About Eric R. Shelton

Native Arizonan, prior Air Force, world traveler, blessed husband and father.

A parent’s worst nightmare

I don’t believe I’ve written about it here, for a variety of reasons, but my son has a rare neurological disorder. He’s better now and we’ll only know the full extent of it as he gets older but the diagnosis period was one of the scariest and most heartbreaking experiences my wife and I could imagine. We still cry every now and then. So this Jimmy Kimmel monologue hit close to home for me. You won’t regret taking the time to watch it, and please watch it to the end.

If “all lives matter” or you’re really pro life, you cannot claim those things and oppose medical care for the less fortunate. Medical care shouldn’t be a partisan issue, or profit motivated any more than firefighters, police, or EMTs.

A reasonable look at the press

I tend to think the greatest problem with the news is actually the audience, but I may just be in a cynical mood this morning.

Heinlein was wrong

In the early 1970s, the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein issued a dictum, often quoted since, that “specialization is for insects.” Truly capable human beings, he wrote, should be able to do almost anything from changing a diaper to commanding a warship. It is a noble sentiment that celebrates human adaptability and resilience, but it’ wrong. While there was once a time when every homesteader lumbered his own trees and built his own house, this not only was inefficient, but produced only rudimentary housing.

There’s a reason we don’t do things that way anymore. When we build skyscrapers, we do not expect the metallurgist who knows what god into a girder, the architect who designs the building, and the glazier who installs the windows to be the same person. That’s why we can enjoy the view from a hundred floors above a city: each expert, although possessing some overlapping knowledge, respects the professional abilities of many others and concentrates on doing what he or she knows best. Their trust and cooperation lead to a final product greater than anything they could have produced alone.

The fact of the matter is that we cannot function without admitting the limits of our knowledge and trusting in the expertise of others.”

-Tom Nichols, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters, Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 14-15.

Kala U-Bass – Stand By Me

I really should start writing more again, but it’s a beautiful Sunday morning in January. Enjoy a warm drink and listen to this. It’s better than anything I could write at the moment.

B.S.

I just submitted my last assignment for my Bachelor’s degree with Arizona State University.

I finally went back to school three years ago, at the age of 35, for the Spring ’14 semester. I’ve exhausted my G.I. Bill. I’ve taken 18 credit hour semesters. I made the Dean’s List every semester except for two in which I deployed to Afghanistan and couldn’t complete enough credit hours. I have a 3.85 GPA, and if I didn’t mess up the finals for my last two classes too badly I’m on track to graduate Summa Cum Laude.

After three years, it’s a weird feeling to realize I’m done. Now all I can do is sit here and wait two weeks until graduation.

I think I’m gonna go spend some more time with my wife and son. They’ve been exceedingly patient with me, and I want to spend every last minute with them.

On discerning value

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johanneskepler

On power and intentions

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miltonfriedman