Choose your own ideologies



thing one sits in for relaxing and thoughtful activity;


adj., noun

of, or relating to a group of individuals;

Humans are animals first. Our obsession with the 'special' character of the human psyche disguises this fact. At our core, we are creatures like any other–responding automatically to the environment around us. We see this in our habits, our routines, and our rituals. Stereotypical patterns of behaviour that elegantly handle the predictable shapes of everyday life. Less obvious is how these automatic patterns are reflected in our minds. Rituals of behaviour are preceded by rituals of thought. Ideologies, if you will.

The word ideology is drenched with dark meaning. And yet, on close inspection, we find that we are, each of us, saturated with them. Beliefs and philosophies grounded in experiences that correspond only to those thin slices of the world we inhabit.

This fact is made more potent still when we consider our most fundamentally human characteristic—our capacity to share ideas. We don't simply create our own ideologies from our interactions with the world, but we adopt those that have been thrust upon us by the societies we are embedded in and the culture that we share.

In more cases than we might care to admit, we are full of ideologies that have been produced for us, not designed by us. These are, of course, protective—graceful solutions to an impossibly complex world. Yet, ideologies can be remarkably dangerous left unexamined.

Ideologies should be an architecture of thought—a set of beliefs we can trust to at least point our errors in the right direction. Ones we have examined and accepted. The credenda we adopt should be the ones that we have chosen.

That's what the Armchair Collective is about: ideologies you choose. Let's choose.

How the project works

The goal is to help you discover your own ideologies, just as I have discovered mine.

Each article is typically a self-contained 'ideology'. A particular cut on an idea, with the evidence considered and a decision made. You don't have to adopt it, but it should at least spark a conversation. That's why this is the Armchair Collective. A place to share ideas.

The best of these live on the home page under Curated and the latest of these live at Articles or on the home page too.

Some articles are broader. We could call them 'credenda'. These are articles that gather ideas around the site and organise them into a larger narrative. You can find these collected as at the top of any collection page.

The collections themselves contain articles organised around my own personal credenda, Project Petrichor.

Lastly we have the marginalia and the missives. These are my shorter communications. Marginalia are my notes on interesting content from around the web. Missives comprise the newsletter and the changelog, so you can keep track of what's happened since you were last here. Of course, you can get the newsletter in your inbox too, or get everything in the RSS feed.

This is the Armchair Collective. We sit, we read, we think, but most of all we share ideas. Choosing your own ideologies requires us to test them against the world around us and there's no better place to do that than in the most human context of all, a collective of likeminded and curious people. So please, stay in touch.


I'm Dorian. I do brain science. You can find out more about me here.

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