A New Age of Reason And Enlightenment Is Dawning

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Hey, hello! Welcome to my new blog. I’m glad you stopped by. Have fun reading this article (or listening to the audio version in your language).

Very dramatic title, much wow!

Very dramatic title, much wow! Alternate, more honest and accurate title: Some eternally optimistic dude on the internet has delusions of grandeur and oh by the way he’s selling stuff that nobody needs, too.

Contents:
  1. Why?
  2. My motivation
  3. Culprits & victims
  4. About me
  5. Future plans
  6. Closing words

Who am I and why am I writing this?

35 years old, male. Going by the online persona/nickname ‘spreadfire’ (more on this and about myself in future articles). As a jack of all trades (and master of some), I’m interested in almost anything. Like on Instagram, I touch on a wide range of topics from my perspective: nature, health, life in general and many more. Often philosophical or wise, sometimes funny or ironic, other times poetic or just unemotional, objective and informative. With mindfulness and self-awareness.

I am trying to spread the fire of education and reason. For tolerance, love and peace. For a better world for everybody. Live long and prosper, my friends.

This unrealistic expectation gets turned into a mere hope of a utopian future frequently. But I remain optimistic. I’m not talking about some sort of “spiritual enlightenment”. Not necessarily. I’m more thinking of a concept similar to the historical Age of Reason / Enlightenment. Fun fact: The United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were inspired by ideals of the Enlightenment. Part of my blog will be about helping people to understand the world around them better. To get rid of non-fact-based ideas like religion in favor of skeptical, reasonable, informed thinking and decision-making. Based on evidence and reality instead of wishful thinking, opinions, fearmongering and propaganda. This will lead to them becoming better individuals and ultimately making the whole world a better place for everybody. Sounds ambitious but awesome, right?

The solution to ignorance is education.

Daryl Davis
Examples of harmful misinformation, lack of knowledge and bad reasoning. Witch burnings. 9/11. Conspiracy theories.
Plato and Aristotle wouldn’t have approved that…

My logic and motivation behind this

The more things people know, the less they get taken advantage of. This applies on every level, for example by the government or by religious organizations. Down to your next-door neighbor or snake-oil-salesmen fobbing off homeopathic remedies on gullible people. I’ve seen first-hand avoidable harm done to people I know and care about and we see it every day on the news around the world. The more informed society is, the easier it spots malicious intent and the less chance there is for bad people to get away with their deceptive, malignant practices. This is becoming apparent once again during the current events of the COVID-19 pandemic, where misinformation causes real harm. Churches calling for people to gather and pray together. Quacks selling ineffective and harmful ‘cures’ for the virus. To name just a few. This almost sounds like a tautology, but we can increase happiness by reducing suffering, harm and pain.

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one

John Lennon

Culprits = Victims?

But it also goes the other way – people are both on the giving and receiving end of misinformation, blind faith and erroneous reasoning. We are both culprits and victims. People can do bad things for bad reasons. Witch burnings, 9/11, burning 5G towers. There are countless examples throughout human history where harm was done that could have been avoided through education and reason with ethical guidelines like secular humanism. In this regard, some of us are still in the middle ages but with 21st-century technology to spread bad ideas. We have to do our best to counteract the spread of misinformation. The contemporary term “FAKE NEWS!” comes to mind (I know, it’s a loaded term but I just use it in its purest sense here, meaning false information, no matter if provided accidentally or on purpose). We should skeptically question and investigate claims, using proven methods to determine their validity and truth.

With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil – that takes religion.

Steven Weinberg
FAKE NEWS! Lincoln died in 1865.

Something about me:

  • I actively try to be as mindful and self-aware as I can be.
  • I’m aware of how privileged I am to live in modern Western society, neither having to fear for my life nor facing existential struggles every day. I’m also extremely grateful for that. (I started writing this before the COVID-19 outbreak, so put a relative perspective on that. But in general, it still applies.)
  • Appreciative of the little things, trying to consciously enjoy every moment of our existence.
  • Self-criticism, positivity, self-improvement – one has to acknowledge flaws first in order to address them
  • Rational thinking, skeptic. Striving to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible (thanks for this line, Matt Dillahunty)
  • Problem-solving mentality – coming from a software developer background, but this is helpful in all areas of life
  • Curiosity and interest in everything in this world. “How does this work? Let me try this and find out more about it.”
  • Open-minded, willing to break out of my bubble and looking beyond the horizon

Life is about the journey, not the destination.

spreadfire

I am conveying these messages and values not purely altruistically, but also because it’s fun and fulfilling. Also, the more people I reach, the better I believe the world to become. The same goes for education and liberalization in general, I don’t claim to be special in that regard. On top of that, I wanna tell you for full transparency: as part of my ever-present curiosity, my drive to expand my skill sets and broadening my horizon, I’m currently exploring the monetizability of my self-created content.

What to expect?

  • Helpful and informative articles about self-improvement in various areas (e.g. mental health during social distancing/quarantine – to advertise probably one of my next articles; minimalistic lifestyle)
  • DEBUNKED (series) – how to do proper research, raise awareness of scams, conspiracy theories and how to communicate effectively
  • Extended content complementing my Instagram pages (nature | wisdom | fun, quotes), adding bonus value and information.
  • Do you like podcasts? Listen to the audio version of any of my articles by using the play button at the top.
  • Nature bike trips vlog. Slow down in today’s fast-paced society. (big MAYBE…I usually like to travel light, without video or photo camera)
  • Behind the scenes photography footage
  • Personal or other stories that were too long for Instagram
  • Overall, this is all subject to change. This is the vague plan I have now but let’s see where we’ll end up.

Shop, if you like my stuff and want to support me:

  • Merchandise (shirts and mugs with quotes and stuff)
  • Art (my work on canvas or poster, to hang on your wall or wherever you like)

Blah, blah, blah

So far for the ‘teaser’. More coming soon. Make sure not to miss my next post and subscribe to my email newsletter:

I’ll go into more detail and be much more specific and targeted in future articles. It would just go beyond the scope of this introductory post, as the topics I touched on are of seemingly endless depth. One could fill a whole book about this stuff (insiders recognize this running gag from my Instagram, where I tend to babble away once in a while – when I’m in the mood and take the time).

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I am grateful that people like my pictures and writings. I don’t take it for granted. Even though I’m not THAT surprised, considering my (self-professed) ingenuity. You’ll find that irony and sarcasm are among the requirements to fully understand me in my infinite wisdom. I think it’s important not to take yourself too serious but serious enough to appreciate yourself.

Thanks for reading and congratulations if you made it this far. As always, have a great time!


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