JR'S Free Thought Pages
This list is far from exhaustive and in no particular order. These are people who have been able to challenge and stimulate my limited intellect, induce me to be skeptical of all authority and inflame within me a lifelong desire seek out the truth. The list includes some interesting links.
** Bertrand Russell**
**Jean Paul Sartre**
Brilliant philosopher and writer. For starters. read his childhood autobiography "The Words" (Les Mots).
You may read his lecture "Existentialism as a Humanism" online
The most interesting and provocative philosopher today
Latest book: Living in the End Times (2010), a good place to start.
Great writer and social critic who candidly speaks truth to power - perhaps the new Noam Chomsky
We lost arguably the sharpest mind and most convincing voice for humanism of our generation . Sadly he died in December 2011 at 62. Brilliant writer with impeccable logic. Simply the best. Conduct a search on you Tube and you will get hundreds of hits.
By reading Smullyan's books you can learn a lot and laugh your face off at the same time. This man is amazing.
**Chief Dan George**
"First we had the land and they had the bibles, now we have the bibles and they have the land" - The Chief
If you have not seen the film, then you must see Little Big Man (1970) with Dustin Hoffman and Chief Dan George. This was one of the first movies that attempted to reveal the truth about the appalling persecution and savage injustices dealt out to our indigenous peoples. It's one of my all time favorites.
**My younger brother Mark**
Mark is still the smartest person on the planet that I know personally bar none. I have taught Mathematics and Advanced Placement Calculus to literally thousands of some very bright young people over a span of thirty years and met numerous highly intelligent people in my seven years of University experience and elsewhere - but none are in Mark's league.
He was reading books in elementary school that most people with university degrees would be afraid to tackle. And Mark is not just super intelligent in one particular area of knowledge. A graduate of the London School of Economics, he has an incredible grasp of all areas of human cognitive endeavor including mathematics, science, philosophy, history and literature. He can debate any topic and have you on the mat flat on your back intellectually in minutes. Wherever Mark is in the presence of others he is always the smartest guy in the group and this fact has made his experience in the corporate world somewhat less than rewarding. To move up in the corporate world you cannot appear smarter than your superiors and you must never ask the "why" question. Mark is a member of a miniscule intellectual elite thus putting him in a similar position to a person belonging to a persecuted racial minority. He's just too smart for his own good!
People who are as gifted and brilliant as Mark are often vulnerable to a sort of psychological inertia when they become involved in endeavors that are commonplace and mundane, have no redeeming intrinsic value and that are intellectually sterile. Mark is a staunch defender of social justice and has always had a keen eye for abuses of power and the all too frequent manipulative ploys that take place in the business world, workplace culture and elsewhere. He is never been afraid to speak out when he sees such inequities and this, combined with his sharp intellect, can be very intimidating to those perpetrators in positions of power.
Yes - in case you are wondering, Mark is God!!!