A dovetail joint of news, art, science, politics, philosophy & global affairs

Grasping the currency true to our time

"Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει"

July 6th
9:45 PM

Carl Sagan, The Pale Blue Dot (Cosmos 2014)

August 7th
12:29 PM

What we don't understand about religion might just kill us

Argument - long read »

God and the Ivory Tower

…anthropologist Richard Sosis and his colleagues studied 200 communes founded in the United States in the 19th century. If shared religious beliefs really did foster loyalty, they reasoned, then communes formed out of religious conviction should survive longer than those motivated by secular ideologies such as socialism. Their findings were striking: Just 6 percent of the secular communes were still functioning 20 years after their founding, compared with 39 percent of the religious communes….

In an age where religious and sacred causes are resurgent, there is urgent need for scientific effort to understand them. Now that humankind has acquired through science the power to destroy itself with nuclear weapons, we cannot afford to let science ignore religion and the sacred, or let scientists simply try to reason them away. Policymakers should leverage scientific understanding of what makes religion so potent a force for both cooperation and conflict, to help increase the one and lessen the other. >continue<

May 4th
2:35 AM
"…this line is a direct reflection of religion. Our mythos of individuality (even rights), the stuff we see in various political creeds. No matter what we call ourselves, we tend to reflexively buy this story line… this premium on the individual “coming first”, that there is some atomic individuality that “does things” in some pure zone of doing that has mastery over everything else as a tool. Then these mystical entities called “rights” get woven in to the picture. Many self-styled atheists buy it too, unaware that it cannot be verified or legitimized by any hard science"
May 3rd
1:26 PM
"The universe is made of stories, not atoms."

Muriel Rukeyser

via Brainpickings, The Storytelling Animal: The Science of How We Came to Live and Breathe Stories

"It’s probably fitting for someone about to move over there to speculate and tell tales about what he thinks the move will be like." - Phaedo (61e)

August 2nd
8:57 AM
"… I blame the broad liberal community for our failures, not just President Obama. My biggest beef with Obama is the same one I had three years ago, namely that he’s never really even tried to move public opinion in a specifically progressive direction. But that hardly even matters unless all the rest of us have laid the groundwork. And we haven’t. Wonks, hacks, activists, all of us. We just haven’t persuaded the public to support our vision of government. Until we do, the tea party tendency will always be more powerful than we are."
—  Kevin Drum, It’s Public Opinion, Stupid (via ilyagerner)
July 13th
8:59 AM
"For five thousand years, successful imperial rulers have maintained their power in part by controlling the story tellers to communicate fabricated cultural stories that evoke fear, alienation, learned helplessness, and a sense dependence on a strong ruler for direction and protection. This induces a cultural trance that suppresses our inherent human capacity for responsible self-direction, sharing, and cooperation. The falsified stories create an emotional bond between the ruled and their rulers while alienating the ruled from one another and the living Earth, eroding relations of mutual self-help, and reducing the ruled to a state of resigned dependence. Corporate advertisers and PR propagandists have mastered and professionalized the arts of cultural manipulation. Their stories lead us to base our personal identity on the corporate logos we wear, the branded products we consume, the corporation for which we work, and the Wall Street-funded political party to which we belong."
—  David Korten (via azspot)
June 18th
9:24 AM
Great story [public radio/audio clickthrough] on Snap Judgment. 22 year old woman connects with her father for the first time, narrative blending their voices together: Just Like Your Father

Great story [public radio/audio clickthrough] on Snap Judgment. 22 year old woman connects with her father for the first time, narrative blending their voices together: Just Like Your Father