The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson
Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).
following are miscellaneous items I have written:
The following are topics on which I felt the urge to
pontificate, and some are extracts from my website "Observations on an Examined Life".
I have deliberately kept these topics and extracts to short and
pity comments that can be read in a few minutes. I have also
targeted these items to a personal nature in that they deal with
how to live your life and view pressing social concerns. I
sincerely hope that you will take a few minutes to read and
think about these topics. For your convenience I have added a icon to indicate those articles
that have been recently added or modified.
- A Civil
Society (Oct 2018) - For thousands of years,
western society has grappled with what constitutes a civil,
legal, and just society. These are my thoughts on this
- Attack the
Messenger (Jan 2019) - When the message is
troubling a common counterpoint is to attack the messenger.
These are my thoughts on this subject.
- Be the Better
Person (Sep 2018) - What to do when "Shit
- Change and/or New
(Sep 2018) - The call of changed rings throughout the land and
here is my cautionary opinion on this topic.
- Cognitive Abilities and the Value of a Human
Being (May 2019) - My thoughts on a looming social
problem of the cognitive abilities needed for a mechanized and
technological 21st century workforce.
- Cult of Youth (Jun 2019) - I was so much
older then, I'm younger than that now.
- Dead White Men
(Jan 2019) - Much has been said and written about the
importance of dead white men in regards to modern times. Here
is my succinct thoughts.
- Equal Pay for
Equal Work (May 2019) - Equal pay for equal work
is a noble ideal, but as always, the devil is in the details.
Here are some of the details.
- I Have a Big Mouth
(Sep 2018) -A discussion on "Big" mouthing and "Small"
- Lies and
Beliefs (Sep 2018) - My thoughts on "Lies, Damn
Lies, and Statistics" and "Just because you believe something
to be true does not make it true".
American Fascism (May 2019) - An examination of
what constitutes Fascism in modern America.
- Natural (Bill of) Rights (May 2019) -
Our rights come from being born human and not from a
government grant. This is an examination of the meaning of
- Nazism and
Fascism (Jan 2019) - An examination of the
political and social basis of Nazism and Fascism.
- O say can you
see (Sep 2018) - A perspective on
respecting the National Anthem.
- Oh What a
Tangled Web We Weave (Nov 2018) - Knowing what is
important, what is unimportant, and what is misleading when
reviewing studies or statistics is crucial to discovering the
- Reparations (Apr
2019) - What is the morality of reparations is examined in
Harassment (Oct 2018) - A
perspective on this subject.
- Shame and
Hypocrisy (Sep 2018) - A
perspective on this subject.
- Sins of the
Fathers and of Youth (Sep 2018) - Who bears the
responsibility and recriminations for the words and deeds of
relatives and youth.
Ethics and Moral Dilemmas (Dec 2018) - As I have
stated in other articles, I have tried to live my life in an
ethical and moral manner. There are, however, situational
ethics and moral dilemmas in which there are no easy answers.
This article examines some of these particulars and their
- Slander & Libel on Social Media and
Journalism (May 2019) - In the 21st century we
have entered into the era of social media and 24 hour news
cycles. While this has provide much benefits to the consumer
there has been a downside to this era. This articles examines
these downsides and what we can do to correct this
- Social Media (May 2019) - Social
media is ubiquitous in today’s society. Here are some of the
personal issues and problems I see on social media.
- Social Policy
(Mar 2019) - i.e. the betterment of the people through
governmental action, has many concerns when formulating and
implementing the policy. This article explores the questions
that need to be asked when formulating a social policy.
and Capitalism - (Sep 2018) - The vices and
virtues of Socialism and Capitalism.
- Swearing (Sep
2018) - The consequences and repercussions of swearing.
- Tariffs - A Double Entry Ledger
(Jun 2019) - The pro and cons of imposing tariffs.
Electoral College (Mar 2019) - An examination of
the meaning and purpose of The Electoral College.
- The Failures of the Supreme Court (May
2019) - An examination of the integrity of the courts and
incorrect or improper decisions in the latter half
of the 20th century and continuing in the 21st
The Fundamental Properties of Humanity (May 2019)
-An examination of the fundamental properties of humans; human
nature, economics, and energy.
- The Rule of
Law (Sep 2018) - Without the Rule of
Law, there can be no Justice. But the Rule of Law requires
that several concepts and tenets be enforced for Justice to
prosper. These are my thoughts on this subject.
- The Rule of Law
in Non-Judicial Proceedings (Apr 2019) - An
examination of the concepts of The Rule of Law in political
discourse and deliberations.
- The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage)
of Modern Political Debate (May 2019) - How modern
political debate has deteriorated into name calling.
- The Troubles
with TED Talks (Sep 2018) - The issues and
concerns about TED Talks.
Disguised as Virtue and Compassion (Apr 2019) -
How Virtue and Compassion can become Tyranny.
La Difference (Mar 2019) - An examination of the
differences between men and women.
- Who are you
to Judge? (Sep 2018) - To judge, or not to
judge, that is the question?
- Why is there so much poverty? (May
2019) - An examination of poverty and its causes and
solution throughout history.
- Words of
Wooden (Mar 2019) - College
Basketball coach John Wooden was renowned for his short,
simple inspirational messages to his players. Here are his
most important words and wisdom.
Observations on an Examined Life
items are excerpts from a book I have written "Observations on an Examined Life".
They are self contained items and need not be read in context of
my book. The other items above are somewhat self-contained but
may need the additional context of the book.
- Addiction (Sep
2018) - My personal experience and perspective on Addiction.
- Depression &
Anxiety (Sep 2018) - My personal experience
and perspective on Depression & Anxiety.
- Introverted (Sep
2018) - My personal experience and perspective on
Peace Be Upon You (Sep 2018) - The short and
long eulogies that I have written.
- Mental Illness
(Sep 2018) - My personal experience and perspective on Mental
& Prostitution (Mar 2019) - If prostitution
is the world's oldest profession, then pornography is the
world's oldest occupation. These are my thoughts.
Speaking (Sep 2018) - A guide to
overcoming your fear of public speaking from someone who has
accomplish this feat.
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
reasoning and logical skills to reach an opinion. And it is just
my opinion which I readily admit. I am also willing to admit
that I may be wrong, and if I discover that I am wrong I am just
as readily willing to change my opinion. Therefore, check-back
every so often to determine if I have changed my opinion which
can be determine by the date of the article.
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
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
• 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
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).