30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Are the Humanities Political?

It is very easy to argue that knowledge about Shakespeare or Wordsworth is not political whereas knowledge about contemporary China or the Soviet Union is. My own formal and professional designation is that of "humanist," a title which indicates the humanities as my field and therefore the unlikely eventuality that there might be anything political about what I do in that field. Of course, all these labels and terms are quite unnuanced as I use them here, but the general truth of what I am po...
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28 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 We Are Lucky Because We are Going to Die

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth ...
Folksonomies: atheism
Folksonomies: atheism
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So many people never even got to exist.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Keats Against "Cold Philosophy"

...Do not all charms fly At the mere touch of cold philosophy? There was an awful rainbow once in heaven: We know her woof, her texture; she is given In the dull catalogue of common things. Philosophy will clip an Angel’s wings, Conquer all mysteries by rule and line, Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine - Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made The tender-person’d Lamia melt into a shade.
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An anti-science passage from the poem "Lamia."

10 AUG 2011 by ideonexus

 Looking at the Shadows in the Cave

“Yes,” Dr. Malone went on, “they know we’re here. They answer back. And here goes the crazy part: you can’t see them unless you expect to. Unless you put your mind in a certain state. You have to be confident and relaxed at the same time. You have to be capable- Where’s that quotation …” She reached into the muddle of papers on her desk and found a scrap on which someone had written with a green pen. She read: ” ‘… Capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, ...
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A computer named "the cave" where users look into the shadows displayed on it and it reflects their thinking. Named for Plato's Cave, it also sounds like Tarot readings; however, in the context of the story, there is something supernatural at work too.