All the series prefaces posted here are late draft versions. Note that each preface is Volume specific, providing slightly different viewpoints, observations, and personal experiences.
The Project: Series Preface
The trouble with most of us is that we know too much that ain't so.
— Mark Twain
Preface to the Series: Volume 1
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
— Hillel the Elder
Cultural shifts traces back a number of key shifts in my horizon starting with growing up in a small Canadian Maritime province and ending with contemporary issues and concerns.
Ongoing Conversion covers my personal run-in with the question of the existence of God, the decision to adopt a transcendental reality, and the assimilations that had to be and are continuing to be made given the initial adjustment to ethical monotheism.
Methodology lays out the two fundamental approaches underlying this work: Otto Friedman's concept of professional practice within changing institutional frameworks, and Bernard Lonergan's transcendental method elevated to communal status via his functional specialties.
In search of a normative ethics reveals one of the underlying concerns of our times, namely the breakdown of any chance of a wide scale appreciative system and with this the current breakdown of any normative ethics emerging among increasingly diverse populations.
Why? This section deals with a few of the underlying motivations in carry out such a project, ranging from the importance of knowing the deep institutional changes currently in play to the breakdown of the family unit, from knowing when you are on track to experiencing the unexpected events and consequences of personal and communal blind spots.
There's a final very recent note drawing on the work of Richard Fernandez concerning one of the deeper institutional plays currently in motion—the conflict between U.S. and China that reveals a problem common to both, namely the need for fact over propaganda. China is ruled by a communist elite whose primary goal in the maintenance and enhancement of their own power; the U.S. is currently living under the progressive socialist mentality expressed so well by the democrats. Both distort reality in order to solidify their positions by providing a steady stream of corrupt information. Both place limits on the innovative entrepreneurial risk-taking of their creative and innovative class. The problem facing both is that the winner will be the one most capable of not only connecting with reality but freeing such entrepreneurs to do best what they do.
Who, in the end, will pay homage to facts?
Russell C. Baker
August 29, 2019
Entering Lonergan's Novum Organon