How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front Photo IN the summer of 1916, a young Oxford academic embarked for France as a second lieutenant in the British Expeditionary Force. The Great War, as World War I was known, was only half-done, but already its industrial carnage had no parallel in European history. “Junior officers were being killed off, a dozen a minute,” recalled . “Parting from my wife,” he wrote, doubting that he would survive the trenches, “was like a death.” Saudi Arabia, Exporter of Oil and Bigotry Photo A college senior boarded a flight and excitedly called his family to recount a United Nations event he had attended, but, unfortunately, he was speaking Arabic. Southwest Airlines kicked him off the plane, in the sixth case reported in the United States this year in which a Muslim was ejected from a flight.
Future - How liars create the ‘illusion of truth’ “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Among psychologists something like this known as the "illusion of truth" effect. Here's how a typical experiment on the effect works: participants rate how true trivia items are, things like "A prune is a dried plum". Sometimes these items are true (like that one), but sometimes participants see a parallel version which isn't true (something like "A date is a dried plum"). After a break – of minutes or even weeks – the participants do the procedure again, but this time some of the items they rate are new, and some they saw before in the first phase. The key finding is that people tend to rate items they've seen before as more likely to be true, regardless of whether they are true or not, and seemingly for the sole reason that they are more familiar.
The Cognitive Origins of Religion To understand the human brain we often turn to neuroscientists and psychologists. Two decades ago, Professor of Archaeology Steven Mithen decided to explore the origins of our nervous system (and much more) through his field of study. Besides popularizing the term ‘cognitive fluidity,’ in his landmark book, The Prehistory of the Mind: The Cognitive Origins of Art, Religion, and Science, Mithen speculated on exactly how primates evolved to the current iteration of the brain. Mithen believes three major phases occurred to get from primate to modern humans. In Phase One, our ancestors exhibited general intelligence: I know the river floods when the sun is at that arc in the sky. I realize that deer migrate at this point of the season.
Born Before Women Could Vote, Now They're Proud To Vote For Clinton Chairwoman Alice Paul, second from left, and officers of the National Woman's Party hold a banner with a Susan B. Anthony quote in front of the NWP headquarters in Washington, D.C., in June 1920. AP hide caption toggle caption Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1–10 of 88 documents found source of mysticism and the mystical elements in Islam are to be traced to the Qur’an and the Islamic doctrine...viewed by the mystics and philosopher-mystics of Islam as allegorical and esoteric hints for those who ...within an Islamic milieu. Mystical elements exist in Islam in two different and independent ways. Practically...
Google’s Leading Futurist Predicts Humans Will Start Living Forever by 2029 Google’s chief futurist, Ray Kurzweil, is known for his wildly-accurate predictions — back in the 1980s, when all of our current technological advancements seemed like sci-fi fantasies, he predicted self-driving cars, prosthetic legs for paraplegics, and wirelessly accessing information via the internet, among many other spot-on forecasts. Now, his latest prediction is that humans are going to live forever, and he thinks it’s going to happen as soon as 2029. “Many think author, inventor and data scientist Ray Kurzweil is a prophet for our digital age,” writes Playboy’s David Hochman. “A few say he’s completely nuts.” SEE ALSO: Soon We May Live Longer Than 120 Years, Scientists Say According to Kurzweil’s calculations, Singularity — the merging of human intelligence with nonbiological intelligence, or technology — will happen in 2045.
Religious Right and the Trump problem The Monday after America heard Mr. Trump’s vulgar boasting, Ralph Reed, the political strategist thought to have a genius for turning out evangelical voters, delivered a full-throated defense of why Christians should vote for the nominee to students at Liberty University. That same day, Mark DeMoss, a highly regarded Christian public relations professional who, in the 1980s, was the chief of staff to Liberty’s founder, Jerry Falwell Sr., told me, “The evangelical movement has, in my view, forfeited any future moral authority in American public life.” Telling Is Listening: Ursula K. Le Guin on the Magic of Real Human Conversation Every act of communication is an act of tremendous courage in which we give ourselves over to two parallel possibilities: the possibility of planting into another mind a seed sprouted in ours and watching it blossom into a breathtaking flower of mutual understanding; and the possibility of being wholly misunderstood, reduced to a withering weed. Candor and clarity go a long way in fertilizing the soil, but in the end there is always a degree of unpredictability in the climate of communication — even the warmest intention can be met with frost. Yet something impels us to hold these possibilities in both hands and go on surrendering to the beauty and terror of conversation, that ancient and abiding human gift. And the most magical thing, the most sacred thing, is that whichever the outcome, we end up having transformed one another in this vulnerable-making process of speaking and listening. Why and how we do that is what Ursula K. Le Guin (b.
Japan: The Most Religious Atheist Country When the Agency for Cultural Affairs commissioned a report into religious beliefs in Japan, they were initially confused by their results. Totaling up the number of people who belonged to religious groups in Japan, they got the result that 209 million people belonged were religiously affiliated. The problem?
Umberto Eco Makes a List of the 14 Common Features of Fascism Open Culture Creative Commons image by Rob Bogaerts, via the National Archives in Holland One of the key questions facing both journalists and loyal oppositions these days is how do we stay honest as euphemisms and trivializations take over the discourse? Can we use words like “fascism,” for example, with fidelity to the meaning of that word in world history? The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi A couple of years ago, when Coldplay’s Chris Martin was going through a divorce from the actress Gwyneth Paltrow and feeling down, a friend gave him a book to lift his spirits. It was a collection of poetry by Jalaluddin Rumi, the thirteenth-century Persian poet, translated by Coleman Barks. “It kind of changed my life,” Martin said later, in an interview. A track from Coldplay’s most recent album features Barks reciting one of the poems: “This being human is a guest house / Every morning a new arrival / A joy, a depression, a meanness, / some momentary awareness comes / as an unexpected visitor.” Rumi has helped the spiritual journeys of other celebrities—Madonna, Tilda Swinton—some of whom similarly incorporated his work into theirs. Aphorisms attributed to Rumi circulate daily on social media, offering motivation.
After the Election: ‘What a Pathetic Thing Is Decadence’ Today is finally Election Day, mercifully. Our tireless politics team is live-blogging events throughout the day and into the night. Over the past several weeks, scores and scores of your emails have poured in, covering a wide array of campaign topics, so here’s one final roundup of your smart opinions and analyses as the polls open this morning. (They’re already closed in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, the first vote in the nation, and in that tiny hamlet Clinton beat Trump in a landslide, 4-2—a harbinger, we hope.)
The Pagan origins of Easter Easter Sponsored link. Origins of the name "Easter":