It’s likely both the most common existential question and the most common 3-word phrase in the English language.
And also one of the most difficult to answer with anything approaching precision.
The simplest answer is my nom de plum: Paul R Pearson.
My most important answer is summed up in one word: Husband. Next come Father, Brother, Uncle, Godfather (yes, even Atheists can be Godfathers), Brother-in-law. Then come Friend and Fellow Activist. After those, I guess, Acquaintance, Customer, Bystander.
And certainly Atheist.
I was born in a Detroit suburb on a historically tragic and surprisingly auspicious day for my life vision: “Bloody Sunday”; March 7, 1965. I am, thus, over 50, but must say I feel young at heart.
Currently I am involved in dozens of projects, from working with my wife on a medical recovery to hopefully staying on top of the ever-growing ‘honey-do’ list for our home, to learning for my I.T. certifications, and more. I’ve built Websites since 2006 currently maintain about 2 dozen. Each year I edit and publish a science fiction/horror fanzine/magazine. I — and we — stay happily busy with cooking, health, relationship, family, loving, growing, learning, flaunting tradition and laughing at authority. I work for Amazon in Houston, but also do some computer and Website construction and graphics, and edit videos when I can. I also volunteer Web services to a MI-based environmental and agricultural advocacy organization which was founded in my living room, and a Houston-based state/church separation advocacy group.
The multitude of things I have done in my life could fill a blog. So let’s touch upon some easy things.
Such as travel. My wife and I have traveled to several awesome places here in Texas, and to Florida, Nevada (Vegas, Baby!), New York City, Puerto Rico, and even Hawaii. We moved here to the Petro Metro from Detroit in 2009 and never looked back at that bad attitude train-wreck of a has-been ghost town.
Before meeting my wife I had lived for a while in both Florida (Coral Springs/Ft. Lauderdale) and L.A., yet I moved back to Detroit twice, proving I am twice as stupid as I ever needed to be. But then again, I did eventually meet the love of my life . . .
To further touch upon the theme of travel, I have been to several places in Ontario, even kinda lived for a time in Windsor, have been to Toronto several times, and Montreal once (“oh, what a night . .”). My personal journeys have taken me extensively to northern Michigan, all across the lower mitten in fact; Chicago many, many times (let me tell you about the “operation” in the abandoned warehouse one day…); Iowa; Washington, D.C. a few times; New York; Boston; many places in Ohio (I Heart Cedar Point!); Kentucky; Dallas; Atlanta (#2muchcoke) and I have flown in a prop plane illegally inside the Grand Canyon.
Oh, and unfortunately, I’ve also been to Gary, Indiana. Bleh!
Here’s my company introduction:
Share Your passion: What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
(#1): Be with my wife;(#2): blog; build Websites; create graphics; collect Star Wars and other Sci-Fi memorabilia; collect books; read everything; long philosophical discussions; long historical discussions; writing; swimming; high diving; hiking in extremely hot weather; seeing endless movies; traveling; video editing; listening to music.
This may not be a complete list. Updates certainly to come.
What else do you want to know?
Below are some stupid random things you may or may not give a crap about.
One online dictionary defines a specific type of movie or television production as: “a presentation expressing or dealing with factual events”. Usually this type of presentation is used for history or biography.
One which is being produced right now is of interest to fans of sci-fi television. England’s oldest serial science fiction television series will have it’s definitive treatment coming soon.
The show will include interviews with several of the actors who have played the eponymous role, including Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and David Tennant.
The adventures and story lines, writing and production of the show about a Time Lord whose numerous travels and travails in his TARDIS (which is a British public telephone booth) will all be covered.
It will be known as
. . . . .
wait for it . . .
it’s worth the wait . . .
A “Doc Who”-Mentary
If you are sensitive or easily offended, do us both a favor and ignore the following joke
I have concern for the common misunderstandings endemic in our public discourse about subjects where scientific inquiry has a better explanation than the ones commonly held.
The origins of this neologism are in a notebook 2 years ago, so I cannot remember exactly the etymology, what the individual parts of the words stand for. I will try to update this soon.
There are 2 main parts for this meaning:
The misunderstandings themselves; and
The attempts to educate and rectify such
Here are just a few examples of the first:
“Life After Death” The ultimate oxymoron. A Roper poll in 2010 showed that 85% of respondents believed in some form of life after death. It takes a bit of work, but there are better explanations for the phenomena we comfort ourselves with, however senseless the idea.
“UFOs” No, the releases from the Pentagon, the USS Nimitz and the USS Theodore Roosevelt videos, don’t prove the existence of extraterrestrials. They only prove that perceptions are uncritically passed around as truth, and the public does not possess the cognitive toolkits to deconstruct poorly presented news which should have been released only through the filters of rational inquiry.
“Homeopathy” Water does not have memory. There’s a reason homeopathic therapy is considered ‘alternative’ medicine; it would become part of the legitimate medical establishment if it works, but it doesn’t. Water does not have memory.
“Vaccines cause autism”
“The Earth is flat”
“Evolution is a hoax to discredit gHod”
“Barack Obama was born in Kenya”
“Global warming is a hoax invented by China”
“Cell phones cause cancer”
“Wi-fi/5G makes you sick”
“The US/Israeli/Chinese/Russian/(fill in the blank) government/(fill in the blank) created AIDS”
“Chocolate milk comes from brown cows”
“The US was created by gHod to be a christian country”
“Dogs in different countries bark in different languages”
“‘Organic’ foods are composed of more nutrients than non-organic food”
“Kirlian photography shows our soul”
“People become crazier/hospital admissions rise/crime goes up during the full moon”
“Razor blades kept under pyramids are sharper than those which are not”
“Faith healers can cure cancers/broken bones/cognitive decline/cripples/(fill in the blank)”
“Psychics can read your mind and solve crimes”
“Dowsing can help you find water”
“Marijuana is dangerous”
Damn, I could go on. This is just the few examples of crazy/stupid/wrong things people believe — without even understanding the concept of belief — in just about 5 minutes.
So now to the second part. I provide links below, yet eventually here I will provide a section on this Website (yes, that is word is capitalized) about the critical thinking approach to these and/or other ideas.
In general, I recommend subscribing to 2 magazines and/org doing a subject search on their websites:
2. I am a certificate-bearing Phlebotomist (no licensing in TX, though I haven’t obtained independent Certification)
3. I am a Class A CDL driver in TX
4. I was editor and publisher of a sci-fi fanzine through high school and for a few years after, published articles by David Gerrold and Hugh Hefner. Forry Ackerman wrote a large, specialized article (for an issue which only became published in 2019, see here), and I still have every word and photograph of the article, plus dozens of items of immense value sent to me while Forry and I were friends
5. I am an officiant for secular and LGBT weddings
6. Trained by the Dept of Homeland Security as a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) certified team member
7. Dr Arthur Frederick Ide called me a “sage, savant and scholar”
8. I own 3 trilobites
9. I directed a television show
10. One of my nicknames was given by Eminem. Yes, Eminem
11. I have dyscalculia and an exceedingly rare (though mild) form of synesthesia
12. I once stood alone in an elevator with George Lucas (he was very nice)
Yes, I have not only his signature on a memo pad, but on several letters to me and the autographed copies of over a dozen of his books. My hero. I also have all of the original sheets and photographs and graphics he sent for an article I put in my former sci-fi fanzine, ‘Microzine’ (formerly ‘Encyclozine’). In 1983 he sent me a copy of Amazing Stories from October, 1926 which had been in his collection for over 30 years. [pics coming]
She’s also a cousin, but this life coach’s advice in her book (also available for Kindle) Who in the Hell Do You THINK You Are?: Perception IS Everything has salient advice in an easily consumed paperback. Her style is clear and although I have never been into “Self-Help” books, perusing my autographed copy of her octavo helped me push against my own pompous angst to realize how well-placed and formatted life advice may make a difference in mine.
The only book of its type I’ve ever recommended. And I do. (n.b.: not just because she’s a relative and a pal.)
Personally (or should I say Pearsonally) signed copy of the very limited edition hardcover of his gorgeous art book A Separate Star. Limited Edition for his appearance at World Con ’86. Link is for the paperback.
These are organizations I fully support, and am a dues-paying, card carrying member thereof. Click each to go to their Website or for more information.
American Atheists This is the national org founded by my heroine, Madalyn Murray-O’Hare, also for a while called the Society of Separationists. For about 7-8 months I was on the board of the Michigan chapter. Their legislative and social work for the rights of Atheists and the separation of state and church is important for the forward momentum of American democracy.
I am a proud member of America’s most distrusted minority.
Michigan Industrial Hemp Education and Marketing Project (MIHEMP) Not only am I a founding member of this organization, such was done in the den of the home Cynthia and I had in Redford Township, MI. Ever since, I have been the Director of Communication and Webmaster, though in the past few years the org has done little, we were fundamental to getting an Industrial Hemp bill through the MI state assembly.
In addition to the Organizations I Belong To, above, I unfortunately cannot afford to be a dues-paying member of each and every one of the organizations below. Upon my passing, I ask that money which would have otherwise go to dying flowers or other idiotic things go instead to support the organizations and related efforts to the groups listed above and below.
Planned Parenthood of South Texas Don’t believe the theocratic hype: Planned Parenthood provides far, far more services than the one which keeps evangelicals apoplectic and foaming at the mouth. Though I pearsonally share the Xtian loathing of abortion, Planned Parenthood is actually doing something about it. Though they do the procedure, their services actually also REDUCE the need of that procedure through education and access programs. If you, same as I, dislike abortion, join with me in the support of Planned Parenthood and all of its chapters. Instead of making the abortions which do take place less safe, let’s work together to make abortions less necessary. Education and access have been proven to reduce the need for that disgusting procedure, but making Planned Parenthood the focus of verbal and other forms of attack is the exact opposite strategy I and my cohorts in the Xtian Reich should be holding hands together for.
Planned Parenthood is an organization which should be receiving expanded funding from the federal and state governments, not less. The values we all hold together are the same which Planned Parenthood works for every day. They should be celebrated, and you should belong.
Planned Parenthood See above description. Do you want to do good in the world? Become a member and give this organization every scintilla of support you can.
Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science Author Richard Dawkins, besides educating the world about the dangers of superstition with such books as The God Delusion (2006), his foundation does outreach, educational and charity work guiding us toward rational-based solutions to problems exacerbated by ignorance.
ACCOMPLISHED: To produce the final issue of the science fiction fanzine I started (and did almost all of the work for) through high school and for a few years after. The first issue was called ‘Encyclozine’, but for the remaining issues, I changed it to ‘Microzine’. During the roughly 3 years of my distant friendship with Forry Ackerman, he wrote an article for me, and I never finished that final issue. Now I am working slowly in the background, just a few hours a week, to do all the work to compose — I still don’t know why, except to honor the life and memory of Forry in my own insignificant way — the final issue. Stay tuned.
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Online, interactive .js timeline of some of ancient culture’s most momentous symbolic creations; from cave drawings to early writings. This developed out of a book project on the history of religious ritual.
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An online, interactive Classical Studies course, allowing participants to decide which components/modules to study. Some users, for instance, may have a basic familiarity with Greek or Latin, and not need these to complete a course. Others may know the Greek philosophers, or the origins of Republic Rome. A full course with all modules would be similar to an equivalent 2 year (or Associate) degree, but not as comprehensive as a 4 year degree.
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