Discover more from Popular Rationalism
Why I Created an Online University
I'm Not Mad. I'm Motivated.
“I know you’re busy” is the number one thing I hear from people who are about to request something from me, whether it’s expert testimony, or help finding a study, or an appearance on a podcast. Yes, I’m busy - between books and blogs, I write constantly, am conducting research analyses for peer-reviewed publications, run two podcasts, direct IPAK (ever hear of Dr. Jessica Rose?) and so in the middle of all of this, I decide to create an online University? Am I mad?
IPAK-EDU was created because I saw people working very, very hard to try to convince their loved ones, their neighbors, their departments of public health, and their representatives that something was not quite right with public health policies hellbent on vaccinating every single person. I also saw a lot of people wasting a lot of time trying to figure out what was real (claims like SARS-CoV-2 does not exist, or that it’s only an exosome). That kind of distraction soaked up collectively and individual far too much critical and valuable time. Plus, a lot of people wanted me to explain a lot of science. So what better way to empower the public than to give them the education they crave?
My first course was the course How to Read and Interpret a Scientific Study. Man, I knew I missed teaching, but this was like slipping into a pair of lost favorite slippers. I knew as I taught that the lights were going off on matters of study design - even though the course really is just a walk-through of the anatomy of a scientific study. About five weeks into the course, students would report that they were increasingly comfortable diving into published studies. “Hey, I know where to find specific information in research studies”. That was quite rewarding.
I added a two-semester course in Biology to empower the public on the fundamentals of biology, not quite knowing what to expect. My students from that class so far have formed a tight cohort- a community that learns together and even works together in some cases as volunteers at IPAK. The volunteers are using skills they have learned in the Bioinformatics course I added. This semester, I’m teaching the course Environmental Toxicology: Ecosystem and Human Health based on materials I’ve amassed on that topic over the past year or so. Next term, I’m adding the course The Biology of the Immune System, and co-teaching the course Herbology and Human Health with Dr. Michael Gaeta of the Gaeta Institute.
He also teaches a course at IPAK-EDU called The Biology of Nutrition, which is very popular with those who have had the course.
Next semester, Dr. David Brownstein (Michigan) will be teaching Wholistic Approaches to Human Health. I’m looking forward to that class myself.
You’ll notice that I formed IPAK-EDU around the curriculum track: Biology, Law, Analytics, Psychology. The Law track has The History of Western Law (taught by Dr. Rob Rigney) and will eventually have Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Vaccine Law and the course How to Engage in Your Own Governance in An Open Society.
The Psychology track will have Introduction to Psychology, by Dr. Shannon Kroner - readings and discussion of the contributions of the great thinkers in Psychology. I’d like to add Developmental Psychology, Adolescent Psychology and Abnormal Psychology and the Psychology of Aging.
And then there’s the Analytics Track. I added this so people can improve their numeracy, and undo the harm that public school has done to peoples’ abilities to think in quantitative terms. I teach Spreadsheets 1, and will be bringing on two instructors to help teach Applied Biostatistics and Spreadsheets 2. Those two courses go hand-in-hand, and people who take those courses will be ready to analyze data on their own fully educated on the concepts of statistics and how to execute the analyses in spreadsheets. Analytics will eventually have a course in Formal Logic and Reason, which will overlap with a new Curriculum Track in Philosophy, which will teach the classical and modern thought models of philosophy, leading to a Capstone Course, Popular Rationalism.
The Popular Rationalism school of thought is embodied across the curriculum: it’s the public who want public health policies, medical options based on science, logic & reason, whereas pharma and the regulatory agencies want policies and medicine based on authority. Popular Rationalism is the opposite of Constructivism, in which people make a knowledge claim based on the and they have proclaimed a truth based on their hand-picked confirming instances, which is a form of verificationism. Fraud, science-like activities, and PharmaScience are not science, and the public knows the difference. Karl Popper knew the difference, and we are reviving Popperianism as a way of encouraging challenging knowledge claims to try to show they are wrong… to try to falsify them… so the most rigorous and correct explanations of reality can be found.
Eventually, we’ll be adding Genetics, Evolutionary Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, language courses and others.
It’s by educating thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands in the central tenets and fundamentals of science, logic and reason that we have a chance of turning back the tide of the maniacal tyranny that is forcing itself into our lives.
If you’re a displaced academic and think you might be a good fit for some of the planned courses, let’s get in touch. Email your CV, a brief biopic and a draft syllabus or general course description to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re eager to start learning and put some octane in your tank, visit http://ipak-edu.org and check out the open classes. We work on a classic semester model, with 10-16 live class meetings per course. Videos of each class meeting are available to registrants after the fact, so if you have to miss a class, you won’t really miss the class meeting and lecture.
A few sample lectures are available free at Vimeo (along w/a couple of episodes of Unbreaking Science) - that link is here » Link to Sample Lectures « .
You can drop by the IPAK-EDU LLC website and buy a gift card to share the gift of knowledge. Or give yourself that gift. You’ll be glad you did.