Jack's Academy of Ideas




An Adventure in the Academy of Ideas--50 Videos Weekly for 50 Weeks on Zoom


Presenting 50 videos of the Academy of Ideas http://www.academyofideas.com/

Explored by two very different philosophers.

STARTS (New Zealand time):

1. Oceania, S.E. Asia, Asia: October 21, Friday, 9 PM; 

2. October 22, Saturday, 9 PMJack only

3. N.&S. America, Europe, Africa: October 23, Sunday 9AMSteven & Jack together

Here to compare your time to New Zealand time https://tinyurl.com/bdef97z7

Jack's Substack with 50 Academy of Ideas videos to view


This is Steven Yates, broadcasting from just outside Concepción, Chile.

Steven’s perspective: Christian Worldview (non-denominational, non-dispensationalist), Conservative “Populist,” with a PhD in Philosophy and four books the most recent of which is “What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory” (Wipf & Stock, 2021) https://tinyurl.com/322y3tc4

And this is Jack Carney, coming to you from Castor Bay, New Zealand.

Jack’s perspective: Naturalist, Atheist, Voluntaryist, Autodidact, Jack of All (Free) Trades. See my Self-Actualization Coaching https://tinyurl.com/57zyc6t4

Note that there are three different delivery days/times for this Tutorial.

1. Fridays 9 PM and 2. Saturdays 9 PM New Zealand time where Jack will be the sole facilitator-teacher. These days/times are targeting Oceania, S.E. Asia, and Asia.

3. Sundays 9am New Zealand time which are Saturdays 5pm Chile and 4pm E.S.T. time, where Steven will be joining Jack and Co-Presenting. This day/time is targeting the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, and Africa.

STARTING OCTOBER 21 & 22 – Jack Carney only


(Same day for Hawaii/Tahiti 10pm; Fiji 8pm; NSW/Victoria 7pm; Queensland 6pm; Japan 5pm; Perth/Philippines/China 4pm; Vietnam/Thailand 3pm)

STARTING OCTOBER 23 – Jack with Steven Yates


(Which is Sunday 9am New Zealand Time)

(SATURDAYS 11pm Kenya/Russia; 10pm Germany/Italy/Sweden; 9pm Nigeria/U.K.; 4pm Florida/Ontario; 3pm Texas/Columbia, S.A./Mexico; 2pm Colorado/Alberta; 1pm California/British Columbia)

Go here to check your time/day compared to Auckland, New Zealand:

https://tinyurl.com/bdef97z7 Personal World Clock


1. FRIDAYS, 9PM, starting October 21, 2022 New Zealand time

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 828 7050 1796

Passcode: 772388

2. SATURDAYS, 9PM, starting October 22, 2022 New Zealand time

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 860 9663 1190

Passcode: 772388

3. SUNDAYS, 9AM, starting October 23, 2022 New Zealand time

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 841 5629 1310

Passcode: 772388

Jack is seeking an audience in the East primarily (including China), given his New Zealand location, but is also seeking a Western audience, hence his joining with Steve.

Steven seeks an equivalent audience in North and South America, and perhaps Europe if Europeans by any chance see this.

The same video(s) will be presented in three sessions. You are welcome to attend all three. Not to worry, these sessions are free. (Perhaps we will put up a tip jar. 😊 )


“I think those attending will be stimulated by the differences between myself (Atheist, Naturalist, Voluntaryist, PhD in Life-Love-Loss) and Steven (Christian, Supernaturalist, Conservative, PhD in Philosophy). We have known each other for six years and regularly enjoy dialoguing our differences. Our polar perspectives should generate wide-ranging discussions and set an example of respectful debate. Opposites in other domains of ideas, what we both share, above all, is our faith in Freedom and that we must be Responsible for it.”


“It is important to note that we will be presenting and reviewing video material from our independent perspectives. Our presentations will involve, therefore, disagreements but we pledge to keep our disagreements mutually respectful, and to respect our audience by encouraging them to do their own thinking on the topics we shall be covering. We hope that by engaging polar opposites this way, we can set an example for others to follow that may help get us past the divisions currently rending Western civilization—or point toward a new way forward, in case that ship has sailed.”

Welcome to the Great Adventure in the History of Ideas, emphasizing the Ideas of Freedom and Responsibility for it.

“The aim of life can only be to increase the sum of freedom and responsibility to be found in every man in the world.”Albert Camus

“What is freedom? The will to be responsible for oneself." Friedrich Nietzsche

"Liberty is the prevention of control by others, the guardian of conscience." John Acton

"All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, until they take root in our personal experience. There are many men who fancy they understand whatever they experience." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"He who understands the wise is wise already." George C Lichtenberg

"The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free." Baruch Spinoza


“My conception of Responsible Freedom (includes Self-Actualization):

To be Free means that you understand how your Mind from birth has been conditioned (programmed, indoctrinated, controlled) by Nature (Genes) and Nurture (Upbringing) to obey Authority—Something or Someone other than You. We are born to conform to and obey the Authority of our Selfish Genes, Parents, Culture, Government, etc.—the totality of the Belief/Behavior Structures we inherit. To be Free is to discover and disable this default setting of Obedience to Authority; and then to reset it so as to become your own, ultimate Authority.

To be Responsible for your Freedom means you have recognized and acknowledged your innate and learned conditioning and made the effort to free your Mind as described above. You allow no one to control your Mind. You think your own thoughts rather than being thought by them. You regulate your emotions rather than being driven by them. You control yourself using the Scientific Method, the Non-Aggression Principle, Reason, and your own experience. As your own Authority, you understand and obey only Reality and yourself: “Nature to be commanded, must be obeyed.” Francis Bacon. “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

These four Au- words comprise the Gold (Au) Standard of the Responsibly Free Individual (etymological definitions):

Autonomy (Self Law Maker)

Authenticity (Self Doer/Being)

Authority (Master, Leader, Author)

Author (Originator, Creator, literally "One Who Causes to Grow")

To Self-Actualize (“What Humans Must be they Can Be, this Drive I call Self-Actualization” Jack) is to do the above and become as fully as possible, Responsible for your Freedom. The degree to which you do this is the degree of your Self-Actualization. This is a never ending, forever ongoing task that must be committed to and consistently renewed. This Self-Directed Education to value Freedom and become Responsible for it is generally not taught anywhere and it does not come naturally. 

To help others discover and disable the default setting of Obedience to Authority is why I have created this Adventure of Ideas. See my Free Friends Project” https://tinyurl.com/54f3p2jb


“My provisional definition of Responsible Freedom:

The conscious capacity to live according to one's own choices, not those of someone else (or the dictates of an institution not of one’s choosing), establishing goals of one’s own choosing and working toward achieving them, learning what one needs to learn or acquiring the skills one needs to acquire, in association with those of one's own choosing provided those others have made the association one of their choices.

Why I have introduced this as provisional should become clear shortly.

The caveats and qualifiers: (1) The chooser has agreed de facto to accept the consequences of his/her choices and associations. (2) Freedom is not the freedom to do anything one pleases. Freedom is not an absolute — an abstraction — but a concrete reality or particular. Freedom is enhanced by systems (physical, historical/cultural, behavioral). These are all around us, and part of our heritage. They have been maintained because, sometimes with necessary modifications, they have solved the major problems of civilization. The good news is that you can create behavioral systems for yourself, and these become your habits, including habits of thought.

This all means that responsible freedom is both made possible by, but also invariably constrained by, physically/systemically available options, one’s knowledge of those options, and one’s capacity to make use of them. This will include one's beliefs or mindset about what is possible for oneself and one’s associations. (3) Absence of immediate physical coercion is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for freedom, if other forms of coercion are present: hidden and unrecognized perhaps (psychological), or systemic (sociological or organizational). Recognizing their existence is the first step towards getting rid of them.  

Final caveat (4): this is a reflection of freedom understand where we are now: in a liberal civilization that arguably is collapsing (collapse being understood as a process, not a singular event as a Hollywood film would depict — see, e.g., Dmitry Orlov’s work on the topic). As we’ll see in a minute, there are almost surely societal states of affairs in which my conception of responsible freedom might not even be understood. I don’t consider it “frozen in time,” as it were.

It is also a given that believers in different Worldviews will come to different conclusions about What is responsible freedom? The question will also be answered differently in different Stages of Civilization.

For more on this perspective, please go to my blog post here https://tinyurl.com/y9u8tdt8

You will need to scroll past the introductory information until the references to Auguste Comte and Stages of Civilization begin to appear. Much of my commentary during our presentations will presuppose that you have had a look at this material.”


THE PHILOSOPHY OF RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM—An Adventure in the Academy of Ideas


“This is not, first of all, an academic philosophy tutorial. It is presented with the intention of providing a thoughtful but practical and relevant exploration of ideas, both historical and more recent, that are critically important to anyone who wishes a freer life and a more peaceful world, in which the barriers to these are neutered. My portion of the discussion will draw on the Stages-Of-Civilization material presented above, and what it might mean to “progress” to Civilization’s fifth stage—which I firmly believe we either do, or the West soon goes out of business!

We will be going through, and discussing, 50 videos from the Academy of Ideas. Our presentations will be conducted over Zoom. This is necessary because Jack and I are on different continents, and those who join in will be on still other continents. This is a global scale (but not globalist!) project, in other worlds.”

It is free, no charge; and hopefully, freeing. There is no commitment required. Each of the three sessions, two with Jack only and the other with the two of us trading ideas and sharing our individual perspectives, will last around one hour + (up to 1 ½ hours). The only thing we ask is that you enter the Zoom session a few minutes before the starting time. We will close entry to the session around 10 minutes after the starting time. You will be recorded with the possibility of the video being published. You can have your video and audio on or not—to whatever degree of anonymity you desire. You can leave the session whenever you want without notifying us. You can participate to whatever degree you wish including remaining silent and simply watching. You will be allowed to record each Zoom session which will appear on your device after the end to watch again.

Please inform one (or both) of us, letting us know ahead of time if you plan to attend a session—although this is not necessary. You can just drop in unannounced if you want.

Email Jack at responsiblyfree@protonmail.com

Email Steven at freeyourmindinsc@yahoo.com

ABOUT THE ACADEMY OF IDEAS https://tinyurl.com/5n9b66ff

The “Academy of Ideas” is a Canadian based (two brothers) Voluntaryist education service with some 200+ YouTube videos on all aspects of philosophy, especially as they relate to Responsible Freedom and Self-Actualization. Each video is 7 to 12 minutes long, and includes beautiful, classical paintings to illustrate the ideas presented as well as many focusing quotes from a variety of ancient to modern philosophers, especially those concerned with living the morally good life and not abstruse academic arguments. There are transcripts as well as copies of the paintings, so you can prepare ahead or explore more afterwards. Each video explores and explicates a set of ideas on a central topic or theme.

First of fifty videos is “The Benefits of Reading Great Books” https://tinyurl.com/5b7t2z82

From the transcript:

“The theme is how the body, or canon, of cultural classics of both the East and the West including literature, music, philosophy, and works of art can serve us if our goal is to free our minds, especially from the dominance of institutions and the constant barrage of noise from the political system and mainstream corporate media.

These quotes give the flavor of this first video, from the transcript:
“Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst. What is the right use? They are for nothing but to inspire.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We need to learn not simply to read books but to allow ourselves to be read by them.” Mark Edmundson

From the two Brothers’ transcript with concluding quote: 

“And if we decide to be one of the few to make reading great books a priority what we are likely to discover is that as we become more fixated on the wisdom contained in them, the pull of technology and the white noise of culture around us, will lose its grip on our mind. For as Edmundson explains: ‘People who have taught themselves how to live—what to be, what to do—from reading great works will not be overly susceptible to the culture industry’s latest wares. They’ll be able to sample them, or turn completely away—they’ll have better things on their minds.’

The final, fiftieth, video “How to Be Free in an Unfree World” https://tinyurl.com/kw9tauhx

From the transcript:

‘If such epics were the highest values of life — our peace, our independence, our basic rights, all that makes our existence more pure, more beautiful, all that justifies it — are sacrificed to the demon inhabiting a dozen fanatics and ideologues, all the problems of the man who fears for his humanity come down to the same question: how to remain free?Stefan Zweig, Montaigne

“Moral autonomy is life promoting under any conditions it is especially important at times of social upheaval and rapid change. If this crisis proves significant enough to fundamentally re-order the structure of our society many of us will soon discover that the ways of life that supported us up until now have become obsolete. Change or perish is the motto of a Brave New World, and unless we are willing to take responsibility for our own future, to act with autonomy and to cultivate the traits that autonomy necessitates, such as curiosity, self-directed learning, a willingness to take risks, and an openness to new experiences, then the only alternative is to place our life in the hands of another. Asserting our moral autonomy and doubling down on our psychological freedom has benefits that extends beyond the merely personal. For in choosing to retain our status as a free man or woman, and striving to behave in ways that reflect this, we become a force that pushes the world back in the direction of freedom.”


Jack will oversee playing the videos, with English subtitles (for English-as-Second-Language learners). Sometimes we play them once only, stopping to give our explanations and interpretations of ideas we find inspiring or to clarify words and ideas we think might be challenging to understand. We invite your responses—comments and questions—as we go, inviting each of you to share your questions or understandings of the ideas being discussed. Sometimes we play them twice: once all the way without stopping for comments; then a second time stopping for comments.

Our aim is to facilitate—make useful and enjoyable—your exploration of the ideas presented, adding our respective, own comments as we go, that we hope will deepen your understanding. Before, during and after our seminars we will also mention and supply access to relevant books, articles and videos (as well as URLs) so that you can prepare for or review and add further to your exploration and understanding.

Jack has put the 50 videos below into a specific sequence that he believes will be progressively accumulative and synergetic, leading you at the end to understand what it means to Self-Actualize Responsible Freedom


Steven used to ask his classes, at the end, “Are you free? Why or why not? How can you become freer, i.e., what beliefs and specific courses of action does this call for?”

ABOUT ACADEMY OF IDEAS—Free Minds for a Free Society https://tinyurl.com/3ufks374

From their website:

“The thirst for knowledge has consumed humanity since the dawn of civilization. However, until recently there have been numerous “gate-keepers” to the world of knowledge. Prior to the rise of the Internet most knowledge was conveyed to the populace through a centralized educational system, the state and the mass media. What this meant was that whomever controlled these institutions controlled the ideas that spread through a population. The advent of the Internet has initiated a revolution like no other. The Internet is smashing all barriers to knowledge by granting individuals across the globe free and easy access to the vast library of ideas built up by humanity. For the first time in history, we can seriously say that knowledge is free – the contemporary gatekeepers do not have the capacity to censor and control information on mass scale. At least, not yet.

The goal of this website is to further the spread of knowledge and freedom. We create content examining the ideas put forth by humanity’s greatest philosophers, psychologists, and economists. These individuals left us with a commodity more valuable than all others. Some people have said that money rules the world, some say politicians, some say weapons – they are all wrong. The truth is that ideas rule the world, they always have and always will. It is ideas that will, for better or worse, shape the destiny of mankind.

Academy of Ideas is the creation of two brothers from Canada. All of the content is produced by us. We are not supported by or affiliated with any organization or university. Our goal is to spread the message of individual liberty and empowerment to as many people as possible. Help us in our mission, and access our growing library of Membership videos (currently 55+ videos). Become a Supporting Member! We rely on the support of individuals like you. Learn more by following the link below.”

Become a Supporting Member of Academy of Ideas! https://tinyurl.com/3t6rrtbx


1.The Benefits of Reading Great Books



2.Suffering and the Meaning of Life

https://academyofideas.com/2012/11/suffering-and-the-meaning-of- life/


3.Ernest Becker and the Fear of Death



4.What is Religion



5.Nietzsche and the Death of God

https://academyofideas.com/2012/11/nietzsche-and-the-death-of- god/


6.Introduction to Nihilism



7.Overcoming Nihilism



8.Nietzsche and Morality--The Higher Man and The Herd



9.Abraham Maslow and the Psychology of Self-Actualization

https://academyofideas.com/2018/05/abraham-maslow-psychology-of-self- actualization/


10.Life as a Quest

https://academyofideas.com/?s=Life+as+a+Quest+- +The+Antidote+to+a+Wasted+Existence


11.Philosophy as a Way of Life



12.Diogenes the Cynic



13.The Ideas of Socrates



14.Epicurus and Ethics



15.Introduction to Stoicism & Stoicism vs. Epicureanism



16.Ralph Waldo Emerson and The Psychology of Self-Reliance



17.Introduction to Existentialism



18.Introduction to Ethics



19.Frans de Waal and Our Inner Ape

https://academyofideas.com/2017/08/frans-de-waal-inner-ape-evolutionary-origins- war-peace/


PW: innerape83

20.The Psychology of Conformity



21.The Psychology of Authenticity



22.Why You Should Strive for a Meaningful Life, Not a Happy One



23.Social Media and the Psychology of Loneliness



24.Performing Therapy On Yourself--Self-Knowledge and Self-Realization



25.Existential Psychotherapy--Death, Freedom, Isolation, Meaninglessness

https://academyofideas.com/2016/08/existential-psychotherapy-death-freedom- isolation-meaninglessness/


26.Collectivism and Individualism



27.Fear and Social Control



28.Machiavelli--The Rulers vs The Ruled

https://academyofideas.com/2019/08/machiavelli-the-rulers-vs-the-ruled- struggle-for-power/


29. The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind – Gustave Le Bon



30.Eric Hoffer — The True Believer and The Nature of Mass Movements


31.Edward Bernays and Group Psychology

https://academyofideas.com/2017/07/edward-bernays-group-psychology- manipulating-the-masses/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOUcXK_7d_c&t=25s

32.Introduction to Propaganda


33.What is Brainwashing?


34.Do We Live in a Sick Society



35.Public Schools, the Fixation of Belief, and Social Control



36.Why Public Schools and the Mainstream Media Dumb Us Down

https://academyofideas.com/2019/03/public-schools-mainstream-media-dumb-us- down/


37.How We Enslave Ourselves



38.The Psychology of Obedience and The Virtue of Disobedience



39.How the Greater Good is Used as a Tool of Social Control



40.George Orwell and 1984: How Freedom Dies



41.Aldous Huxley and Brave New World



42.Democracy and the Road to Tyranny



43.Spontaneous Order vs. Centralized Control



44.Why We Can’t Vote Our Way to Freedom



45.The Individual vs. Tyranny



46.How Civil Disobedience Safeguards Freedom and Prevents Tyranny

https://academyofideas.com/2020/12/how-civil-disobedience-safeguards- freedom-and-prevents-tyranny/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=gnodcLLEZw4&feature=e mb_logo

47.The Psychology of Power – How to Dethrone Tyrants



48.Freedom vs. Force — The Individual and the State

https://academyofideas.com/2020/08/freedom-vs-force-the-individual-and-the- state/


49.How to Fortify the Mind in Times of Crisis



50.How to Be Free in an Unfree World