Post-Iraqi Election Lies... echem... I mean PR

Lenin has put together a comprehensive analysis of the pentegon's post-Iraqi-election PR (read lie) campaign. It is a must read.

Foucault on Reality

"My role - and that is too emphatic a word - is to show people that they are much freer than they feel, that people accept as truth, as evidence, some themes which have been built up at a certain moment during history, and that this so-called evidence can be criticized and destroyed." - Michel Foucault

John Stuart Mill on Conservatives

"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill

Is it Shit?

Step One: Google "shit"

Step Two: Read whatever website google ranks as first.

Step Three: Tell me whether the author is right, or full of shit.

(Tip of the hat to the convesation at David Weinberger's blog that inspired this post.)

Albert Einstein's Ghost Writes a Post

When I was still a rather precocious young man, I already realized most vividly the futility of the hopes and aspirations that most men pursue throughout their lives. Well-being and happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim. I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a pig. The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth.

Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.

It is nothing short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field.

Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means. We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility.

Note: This is a remix of Albert Einstein quotes

Monkey Pornography

Stumbled across this fantastic weblog: Philosophy of Biology. The fact that I am not very familiar with biology (as a body of knowledge) makes this find all the better. Anyhow, the reader is undoubtably curious as to why this post is titled "monkey pornography"... well, read on:

Male monkeys will trade their juice for photos of female monkeys' hindquarters, according to a new study forthcoming in Current Biology. I'm not sure how relevant this finding is to the philosophy of biology, but at least our site traffic should get a boost from having the word 'pornography' in a post title. [link]

Touche, Michael Sprague, touche...


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