Personal education has been at the forefront of my agenda this past week. I have been wanting to get some concepts strait and try to make sure my positions are consistent.
It started off with the Kübler-Ross model, commonly referred to as the "five stages of grief". I was never able to keep the stages strait, or even remember what all of them were. I could get denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance, but I never could remember what that fifth one was. It's funny that the fifth stage should be depression. Since depression always walks with me in life, I never actually think of it in any other context.
After getting the Kübler-Ross model correct, someone suggested that the problem I was searching for might be found in the concept of culture shock. After all, it has four distinct stages: honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment, and mastery; as well as several other hindrances to living in the new culture.
That was enough work for me regarding remembering different models of how we interact with the world and our culture. I didn't get far before someone brought up the concept of dualism in regard to the mind/body philosophy. I was pretty sure I knew what they were talking about, but I didn't want to take any chances at missing some of the finer points, so back to Wikipedia I went to make sure I wasn't missing anything. And it's a good thing I did. There are more layers stacked on top of each other in dualism than I would have ever imagined.
I had my grasp on dualism, culture shock, and the Kübler-Ross model. There didn't seem to be anything that philosophy, psychology, or religion could throw at me that I wasn't prepared for. What I didn't expect was that all the changes that I was talking about with other people might cause a moral panic. I gave up at this point and started reading about politics.
My ideas on politics seem to be pretty simple to me. I want as much freedom for myself and others as can be allowed. I want every type of freedom by default, and only put limits on that freedom when there is a specific and compelling reason to limit that freedom. But as I tried to form my ideas into more specific words, I ran up against the problem of exactly what freedom I was talking about. Was I talking about political freedom, or economic freedom. And regardless of what type of freedom I was thinking about, there was the principal-agent problem.
By this time I had a headache. My only choice was to take two aspirin and go to bed.