If the messages embedded in folklore mean anything, then until very recently humans were terrified of the natural environment. In many cases, the scariest part of folk tales involves foolish individuals–often kids, in order to emphasize the cautionary nature of the tales–who wander into situations where they fall prey to the many terrors that lurk [...]
Racism is a socially-constructed disease of the mind. Racism is an infectious disease that is caused by a specific form of ignorance: a groundless, pre-scientific belief that race is based in fundamental biological differences among humans. Nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to biology, humans are all like (Gregor Mendel’s) peas [...]
As Darwin pointed out in the The Origin of Species (1859), species often exhibit enormous variation. Darwin was a pigeon breeder and described at length the astounding variation that, with the help of artificial selection, pigeon breeders had succeeded in cultivating in an otherwise humdrum bird species. Similar forces operate on Canis familiaris and, if anything, have [...]
The word “social technology” is a bit of a contradiction. Social technologies connect us like never before, but at the same time the superficiality of our social world, and our isolation, seem greater then ever. We are embarrassed by the rich emptiness of our world. Then again, maybe all you need to do to make rich connections is pick up a copy of BF3 where we can experience rich, genderless, race-less, class-less connections with others. It may nor be idea, but the contradictory and confusing brave new world of social technology is definitely something to think about.
Do so-called authorities know more about us than we know about ourselves? “The Big Lie” asserts that authorities, in the form of theologians and academics, seem to think they do. Further, those authorities tend to take a dim view of human nature—and those negative perspectives often produce very negative consequences. Because authorities are cloaked in a mantle of institutional legitimacy, their opinions are perceived as being more truthful than those of non-authorities. Nevertheless, “The Big Lie” argues that the truth is often at variance with the opinions of authorities. Be skeptical! (Timothy M.)
Ah, Black Friday. It’s typically the biggest shopping day of the year and, for that reason, the happiest date on the calendar for retailers. On Black Friday, retailers who have been languishing in the red can count on raking in a whole lot of black. Profits galore! As usual, Walmart, the world’s largest and most [...]
There is a crucial distinction between explanatory systems that are based upon fate vs. prediction. Both perspectives purport to shed light upon the course of future events, however, fate is based upon a faith in metaphysics whereas prediction is scientific. Determinism represents a branch of metaphysics primarily because determinists claim to know more about the [...]
As Republicans conduct an autopsy of the 2012 election they’ll need to acknowledge that their particular brand of vanilla–rich, white, and well-aged–is no longer a recipe for electoral success. No doubt, this will be a tough pill to swallow. After all, bigotry, greed and xenophobia have always been a sure fire recipe for success in [...]
Here’s a paper by a student in my Sociology 460 class. Great analysis of control strategies, oppression, even deskilling the labour process. There’s also some stuff on panoptic observation and control that would make Foucault proud. All in all an excellent use of the sociological imagination.
Way back in my undergraduate years I read a book by Dr. Edward S. Herman called The Real Terror Network. The book really opened my eyes to the true nature and purpose of war. It was written in 1982 but 30 years hasn’t changed a single thing, except the victims involved. I gotta say, if you want to understand what war is really about, and you want to disabuse yourself of the delusions and illusions of international state-craft, you should read this book.