Allan's Philosophy Podcast Headline Animator

Allan's Philosophy Podcast

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Philosophy is Phun Podcast #21 - Getting Along

This episode I am joined by Tommy Wyderko as we discuss getting along and who it is easier to do it with. We disprove the theory that opposites attract and talk about why it is necessary for the advancement of humanity. Enjoy!

Philosophy is Phun Podcast # 20 - Power of the Mind

This is the first episode where I have multiple guests running in our tiny chat room running on the so the audio might be bad but we are working on it. Anyways, Isaac Kim came up with the topic for discussion with Tom Heinrichs and I about how your mind and thinking about things can influence the outcome of events. Enjoy!

Phun-size Philosophy #1 - Fear

Fear can be a huge inhibitor of progress because you can be too scared to take chances or risks that can potentially benefit you greatly. Because there is always a chance for something to go wrong and no 100% guarantees, those with fear most likely won't be willing to take those extra leaps of faith. People like security and stability and just because there is the possibility of failure some who have low confidence in their ability are less likely to try new things. It is important to try new things because that is where you get the most enjoyment as it broadens your horizons and perspective and it is necessary to take some smart risks to reap the most rewards in life.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Philosophy on Facebook # 41 – Potential

School is FINALLY OVER! At least for summer but it is such a relief that we have some time just to chill. I will still be kind of busy with work at NASA and college visits and such but I will hopefully have more time to devote to the blog and podcast so look forward to some more great philosophy! I am also looking to expand my reach and advertise some more so if anybody has any ideas on where to start that’d be awesome! I made fliers and business cards and have started putting them up and handing them out and if anybody would want to help be that’d be awesome too!

So the inspiration for this post came from the last couple days of school looking at everybody who already graduated and those who soon will be. One of the coolest things I like to think about is where people will be in the future. I don’t know if anybody thinks about these things but I look around at all the amazing people that surround me in my life and try to picture where their lives will be years down the road. I think high school reunions are awesome because they allow you to see the progression of those you knew before their careers and adult lives really took off. We are on the threshold of adulthood and seeing the potential that people have I find is a very fascinating topic.

So having a good potential basically signifies a bright future and hope. It is basically what things have the ability to become. It is the view that in the future you will become great and one of the best but for now it is just a dream. How do you determine if someone has a lot of potential? There are many indicators and the main thing is that they are time sensitive. They show from an early beginning that there is a good chance that they will improve tremendously. These things can be determined numerous ways. One is through experts in the field that there are judging others on. Stephen Strasburg who is one of the biggest up and coming pitchers in the MLB was probably ranked and judged by other pitchers and trainers to determine his skill and what the future has in store from him. Through training camp they probably could see that Strasburg already had a lot of skill and would only become better in the future. People like him usually exemplify outstanding attributes that are out of their league and usually at a young age.

Potential usually is derived from two main things. The first is the current ability you exude. If you show a lot of promise you will definitely show out from the rest of your peers within your age group. You may in fact already be on par or better than those who are viewed as being in the elite group of the best of the rest. The second is the opportunities your surroundings provide. Here is another instance where your environment is a factor. You may be the best chef in your whole neighborhood but if you don’t have the opportunity to show people on a larger scale that you have what it takes to be the next great, they will never reach that status. I am sure we all know great singers capable of being the next hit but without things like American Idol, most have very slim chances of ever reaching such level. It is important to show the right people your potential if you want to make it big because skill alone is usually not enough.

These people who get noticed at a young age, like Strasburg, are what we call prodigies. These people hit the ground running and usually get a lot of attention early on. I don’t think anybody really knows how prodigies form. Maybe they just have the right DNA that allows them to show a lot of promise. They are basically omens showing huge improvement to raise the bar of what is currently the standard. I see in sports magazines all the time articles like “faces in the crowd” that show high school athletes you should keep an eye on because in the future they will be the stars. The one problem with these prodigies is the fact that they gain a lot of attention early on means that they have to live up to the hype. There will always be people who have so much potential and hype associated with them that it is impossible to live up to. This reminds me of She’s out of my League where they put a hot girl up on a pedestal but they will never be as good as you imagine because you believe that they are way better than they actually are. It is a huge disappointment when things don’t live up to expectations and it can make you feel like a failure if you don’t live up to the expectations held for you so sometimes it is necessary to have a reality check.

Prodigies are usually where the most potential is shown. Prodigies have a requirement as being young because potential and ability usually have a decline as time goes one. This is especially the case in sports where the body starts to decline limiting your abilities. The thing is though that it isn’t just sports where people show potential and other areas are less time sensitive. This is where late bloomers come in and how not everyone right off the bat shows the same levels of potential. You don’t necessarily need to have potential in the first place to become a great because there are instances where ability can seem to show up out of nowhere as people start to grow more and more. The benefit of this is that these late bloomers don’t have the pressures of living up to the expectations prodigies do because they usually don’t have any.

When I mentioned that potential doesn’t always appear in those that become greats, I feel like this is true in almost everyone. I feel like there is some sort of untapped energy that is within anyone and those that find ways to open it can become the best person that they can be. There are always those hidden jewels and gems who don’t realize what they have unless by a freak accident where they suddenly find out that they are the next Yo-Yo Ma or Pablo Picasso. I feel like the best way to find out such potential is through trying your best at everything you do and try as many new things as possible. There is some activity out there that you are bound to be amazing out, you just need to find it. I believe that everyone has potential; some are just more noticeable that others and everyone have a lot more to develop and progress into everyday of their lives.

I want to stress the fact that opportunity doesn’t always equate to success. There are plenty of people who were hyped up but didn’t go on to do any good but sometimes there isn’t any way to prevent it and things just weren’t meant to be. Potential represents the talk because they talk of the future. You can’t always show your actions now but you can continuously work towards them in the future. What you can do to make sure you meet the hype you receive is to practice continuously. I read in an article on the SAT’s that you need at least 10,000 hours to be considered a professional in whatever field you are working towards. It talked about how people with natural ability still need to work hard or they will never reach their potential. You are the one who needs to put things into action and not let others dictate what you will be capable of. While you can’t always change your potential or the hype that others set for you, you can certainly increase your chances for turning your potential into success and making all the hype a reality.

-Allan Nicholas

Philosophy is Phun Podcast # 19 - Sacrifices

This episode we discuss sacrifices and the underlying reasons for why we do it. We also talk about the different implications when deciding when to make a sacrifice and how it relates to your priorities and commitments. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Philosophy is Phun Podcast # 20 - Power of the Mind

This is the first episode where I have multiple guests running in our tiny chat room running on the so the audio might be bad but we are working on it. Anyways, Isaac Kim came up with the topic for discussion with Tom Heinrichs and I about how your ;mind and thinking about things can influence the outcome of events. Enjoy!

Philosophy on Facebook # 40 – War

Hey guys! So the podcast is going strong. I have around 400 subscribers now! I am trying to get up the new podcast I did yesterday with Tom Heinrichs and Isaac Kim about the power of the mind but my computer is messed up but I will put it up as soon as I can. I am also finally getting around to fulfilling the request that Jon Witt made like a month ago where he asked "when is war legitimate?" Well Jon Witt I have an answer!

I think a good place to start is relating this to when is it ok to fight like can you fight if someone has disrespected you, out of revenge, or in self defense. I want to talk about vengeance and is it ok to get even. I heard once that you can’t get ahead if you try to get even. The answer to this question is mainly influenced by your own personal philosophy of a moral justice system. This relates to my Philosophy is Phun podcast # 5 about an eye for an eye. It really depends on what you believe is right and wrong which is derived from many factors such as your upbringing, your environment, and those who influence your life like your parents. Of course there are some baseline ethics like you shouldn’t beat up a defenseless innocent person. There are those out there though who do such things despite the fundamental and basic morals society may have. When America goes to war and in highly unstable areas like Iraq, people start feeling like these fundamental morals are being violated. Because there are so many lives on the line and so much death and destruction already happening, as well as more to come, it really makes us question our own morals.

There are many motivators to war and why it occurs. Back to the basic primordial days, resources have been a major motivator to fight others. We live in a world of vital limited resources that are necessities for life and when one person depletes their supply, they will look elsewhere to get more. If the resource was so essential and the person had no other means to attain the depleted supplies, they will then go to extremes in order to obtain what they need. For instance, if you need food in order to survive you would probably break into a grocery store or someone else’s fridge in order to get the sustenance you needed if the situation ever came to it. I think this applies especially to situations where your emotions get involved. Love can be a huge motivator that will push people over the edge to commit unthinkable sins in order to preserve the security and safety of a loved one. This has been exploited in numerous movies where you see the heroes loved ones taken away from them and they will do anything in order to get them back. Think about what you yourself would do if someone held your parents hostage or another significant person of your life in a dangerous situation.

While this is just a smaller more individualized scale, lets get to a more global scale. War is usually portrayed as being an epic struggle between two huge parties with a lot of guns and weapons. This isn’t the case 100% of the time though as you can wage wars with other individuals or within yourself with internal conflicts. In fact Google generalizes the definition of war as being an active struggle between competing entities. However, I think what Jon Witt was looking for is with superpowers battling against each other where militaries are involved. Another motivator for waging war is gaining power. I think power can make people have an insatiable thirst for more to those not capable of self control. There are some and perhaps many out there who, once they have power, experience a thirst for more and won’t stop until they have it. I think this has been a major driving force in what makes people go out and try to conquer others. In fact many of these motivations overlap. When the British set out to colonize the world they were probably looking for not only gaining control of different regions of the world but also the resources that inhabited those areas. As time change, what constitutes power changes as well. Nowadays, it could be said that those with the most money, especially during a recession, hold the most influence and therefore have the most power. Power is essentially having the ability to influence events to take the shape of your desires. Back in the medieval times like during the feudal systems, those with the most land wielded the most power. If you wanted more land you would just go to war and take over others land and thus their power. The more power you had the more you could shape the land to your whim.

Sometimes there’s just unexplainable reasoning behind war. There are over 6 billion people in the world and some of them you are bound not to get along with. If you guys fight severely enough you will become enemies. They reasoning behind this hate can have some many different sources. They might annoy you, your personalities clash, or they might have done something horrible to you in the past. While the reasons why you make enemies may seem to have so many possibilities, the ways to deal with them may be as diverse as well. Sometimes people just have the desire to humiliate and destroy their enemies. There may not be any reason besides the fact that one person hates another enough to want to go to war. I feel like these are the worst because they have no justification and, in my opinion, are completely unnecessary and can cause so many problems like when innocent people die. There are people with driving egos that are highly motivated who won’t stop until their desires are made reality. Some examples can include genocides like the Holocaust and mass killings that seem to have no reasoning behind it except that others look different or practice different religions.

It is amazing to think about all the individuals involved in the different conflicts. When the draft took place in America, especially during Vietnam, I feel that the individual voice started to show. The soldiers and laborers working for the superpowers, who have no say in matters, put their lives at stake. It can’t be that everyone who is involved feels that what they are told to do is right, but because of the chain of command, are forced to carry them out even against their own will. Life isn’t fair but it’s cruel to make people go to war for the leader’s values and views that aren’t universally held. What makes me wonder is that fact that there may be so much outrage against the war in Iraq, why do we continue to stay there? Of course there are some obvious answers like we need the oil as well as many other classified details I have no idea about, but I wonder how people who don’t support the values they’re fighting for stay in combat. I have a feeling that it is too hard to stop and pull the country out because once you start fighting it creates a huge mess that is very hard to leave unless it’s finished or “cleaned up.” I also believe it is a sense of honor and pride that goes along with serving your country. I feel like everyone has some sense of honor and limits to what they will and won’t do because of those beliefs. Some people may feel that they dishonor themselves and their families if they were to abandon their job and perhaps putting others who rely on them in danger. Also, there is definitely some nationalistic feeling as well that can be seen clearly every July 4th here that no doubt inspire someone to take up arms and fight for their country. Whatever the case may be, they have my upmost respect for those who puts their lives on the line to keep us safe.

So when is war legitimate? I feel like a simple answer to this would be when you and those you care about (including your country) are put in harm’s way unjustly. All other situations I feel like aren’t legitimate excuses to put lives and resources at stake, but there are plenty of exceptions. Overall however, I believe that the only reason to go to war would be to protect those who you affiliate with. This isn’t always straightforward however, as those who you affiliate with can do bad things causing you to go to war with others because of their mistakes. If America were to screw another nation over causing a war, then soldiers would have to take arms and fight even if America was at fault. I believe that the default position for a country to be in is acting as a watchdog. A watchdog’s duties would entail looking over affairs but not being involved unless they directly hinder their existence. There are so many wrongs in the world and trying to right them all would be irresponsible and unfair with so many problems that could easily be fixed if more attention were put on them. While it may be a valiant effort, it is a waste of resources to try to fix everything and getting involved in situations that would cause more harm than good is just as bad. Regardless of what I think, it is mainly up to those who have power to decide where their power will go and decide when war is legitimate or not. Hopefully they have a good sense of morals.

-Allan Nicholas

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Philosophy on Facebook # 39 – Time Zones

Wow it has been almost a whole month since I have had an opportunity to write another Philosophy on Facebook post. Only a couple more days of school and then I will have more time to devote to this kind of stuff but summer will still be kind of busy for me unfortunately. Oh well. Time will always continue and life goes on. Hey that sounds like a pretty good philosophy topic so I think that's what this post shall be about.

It is pretty a well known fact that time goes on. You might have been told in the past that life will continue regardless of what happened in order to kind of perk you up and look towards the future. As far as I know there is no way to control the passage of time. Time is a human quantified aspect of life. Time is pretty much defined as by Google the continuum of experience in which events pass from the future through the present to the past. This flow of past, present, and future is vital to the discussion of this post. Because time can’t be controlled like there isn’t any time travel or a watch like in the movie Clock Stoppers, we are the ones who need to adjust to keep with the changing times. Learning to adjust to the environment and keeping a healthy balance of living in the present, past, and future will help you live a successful like style.

What I mean by living in certain time zones is that you can be preoccupied about a certain time period. Living in the past is essentially looking back in time. It is important to look back because it is a way of preparation for the future and reflection. The reflections come from analyzing your past actions and the results that occurred because of them. A major reflection comes from your mistakes and learning from them. If you look back on them then you can prevent yourself from making the mistake again in the future and preventing the vicious cycle of repeating your errors from happening. As the saying goes, if people don’t learn from their mistakes, then history is doomed to repeat itself. There are negatives to living too long in the past though. Reminiscing and memories play a vital role in our lives but without living here and now you can’t get on with your life. Another aspect of living in the past comes in the form of coping and learning to get over things that happen. It is essential to overcome all the obstacles we face because it is inevitable that tragedy will strike everyone in some way. Things will not always go your way but being able to get back up once you’re knocked down allows you to improve the current situation. The faster that you can recover the quicker you can devote your time and resources to your present and future ventures increasing their chances of succeeding.

This brings me to the present and living here and now. This aspect of life is essential because between looking towards the past and future you need to stop every once in a while and take a moment to look around at all the great stuff in life, especially before it passes you by. These words of wisdom were passed down to me from the wise Cartman from South Park on the Super Phun Tyme episode. The present is also important because it is where all your actions take place and where you always live, at least physically even though you can mentally live somewhere else like where you are looking towards the other time zones. Living here and now mentally means you can really weigh the outcome of your actions limiting mistakes and making sure what you are currently doing is the right thing. The way you do this is correlating between the past (using your intuition and prior knowledge to make sure what you are doing is a good idea) and the future (predicting how your actions will affect you down the road). It also prevents a phenomenon that I like to call “auto-pilot” where you go through life basically a zombie and your actions just correlate to your normal habits like doing what you normally do and there isn’t any conscious thinking about your actions. This happens a lot when I am driving while thinking about something else and I will just drive straight home even though I may have someone else in the car I need to drop off. Living now can have some negative impacts however. While it can be more enjoyable because you can get immediate satisfaction from your actions, you need to take into consideration the other time zones. For instance, living too much in the present can cause regrets in the future like buying a Ferrari or Lambo will bring happiness now but will probably hurt you down the road like when you plan to retire.

The final time zone is the future. The future is basically related to moving on and it is where you plan for your life down the road. Doing such a thing can be kind of hard to do because it is a very abstract topic. It is much easier to see how your actions will affect you with immediate reactions compared to how it will affect your life a year from now. Nonetheless, it is important to do in order to succeed like planning to do well in school in order to accomplish your dream of getting a high paying job. While the past is reflecting and the present is doing, the future is all about planning. If you are successful at living in the future then you can be ahead of the curve. By accurately predicting and scheduling what will happen, it allows you to be more likely to succeed in those events. It is also in a way preparation because it readies you for your future ventures and makes sure you meet all prerequisites. Looking too much in the future though can cause you to only think about what you CAN do and doesn’t actually allow you to DO anything so you need to come back to the present to carry out your planned course of action.

Throughout all of these different time zones, there are a few keys to success that while don’t guarantee success, they greatly improve the chances of you experiencing it. Number one is staying optimistic. You need to believe that in the future things will get better and it greatly improves the chances that it will. Hope is a very influential aspect of life that I might end up doing a post or podcast on but you need to have it. Losing it basically means you have given up and will no longer make any attempts to improve your current situation. You also need to learn from your mistakes that happened in the past. I can’t stress how important this is because you can’t move on if you are stuck doing the same things over and over again. Finally you always need to try your best. This relates to the present and always giving 100% with whatever you are currently working on. The greater the effort you put into something the more you will get out of it. The right blend of the past, present, and future is huge in making life the way you want it to be and as successful as possible.

-Allan Nicholas

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Philosophy is Phun Podcast # 17 - Beauty

Hey guys! This episode I discuss what beauty really is with my friend Tim Konsowski and how it is really what is perceived in the eyes of the beholder. Enjoy!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Philosophy is Phun Podcast #16 - The Meaning of Life

The is the first episode of the new weekly edition of the podcast where my co-host Tommy Wyderko and I dicuss the meaning of life. We have determined it is all perspective based and that you need to kind of soul search in order to find your own personal reason for living. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Have you Ever Wondered # 3 – If Our Worlds are Different

Hey guys! So if you haven’t heard I officially have a ustream channel where I look forward to live streaming all future episodes. You can check it out at I am going to try and do a podcast sometime soon to test it out but I will send a Facebook message out from the philosophy group to tell you guys and probably make an event for it as well. If you are interested stop on over and I may put you on the show!

Anyways, back to the real reason for this post. I wanted to discuss something that BLEW MY FREAKING MIND when I really started to think about it! It is kind of hard to explain so this might be a little short but I still feel like it is something really interesting to think about. I was wondering if all of our worlds are different. I know we all live in the same world physically but the way that we perceive it could be completely different. I first started thinking about this topic when in physics class we were learning about colors and how they appear to everyone. I was thinking about how scientists know that we have cones in our eyes that allow us to perceive colors. This made me think even though that I see a color as blue and have been told in the past that that color looks like the blue, I was wondering if others saw it the same way I do.

This just kind of perspective uniqueness spiraled into basically all description words in general. Description words I have noticed are based upon perspectives. One basic example is when you call someone tall or short. The definition of tall is in a sense being great in vertical dimension. We all know what the vertical dimension is. It is the y axis on a graph. But the adjective great is relative compared to the people judging someone as tall or not. If you are greater in the vertical dimension than someone else then you will see someone as being short. Basketball players would call someone who’s 6 feet as being short but compared to normal people they are tall. Mason Bedard is a giant to me but he is relatively about the same height as Steve Nash. This layman example can basically apply to all situations.

When I look at the color blue what actually appears and the word I associate it with have become a learned habit ever since I was a little kid. I have always been told I have blue eyes so when I see similar colors I perceive them as being blue. What you see as being blue can be something completely different from what I consider being blue but because we both associated those colors with the word blue that is how we both see them and we have a common understanding that could come from complete ignorance of actually seeing the world in someone else’s eyes. WHOA!

You all have probably heard the expression walking in someone else’s shoes. It can be somewhat easy to actually put yourself in the same situations that someone else is going through but it is completely impossible to view the world through someone else’s eyes and see things the exact same way they do. I’m sure you guys have seen a TV show or something where the camera makes you look through the eyes of a bug or a dog and it completely changes the way someone can live or the way their perspectives are formulated based upon a very different appearance of their environment. We also know that everyone is unique in a variety of ways. Whether it is in our appearance, our personality, or something else, we all are different and we all have different perspectives and maybe not just figurative perspective but also literal perspective like what we see, hear, etc. I feel like this could apply to almost any way we interact with our environment which comes primarily from our senses. I feel like we have blatant examples right in front of us that can help explain these possible things that make all of our worlds different. I found this particular yahoo answer ( of how everybody’s taste buds are different and that changes our perspective of what we eat from person to person. While one person might like fruits and vegetables, their taste buds could make their own perspectives like such foods where another’s (such as mine) makes my brain despise such food. This doesn’t just have to apply to your tongue either. Take the eyes. Everybody’s eyes are shaped differently and sight is a major way we perceive the world. Because of all the variations, some people need glasses or contacts while others don’t. Before they even came up with corrective lenses think how differently a person with glasses life would be compared to a person who didn’t need them. (or you could just go a day without any glasses or contacts : P) It is amazing how such little variations could have such a huge impact on our lives and truly make all of our worlds unique.

-Allan Nicholas