On this site:
What does Jack do?
I’m a philosopher/writer in my late fifties who has been transitioning in the last few years out of a blue-collar career into one of teaching the humanities for a living. (Music, Public Speaking, Civics, Ettiquette, Bible, etc.) In live in Laurel, MT, just west of Billings. I write profusely, mostly in shorter forms, such as blog posts, “poems” (some artistic, though most a bit more utilitarian in nature), and memes. I have self-published one novel, and have several other book ideas in various states of existence. I also do pro bono composing, arranging, and conducting work for a community chorus in Billings, MT.
Who is Jack?
I’m a guy who believes in God and in Truth, Justice, Righteousness, Love, Honesty, Rationality, and Responsibility. I believe that God created humankind to live in his Image and to walk in his Way. I believe we are all accountable to God, and that one of the chief causes of trouble in this world is that not enough of us are fully willing to embrace that accountability. I take what seems to be the rare view these days, that God is both kind and stern. (Romans 11:22)
I try to study the (whole) Bible—along with the extrabiblical works of the culture that wrote the Bible—at a scholarly level, which requires a lot of leisure time, so I try not to let life get out of balance when it comes to spending too much time making money. And I don’t fit in very well at church these days because of my paradigm about both the kindness/sternness thing, as well as because of the pursuit of excellence in Bible study and doctrine. I do, however, enjoy constant Bible dialog with my wife and son, and with several close online friends.
When it comes to politics, I believe in the Rule of Law (notice the accountability theme continuing from my religion into my politics)—such as the United States of America (where I live) is supposed to follow under our (pretty-decent) Constitution. But my position on this is not independent from my position on God and accountability, and the other subjects mentioned in the paragraph above. Therefore, I don’t belong to any political party—in part, because I don’t know of one that doesn’t compromise on the paradigms I’ve mentioned so far. And what’s the point of compromise? You can read or listen to my American Fire political philosophy (8 minutes), or get the extended version in my novel, Benjamin True.
COGNITIVE SCIENCE / PHILOSOPHY
I have invested significantly since 2011 or so in studying the psychology of rational thought, in an attempt to come to understand just why it is so hard to get people to change their minds, even when you have all the fact, logic, and sourcing that should be necessary to convince them to do so. While there are certainly people up to no good in every field of human endeavor (including some in mental health services), I have found enough good work among some on the research end of Cognitive Science to be very useful to me in understanding what most people (including myself!) are like.
If you want a short-form primer in Reality-Based Thinking watch my pilot episode here. (90 minutes). Meanwhile, my novel spells out my cognitive/moral philosophy of “Reality-Based Thinking” (so far) in what is hopefully an entertaining narrative fashion, while a future non-fiction work will spell it out more descriptively, whenever I come to think I’m ready enough to publish such a thing. My most ardent philosophical concern, probably, is “What kind of people are we?“
Homeschool classes/courses in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Voice lessons teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Voice classes teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Solo & Ensemble Festival coach in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Singing coach in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Vocal ensemble coach in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Vocal ensemble director in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Guitar lessons teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Guitar classes teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Music-reading lessons teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Music-reading class teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Ettiquette class in teacher Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
US Constitution class teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Public Speaking class teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Public Speaking lessons teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Trombone lessons teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Clarinet lessons teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Skits Troupe in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT
Skits /Acting lesson troupe teacher in Billings, MT / Laurel, MT