Societies past were barbaric: slavery, witch-burnings, child labor, and wooden teeth. Writing in the Washington Post, Princeton professor Kwame Anthony Appiah wonders what future generations will condemn us for. He suggests our…
Over at Harper’s, Scott Horton asks Julian Young six questions about his new book Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography:
2. Nietzsche wrote that a “deadly insult” had come between himself and Wagner. You suggest that you’ve learned what it was.
Wagner had long disapproved of Nietzsche’s close friendships with men–love he held could only exist between the sexes–and by 1877 he was offended by the developing anti-Wagnerian tenor of Nietzsche’s thought. To Nietzsche’s doctor he wrote that the cause of the patient’s many health problems–which included near blindness–was “unnatural debauchery, with indications of pederasty.” His former disciple was, in other words, (a) incipiently gay and (b) going blind because he masturbated. Somehow Nietzsche learned not only of the existence of the letter but of its the exact wording. That was the “deadly insult.”
3. In a review of your book, reformed neoconservative Francis Fukuyama chides you for writing repeatedly about global warming in the context of Nietzsche’s thought. He seems to feel that this discussion is frivolous. How do you react to this critique?
Well, as you say, Fukuyama has seen the error of his ways. So he’s not a global warming skeptic…
A short animated film of a talk by philosopher/theorist Slavoj Zizek, who is always eager to push people’s buttons. Zizek examines the ethics and effects of charitable giving, and concludes that charity has a dark side, in that it helps preserve the status quo:
From the Onion. Yeah, that Onion, so progressives please try to remember where you left your sense of humor: LEXINGTON, MA — Describing himself as “terribly exhausted,” famed linguist and political dissident…
Below is the first five chapters of Tim Wallace-Murphy’s new book Hidden Wisdom: The Secrets of the Western Esoteric Tradition available on Scribd. Here’s a quick bit about the book: From Egyptian…
If you will be in the New York-metro area this week, please come and join us for a talk and book signing for Tim Wallace-Murphy’s new book Hidden Wisdom: The Secrets of the Western Esoteric Tradition. Please RSVP on Facebook (see links below) or if not there, then by comment on this article:
Thursday, May 6, 2010: East West Living Bookstore and Cafe
Saturday, May 8, 2010: New York Theosophical Society
Monday, May 10, 2010: Livingston Masonic Library
From Egyptian mythology to Jewish mysticism, Rome and Greece to the Druids and the Gnostics, Tim Wallace-Murphy exposes in Hidden Wisdom a fascinating lineage of hidden mysteries and secret societies, continuing through the Templars, Rosicrucians, and Freemasons to our modern visionaries. This hidden stream of spirituality and that of sacred knowledge are inseparably entwined to form the single most important continuous strand in the entire Western esoteric tradition.
More info at www.hidden-wisdom.com.
Defenders of religion argue that no matter how much information science gives us about the world, it can never answer fundamental questions such as “Why are we here?” and “What is good/evil?” — That’s what we have religion/spirituality for.
Speaking at the TED conference, Sam Harris lays out how he believes science can in fact provide us with the answers to basic moral questions (and give us better answers than the Bible).
These A-holes are no longer happy with the “Greed is Good” mantra? Kicking it up to the Almighty now? Great job ducking those questions from Congress today. Matt Taibbi, who’s been excellent on speaking the truth behind the so-called financial “crisis,” writes in the Guardian:
The investment bank’s cult of self-interest is on trial against the whole idea of civilisation — the collective decision by all of us not to screw each other over even if we can.
So Goldman Sachs, the world’s greatest and smuggest investment bank, has been sued for fraud by the American Securities and Exchange Commission. Legally, the case hangs on a technicality.
Morally, however, the Goldman Sachs case may turn into a final referendum on the greed-is-good ethos that conquered America sometime in the 80s – and in the years since has aped other horrifying American trends such as boybands and reality shows in spreading across the western world like a venereal disease.
When Britain and other countries were engulfed in the flood of defaults and derivative losses that emerged from the collapse of the American housing bubble two years ago, few people understood that the crash had its roots in the lunatic greed-centered objectivist religion, fostered back in the 50s and 60s by ponderous emigre novelist Ayn Rand.
From renegade scholar Randall Carlson, he takes the viewer through the relationship of Sacred Geometry in Time and Space and it’s manifestation of the phenomenon of the Precession of The Equinoxes (POE). The POE cosmic time cycle presents the frame work for understanding the cosmic cycles of destruction and rebirth.
I will let the man speak for himself:
From www.lifehack.org: Brilliant thinkers are very comfortable with ambiguity — they welcome it. Routine thinkers like clarity and simplicity; they dislike ambiguity. There is a tendency in our society to reduce complex…
This article brings up a question of philosophy. If there is a some vast, dark force at the center of the universe which is speeding us toward oblivion, what does that say…
John Pavlus writes on io9.com: Science fiction has long played with the idea of projecting unified personalities/minds/”souls” into different bodies. The premise is baked into the plots of stories like Avatar and…
Greta Christina writes on Alternet: What is an appropriate atheist philosophy of death? And how should atheists be talking about death with believers? As regular readers know, I’ve been doing a project…
Was reading Boldtype’s “10 Awesome Books to Give Your Nonreading Friends” where I came across the work of cartoonist R. Sikoryak. Here’a an article about him from The New Yorker:
For twenty years, the cartoonist R. Sikoryak has been creating parody strips of literary masterpieces, casting familiar cartoon characters in classic roles — Little Lulu as Pearl Prynne, Little Nemo as Dorian Gray, Charlie Brown as Gregor Samsa. If you’re like me, and you sometimes like your serious literature with a side of Beavis and Butthead (see Sikoryak’s take on “Waiting for Godot”), you will probably laugh out loud over Masterpiece Comics, a collection of thirteen of these strips, just out from Drawn & Quarterly.
Here is R. Sikoryak’s take on an existentialist superhero:
Check out the The New Yorker link for a Kafkaesque Charlie Brown tale.
Patricia Cohen investigates in the New York Times: For decades the German philosopher Martin Heidegger has been the subject of passionate debate. His critique of Western thought and technology has penetrated deeply…
From Black Sun Gazette “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put…
“The world was shocked. To find out God did in fact exist, and second to find out he was now dead.”
Disinformation: The Podcast – 2010: Science or Superstition with Alexandra Bruce
Woo-woo (or just plain woo) is a term used, often in a dismissive way, by skeptics for dealing with phenomena that can’t be verified by independent evidence, but yet, many people strongly believe in. So who better to investigate the “woo-woo” world of the present-day 2012 phenomenon than author Alexandra Bruce (Beyond The Bleep, Beyond The Secret), no stranger to the realm where pop culture and the esoteric collide.
Raymond Wiley and Joe McFall, hosts of our monthly interview series Disinformation: The Podcast, talk with Alexandra about her new book 2012: Science Or Superstition, a companion to the Disinformation documentary of the same name.