30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The Enlightenment Ideal Ingrained in Culture

You and I ought to reach this moral understanding not just so we can have a logically consistent conversation but because mutual unselfishness is the only way we can simultaneously pursue our interests. You and I are both better off if we share our surpluses, rescue each other’s children when they get into trouble, and refrain from knifing each other than we would be if we hoarded our surpluses while they rotted, let each other’s children drown, and feuded incessantly. Granted, I might be...
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19 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 History of the Fairness Doctrine and Rise of Media Relati...

The intellectual erosion of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, as science sat silently on the sidelines and anti-science rose to rule on both the left and the right, was greatly worsened in August of 1987 when, during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) abolished what was called the "fairness doctrine" in an historic 4-0 vote, severing one of the last ties to a common public foundation of knowledge and its cousin, the carefully researched publi...
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Once the Doctrine was removed, the media turned to emotive appeals to bring in audiences and public discourse declined.

18 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 The Story of How the Universe's Size was Determined

It was into this fiery climate of the 1920s that the Protestant-raised Hubble, adorned with the cape, cane, and British accent he had adopted while at Oxford, returned after the war. He arrived at the Carnegie Institution of Washington-funded Mount Wilson Observatory outside Pasadena, California, insisting on being called "Major Hubble."^'' Looking through the great Hooker telescope—at one hundred and one inches in diameter and weighing more than one hundred tons it was by far the largest a...
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Includes a cautionary tale of Shapely, who helped prove the Sun was not the center of the Universe, but who thought the Milky Way was all the Universe there was without empirical data.

30 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 The Geniuses for Whom the Greeks would Build Statues

These are the principal geniuses that the human mind must regard as its masters and for whom the Greeks would have erected statues, even if they were obliged to make more space by demolishing the monuments of some conquerors.
Folksonomies: enlightenment philosophes
Folksonomies: enlightenment philosophes
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Bacon, Descartes, Newton, and Locke are the "principal geniuses" of the Enlightenment.

02 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Web as a Liberal Artefact

A final point briefly worth making is that the Web is a space designed to let information flow, and to create opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. It is worth asking why freer information flow is a good thing, and the answers are pretty straightforward. It is good to have the freedom to express oneself in order that one can pursue one's own autonomous and authentic projects. Unhindered criticism of governments and other power centres tends to lead to better governance; information...
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With openess, egalitarianism of ideas, and free flow of information as its principles, the Web works as a liberal democracy, and totalitarian governments attempt to control or subvert it.