Podcast #300: Dropping Out and Nihilism (With Nick Hazelton)


A conversation with Nick Hazelton of Anarcho-Yakitalism Podcast. Nick is a 15-year-old from Oregon who aims to drop out of high school and pursue yak herding.

Click here for Brett's full show notes

-Nick's own sustainable farm
-thinking about dropping out of high school
-understand your reasons for wanting to drop out.
-consider online schools and home schooling
-research the legal requirements for you to drop out
-talking to parents
-starting podcasting
-project based learning
-Critical thinking taught in schools
-drawing a line with belief
-Logical Fallacies
-Conspiracy Theory : MacDonald's is poisoning its customers
-Building a philosophy
-Politics (where nihilism gets pretty dangerous)
-There are no contradictions in nature
-cause and effect
-The trivium
-If we cant have knowledge, what's the point of philosophy?
-extreme skepticism maintaining that nothing in the world has a real existence
-traditional values and beliefs are unfounded
-a sense that everything is unreal
-Objectivists see the truth as a demonstrated relationship between concepts and reality

no statement is preferable to any other statement , because objective values dont exist
no job or pastime is preferable to any other job or pastime
no non-preferable either

SUMMARY OF OBJECTIVISM - full, complete or closed philosophy

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." -rand

begins with three axioms: existence, consciousness, and identity
"An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it."

is nihilism a stolen concept?

Metaphysics - naturalistic, objective reality through the 5 senses, plus instrumentation, no supernatural
Epistemology - then use reason to make sense of it
Ethics - rational self-interest
Politics - free-market capitalism and individual rights, but government
Aesthetics - romanticized realism, Atlas Shrugged or the Fountainhead

Metaphysical Laws

Look Closer:
Anarcho-Yakitalism Podcast - http://an-yak.com/

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  1. The Dadโ€™s view:

    I am grateful to see Nick talk about and put into practice ideas and values that are of the highest value to me. Having a child have a strong value for independence and self-reliance is a much desired outcome for me as a parent. I am also pleased that he has a strong moral conviction to live in a good way and to know that he must make the moral evaluation and not to follow blindly. I like how he is applying his knowledge to be a creator of works such as the podcast and farm business. Seeing him use his intelligence under the pressure of a public recording is gratifying and gives me great pride too.

    I am also concerned. Mainly that he is growing up too fast and is too serious. I feel like he will miss some of the fun of a care free time in his life while trying to make a business. Even this week, he is trying to balance his future goals of getting more podcasts out with having a fun time hanging out with friends at the fair. He has decades to work and build a fortune. Just a few years left of hanging out with friends with very few life responsibilities and many many decades of working to meet responsibilities and commitments. I would like to broaden his moral convictions to include some value for fun and keeping a sustainable pace in life. A person can develop over time and can accomplish at a reasonable pace and still keep to the moral convictions that drive them.

    I worry that he is acting without knowledge or with naivety. I have enough life on me to know that there is good foundational knowledge being presented to Nick at school. He has the best of teachers and he could learn this information much more efficiently at school than on his own. A sacrifice of a few years now could save many decades of self-education in the future. One possible reason for his lack of interest is his ignorance of the topics themselves. How can he know his true interests if he has not broadly and thoroughly examined the range of possibilities?
    In addition, he listens to people on the internet that are ignorant about his situation. He goes to a school controlled by his father and neighbors. We have his best interest in mind. There is no conspiracy to make Nick into a robot for the state. Those opinions from people far away are not fully informed. He should be cautious and thorough about testing that advice to the situation that he can observe first hand. The advice from close neighbors and elders may be closer to the mark than far away theorists and generalists. In addition, that close advice has more of an interest in Nick rather than a political movement.

    I worry that 40 year old Nick will be angry with me for not providing more boundaries for his education. With a little more effort on my part I could keep him going to school without breaking his spirit. He would have all the benefits and efficiencies of a great education. He might thank me later.

    However, I am following my own fatherโ€™s advice to not act out of worry and fear. I have chosen to support his strengths to live to his convictions. I am confident this will lead him to a good life. I put my eggs in that basket and fan the flame of his passion by supporting his interests, moving a few barriers for him and reminding him to give water to his yaks.

  2. You are blessed to be a yak herder and a student in a pretty great school. Get what you can from all of it. Enjoy your friends and make some good memories. Don’t let people you don’t know encourage you to take shortcuts in life, you never know what or who you’ll miss. Good luck with life ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Stop sucking on candy while talking. It is disgusting and it’s a huge distraction.

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