A teacher has to make clear fundamental ends and valuations, and therefore he [sic] is a deeply religious man [sic] when he accepts this as his [sic] highest duty. If we want to save the world we need educators of powerful personalities. Objective Knowledge is not all that students need. We need responsible development of youth so that they will understand that service to mankind (sic) must be their goal – Albert Einstein

Are Scientists Spiritual?

Are scientists spiritual? The answer is yes! Recent research suggests that the majority of scientists at top universities in North America have spiritual leanings, even though they may not like to admit it.

Information, Corporations, and the Free Will Self-delusion

Corporations and governments received heavy criticism for influencing the minds of the public in the 1950s and 60s: corporations for manipulating a potential purchase and governments for deliberately guiding people through the city. In 1955, Guy Debord criticized, “Present-day urbanism’s main problem is ensuring the smooth circulation of a rapidly increasing number of motor vehicles. A future urbanism may well apply itself to no less utilitarian projects…”. He suggests the threat of control is timeless, only the practice changing method.

IMPACT! Academics, Citation, and Scholarly Self Delusion

For a scientist, citations are key. If your papers get cited by others, the assumption is you and your work is valuable. But is this a safe assumption? This article questions the validity of citation counting and finally concludes that the measurement is neither a reliable nor a valid measurement of a scholarly worth or scholar’s “impact” on the world.

Facebook and family

Facebook and Family  “I was hesitant to add family members on Facebook at first, but I’ve grown to enjoy it.  I’m not very good at keeping in touch with family, so I feel like if I’ve posted on Facebook I’ve done enough”—Mark, a Facebook user from California Facebook...

ISIS behead American journalist

The beheading of American freelance photojournalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shocked the world. He was taken prisoner in northwest Syria in November 2012 while on assignment for the Global Post. ISIS posted the video of his...

The American Nightmare

This photo of my parents reveals much about their personalities (her's vivacious and outgoing, his withdrawn and closed off), their relationship (little real contact), and also the times. The typicality of their lives reveals much about the USA. My mother was a...

Chico versus Berkeley – And the Winner Is

Sociology has a lot to say about the education system. In this article Dr. Waters talks about status and education. He draws our attention to the mysterious world of hierarchy and how people learn to deal with that. This is a peek into the hidden world of the meritocracy that we all suffer within.

The Ideology of Darwin

Humanity used to believe in God, but now they believe in Darwin. This is a bit of an extreme statement, since most people still believe in God, but the sentiment is accurate. Darwin’s theories of the MECHANISMS of evolution has had a major impact on the social, emotional, and even spiritual fabric of this planet. There is a problem though. In a lot of ways Darwin’s theories seem more like canon, or ideology, than good science. This article explores early awareness of the ideological nature of Darwinian theory, and provides some suggestions on how scientists can break free of dogma that has more to do with religion than with good science.

A Turn to Hegel

What is money? What is the nature of money? This is a problem that has occupied Sociologists since Karl Marx wrote his magnum opus, Das Kapital. If you go by Karl M’s massive, or by any of the many Economics 100 texts (which often don’t even bother to define money), money is a mystified, magical thing that requires incredible effort to understand. In reality though that’s not the case. Money is simply abstracted labour, pure and simple. Once you understand that, then you have the key to understanding the whole of modern society, including the pernicious problems we all face, problems caused by the easy way money allows us to accumulate labour.

Universities Produce Happiness

Recent discussions of cutback to our universities in Alberta, the neo-liberal led assault on post-secondary education, led one colleague of mine to decry the new instrumental rationality that pervades the social fabric. These days all things great and small come down...

Sociology versus Psychology – The Social Context of Psychological Pathology and Child Abuse

What does Psychology, Sociology, Behaviourism, and emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual abuse have to do with each other? A concern with uplifting the human being, transcending pain and suffering, and moving towards holistic health and wellbeing. Or not. Sometimes it is just about command, control, and fitting people into the System. But not here, and not from now on. The winds of change are blowing, a hurricane is coming, and no amount of self delusion, self deception, or social propaganda are going to turn those winds away.

Technology-Enhanced Learning in Developing Nations: A review

Of interest to Sociologists and students is the possibility of technology to break down class barriers. Here’s an interesting paper from the journal IRRODL that discusses the revolutionary potential of “technology enhanced learning” in developing nations. Food for thought, especially considering the revolutionary potential of Moodles, Moocs, and so on. Check it out.

It's the end of the world as we know it

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. No, really I do. I know a lot of people might be a little anxious and nervous, but I see mostly good things ahead if, that is, we can put aside our differences and learn to exploit the revolutionary opportunities now emerging together, as a global family, and not separate, as a bunch of warring class, ethnic, and gender factions.

Global Organizing Among Sex Workers

The topic of sexual labour is complicated. It intersects economic and political discourse, touches on the exploitation of women and children, and links directly with Marxist and feminist discussion of exploitation and oppression. Yet despite the problems associated, the workers themselves are breaking their status as “object” and speaking out for themselves about their choices, their needs, and their rights. Social and legal concern aside, if we want to talk about the sex trade we should at least be listening to the people involved.

A Sociologist Looks at Violence

Does it seem like the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Hard to conclude otherwise when children are massacred as in recent fashion. If you want to understand why however, maybe it is time to put aside “stock” answers and look past clichés about God, madness, and guns. If you are interested in a deeper look at the world we live in, sociologists can help.

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