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About Joe the Thinker

 

Joe the  Thinker reading a bookJoe is a 70-year-old "child of the Enlightenment" and, therefore, what is currently considered to be a "liberal." To minimize possible confusion, we should note that his image on the left was taken in the late 1960s, when Joe was in his middle twenties and managing a popular bookstore near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
   Since the term liberal has been so viciously and unjustly deprecated of late by that modern brood of neanderthalers who refer to themselves as conservatives, Joe insists on deferring to the meaning of the word as it appears in common dictionaries of the English language.

   Specifically, the word "liberal" denotes, among other things:

  •  showing or characterized by broad-mindedness
  •  having generous and broad sympathies
  •  tolerant of his opponent's opinions [as much as is practical—ed.]
  •  having political or social views favoring reform and progress
  •  tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy or tradition
  •  giving freely, as in "a big tipper"

and, in general, having the following qualities (in alphabetical order for ease of reference):

  • bighearted
  • bounteous
  • bountiful
  • giving
  • handsome
  • openhanded
  • openminded
  • reasonable
  • sentient
  • etc., etc.

Further, he believes:

  • along with Thomas Jefferson, that the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century was, overall, a good thing for mankind
  • democracy can only be differentiated from mob rule if the masses are knowledgeable and able to practice critical thinking
  • science or, more specifically, the scientific method is the most fruitful way to seek and define truth—it is mankind's only hope for survival
  • religion is like a cataract over the eyes of the people, causing them to flail aimlessly at things they sense but don't understand. Rational thought (i.e., reason) is the only way to truth. (Note: Buddhism is a philosophy, not a religion.)

   Joe's background includes over five years of college, studying mathematics, physics, chemistry, electronics and computer engineering, philosophy, and the history of mankind and civilization. He has worked as a professional printer, a submersible pilot, a PCB (printed circuit board) designer, and a college instructor in CAD, digital animation and computer programming in several languages. He spent fourteen years cruising the Americas (North, Middle and South) in a small sailboat with his significant other, playing guitar and fruitfully learning about peoples outside the territorial boundaries of the United States.

   Now retired, he is devoted to his four-year-old granddaughter and spends most of his time reading, writing and designing websites. He insists that he has led a happy and fulfilling life to date and only vainly wishes that, if there is a god, the latter would swoop down and vaporize every Republican and fascist on earth in time for Joe to witness it before he dies. That, he maintains, is his version of the "rapture" and, if it were to happen, he pledges that he would cease being a devout atheist and bend his knee to a deity that, for the first time in history, has proven He (or She or It) is magnanimous and truly compassionately concerned about the fate of humanity. —Pax vobis.