21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 "Susicion of Authority" is Also Propaganda

While individuals get our empathy and sympathy, institutions seldom do. The "we're in this together" spirit of films from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s later gave way to a reflex shared by left and right, that villainy is associated with organization. Even when they aren't portrayed as evil, bureaucrats are stupid and public officials short-sighted. Only the clever bravado of a solitary hero (or at most a small team) will make a difference in resolving the grand crisis at hand. This rule of con...
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A conspiracy meme that comes from both the left and right.

31 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 In the Long Run, Ignorance Loses

Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education.
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The truth is truth and no amount of authoritarianism can change it.

08 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 William Tyndale Translates the New Testament into English

In the sixteenth century the scholar William Tyndale had the temerity to contemplate translating the New Testament into English. But if people could actually read the Bible in their own language instead of arcane Latin, they could form their own, independent religious views. They might conceive of their own private unintermediated line to God. This was a challenge to the job security of Roman Catholic priests. When Tyndale tried to publish his translation, he was hounded and pursued all over ...
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...and was met with stiff resistance by the church.

04 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Mistrust arguments from authority

One of the great commandments of science is, 'Mistrust arguments from authority'. (Scientists, being primates, and thus given to dominance hierarchies, of course do not always follow this commandment.) Too many such arguments have proved too painfully wrong. Authorities must prove their contentions like everybody else. This independence of science, its occasional unwillingness to accept conventional wisdom, makes it dangerous to doctrines less self-critical, or with pretensions to certitude. ...
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One of the "great commandments of science."