A Complete List of Short Pieces

An Index of Works by O.G. Rose (First to Newest)

Frozen Glory Photography

Aliens, Seatbelts, and the Coronavirus

There is always a gray zone between anxiety and wise precaution.


The Class Marx Missed

Capitalism can collapse but doesn’t have to inevitably like Marx thought.


Pangolins and Sandcastles

After a few hours, the adults finish their intricate sand-city.


A Beautiful End

If you want democracy to survive and Capitalism to be its best form, then you should defend beauty.


Midwives and Metaphors

Language is the culprit.


Hope Entails Expectation, but Expectation isn’t Hope

Mess with fire as little as you can.


Market Legitimization

Markets, law, and government all have a similar problem.


Ideas are Practically Eyes

Ideas define practicality.


MAD Capitalism and Mixed Market Rationality

It’s rational to be invincible, but what if invincibility only benefits you?


Breaking New(s)

If you skip the old books and go straight to the breaking news, it will probably just break you.


You Couldn’t Have Been Listening if You Don’t Think Like Me

If someone doesn’t change their views into yours, they must be closed-minded.


Ascent Landing

If you can’t tell if it’s true, ask whom it will help (but don’t assume that’s easy to determine).


Feeling Good About School

School can train us to “always” wait for our feeling of being reasonable to be confirmed.


Søren or Holden on a Roof

You are born in a theater and have never been outside…


If We Think for Ourselves Without Falsification, We’ll Probably Go Crazy.

Both crazy people and geniuses think for themselves. The difference is that a crazy person tries to verify their crazy ideas, while geniuses try to falsify them.


Arguing Hume Through a Wedding Venue

If I believe it’s going to rain today, it is rational for me to bring along my umbrella, but if it doesn’t rain, does that mean I acted illogically?


In Infinite Information Over Enough Time…

All ideas lacking internal contradiction will be discovered, plausible, intellectually dishonest to outright dismiss, and possibly wrong.


On Consciousness, Creativity, and Being

To talk about consciousness is to take your life into your own hands.

Where there is freedom, there will be limits, so the existence of limits does not necessarily prove the nonexistence of freedom. In fact, limits are what make freedom possible and could be evidence of its presence. Thus, if determinism is to disprove free will, it must prove not so much limits, but external influences on a will that keep it from being free. Keep in mind that a will that influences itself is a free will.

If w candidate was Pro-Choice but supported every other issue you supported, while candidate z was Pro-Life but was against every other issue you supported, would you vote for w instead of z?

If x candidate was a racist but supported every other issue you supported, while candidate y wasn’t a racist but was against every other issue you supported, would you vote for x or y?

Is there an “ultimatum issue” in your worldview?

Jobs and money are created, so it does not necessarily follow that someone takes a job or paycheck from someone else in working and gaining a raise. The rich are not necessarily rich at the expense of the poor, as the employed are not necessarily employed at the expense of the unemployed. But what if growth stagnates? What if wealth ceases to be created?

If “What Is the Meaning of My Life?” Doesn’t Work, Try “What Do I Find Beautiful?”

Look at beauty and increase your capacity to experience it. Meaning can be found indirectly.


On “How Do We Escape? by Justin Murphy and Johannes Niederhauser”

Our “towardness” to the world has changed: everything is a potential commodity for our online lives.


Check Out Flourish Tech

Relationships Require Skills.


The Unexamined Life Isn’t Easy to Live

There’s better life insurance out there.


Story Is The Structure of Life and Fiction

“Fiction” and “false” are not always similes, which adds complexity.


Certainty Entails a Lot of Unintended Consequences

Certainty makes us fearful, fragile, anti-diverse, nihilistic, vulnerable to conspiracies, and hurts democracy.


Anxiety and Schrödinger’s Conceivability Structures

Today, we personally experiencing our lack of omniscience and the impossibility of particularizing general conceivability structures in large systems, and this entails existential consequences.


Memory Is the Mind’s Air

Memories are the conditions that make thought and finding patterns possible; without them, our lives live through us more than we live our lives.


Phenomenology as a Method for Avoiding Formalism

We need definitions and structures, but how can we create them without risking arbitrary restriction and oppression?


Structural Homomorphism in Argument

Failure to understand the “sharing of argumentative forms” leaves us defenseless against a way our minds seek to trick us.


On the Term “Subjective”

It might not mean humility.


Short Pieces on Thinking About Thinking

This is a preview list of short pieces I wrote focused on “thinking about thinking,” mental models, epistemology, and the like…


On the Invasion of the Capitol and Our Brains

Why do we believe someone is behind everything?


Is Social Media a Crowded Movie Theater?

If we accept limiting free speech in a crowded space, then we need to have a hard conversation about social media.


Is There Ever Real Progress in Philosophy?

If the Great Conversation never ends, why bother?


Are There No Answers In Philosophy?

We are surrounded by questions we can only answer incompletely,


Are People Being Radicalized?

YouTube is accused of causing radicalization, but is “radicalization” even a useful category?


Everyone Is Rational

The problems we need to solve are much deeper.


Why Calls for Unity Don’t Work

Until we achieve “substantive democracy,” replace “tolerance” with “humility,” accept possible vulnerability to moral monsters, and accept the impossibility of certainty, calls for unity will feel scripted.



“Talking” is about dinner, what we did today, how we’re feeling, etc. “Metatalking” is about why we thought it was good to do what we did today, why we felt x way when y happened, etc. Relationships, politics, and the like suffer without both.


Is It Good to Want to Be Missed?

Is it good to want people to miss us when we’re gone? Or is that selfish?


On Justification and Consequences to Others

The amount of justification an argument needs to be accepted should be considered as relative to the degree that the consequences of the argument are contained and individuated versus uncontained and nonindividuated.


Rationality Is Mostly About Making Good Bets

Well too bad we live mostly in a world of probabilities, though by how rationality and logic are often discussed, it’s suggested we live in a world composed mostly of basic syllogisms.


I Think, Therefore There Is Reason To Think

Descartes does not prove we exist, only that we are a closed system that must assume our existence in order to proceed.


Essence, Substance, and Form

“That chair,” “a chair,” and “the idea of that/a chair.”


Art Is a Source for Mental Models

Art, practical, expands our toolbox, increasing our diversity of tools, and it’s inevitable that we’ll need our toolbox.


Systems Think Before Systematically Thinking

If we work hard with the wrong tool, we won’t get much done.


Economic Hardship, Resulting Extremism, and Mob Rule

Conservatism and Liberalism on the relationship between standards of living, family strength, and State involvement.


Native Tongues and Native Worldviews

How we don’t fully know a language or fully believe what we have to translate — or at least don’t feel like it.


Why Do Madness and Genius Like to Tango?

Shouldn’t they share an inverse relationship?


None of Us Are Very Smart

We should focus on “being logical” more than “being intelligent.”


Beauty and Art Inspire Creativity

If our desire to create increases as does our experience of beauty and meaning, increasing aesthetic capacities increases creativity.


Explanations Are Not Evidence

Explanations are the groundwork that make evidence possible, but explanations are not evidence in of themselves.


Neurodiversity Overcomes Rational Impasses and Stops Eugenics

Is neurodiversity the best way to escape Nash Equilibriums?


Particularity, Situatedness, and Knowing Where We Are

Specificity helps us locate ourselves, so does that mean generality and duplication contribute to us feeling lost?



Do we use questions to increase wonder or to wound?


Willing and Wanting People

“Wanting” and “willing” are not similes, but the terms are so often used interchangeably that we can forget they’re not identical.


On “Why the Worst Get on Top” by Friedrich Hayek

Is the problem today Right vs Left or something bigger?


“Unleashing Criticism” Versus “Constructive Criticism”

If you’re looking for insight on YouTube, you can’t do much better than Davood Gozli’s channel…


Reality Handicaps Preventative Measures

If ideas are not experiences but the only way to avoid “tragic mistakes” is to treat ideas as if they are experiences, then we need to train ourselves to be able to be motivated by ideas as much as possible.


The Risks of Complicated Language

Using technical terms, it’s easy to miss out on deeper insights.


If We’re Post-Truth, That Can’t Be True

What we are is “post-probable.”


Conclusive Arguments Are Rare

Persuasive arguments are usually the best we can do, not arguments that “force consent.”


Looking Over Beyond Order by Jordan Peterson

What map should we use and when?


The Situational-Cosmological Argument and Financial Epistemology

What do we do if it’s impossible for us to know for sure that we’re using our time well?


Information Does Not Tell Us What It Means

Our ideology can make the meaning of information feel self-evident, but this is a mistake.


The Ubiquity of Categorization

Is applied thinking inescapably an act of categorizing?


The Dialectic Between “Meaningful Memories” and “Pure Experiences”

Living ironically while seeking a balance between the incomplete and the always “just missed.”


Evaluating Evaluation

Are we turning to the internet to figure out how to stop the internet from overwhelming us?


Why Do We Think Bookcases Won’t Randomly Transform Into Butterflies?

So why are we so sure the world out there is real or that it won’t change on us without warning? Well, I think it’s because from “lived experience,” we subconsciously and/or consciously erect our sense of solidness not upon “thought” but upon “perception.” And the problem with perception isn’t so much “subjectivity” as it is “limitedness.”


Absolute Moral Conditionality

Do moral absolutes exist? Well, even if “morally absolute acts (in-of-themselves)” don’t exist, “morally absolute categories” still could.


On the Problem of Saying “That’s Abstract”

When we associate “thinking” with “being abstract,” it’s then a small step to associate “thinking” with being “out of touch,” and after this step, it doesn’t take us long to moralize not thinking.


The Two Houses

Living offline and online…

Owning two houses is great, right? You have more equity, more space — lots of advantages! Imagine the two houses are built right next to one another and that both of them are two stories high. Great! But wait, who’s going to clean them?


Maintaining an Unstable Situation

We will only thrive if we genuinely try to best one another while paradoxically accepting an unsatisfactory tie.


Boredom Threatens Rationality

If nothing is significant, nothing is worth thinking about…


The Problem With Identifying Nihilism That Isn’t There

We learn from Samuel Barnes, the mind behind Missing Axioms, that it is impossible for us not to possess and exhibit values: as he puts it:

‘The human truth is that you have values, values which eminate from you explicitly and implicitly. Human being can never be contentless. […] Values spew from us in every stride or stumble.’

Considering these eloquent and profound sentences, when we claim nihilism — that “nothing matters” — we claim something that cannot be lived…


A Formula for Disaster

If we ever want to destroy a relationship, the following formula is a great guide:

If you cared about x, you would have done y.

Assuming intention, action, values, cares, and the like from facial expressions, choices, actions, body language, and so on — no need to look any further! It’s a great way to make life miserable (and seems so justified too)…


What Does Strauss Have to Do With Arendt?

…we can start to see how Strauss and Arendt can come together, for while “German Nihilism” can be an extreme desire to regain values, heroism, ethics, and other “givens,” “the banality of evil” is what can emergently set in within those “givens” (once they are (re)established).


In Honor of Thoughtlessness

“Thoughtlessness” is not a simile for “stupid,” as we learn from Hannah Arendt: to be “thoughtless” about x is to “not think about it,” to instead assume it, christen it an axiom, and the like. On the other hand, to be “foolish” about x is to get x wrong, to be illogical about x, and so on. Society doesn’t honor foolishness, but “thoughtless people” can be called “people of principles,” “people of convictions,” and so on. In this way, honor and social capital can be found…


Is Metaphysics Unfalsifiable?

If for one person on the planet a “lack” is objectively real, while for everyone else the “lack” is only subjective, is it the case that the “lack” is objectively real?


Basic Math

2 + 2 and simplistic points on determining truth in our bias/funding/partisan/etc.-obsessed world.


A Few Thoughts on a “Philosophy of Lack” (Discussion 1)

Caddell, Tim, Alex, and I recently started a conversation series on the role of “lack” in our lives. Cadell opened the conversation beautifully by suggesting that, after Parmenides, Western thought has been almost exclusively focused on “being,” which has left us ill-prepared to address the role of “lack” in our lives…

The account of a philosophical journey on how practical questions can help us solve abstract inquiries: it is not an “either/or” decision.

What if there are ideas we must (re)learn every generation, ideas we naturally experience though as “already learned?”

Can we really call something a “philosophical system” if every part isn’t dependent on every other part?

Guy Sengstock recently shared a beautiful elaboration on the wonder of teaching — that magic of “getting it” — and explored the meaning and nature of that experience. He mentioned “the special learning that reconstitutes the world” and how “the world is co-constituted by us” — the video is worth every minute. Particularly, I wanted to focus in on his discussion about the FedEx Arrow…

Ideas cannot be about themselves. Try to think of something that has nothing to do with something you’ve experienced. A unicorn? That’s a combination of a horse with a horn, both of which you’ve (probably) experienced. A time traveling space station? That consists of shapes and colors and likely resembles a machine you’ve seen. Also, you’re familiar with time…

Another term for “Stock Market” is “Capital Markets,” which should remind us that a point of Wall Street is the allocation and reallocation of resources and capital for the real economy. If Wall Street loses its connection with Main Street — if stocks basically have nothing to do with the real economy — there will be costly inefficiencies.

We are careful with words because we don’t want to hurt people, but what about being careful so that we don’t fail to make the most of our lives? The first extremely important concern is the focus of the councilor, but the second, which is equally as important, is the concern of the philosopher.

Since it is not possible for us to choose or desire anything “entirely on our own” (meaning “autonomously” and without any reference to “external sources”), then we must look “beyond” thinking to decide “what we should do” […] And what do we see in our immediate experience? Other people living other lives […] [I]f we see in our experience Sam doing x, then Sam provides “reason to think” x is worth doing…

Imagine you were forced to look at something you couldn’t do anything about. Torture, right? What if you were forced to look at a problem you couldn’t solve — wouldn’t that eat at you? Well, paradoxically, that’s exactly what we can do to ourselves when we focus on something. Why? Because the wrong kind of focus can turn off our creative brains, making us less dynamic in our thinking and more linear, which makes us more unable to discover solutions.

It can be rational to distrust the institutions, experts, and authorities we require to be rational, but it is rarely clear when we should distrust them (and which), seeing as we probably need the institutions, experts, and authorities to help us figure this out — which puts us in a vicious circular problem…

To speak generally, to financially survive, Millennials today mostly find themselves stuck with “Continual Work,” while Generation X had a lot more “Completable Work,” and this contributes to the cultures talking past one another constantly. Most vividly, “working hard” is a value that has been complexified, for whereas Millennials must decide when to “pause” Continual Work, previous generations just had to “finish” their Completable Work. Completable Work “decides for us” when we should stop working, whereas Continual Work forces us to decide when we will “pause” (for the sake of a “work/life balance,” perhaps). But if we choose to “pause” working, we can be accused of and feel like “we’re not working as hard as we could.” After all, we didn’t have to “pause”…

David Hume believed that philosophy’s greatest problem was philosophy itself, for philosophy could unleash incredible violence upon the world. At the same time, Hume understood the answer wasn’t to avoid philosophy entirely, for “critical reasoning” was necessary for a people to defend themselves from tyrants, “bad philosophy,” and the like…

Heidegger didn’t like Sartre: the father of Being and Time basically saw Being and Nothingness as trash. When I first learned this, I was surprised: I thought Sartre sounded similar to Heidegger (on first glance). But then it became clear that Heidegger wanted to remove “the subject” from the focus of our consideration regarding “the question of being,” and here Sartre came along and put “the subject” right back into the middle of the conversation. That upset Heidegger, but why? With all the talk on authenticity and existential concerns found in Heidegger, why was this such a big deal?

Imagine a single person playing violin in a room by himself. Two blocks down the road, there is a woman playing violin alone, and three blocks down from her, a different woman is playing a flute. This continues for hundreds of miles with hundreds of musicians. None of the musicians can hear one another; none of the musicians wonder about themselves in the presence of one another. Musicians may feel loneliness, but there is little existential anxiety.

This is soloing. This is isolationism. This seems to align more with human nature…

If we never think philosophically, our positions on these questions will likely be ones we “absorb” from our surroundings versus ones we pick for ourselves. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will be wrong, but it does mean we could end up like cattle stuck between fences. Sure, we have a field we can roam around in, but we’re ultimately not free. At best, we only have free range.

Continental Philosophy is mostly in the business of “knowing by absence and tracing,” whereas Analytical Philosophy is mostly in the business of “knowing by presence and directly.”

“Paradox” and “contradiction” are often used like similes, but paradoxes are different. Contradictions are combinations of inconsistencies that negate, which means they can only exist in thought and cannot be experienced.¹ A paradox, however, is a combination of inconsistencies that don’t negate, and this is because though paradoxes may logically negate, they don’t experientially negate. Where there isn’t a strong distinction between “thinking” and “perceiving” or “ideas” and “experiences,” it is only natural for the terms “paradox” and “contradiction” to practically become similes, which I think is what has generally happened in the West. This has cost us the category of “paradox,” and where we lose a category of language, we also lose a category of experience (our world shrinks)…

Human motivations are complex. Why people work the jobs they do can be a mixture of reasons like “I don’t mind it,” “It provides for the family,” “I learn some skills,” and so on. Naturally though, we tend to assume linear and simplistic explanations (or at least reflect such in speech), and basically claim that if a person is working x job, he or she “must like it.” And perhaps there is truth to this, but the problematic step is acting like this explanation “explains the whole of it” — a dangerous and natural step…

Philosophers for centuries have struggled with the relationship between freedom and knowledge. If I know there is a million-dollar check in the mailbox, am I really free not to walk up to the mailbox and check? It would seem I am free to deny the option, but am I really?

Since we are in time and can’t discuss everything at once, we must discuss things within sequence, and thus we can never avoid creating the impression that we think x is better than y. For, again, we must discuss things one at a time, and we can always ask “Why is the person discussing one thing and not the other? The very act/choice of doing so suggests the person must think x is more important than y, for otherwise the person would be discussing y.” And so on.

It’s unfortunate we decided to run with the phrase “critical thinking”: we would have saved ourselves a lot of trouble and confusion had we stuck with “deep thinking” or “dynamic thinking.” Instead, we strapped ourselves to a language that suggests we’re profound and insightful if we’re insulting; as a result, someone who criticizes something seems to be someone “who knows what they’re talking about.” This puts a lot of social capital in the hands of people who are hard to please, and I think Charlie Munger is right: “Show me the incentives and I will show you the outcome.In a world where “critical thinking” is associated with “criticizing,” it’s smart to be difficult.

Iowa. Broken Pencil. Allegory. Write Launch. Ponder. Pidgeonholes. W&M. Poydras. Toho. ellipsis. O:JA&L. West Trade. UNO. Pushcart Nominee. linktr.ee/ogros

Iowa. Broken Pencil. Allegory. Write Launch. Ponder. Pidgeonholes. W&M. Poydras. Toho. ellipsis. O:JA&L. West Trade. UNO. Pushcart Nominee. linktr.ee/ogros