Questions For Friends is a place for inquiry and discussion. Armed with nothing but a question mark, I'll try to add something to conversations with your friends, no matter who they are. Asking questions about politics, the culture, and philosophy--content for all and for none.

 

 Painting by Osnat Tzadok

 

The Genesis

2017 marks the first second year that I haven't been a student since pre-K, and 2016 was the first. I always loved the classroom. For me, three hours of conversation in an interesting seminar with other engaged folk is heaven. Still, after some 20 consecutive years as a student, I was ready for a change, and conversations in the classroom changed to conversations with friends...

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I have also always loved a debate. As of 2017, I have spent 12 of my 26 years in the debate community, sometimes as participant, sometimes as coach, sometimes as spectator. There is something animal about the thrill of an argument, whether its politics or spousal. Teeth are bared. I still love to juxtapose ideas, score wins and losses, and dance with words.  

However, I love to learn more than any debate, and debates do more to enrage than inform or persuade. Moreover, it seems like in most circles, some assumptions are not even up for debate. As I entered into teaching (starting my 5th year!), here are a few issues I found both sides dogmatic on: charter schools, the role of unions, federal vs. state control. If I wanted to convince someone, or even learn something other than dogmatic party line, no amount of debate tactics would get me there. I needed questions...

The Project

Enter summer 2017. No extensive vacations, time off work, and a desire to keep learning. More, the world seemed stranger than ever before - Trump's election, wild politics, institutions that seem to make less and less sense each day... Even worse, the amount of media sources and interpretations is near infinite, and an inquisitive mind has a hard place figuring where to start. Even not knowing where to start, I had a mission: getting out of the cognitive biases that were, and still are, on display during Trump's era. 

So study and conversation began. If you are curious some of the things I have been studying, check out the food for thought page. I had no idea that my summer would result in any writing or product, but here we are. I've long thought of creating a website, and I'm glad I finally took the initiative. I would appreciate any help or feedback that you want to offer. As of now, this is super preliminary and will likely change in many ways. I'm definitely open to suggestion.


Questions For Friends is dedicated to always asking one more good question to keep the conversation open. More, QFF is dedicated to adding reliable or comedic sources that can add a little extra spice to the dialogue. I'll attempt to keep it light and humorous, but its hard in philosophy. Remember, if the post is too long, skip to the tl;dr section at the bottom. Topics covered: music, hip hop culture which is the only culture, politics, movies, philosophy, futurism, technology....

If you get bored, skip the article, just ask the question. 


A question can cut through the fog and explicate a problem in astonishing clarity. A question can make the world understandable in ways never before. A question can stick with someone for years, or a society for generations. A question can help you learn. 

One of my favorite philosopher duos, Deleuze and Guatarri, say that writing should always happen in the unknown, that is, writing should explore concepts and ideas unfamiliar and strange. To write about something you already know is to do very little. I can think of no other way to pay homage to this tip than by grounding my text in honest questions. If you don't like what I say now, ask me a good question and a year later, I will have a different opinion.  This text will never be finished, and it will never be totally known.