Greetings, Jonathan here again! As a matter of good housekeeping, I should note that this blog is meant to be an update on the organization and our website. However, as part of my introduction to Love Knowledge in these first two blog entries, I will be getting more personal for reasons described below.
The first post was more of a high-level overview of where and how Love Knowledge came about. In this second post I want to give more details on my background and philosophy. I think this is important because with any news or information source, a fundamental question should be about trust. How do you know you can trust this website? What is our agenda? Anyone can write anything in an about page and make it sound good, but is it genuine?
These questions apply to any media outlet (websites, newspapers, TV channels, etc), and our organization is of course no exception. We will be openly discussing these questions as we plan on being as transparent as possible. We also plan to spend considerable time analyzing all the information sources we encounter in an effort to give you the best of the best. For now though, I want to focus on the source I know best, Love Knowledge.
The brief anecdote of my life story that follows won’t actually prove anything but I hope it can give some context around the motivation for creating this organization. I think the only proof one can receive for the trustworthiness of a source is through their behavior over time. We hope to accomplish this by continuously delivering on our mission and what we have promised to our users.
Going back to an earlier time in my life when I was in elementary school, maybe 10 or so years old, I remember we had a special speaker give us a speech about our future. I cannot recall anything specific that was said, but I remember coming away with the idea that I should be the best person I could be in life. From that point on, that was something I would try my best to live by. Although my definition of what that meant changed over time, the fundamental principle has remained.
Up to and including my first year of college, my vision of what the “best person” I could be was to be as wealthy as possible. This was the American dream I saw portrayed in media and pop culture (i.e. money, cars, mansions, etc). I chose finance as a career path with the hope to eventually be an investment banker or management consultant and achieve all those “valuable” possessions.
Luckily, I soon discovered the subject of philosophy and my natural curiosity took over in leaps and bounds. I became consumed with the subject and with the questioning of so many things. Seeking the truth about life became such a passion of mine that I abandoned my ‘American dream’ goal in exchange for one that would pursue knowledge and try to help the world however I could. The best person I could be essentially changed from a selfishly oriented goal to an altruistic one.
In my early days of college I also discovered a phenomenon called the near-death experience (and for those who are not aware, these are experiences of those close to physical death that describe traveling through a tunnel to a bright light, encountering deceased loved ones, and so forth). I was fascinated by such accounts but, being skeptical by nature, I did not just believe them on face value. I spent considerable time and effort investigating to see if there was any objective truth to these experiences or were they purely subjective experiences in one’s mind. I eventually came to believing in the validity of such experiences and this laid down a foundation of philosophical beliefs that I hold to this day.
As mentioned in the about page, one such belief I came away with was the idea that the only things we take with us at death are love and knowledge. I reflected on this idea when I first heard it and tried to reconcile that with all the ideas and thoughts I was studying in my philosophy courses. To me the idea made sense even if I could not prove it. To live a life in pursuit of one’s loves, to be loving in nature, to find true love, and so on, was in keeping with thoughts I had on what an ideal society would look like. Similarly, seeking knowledge and wisdom was also in keeping with such thoughts as it would allow society to better understand the nature of reality, to discuss with each other rationally on how we ought to live together, and so forth. Research and discussion on the near-death experience and other paranormal phenomena (and many other categories and topics not yet included on our website) will certainly be addressed in the near future. See our forum post here for more information on future plans.
I went on to double major in both finance and philosophy. I kept pursuing the finance degree primarily for two reasons. One, I saw better prospects of graduating with a job and a good income if I stuck with finance and two, I still hoped to make a lot of money but now towards the goal of helping others. I went on to spend 10 years in the finance industry until I was able to save up enough to quit my job and work full-time on launching this website.
And here we are. The start of what I hope is a long journey of community engagement and meaningful discussion. We have so many issues to tackle and we need to start moving in the right direction very fast because our current trajectory does not inspire confidence.
Please join our website, participate in our forums, post articles, share your thoughts, and be respectful of each other. I see way too many personal attacks online and too little civilized discussion. We want to foster a community of civil communication using fact based arguments, links to sources, and open-mindedness in dealing with differing perspectives. We also highly encourage users to join in our discussions of how to make this website a better platform to facilitate such discussion and collaboration. Love Knowledge intends to grow together with our community and we hope many of you get involved.
Stay tuned for much more ahead!