of
articles on scientific topics, with an emphasis on Atomic Physics,
Astronomy, and Engineering (these being the areas with which I am
familiar and knowledgeable). I would like to note that science and
engineering are often viewed by the general public as cold and
dispassionate. They are not! While the results of science and
engineering are often presented in a cold and dispassionate
manner, the process is anything but. The process of science and
engineering is very human, with its practitioners utilizing the
imagination and creativity of an artist and the resulting foils
and conflicts of any human endeavor. As such, I have tried in
these articles to highlight the human side of science and
engineering whenever possible.
from an Examined Professional Life – My Reminiscences
on a Life in Computers, along with Humorous and Poignant Stories
(but not a history of computer technology) that I hope that you
will enjoy and perhaps learn something from them.
- Terminology and Phrases - Throughout my Articles and Chirps I often utilize terms and phrases that I believe that should be defined and elucidated. This webpage is a brief list of the terms and phrases I most often utilize.
- The Great Fiction Authors and Artists of All Time - A list of the the greatest persons in literature and painting.
- The Meaning of My Life - An examination of, and short journal, of the meaning and accomplishments of my life.
- The Science Fiction of My Youth - An amusing list of the science fiction stories, films, and television series from my youth that sparked my imagination and made me think differently.
- Three Scholars Understanding and Defending the Constitution -Having a great interest in Natural and Constitutional Rights, I refer to several different scholars on these topics. The three constitutional historians and scholars that I regularly follow are Rob Natelson, Jonathan Turley, and Michael Stokes Paulsen. This webpage contains some of the more interesting articles that they have written on Natural and Constitutional Rights topics.
Fictional Stories that I have written:
- Report to the Committee on the Impacts and Consequences of the Massive Coronal Mass Ejection that Struck the Earth on April 15th 2025 - (Apr 2019) - A short fiction story.
- The Big Bang Theory – Ten Years After - (Jul 2020) - A plot outline for a follow-up TV movie for the TV Series.
- Babylon 5 – The Wars That Were Not - (Aug 2020) - As I am a huge fan of the television series “Babylon 5,” I thought I would provide my take on what happened after the TV series ended. This take ties up three loose ends that the series was not able to conclude.
Clicking on the infinity logo at the top of any web page will take you to the topic web page where you can choose another article on that topic to read.
If you have any comments, concerns, critiques, or suggestions I can be reached at email@example.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).
Throughout my Chirps and Articles, I have held fast to my core beliefs. These core beliefs are in our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights" and our Founding Fathers' "American Ideals and Ideas", as expressed in The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. I also believe in "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" and the importance of "A Civil Society". I also believe in "Rationality" through "A Philosophical Approach" to "Reasoning", utilizing proper "Dialog & Debate" methods. I also believe that many of the problems that America faces are "The Problem is Systemic Liberalisms & Progressivisms". Anything that may contradict these core beliefs, I cannot hold to. Thus, in writing my Chirps and Articles, I always keep in mind my core beliefs, and I will not write anything that violates these core beliefs. As such, I concur with what Martin Luther said in defending his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences", which came to be known as The Ninety-Five Theses in opposition to the Catholic Church position:
“I cannot and will not recant
for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.
Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”
- Martin Luther
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 spelling, grammar, malapropisms, and phraseology (thank God for computer spell checkers, thesaurus, and grammar checks), and I struggle to write anything. I am a very organized and logical person, and I attempt to keep my writing organized and logical. I also 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.
In writing these Articles and Chirps I apply "Rationality", "Reasoning", and "Beyond Rationality and Reasoning" to my opinions, and I think philosophically, but I act pragmatically on the issues and concerns that I write about, as well as in all other aspects of my life, as I have explained in my Article "A Philosophical Approach". I also attempt to assure that the information I present is factual and accurate. I, therefore, expend time and effort in researching to obtain the facts and achieve accuracy. The process of writing for me is an intellectual, emotional, and physical strain. I have, therefore, written a short article “The Intellectual, Emotional, and Physical Strains of Writing” that explains my research efforts, and the intellectual, emotional, and physical strains of writing these Articles and Chirps.
As regards to my debating these issues, I would direct you to my Chip “Form Over Substance” as to my reluctance to engage in debate on these subjects. Essentially, I believe that I am a poor debater. It is for this reason that I often do not engage in debates. I do, however, engage in discussions in which both sides have ample time to challenge the facts, statistics, and reasoning of their arguments to effectually explain their arguments.
I am willing to change my opinions based on new or better information or reasoned counterpoint, or as a wise sage has stated;
having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being
obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change
opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right,
but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow,
the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more
respect to the judgment of others."
- Benjamin Franklin
a little of your own infallibility."
- Benjamin Franklin
However, until such time as I have new or better information, or reasoned critique, I will remain firm in my opinions, as I am firm in what I see as the right. For those who think I may recant some or all of what I have written for any other reasons I would remind them of the previous quote of Martin Luther said in defending his Ninety-Five Theses.
In all of science, engineering, law, philosophy, theology,
economics, statistics, and many other areas of human interactions
the “Burden of Proof” is upon the person or persons
who makes the assertion, or as Christopher Hitchens once said, "That
which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without
The “Burden of Proof” must be based upon intellect rather than emotions, for emotions will almost always lead to a false conclusion. If you do otherwise you may fall into the trap of ‘if you cannot show an assertion is wrong then an assertion must be right’, which is obviously an untrue statement. You may also fall in the trap of 'trying to prove a negative'. Proving a Negative (i.e., prove you didn't say or do something) is one of the things that western society has learned is almost impossible to do and, historically, forcing someone to prove a negative has led to witches being burned at the stake, heretic's being executed, lynching's occurring, summary executions taking place, as well as many other violations of human rights.You should also remember that ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’.
With this in mind, all my Articles and Chips attempt to meet this Burden of Proof. If you think I have erred please Contact Me and provide the details of my errors.
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. 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, historical America, and the history of the physical sciences, as well as astrophysics & quantum mechanics).
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 Thomas Holme Elementary school and Abraham Lincoln High School in Philadelphia, PA, and I have some undergraduate credits at the University of Pennsylvania. I was an average to a poor student in elementary and high school, as I was unmotivated, of poor eyesight (which was not discovered until I was in High School), and I believe I am slightly dyslectic. Not until I entered the real world (having a job) did I become interested in learning, which I then took up with great enthusiasm.Consequently, my curriculum vitae is of my life experiences and autodidact education.
My career has been almost entirely in the Information technology field, as I have outlined in “My Varied Computer Career” below. I started out as a Computer Operator on mainframe (big iron) computers, became a Software Configuration Manager, a Computer Programmer, a Computer Systems Designer, then a Computer Systems Project Leader. From there, I became a Lead Computer Systems Engineer, A Chief Engineer, a Proposal Manager, and a Program Manager as a contractor on classified U.S. Government contracts. I then became an independent Computer Consultant for small businesses, the self-employed, and families in my local residential area. During this time, I have worked on Mainframe, Mini, Workstation, and Microcomputers. I am, or have been, very knowledgeable on several computer programming languages, database systems, and data communication systems, as well as various commercial computer applications (such as Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, Goldmine, etc.). I have taken brief respites (for fun or sanity purposes) as a Travelling Science Show Instructor for the Franklin Institute during the Bicentennial school year and as a Pet Sitter.
I started my adult life being highly introverted and technically oriented. I have since learned to become more extroverted and people-oriented. Most people who know me now would have no idea that I was such in my earlier years and do not suspect that I am still introverted, as I make extensive efforts to be more extroverted when I am with other people. I am considered by my friends, acquaintances, and my clients to be easy-going, humorous, and a nice decent person.
I have always strived to live a moral and ethical life, and I would not become involved in any words or deeds that I considered immoral or unethical. Throughout my life, I have tried to improve myself— intellectually, knowledgeably, technically, and personally. Improvements to my intellect, knowledge, and technical skills have been autodidact through extensive readings on a wide variety of topics. Improvements to my personality have been made with great efforts and significant changes to my approach to life. I have carefully observed people and tried to understand their motivations, and I have tried to mold my character based on the good character traits of those people whom I admired.
I have always had self-disciple in any tasks that I have undertaken, and I strived to do my best in both the professional and personal tasks that I have undertaken. My main difficulties were in self-control and tactfulness, as I often spoke my mind without consideration of the people and the circumstances involved. However, I began to recognize these faults and consciously set about to correct them, and for the most part, I was successful. Much of that success was achieved by applying the knowledge and wisdom I gained through my life experiences and extensive readings and viewings of other intelligent person's writings and commentaries.
The changes I have made to myself were a result of self-examination from the experiences of my life that were often done with harsh criticisms and critiques of my own faults, words, and deeds in these experiences. As a result, I have fallen prey to the wisdom of the wise philosopher, author, and journalist:
- Albert Camus
People who knew me in my twenties would not recognize the person I was in my thirties, and people who knew me in my thirties would not recognize the person I was in my forties. My fifties were also a significant change from my thirties and forties, but since then, I have remained basically the same. I am basically the same as I believe that I have obtained a level of intelligence, knowledge, experience, and wisdom that has made me a mature, well-rounded person capable of dealing with any situation that life presents me. I also believe that this intelligence, knowledge, and experience have provided me with wisdom that I have tried to impart in my Chirps and Articles.
I have traveled somewhat (mostly business) and have spent several months in Sunnyvale, CA, and weeks at a time in Northern Germany, Southern England, and Washington, D.C. I have also spent many days at a time in Dallas, TX and Denver, CO, as well as a few days in numerous other U.S. cities. My vacations have been spent in Bermuda (honeymoon), Cancun Mexico, central California, and my mother’s homestead in Northern Minnesota. My other vacation places have been at various places in the Northeastern USA from Maine to Virginia.
I was born with, and still have, a minor heart murmur that is getting progressively worse (now it is Bilateral Bundle Branch Block), and I have absolutely no arches on my feet (every doctor who has examined my feet has commented on this). I have had my tonsils and appendix removed, my nasal passages cleaned out twice, and my deviated septum repaired. I have had very poor eyesight since childhood, have a progressive hearing loss due to my occupation, and not much of a sense of smell. I had ulcers in my early adulthood (mainly due to work-related stress), and I continue to suffer from hyperacidity of my stomach) I suffer from sleep apnea, lower back pains from ligament damage, and occasionally upper back pains from a case of whiplash I suffered in an automobile accident. I also suffer from wrist, elbow, and shoulder pains (tendinitis) when I am extensively utilizing a computer. I have high cholesterol and am borderline diabetic. I had my Droopy Eyes (Ptosis) repaired when I was sixty, and I have recently had cataract and eye lens replacement surgery. I regularly have upper respiratory infections, but I fortunately never had any broken bones or serious injuries in my life. Mostly, all of these 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, as 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 (in other words, I am a straight shooter).
Consequently, I am much like most other Americans as there is nothing special about me, other than I have extensively read and researched on many different subjects (see my article “Further Readings and Literature”). I then ponder upon that which I have read or researched, which I have now written about on this website. In doing so, I have taken “A Philosophical Approach” to my thinking. 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 checks), and I am prone to incorrect phraseology and malapropisms. I struggle to write anything, as I have outlined in my previously mentioned article, “The Intellectual, Emotional, and Physical Strains of Writing”. 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.
Upon my retirement from the computer field at the end of 2019, I have started to reminisce on my career, and I must say it has been a long and varied career lasting almost a half-century. Today, many persons enter and often remain in a specialized field of computer technology. A specialization made necessary with the explosion of computer technologies in the last three decades. When I started my career in 1969, such specialization was limited, as most of the computer field was dominated by IBM Mainframe computers. The only specialization was Computer Operations, Computer Programming, Mainframe Operating Systems maintenance, and Mainframe Equipment installation, maintenance, and repair.
I began my computer career by attending a three-month Computer Programming trade school after my high school graduation. A trade school in which I learned Mainframe Assembly, Report Program Generator (RPG), and COBOL Programming. However, upon graduation from this trade school, I discovered nobody was hiring computer programmers without any experience, but I was able to obtain employment in the Computer Operations field.
I then spent the next several years in Computer Operations in several different companies, which required that I work several different night shifts. My duties were as a card and paper jockey, tape jockey, console operator, to solo or duo full Computer Operations responsibilities, and finally, as a senior computer operator directing a team of computer operators. I also became an expert in IBM Mainframe Computer Job Control Language and System Utilities.
After a short break in my computer operations career, in which I became a Travelling Science Show instructor at the Franklin Institute, I resumed my computer career in a Computer Software Configuration Management role for an IBM Mainframe computer programming team for a large banking institution. A Computer Software Configuration Management task before this computer field was founded. As I was without any methodologies or tools necessary to accomplish this task, I, therefore, needed to create my own methodology and tools to perform this task. After successfully accomplishing this task, I was promoted to an IBM Mainframe Computer Programmer with another team at this bank.
I then became a maintenance programmer in a small department of a large insurance company. Within six weeks of starting this job, I was promoted to the unofficial title of “Super Programmer”, responsible for undertaking the most complex and difficult programming tasks for the entire computer programming department. Within ten months of becoming a super programmer, I was promoted to the Senior Designer and Programmer for a project that, as far as we could determine, had never been done in the computer field. A project that was for the Automatic Program Generation for Database Population and Database Reporting. This project consumed the next two years of my professional life, a project that many believed was not possible, but a project that succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations.
I then found a new job as a Systems Engineer for classified government programs in a large Aerospace company. A job that I am still not able to discuss in any specific detail due to the classified nature of the work that I performed. A Systems Engineering task that involved the Software, Hardware, Databases, Data Communications, and Computer Operations specifications and design utilizing Structured Analysis (SA) and Structured Design (SD) techniques. A job in which I was a Program Change Control manager, a Computer Systems Lead Engineer for Multi-contractor Coordination, a Computer Systems Chief Engineer, and a Computer Systems Proposal and Program Manager responsible for the Management, Financial, and Technological aspects of classified government programs.
I then left this company to strike out on my own as an Independent Computer Consultant for small businesses and the self-employed in my local area, a task that I spent almost three decades performing. An Independent Computer Consultant responsible for the installation, configuration, and maintenance of Personal Computers (both Windows and Macintosh computers) at my client’s locations. This also involved the installation, configuration, and maintenance of Computer Applications on these computers. Applications such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access), QuickBooks accounting, and Goldmine Customer Relations Management, as well as several other computer applications that my client’s needed to run their businesses. I was also responsible for creating the Business Process Automation for my clients, utilizing this computer equipment and applications, as well as the training for their employees on these computers, applications, and Business Processes. I also learned how to create simple web pages at the start of the Internet revolution for my client’s business. I have also assisted my clients in incorporating the Internet and Cell Phone technology in their business operations.
One of my clients was a self-employed independent accountant that had several business clients for which he was responsible for their company accounting, as well as preparing their company and personal income taxes. He hired me for several decades to assist him in the preparation of their taxes, and I learned much about Local, State, and Federal company and personal taxes in my interactions with him (I also learned much about the Jewish religion, and its traditions and history, as he was Jewish and very knowledgeable and forthcoming on these topics).
During all these efforts, I had to learn and become proficient on Mainframe, Workstation, and Personal Computer Database Query and Reporting Languages, Database Analysis and Design utilizing Entity-Relationship Design, Database Normalization techniques, and Database Structure Design for Hierarchical Databases, Inverted Index Databases , and Relational Databases. I also learned and became proficient in Computer Programming with Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodologies. I also learned and utilized Network Topology, Analysis, and Design on Mainframe computers, as well as Peer-to-Peer and Client-Server Networking on Personal Computers. During my career, I became very proficient and skilled in Computer Systems Training and Computer Systems Testing, as well as documenting computer systems and applications.
In all these efforts, I have learned that it is the people, not computer technology, that is responsible for the success of any computerization. Computer Technology is important to achieve success, but without the people involved, the technology will not be utilized properly and fully to achieve the goal. I, therefore, approach every computer task from a people perspective. A people perspective of computer technology usage that without the personal involvement of the persons so affected, there can be no success in instituting computer technology. A perspective that is often lacking with today’s computer specialists. However, the most successful computer technologists are the ones who have this perspective.
I did all this without any formal education, as I have no College Degree. Consequently, I extensively read user manuals, textbooks, and magazine articles on these technologies, thus becoming autodidact in these technologies. I also, fortunately, had the assistance of several people who were experts and College Degreed and experienced, who assisted me in my learning. None of this could happen in today’s specialized world of computer technology, and I was fortunate to have lived in an era when specialization had not occurred.
I have written this not with a sense of braggadocio, but with a sense of pride in my accomplishments. I have also written this to provide my readers with a sense of how broad and knowledgeable I am in computer technology. I, therefore, believe that I am much more than competent in commenting on the issues of computer technology. I have also learned the importance of people and how to best consider the actions and motivations of people. I have also learned, as in one of my “Truisms”, to:
Remember to love people and use things, rather than to love things and use people.
As in my “My Varied Computer Career”, my personal avocations have been many and disparate. Each disparity has contributed to my knowledge and understanding of life. I have always tried to incorporate this knowledge and understanding into my viewpoints on life, as my Pearls of Wisdom webpage summarizes. I have also utilized this knowledge and understanding to shape my viewpoints on our society and our governance. As in the Grateful Dead song ‘Truckin’, I can say of my personal life—‘What a Long Strange Trip it has Been’. The following are some of the highlights of my long, strange trip.
My Youth (10-19 years old)
In my youth, I was molded by various circumstances and personal interests that have remained throughout my life. These are:
Religion—When I was young, I was very religious and attended weekly Church Services and Sunday School. Indeed, several people thought that I would enter the ministry upon graduating High School. However, as I matured and became more knowledgeable, I lost this religious fervor, mainly due to my discovery of science and sex, and I drifted away from religion into a more secular life. It took several decades for me to regain my belief in God, and my viewpoints on God and Religion are not traditional, as I have explained on my webpages about Religion.
Education—I was an average to poor student in elementary and high school, as I was unmotivated, of poor eyesight (which was not discovered until I was in High School), and I believe I am slightly dyslectic, as I have written in the section “My Own Public School Education” in my article on Public Education. Not until I entered the real world (having a job) did I become interested in learning, which I then took up with great enthusiasm. Consequently, my curriculum vitae is of my life experiences and autodidact education.
Nature and Science—I loved exploring the natural world when I was young, and I often spent many hours per week exploring the woods of the northeastern part of Pennypack Park in Philadelphia, PA, which was one block away from the house where I grew up. This was my main interest in joining the Boy Scouts, as we often had camping trips to other parks in the metropolitan Philadelphia, PA region, as well as a yearly weeklong camping trip to the Boy Scout reservations of Treasure Island, Hart, or Resica Falls, PA. This led me to study nature and become interested in the natural sciences, which eventually morphed into the physical sciences when I became an Amateur Astronomer. My knowledge of these sciences, and science in general, as well as the history of science, are the basis for my articles on my web pages about Science.
Science Fiction—I was a Science Fiction fan when science fiction fans were considered strange and oddballs. From novels, short stories, movies, and television, if it was science fiction, I read and watched all I could. This passion abated as I became more interested in science, but I still enjoy science fiction television and movies, mostly for their entertainment value. Therefore, I have written a web page "The Science Fiction of My Youth" on my favorite science fiction from my youth. I have also written a number of web pages that examines science and science fiction topics based on my knowledge of both science and science fiction.
Entertainment—Coming from a financially constrained upbringing, there were not many dollars for entertainment purposes. A vast majority of my entertainment was from watching Classic Movies on Television and listening to Rock-N-Roll Music on Radio. Therefore, I became quite knowledgeable and have an extensive catalog of movies and music that I have seen or heard, which has led me to write my webpages on Movie Commentaries, Now That’s Music, and Now That’s Entertainment.
NFL Football—I became interested in NFL Football through a short stint of a Philadelphia Eagles player as a gym instructor at my High School. This led me to become a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles for the rest of my life. Not only did I become a fan, but I also became very interested in the strategy and tactics of the game, as well as the off-season maneuvering to build a football team.
My Adulthood (20-59 years old)
I date my adulthood as that period of my life in which I fully matured and understood myself and our society. Several of my personal interests were responsible for this molding, and they are:
Classical Music—Upon encountering the beauty of Classical Music from watching the re-release of the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, I began to explore Classical Music and fell in move with Classical Music. This love has led me to write my webpages on Classical Music Appreciation, Classical Music Chirps, Classical Music Lists, and Classical Music Recommendations.
Amateur Astronomy—Upon obtaining full-time employment, I utilized my wages to purchase a backyard telescope. In learning how to utilize my telescope, I also learned a great deal about the science of Astronomy, as well as the history of Astronomy.
Franklin Institute—My love of Amateur Astronomy led me to visit the Franklin Institute Observatory and the Fels Planetarium. During this visit, I entered into a conversation with the person who was manning the observatory, who was also an Amateur Astronomer and a volunteer at the Franklin Institute. He convinced me to volunteer and help with manning the observatory. This I did for the first year of my volunteering, but then I also became a Science Instructor for the other sciences at the Franklin Institute.
American History—As a result of my volunteering at the Franklin Institute, I decided to learn more about the life and contributions of Benjamin Franklin. I became so interested in his life that I became a Franklinphile, and I soon became knowledgeable about that period of American history in which he lived. As the years progressed, I became knowledgeable about all eras of American history and the biographies of many prominent Americans throughout American history. Much of the knowledge and wisdom that I have gained from my readings on American History I have written about in the section of my website on History Articles.
Politics—Due to my dislike of the politics and policies of Democrat Frank Rizzo as Mayor of Philadelphia, PA, I volunteered to work for the election of his Republican opponent as a Republican Committeeperson for my local election district. While the Republican opponent lost, I continued to be a Committeeperson for the next several elections, in which I learned the nitty gritty of electoral politics. When Frank Rizzo changed his party and ran for mayor as a Republican, I became disillusioned with local politics and stopped being a Committeeperson.
Cosmology and Quantum Physics—As I moved away from being an active Amateur Astronomer, as a result of my time constraints from my business travel, I became interested in Armchair Astronomy (the readings on Astronomical science). In this Armchair Astronomy, I studied and became knowledgeable about Cosmology and Quantum Physics.
Computers—As I have written in My Varied Computer Career, I have done several unique things in my computer career. In doing these things, I have learned and become knowledgeable outside of the narrow scope of my duties and responsibilities. This included becoming one of the first of a generation of persons to utilize microcomputers for home programming, databases, word processors, and spreadsheets. I also became self-taught on new computer technologies, including personal digital assistants and cell phones, new techniques of computer systems development and management, and the economics of computer systems development and implementations.
Bookkeeping—After becoming an independent computer consultant, it became necessary to keep track of my business finances. While I knew computer system development financial practices from my time as a Proposal and Program Manager at GE Aerospace, I only had to review the financial statements and never had to implement or use a bookkeeping system. It, therefore, became necessary for me to learn the fundamentals of Double Entry Bookkeeping and how to enter financial transactions and balance the books. This gave me a greater appreciation of the economics of a business and how businesses operate to remain profitable. An appreciation that I utilized as a Senior Citizen to understand economics.
My Senior Years (60+ years old)
With the slowdown of my business due to the recession of 2007, I began to explore in more detail other interests that I had near the end of my adult life. These were:
Economics—Economics has interested me ever since I learned of the importance of money and how money works during my time as a Proposal and Program Manager at GE Aerospace. This interest was business-centric economics that morphed into an interest in national and international economics. I began extensive readings on national and international economics as a vital factor in public policy and politics.
Politics and Political Sociology—The Politics of the United States and Political Sociology in America became of great interest to me in my senior years. Much of this was from my experiences in politics from my early adulthood and my extensive readings on American history and economics throughout my adulthood and senior years.
As a result of My Varied Personal Avocations, I have obtained a breadth of knowledge uncommon for most persons. My depth of knowledge was limited to my vocational field of computers, but I did obtain a depth of knowledge on my avocations that allows me to intelligently comment on these topics. My hope in writing my Chirps and Articles on these topics is that my readers will have a better understanding of these topics and perhaps will become interested in one or more of these topics and will discover more about these topics on their own.
It should also be remembered that intelligence and wisdom are two separate items. Many intelligent people lack wisdom, while many wise persons are not as intelligent as other persons. As I have written in my article “Pearls of Wisdom” section on "A Wise Person", and elaborated further in my “Life” article sections “Knowledge, Experience, and Wisdom” and “Knowing vs. Understanding”, wisdom is much more than intelligence. It is the application of knowledge, intelligence, and rationality to reach sound conclusions that delineates an intelligent vs. a wise person. While I admit that I am not as intelligent as many persons, I have tried to apply my knowledge, intelligence, and reasoning to become a wise person. I also have the wisdom to know that I may be wrong, and the humility to admit my wrong headedness when it comes to my attention. Consequently, it is my knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom that I am trying to impart in these web pages.
You may be wondering about my qualifications to pontificate on these subjects. I believe that I am qualified because I am a thinking human being. I utilize my knowledge and experience in life, as well as researching both the facts and opinions of others, including those with whom I may disagree. I then apply my "Rationality" and "Reasoning" skills, and afterwards followed by "Beyond Rationality and Reasoning", to reach an opinion. And it is just my opinion which I readily admit, and I am also willing to admit that I may be wrong. If I discover that I am wrong I am just as readily willing to change my opinion and update this website, which I will often announce in a Chirp. Therefore, you should check back every so often to determine if I have changed my opinion.
To those who would say that I have no academic credentials, formal instruction, nor training on these subjects I would plead “Guilty”. For I am autodidact - A person who has taught themselves. Many successful persons have taught themselves as noted in my article, "Famous Autodidactic Americans". A college degree is not a prerequisite for success, and not all college-degreed people are successful. Success is achieved by intelligence, hard work, tenaciousness, and desire. An autodidact person can be as intelligent and successful person as any degreed college person can be intelligent and successful. It should also be noted that many intelligent people are not wise people, as wisdom is more than the accumulated knowledge and intelligence of a person.Therefore, do not base your opinion of a person based on their college degree, but base your opinion on their achievements, intelligence, and wisdom.
Decades of reading, listening, and viewing information, and most important thinking on these subjects has led me to where I am. For those who would discount what I am saying because of this, I am reminded of a story of Galileo Galilei.
In 1633, after facing the Inquisition, Galileo was forced to recant his claims that the Earth moves around the Sun, rather than the converse. He abjured, sworn, promised, and obliged himself to abstain completely from teaching or defending this doctrine and opinion or from discussing it... to abandon completely... the opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves, and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing. It was reported (though unconfirmed) that Galileo mumbled "And yet it moves" as he was leaving the Inquisition.
So, for those that would discount what I say and have written due to the lack of my formal education I would respond:
“And Yet It Moves”
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
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 as delineated by:
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
The author wishes to thank the editors and contributors of the Wikipedia website. Their many fine articles on different topics and subjects have made my task in creating my Articles and Chirps much easier. I have often attributed and hyperlinked the Wikipedia article whenever I have utilized it in my Articles or Chirps. For a fuller understanding of these topics and subjects, I would direct you to the appropriate Wikipedia article.
I have, however, noticed that Wikipedia has drifted to the left in many of its political, social, and current history articles, as I explain in my Chirp on “05/03/22 The Fall of Wikipedia”. Therefore, you should be cognizant of this drift in these articles and cautious in your acceptance of the information on Wikipedia. As always, you should never rely on one source, such as Wikipedia, when researching a topic or subject. The Conservapedia website has a good introduction of Examples of Bias in Wikipedia with more specific details.
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.