Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Author Interview – John H.T. Francis @JohnHTFrancis

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What’s your greatest character strength?

I try to remain true to myself and in that way I think I have a strong individual character. I may not always succeed in that but I have it high on my mind and I continuously strive to maintain an internal consistency. I guess I have a certain internal clarity and I do not get swayed or influenced that easily. But that does not mean that I cannot change my mind on things.

What scares you the most?

That Humanity one day destroys itself or becomes irremediably mediocre through naivety, idiocy, laziness, and cowardice. That all what is good, all sacrifice and effort towards the better made in History sinks down with the mass of the naïve, stupid, and narrow-minded.

What social issues interest you the most?

I have been a social thinker since a very young age; so naturally, there are many social issues that mean a lot to me. But in particular, I find myself lately focusing on the issue of Morality: how humans should go about creating it, deal with the differences we find in it across different cultures, and put it in wide application instead of just pretending to hold it. I think a lot of other social issues whether in law and jurisprudence, politics, or economics will dissolve once this has been addressed properly.

45. Last book you purchased? Tell us about it.

I have purchased a classical Ulysses, by James Joyce. It is sitting there on my bookshelf waiting for the right moment for me to pull it out and start reading it. I admit I did not get yet the chance to read Ulysses; I should have done it a while ago. But I guess the circumstances were never right for it yet; I hope I will read it with the right appetite soon!

Who is your favorite author?

I hold many writers and thinkers in great esteem. There are some that I appreciate more for the quality, accuracy, and richness of thought, while others for the excellent writing  skills. But if you force me to give one name, and I put aside philosophers for a minute, I would say Fyodor Dostoevsky. What a depth, what an acute sense of perception, and what a way of putting the human condition in words!

Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

Reflections on Fundamental Matters, Not for the Satisfied Mind is a work that invites the reader to think deeply about many important topics of living and being. The book treats subjects that almost all of us have asked questions about at some point in our lives and have struggled with, such as,

-Why are we here?

-What is the nature of the world around us?

-What is life really?

-Why there are so many religions?

-What is ‘good’ and ‘bad’?

-How things came to be the way they are?

-What is ‘knowing’?

-What is ‘truth’?

I wanted to put all these subjects under one roof so that the work can serve the reader as a focal point from which to start exploring the world of thought and action. I wanted with this book to enlarge the general consciousness and help make people think more and better because simply, many of the modern man’s problems are still due to not thinking more and better. I wanted to communicate to readers a framework of thought based on a rich multidisciplinary approach, to instill a certain intellectual attitude towards the world around and within, and to help make the difference between what is true, what is false, what can be known, and what cannot be known. I wrote the book in a simple style and in a way that does not require the reader to have advanced knowledge to understand it. I stayed away from academic jargon and, in many instances, my personal views take the back seat in the book.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

“[…] not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant.” John Locke. It is a quote I use in Reflections on Fundamental Matters. Why? Because the world is full of people who claim that they posses inalienable truths when they do not, and full of people who claim to know things when they are actually so far from knowing anything of substance really.

How often do you write? And when do you write?

It depends on periods. Sometimes I write everyday for many hours a day; sometimes I get a sudden inspiration about something I am working on so I take half-an-hour to put things in writing; and sometimes I can go for weeks without writing anything I consider worthy. It also depends on my other constraints. I usually write diligently in late morning/early afternoon, but I have also noticed that when I am in one of my  ‘no-writing’ phases, great ideas come to me in the evening so I rush to put them on a notepad before I lose them.

Do you intend to make writing a career?

Writing already occupies a substantial part of my time; and there are several importanttopics about which I intend to continue writing (in addition to what is found in Reflectionson Fundamental Matters). But whether writing will become my full-time occupation or not, I leave that to future events to reveal.


Addressing important questions that have been discussed across many times and cultures, this essay, written in a simple style, seeks to awaken you from the slumber of intellectual complacency. Author John H.T. Francis presents a multi-disciplinary look at prevalent interpretations and fundamental questions of human interest. He tackles many of humanity’s most important and difficult topics, drawing on many fields of knowledge and action, including science, philosophy, sociology, economics, politics, anthropology, and psychology. This study explores history, knowledge, the human mind and psyche, the nature of existence, the phenomenon of life, socio-economic and political dynamics, ethics, religions, and several current, pressing individual and collective challenges. It provides elements of answers and attempts to position subjects of general importance under a new light. Universal in his approach, Francis reaches out to those who are interested in delving deeper into the human understanding.

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Genre - Philosophy, Non-Fiction

Rating – G

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