Many of us are weary of outward-looking religion and don’t feel nourished by psychotherapies that neglect our spiritual potential. We may linger in an inexplicable emptiness until we attend to spiritual growth and awakening. But the word “spiritual” is so overused that it may lose its meaning. Here are three things that spirituality means to […]
By Peter Kaufman Clear your desk of your books and water bottles. Sit in a comfortable, but upright position. Bring your attention to your breathing. Notice your stomach expanding on your in-breath and contracting on your out-breath. At the sound...
Recently, Bill Nye ("the science guy") and Ken Ham debated evolution and creationism at Ham's "Creation Museum" in Kentucky. The question for the debate was "Is Creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?" Nye answered no. Show More Summary
Marianne Faithfull, As Tears Go By. A lovely tune by a lovely lass in a stock chord progression. In the key of C: C, Am7, Dm7, G7. Freddie and the Dreamers, I'm Telling You Now. A goofy act, hard on...
Pete Mandik is a professor of philosophy and was due to give a class on neurophilosophy before his class got snowed out. Instead of ditching the class he made a fantastic and funny video lecture for his students. The pipe-chewing Mandik gives a great introduction to this particular philosophical approach to integrating neuroscience and concepts […]
The other day I referred to the following bit of dialogue from the new HBO series, True Detective, as sophistry. Now I will explain why I think it to be such. Here is the part I want to focus on....
Arnold Zwicky shares the sad news that the Berkeley linguist Charles J. "Chuck" Fillmore passed away yesterday. Arnold quotes Amy Dahlstrom's Facebook update: Charles Fillmore died yesterday at age 84 after a long battle with cancer. A brilliant linguist, especially in the field of lexical semantics, who influenced so many of us Berkeley students and […]
The obituaries for the great comic Sid Caesar invariably mention his proficiency in "double-talk," mimicking the sounds (but not the sense) of foreign languages. (On the phenomenon of double-talk, see Mark Liberman's posts on yaourter here, here, here, and here.) It turns out that this was a talent Caesar had cultivated ever since he was […]
Back when I was starting in my faculty position and failing to get grants funded and papers accepted, I had a tendency to blame the system. "How could they not SEE how brilliant my ideas are and how IMPORTANT my findings are? The system must be broken!" And I don't blame myself for doing so, […]
This is the Israeli-TV source for the better-known U.S. show Homeland. Homeland seems like and indeed is a completely implausible plot line, and that aside about a third of the episodes are downright awful. It is saved by having one of the most incandescent romances in screen history, namely between Carrie and Brody, a passion […]
Erika T. sent in this 30 second commercial for Frito Lay chips and dip. Masquerading as simply “cute,” instead the cartoon sends strong normative messages. It straightforwardly suggests that single people are inherently sad. Being coupled up is presented as the norm and single people’s pathetic-ness is visible for all to see, even if […]
True Detective is a new HBO series getting rave reviews. This bit, I am told, is from the first episode. It's good. I'll leave it to you to sort through the sophistry of Rust's spiel.
When I tell people that I am trying to learn Iñupiaq, the native language of my hometown in Northern Alaska, invariably I hear a long, drawn-out, "Whyyyy?" "Not many people speak the language, so what's the use of learning it?" "Almost...Show More Summary
Daniel J. Mitchell I feel a bit like Goldilocks. Think about when you were a kid and your parents told you the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You may remember that she entered the house and tasted bowls of porridge that were...Show More Summary
Ezra Klein (Wonkblog) has a brief interview with Georgetown’s David Super on how poorly programs for the poor have functioned (and how good HealthCare.gov appears by comparison). The alternatives discussed include outsourcing to private contractors (bad) and implicitly providing more resources (good). Show More Summary
This animated poem, sent in by Dmitriy T.C., artfully addresses the stigma of being alone. It begins by differentiating between social contexts in which solitude is expected or accepted (libraries) and those in which we are taught it is embarrassing or sad (restaurants). It ends with a defense of the pleasure of being only with […]