Rob Williger

Writing on influence, philosophy, secularism, and freethought. The posts here may be only lightly edited and could be parts of a work in progress. I intend to have a place to write and share thoughts that aren't controlled by an algorithm or venture capitalists. My more developed and edited writing will be at https://robwilliger.substack.com

Talk Beliefs Interview

I was recently interviewed by the Talk Beliefs YouTube channel about growing up in a Jewish family, becoming Orthodox in high school, and maintaining a orthodox Jewish life through a move to Israel, a return to America, and eventual enlistment in the US Army. The first part of the interview can be watched on YouTube here ...
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Anti-intellectualism

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” ― Isaac Asimov This problem certainly hasn't gotten any better. The people who now pride themselves even more on their ignorance. ...
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It Is Good To Change Your Opinion

When a man you like switches from what he said a year ago, or four years ago, he is a broad-minded person who has courage enough to change his mind with changing conditions. When a man you don't like does it, he is a liar who has broken his promise. FRANKLIN P. ADAMS It is sad in our society that people get judged for changing their opinions. As long as you are open and honest about why you did it, it should be looked at as a positive. Many of my views have changed over the years and I co...
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Argument by Noise

He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak. MICHEL de MONTAIGNE This is from someone who never even encountered social media. This is an accurate statement and one that we should always keep in mind. When people are making noise about how right they are it is a good time to tune them out. ...
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The Downfall of Twitter Could Be Great for Democracy

There is a lot of noise about the future of Twitter and I have been tuning most of it out. One thing I have seen though is the potential danger to democracy if Twitter was to go away. This may be a controversial take but personally I think the fall of Twitter could be a step forward for our republic. I will certainly acknowledge that many grassroots efforts have been able to get attention because of the virality of social media. But we also have stories of democratic uprisings being muted and s...
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Some Housekeeping on my Rob's Random Writing

I posted today over at Rob's Random Writing about where I am taking that project going forward and some other housekeeping item. You can see that post here. I have been playing around with Mastadon again as it seems to be what I originally liked about Twitter. I have tried it before a couple of times as I do like open source and platforms that aren't all about your data. If you wish to connect with me there @rob@social.lol is my name. I will be back tomorrow with more thoughts. ...
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Influencers Are Showing Their Weakness::

One should never rely on someone else’s platform. I have written on this numerous times over the years as have many others. But we see in the latest panic about Twitter how weak the influence of so called influencers really is. If you really have built up a loyal following you should be able to move to another platform without an issue. If you have the 1000 True Fans then you should be able to take those fans to a new platform. Sure we get comfortable where we are but whenever you are on som...
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Doing Some Information Intake Housekeeping

These last few weeks I have been working on putting more care into the information that I am intaking so I can put more focus on creative output. This week it expanded to a lot of email list unsubscribing and removing some of the RSS feeds I was subscribed to. I think I am going to institute at least quarterly going through and deciding what I really need to be subscribed to. We all sign up to a lot of lists and as we grow some things may no longer fit our needs. It is good to take some time a...
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No, You Didn't Overhear Anywhere But in Your Own Thoughts

There is this trend towards people sharing conversations, that clearly took place only in their own minds, as something they overheard out in public. It usually goes like this, "I was in a coffee shop in a majorly [insert demographic here] and these two [insert people that wouldn't typically match the comment about to be said] and they were talking about [insert the pretend conversation]. It is just ridiculous as most of the time the conversations aren't things that people would actually say. ...
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One Has The Right to Their Beliefs, Not to Impose It on Others

We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. H. L. MENCKEN This quote sums up quite well how religion should be treated in the public sphere. People are free to have their beliefs that others should be respectful of. But those with religious beliefs don't have the right to try to impose those beliefs on others. When people talk these days of the dangers to freedom of religion...
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Nobody Is Obligated to Give a Shit About Your Issue

There are a lot of social issues out there and I see people who have good intentions causing more damage to their cause with their online behavior. There are many issues in the world, we have ones that are important to us because they impact us and others because we feel it is best for society. The most ridiculous thing I see is lists of demand for those that want to be allies. You can tell a person an issue doesn't impact them and that may be true, but that means they have no obligation when v...
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The Most Formidable Weapon

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall. —THOMAS PAINE We would all do better to use more reason and less emotion. ...
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If You Need to Claim Being Known As Something You Probably Aren't Known for It

I'm known as the Godfather of internet marketing I'm known as the X of [insert location here] I'm a real leader If you need to declare yourself something then you probably aren't really known for it. I see on social media profiles all the time crap like that and all it tells me is you are trying to be known as something. If one is really known as the "Godfather of internet marketing" then there would be no need to put that into the bio as people already know that. Those that don't either won't...
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Streamlining

Better to actually get a few things done instead of multiple half-assed attempts. I have decided to streamline and combine some of my projects. I need to be realistic as to what I can do and where I want to put my efforts out. As I mentioned the other day I realized I don't want to put crap out into the world. Along those lines I realized that I shouldn't force myself to something that doesn't feel right to me. I had some plans for a couple of newsletters to publish my more formalized writing...
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Veteran's Day 2022

So today in the United States, November 11th is Veteran's Day. I had started writing some detailed posts about my feelings on this day and just didn't have it in me to actually do it. I am proud of my service but have questions on what it really means when freedom is under threat. That people can't separate someone's politics from their service. That is really one of the things that bothers me the most. We can disagree politically but whether someone put their life on the line to defend this c...
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Other Writing Projects I Am Working On

Today I am going to talk about a couple of the other writing projects I have going on. I am currently working on a memoir of my experience joining the Army in my thirties as an Orthodox Jew and my experiences in Afghanistan. I am also working on a play that takes place in a hilltop outpost in Afghanistan. I never thought that writing for theater would be an interest but last December I heard about a Playwriting for Veterans course being offered through Indiana University. You can learn a bit m...
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My Plans for This Page

I am thinking this page will be the central hub of my creative projects. It will be the place I will cross post the articles and such that I am sharing on some of the other sites that are more specialized. I will be continue to move away from social media for a variety of reasons that will be covered in future posts but the bottom line is that it isn't good for my mental health. Based on many recent world events I wonder the benefit it provides. I think that it has helped people connect which ...
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Establishing the Argument by Noise

"He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak." Michel de Montaigne That quote is from someone who lived centuries before social media platforms. Another great example of how the methods of communication have changed but humans haven't. ...
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The Fear of Liberty

"Fanatics fear liberty more than they fear persecution." Ernest Renan We are seeing this in America and in other countries right now. There are people who are clearly scared of liberty. They don't realize it and they accuse the other side but that is why they are fanatics. ...
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Little Minds

Little minds are deeply offended by little things; great minds see comprehensively, and do not take offense at trifles François de La Rochefoucauld This is excellent advice especially in our hypersensitive world. It would be better if people didn't get offended by minor things. There are enough things in our world to cause offense, we should set aside the little things and look past. ...
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League of Frightened Men

Every mob, in its ignorance and blindness and bewilderment, is a League of Frightened Men that seeks reassurance in collective action. Max Lerner Something to keep in mind when dealing with mobs whether online or in real life. ...
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People Telling You to Wake Up Are In the Deepest Trance

It is common in online or real life conversations for people to tell someone to wake up. Whenever you hear that you should be alerted that the person saying it is probably in a trance themselves. Hitler, Goebbels, and other authoritarians in history have told the people to wake up to what is around them while at the same time putting them into a waking trance. Question yourself. Look at all the evidence. But don't listen to someone telling you to wake up. ...
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Rules Are Inflexible

Rules are inflexible; no book of instructions will ever compete with the randomness of human activity; and any “habit” or pattern of behavior makes us predictable and therefore vulnerable to others. Baltasar Gracián Beware of anyone trying to tell you rules you must follow. Our world is changing at a rapid rate but the human mind doesn't evolve as quickly. For every guru who is preaching one thing there is another on the other side with a contrary message. Focus on what is right for you and w...
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Deepest Sin of the Mind

"The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence." Thomas Huxley Science and Education – Essays, 1897 I fully agree with Huxley on this. It is scary to see what people will believe and accept not only in the absence of evidence, in many cases contrary to evidence. We need to rely on facts and evidence and not rely on the imagination. ...
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It Has Been a While

It has been a while since I posted here but plan to post daily from now until the end of the year. I will revisit in January the route I will take. This isn’t the only place I will be writing but the main purpose here is to write in public. These posts may be my thoughts, a quote I came across, or some other things. The posts here will not be heavily edited and some will be thoughts on progress. I am taking a break from social media to focus on my writing which also includes fiction and pla...
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The First Draft Will Never Be Perfect

I am working on a couple of books right now. One is an update of something I wrote in the past and the other is something new. It took me a long time to realize that the writing process is really about rewriting. The posts I share here I consider first drafts. They aren't as developed and refined as published work should be. It was only recently that I acknowledged that the first attempt isn't going to be perfect. That the ideas will develop. I spent too much time focused on system as opposed...
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We Speak For Ourselves

A lot of people believe that they have been appointed the official spokesperson for a group. Even better, sometimes they aren't even part of that group that the are trying to speak on behalf of. We see this a lot with talking heads about the military and veterans. There is no one opinion in the military. As most people who have served will tell you a tremendous amount of time is spent discussing and debating opinions. While there are some common factors there are also a lot of differences. I ...
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Nothing Shows You are a Total Follower Than Declaring Yourself a Free Thinker

I appreciate when people put little clues into their Twitter bios. Things like Red X marks, references to Q, declaring themselves a patriot and more let me know that they aren't someone really worth listening to. However, the one that makes most clear to me that they are just a blind follower and have no idea what being a free or independent thinker really means. If you are really a free thinker it will be shown in your tweets instead of needing to declare it. ...
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Daily Writing

I started a Substack that I wrote daily on for the month of January. It was the first time I completed a full month of writing and sharing thoughts. I have been having an internal debate as to whether I should continue the practice. I think for now I will continue it but be posting daily here on Listed. I will use the Substack for more detailed posts but be writing here on a daily basis for now. Why two places? Becuase I want a place to be able to write in public but also don't want to stress ...
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Special Pictures of the Mind

The task of the totalitarian propagandist is to build special pictures in the minds of the citizenry so that finally they will no longer see and hear with their own eyes and ears but will look at the world through the fog of official catchwords and will develop the automatic responses appropriate to totalitarian mythology. - A.M. Merloo, The Rape of the Mind This is what many are trying to do with words like "deep state" and "dossier" Politicians and other propagandists do this with phr...
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