So you’ve landed on my blog somehow and now you’re wondering, what the heck is this blog about anyway? Why does it even exist?
I’ll get to that in a minute, but first let me address a more important question.
Is this blog for you?
I can answer that if you answer a few questions.
Do you like to learn new and interesting things that could change the way that you think?
Are you skeptical of everything, even science?
Are you open-minded and willing to accept that maybe not everything you know is correct?
Do you like to engage in interesting discussions about topics that most people know little about?
Are you sick of wars and hatred and violence and pointless arguments?
Do you believe that everyone can help to change the world if they really want to?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, this blog might be for you. If you answered yes to all of the above questions, this blog is definitely for you!
What is this blog about?
This is not your typical niche blog about photography or fashion or starting an online business. This blog will not teach you to cook pasta in 23 different ways, to improve your golf game or to manage your time better. This blog is not even about a specific topic.
This blog is something a bit different. It is a collection of articles thematically linked around a common purpose: increasing your understanding of the world around you, and of people who don’t see the world as you do. As such there may be articles on science, pseudo-science, politics, religion, philosophy, self-improvement and anything else that fits this theme.
The primary focus, at least for the moment, will be science-related because a) I’m a scientist and b) my first book is a novel with a science theme. And as this is my personal website, there may also be articles once in a while about my book(s) or the writing process, or articles that don’t quite fit the theme, simply because I wanted to write them. But such articles will not be common.
I’m also interested in what you want to know more about. So please feel free to contact me or let me know in the comments.
What is the purpose of this blog?
This blog has two primary purposes:
1. This blog exists to inspire people to make the world a happier and more peaceful place by understanding and empathizing with each other. I want to foster understanding between people with very different personalities and different religious, political, and philosophical ideals. These differences make the world a fascinating and wonderful place, but they are also the source of too much conflict.
I believe we can celebrate our differences without letting them become a source of suspicion or hatred. In the current world climate, this is more important than ever. While world leaders threaten and bicker and preach division, we need to work toward unity at an individual level.
2. I like writing articles about things that matter, sharing them with you and then hearing your opinions! I also write books, and I want to build an interested and enthusiastic audience who will read my books when I publish them. That said, I realize that most of you who read this blog will probably not read my books, and that’s ok. You are still welcome here!
Who am I?
My name is Shawn Dove. I’m a scientist, a writer, a skeptic and an optimist. I like to study the wonderful world we live in, tell good stories about that world, and promote a message of open-mindedness, understanding and optimism. You can read more about me on my About Page.
I grew up in a closed-minded, fundamentalist Christian environment, left it in my early twenties and later moved on to a scientific environment, which sadly is also infused with a high level of closed-mindedness of a different type. These two environments are not similar, and the level of closed-mindedness is not equal. Scientists are in general far more educated about the world around them. And there are certainly some scientists who are open to new and different ideas, or to the fallibility of science. But they are too few.
What these two environments share is an attitude of judgment towards other systems of belief and other ways of looking at the world. Many religious fundamentalists believe their way is the only right way, the way of absolute, universal truth. Many scientists believe that science is the only system that provides absolute truth about the universe.
The problem is that such beliefs do not leave a way of identifying with, understanding or empathizing with people that don’t share your beliefs. If you don’t leave room for error in your own beliefs, you close out the rest of the world. You might still be a very compassionate and kind person. That’s great, but it’s not enough. Other people don’t want to be pitied, they want to be understood. And true understanding is impossible until you recognize the validity of the other person’s beliefs and opinions.
It is my goal to publish articles that help to increase people’s understanding, not only of the world around them, but of other people, other ideas and other belief systems. Because I believe that understanding is the key to healing the world.
Between climate change, economic problems, strong political divisions, and the threat of nuclear war, the world seems in a desperate state. But it’s not hopeless. We can make it better.
I want to use this blog to build a community of people who are hopeful and want to make the world a better place. Will you join?
If you want to join me, use the form at the bottom of the page to enter your email address. I will send you a short email each time I publish a new blog post. I will also (rarely) send you short updates about the status of my book(s) or other projects I am working on. I will never spam you or send you daily emails.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or ideas to share with me. And if you enjoy the articles on this blog, please spread the word to all your friends and family and share it with your contacts on social media!
To get started immediately with making the world a better place, read my article on how to use your empathy superpower to heal the world.