02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Logic as Magical Thinking

These battles over definition are not taking place in the same universe as the one in which men throw around these terms online. But for the Logic Guys, the purpose of using these words — the sacred, magic words like “logic,” “objectivity,” “reason,” “rationality,” “fact” — is not to invoke the actual concepts themselves. It’s more a kind of incantation, whereby declaring your argument the single “logical” and “rational” one magically makes it so — and by e...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 How the Internet's Consensus of Information Undermines Au...

Heretofore, the technological advance that most altered the course of modern history was the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, which allowed the search for empirical knowledge to supplant liturgical doctrine, and the Age of Reason to gradually supersede the Age of Religion. Individual insight and scientific knowledge replaced faith as the principal criterion of human consciousness. Information was stored and systematized in expanding libraries. The Age of Reason originated ...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Measuring Progress by the Cost of Light

Time is not the only life-enriching resource granted to us by technology. Another is light. Light is so empowering that it serves as the metaphor of choice for a superior intellectual and spiritual state: enlightenment. In the natural world we are plunged into darkness for half of our existence, but human-made light allows us to take back the night for reading, moving about, seeing people’s faces, and otherwise engaging with our surroundings. The economist William Nordhaus has cited the plu...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Networks in the Enlightenment

Like the Reformation, the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment were network-driven phenomena, yet they spread faster and farther. This reflected the importance of acquaintances in correspondence networks such as Voltaire’s and Benjamin Franklin’s, communities that might otherwise have remained subdivided into national clusters. It also reflected the way that new social organizations—notably, Freemasonry—increased the connectedness of like-minded men, despite established divisio...
Folksonomies: networks enlightenment
Folksonomies: networks enlightenment
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 Knowledge Replaced with Social Media

When it emerged towards the end of the 80s as a purely text-based medium, [the internet] was seen as a tool to pursue knowledge, not pleasure. Reason and thought were most valued in this garden—all derived from the project of Enlightenment. Universities around the world were among the first to connect to this new medium, which hosted discussion groups, informative personal or group blogs, electronic magazines, and academic mailing lists and forums. It was an intellectual project, not about ...
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30 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Magnus Speaks on Knowledge

Magnus turned from Mortarion and walked to the centre of the amphitheatre, lifting his hands out to his sides and slowly turning on the spot as he spoke. “Imagine the Imperium of the future, a golden Utopia of enlightenment and progress, where the scientist and the philosopher are equal partners with the warrior in crafting a bounteous future. Now imagine the people of that glorious age looking back through the mists of time to this moment. Think what they will know and what they would mak...
Folksonomies: enlightenment knowledge
Folksonomies: enlightenment knowledge
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21 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Where are Proponents of the Enlightenment?

The place of the Enlightenment in public debate has all but disappeared. Renowned philosophers who do engage with criticism of the Enlightenment, such as Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor, do not catch the imagination of a wide public in the way Foucault did 40 years ago. Even the great scientists of NASA and Caltech, heirs of Isaac Newton, armed with massive modern reams of data, cannot sway the majority of the American public into believing that global warming is man-made. Instead of majo...
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12 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Prescriptivism and Descriptivism

So, you seem to be at an impasse. On the one hand, you have generations of grade school English teachers rightly warning their pupils that people might chuckle at them if they use the word ‘irregardless’. On the other hand, you have the scientific rigor of the modern linguistic community touting descriptivism as the torch-bearer of truth and enlightenment. Are you doomed to choose between a democracy of solecisms and a library of thousand-page tomes of writer’s regulations? Are things r...
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23 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 If You Can Outlaw Teaching Evolution in Public School

If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools, and next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers... Ignorance and fanaticism are ever busy and need feeding. Always feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers; tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers ...
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You can ban it everywhere and society will descend into darkness.

28 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Birth of the Modern

The so-called 'scientific revolution', popularly associated with the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but reaching back in an unmistakably continuous line to a period much earlier still. Since that revolution overturned the authority in science not only of the middle ages but of the ancient world—since it ended not only in the eclipse of scholastic philosophy but in the destruction of Aristotelian physics—it outshines everything since the rise of Christianity and reduces the Renaissan...
Folksonomies: enlightenment modernism
Folksonomies: enlightenment modernism
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Aside from the Enlightenment, all other periods of European history are worthless in understanding how we got to the modern era.