If you don’t know me, I’m Jon Morgan, a software developer based in Melbourne. One of my interests is trying to understand the world around me, and then to share what I have learnt. I want this blog to be a place to discuss ideas, and hope you can join the discussion.
Some of the topics likely to be discussed are:
- Personal: The blog will allow me to share personal opinions, experiences, and things that I liked or didn’t like. For example, I plan several posts on different things I’ve done in 2016. I will try to limit them to things interesting to people other than me.
- Religion: I was brought up a Christadelphian, was baptised, and acted as a lay preacher and respected member of the community for many years. However, eventually I came to the conclusion that my beliefs were not based on truth, and so decided to quit. Since quitting I have come across more information that makes me confident I’ve made the right decision. I’d like to share some of what I learned during that process.
- History: The more I learn about history, the more I realise how unusual the things we take for granted actually are. But while the technology and society changes, the natural human response often stays the same.
- Books: I read a combination of fiction and non-fiction, classics and little known works. Frequently they have quotes or ideas that I would love to reflect on or share.
- Language: I find the many ways in which language can be used to persuade, to communicate, and to entertain fascinating. I frequently qualify my words, and do my best to choose words with exactly the right shade of meaning (which unfortunately still does not guarantee that what I write makes any sense). I have also been known to do proof-reading (hardly common for a software developer). In general, I am a descriptivist, observing how language changes over time rather than trying to force it to stay the same.
- Hiking: I love hiking, because it gives me the chance to get out and explore nature at my own pace. It also gives time to think, and it makes a change from staring at a computer all day.
- Music: My musical interests would generally be called “classical”, but that’s a lot more broad than just “liking old music”. Sometimes I get to attend the concerts of our world-class Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
- Society: While I don’t believe civilisation is in continual decline, I do see many challenges and opportunities, and am sure to write about some of them.
- Technology: Software development is my job, but I’m not particularly interested in having the latest gadget or playing with the latest technology. Instead, I’m more interested in big picture issues like how changes in technology affect culture, and how we can make systems easy to use and hard to get wrong.
To some extent, having a blog is a self-indulgence: writing down my thoughts and explaining to others helps me to understand better too. But I also hope my experiences and opinions can be of use to others.
While investigating my religion, one of the most important things I discovered was the value of encountering contrary points of view and open discussion. Sometimes it seems like all debates end up with neither side moving, but civil discourse can change minds. I freely acknowledge that I don’t have all the answers, and hopefully we can work together to search for truth.
My goal for this site is that comments are not just permitted, but encouraged. So if you think I’m wrong, tell me. If you can see a subtle weakness in a point, or a gaping hole in an argument, let me know. I may disagree, and I may write at length why I disagree, but I will consider your point. Also feel free to use a pseudonym or to contact me privately if discussing sensitive ideas. Just follow the one simple rule for discussion: “Be nice” (only time will tell whether this policy works, but I think it’s worth aiming for).
This is all subject to change, but hopefully that is enough to get you interested. I’ll know better what this blog looks like after it’s been running for a year or two.