a place to share what i've been thinking

Ciao, I'm David Stokman, resident of Saint Paul, and a firm believer that sharing our ideas, questions, and experiences with each other is one of the most valuable and enjoyable things in life.

Quickly, a bit about myself. I did my undergrad at Saint John's University, where I studied economics and philosophy (an underrated combination). After graduating, I did a volunteer year with the Benedictines in Rome. There, I learned that the most biggest impact I can have in my work is how I do it and the impression I make on those around me. I learned how to speak Italian, saw how beautiful cities are made, and was blessed to make a few friends that have made a profound impact on me.

I also discovered how much I enjoy writing. I began to notice a quasi-existential need to express, through words, the thoughts in my head. As if they needed to be given form to be real. Even though I don't end up sharing most of what I write, it fills a personal need because it helps me make judgements about things that happen in my life. And simply frees up mental space.


from Against the Court of Public Opinion

I love reading and talking about politics, culture, and religion with my peers. It's easily one of my favorite pastimes.

Over the past 5 year or so, however, we have seen a strange air settle over the country and broader society. Most of the things listed above feel too sensitive to talk about. That doesn't mean people have stopped having opinions or questions about them, of course, it's just that voicing them has become too uncomfortable, taboo, or even dangerous. In large part, because the court of public opinion has deemed certain ideas/questions as unacceptable, illegitimate. See James Damore.

So either we suppress them or we modify them to fit within consensus opinion. Nonetheless, our desire to ask true questions, share and test unpopular ideas, and converse with each other about important things, remains. And if they don't at some point find expression, they drive us crazy. Often bordering on the point of explosion. How then, do we regain a culture that is not afraid of conversation?

*Find the rest of this essay here.*