Activism today seems caught in a stalemate with itself. While the Battle of Seattle founded a generation of direct-action, anti-organizational chaotic intervention against neo-liberal world government meetings, they’ve failed to gain mass public support. For reasons which have been understood for decades, the media is excellent at not getting messages through which are damaging to corporate power […]Read More Zizek and the paradoxical position of activism today
To the problem of the other how many lines should we devote? Levinas expounded plenty, Heidegger a dozen strokes but of phenomenologists most eminent whom to this problem did devote who’s song doth please us more? To Levinas the gap between the self and other is a gulf we cannot ever bridge the distance, so […]Read More Heidegger and Levinas to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”
Recently, my friend and colleague Benjamin Nelson (contributor at talking philosophy) posted Colbert’s recent testimony at a congressional hearing to his facebook with this comment: “In American politics, satire is indistinguishable from the truth.” A long debate ensued, mostly about Colbert’s remarks being distinguishable from truth, but without being ungenuine, and the power of satire […]Read More Colbert – Satire, Sincerity and Congressional Hearings
A common complaint about Toronto concerns its flatness – there are large swathes of it with no obvious geographical traits at all. A city fo Euclidean ideality may be great for cycling (if it were not for the traffic, the lack of safe bike lanes, and the awful paving), but it also gives the impression […]Read More Toronto’s man-made flatness
Ronald de Sousa‘s “Emotional Truth” seeks to expand the realm of truth from its restriction to belief and belief-like states to include emotions and emotional states. On DeSousa’s view, an emotion can be “true”, or “false”, but not in the sense of being “flat-out” true or false, rather in some matter of degree. To use […]Read More de Sousa on Emotional Truth
Hypothesis: Throughout history, various taboos and social practices have surrounded the use of animals for food, and these taboos have in general the purpose of protecting humans from coming to enjoy the torture and killing of emotional beings, while they continue to torture and kill emotional beings. Case A: ancient past: the killing of animals […]Read More Why are slaughterhouses morally repulsive?
Imagine if in some deep sense life were determined. Now, somehow avoid the immediate rejoinder that, “this means I am not typing this, because presupposed in every activity and every description of activity, including me describing the activity of believing to be determined, spontaneous will is presumed”. Instead, assume that what we mean by “spontaneous […]Read More What if Freedom and Freewill had nothing to do with each other?
Last night Josh, Dave and I watched two rock music documentaries: “Classic Albums: Dark Side of the Moon”, and Rush’s “Beyond the Lighted Stage”. I was astonished at the different ways the two bands reacted to their own success, and how this manifested a different politics. In short – Pink Floyd was damaged by its […]Read More Politics of 70s Prog Rock
The CBC has run stories on parents groups who are concerned about the possible health effects of WIFI in elementary schools. Individual reports of increased heart rate and headaches, from parents and from the children themselves, are are concerning – but intuitively one wishes to trust Health Canada who dismiss the complaints as subjective. The […]Read More Wifi in Schools and the Dangers of non-ionizing radiation: crazed anti-science parents, or a Cold War failure of Normal Science?
In late 17th century Imperial Russia, Peter the Great sought to modernize his country – adapt the modern ways of the west, and put down the old backwards which held his country in the dark ages. A major force for backwardness in his kingdom were the Boyars. The Boyars were the highest rank of the […]Read More When Elites Threaten the Future: Peter the Great, Democracy and Climate Change