Why Do People Defend Unjust, Inept, and Corrupt Systems? By Science Daily / sciencedaily.com Why do we stick up for a system or institution we live in -- a government, company, or marriage -- even when anyone else can see it is failing miserably? Why do we resist change even when the system is corrupt or unjust? A new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science, illuminates the conditions under which we're motivated to defend the status quo -- a process called "system justification." System justification isn't the same as acquiescence, explains Aaron C. Reviewing laboratory and cross-national studies, the paper illuminates four situations that foster system justification: system threat, system dependence, system inescapability, and low personal control. When we're threatened we defend ourselves -- and our systems. We also defend systems we rely on. When we feel we can't escape a system, we adapt. Story Source: Journal Reference: A.
Brain in a vat A brain in a vat that believes it is walking Uses The simplest use of brain-in-a-vat scenarios is as an argument for philosophical skepticism and solipsism. A simple version of this runs as follows: Since the brain in a vat gives and receives exactly the same impulses as it would if it were in a skull, and since these are its only way of interacting with its environment, then it is not possible to tell, from the perspective of that brain, whether it is in a skull or a vat. Yet in the first case most of the person's beliefs may be true (if they believe, say, that they are walking down the street, or eating ice-cream); in the latter case their beliefs are false. However, if one accepts a utilitarian or some logical positivist ethical philosophy, then one should behave as though the external world is real. In fiction The brain as a thought- and consciousness-producing chemical system. See also References External links Philosophy Science
Forget Facebook, Abandon Instagram, Move To A Village By Diane Cole / npr.org In the parts of the world that we cover in our blog, many people live in villages. Villages have their problems, to be sure. There may not be a doctor or clinic nearby. But a new book points out that village life has its advantages. We asked psychologist Susan Pinker, author of The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier and Smarter, to explain the benefits of living in a community of about 150 people, the average population of traditional villages throughout history around the world. What is the village effect? The village effect is a metaphor for the social contacts we all need as humans in order to thrive. Why is 150 the ideal number for a village population? One-hundred-fifty is the number that comes up time and again in the types of social interactions that work smoothly. How do these 150 "village" ties compare to online ties? Not all types of social ties are created equal. Why is the village effect so important?
Swampman This article is about a philosophical thought-experiment. For the comic book character, see Swamp Thing. Suppose Davidson goes hiking in the swamp and is struck and killed by a lightning bolt. Davidson holds that there would nevertheless be a difference, though no one would notice it. These considerations lead Davidson to deny that the Swampman's utterances can be construed as referring to anything in particular. The Swampman has no causal history. Amongst those who accept the force of this argument, there are two distinct ways of viewing its consequences. This argument depends upon the acceptance of semantic externalism - the claim that what one's words mean is determined not merely by some internal state, but also by the causal history of the speaker. Objections See also References Davidson, Donald (2001 (1987)).
How Popular Music's Lyrics Perpetuate American Idiocy Claire Bernish (ANTIMEDIA) A recent study served to confirm the patently obvious: song lyrics for the most popular genres of music are ridiculously obtuse — and getting worse over time. Though this might not be a revelation, the figures are distressing indicators of both an intellectually vapid societal and cultural future as well as its apparent inevitability. If you’ve already moved away from Billboard music, congratulations, you refuse to be insulted. Ten years ago, the most popular songs read between a third and fourth grade level, but the inanity only increased with time, and after a five-year downward tumble ending in 2014 (the last year of the study), chart-topping hits had a reading level equivalent to second or third grade. So how did this happen and why is it getting even worse? There is a dearth in music options over the airwaves, so when vacuous lyrics are foisted on listeners, they become captives under duress. Listen: ‘Reagan’ by Killer Mike on Anti-Media
Character mask A character mask (German: Charaktermaske) in the Marxian sense is a character disguised with a different character. The term was used by Karl Marx in various published writings from the 1840s to the 1860s, and also by Friedrich Engels. It is related to the classical Greek concepts of mimesis (imitative representation using analogies) and prosopopoeia (impersonation or personification) as well as the Roman concept of persona, but also differs from them (see below). The notion of character masks has been used by neo-Marxist and non-Marxist sociologists, philosophers and anthropologists to interpret how people relate in societies with a complex division of labour, where people depend on trade to meet many of their needs. Marx's own idea of character masks was not a cut-and-dried academic concept with a fixed definition. Character masks versus social masks A sophisticated academic language for talking about the sociology of roles did not exist in the mid-19th century. C.
"We Are In a Revolutionary Moment": Chris Hedges Explains Why An Uprising Is Coming, And Soon By Chris Hedges / salon.com In recent years, there’s been a small genre of left-of-center journalism that, following President Obama’s lead, endeavors to prove that things on Planet Earth are not just going well, but have, in fact, never been better. This is an inherently subjective claim, of course; it requires that one buy into the idea of human progress, for one thing. But no matter how it was framed, there’s at least one celebrated leftist activist, author and journalist who’d disagree: Chris Hedges. In fact, in his latest book, “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt,” Hedges argues that the world is currently at a crisis point the likes of which we’ve never really seen. Recently, Salon spoke over the phone with Hedges to discuss his book, why he thinks our world is in for some massive disruptions, and why we need revolutionaries now more than ever. Do you think we are in a revolutionary era now? There are all sorts of neutral indicators that show that. No, I would.
Mimesis In ancient Greece, mimesis was an idea that governed the creation of works of art, in particular, with correspondence to the physical world understood as a model for beauty, truth, and the good. Plato contrasted mimesis, or imitation, with diegesis, or narrative. After Plato, the meaning of mimesis eventually shifted toward a specifically literary function in ancient Greek society, and its use has changed and been reinterpreted many times since. Mimesis has been theorised by thinkers as diverse as Plato, Aristotle, Philip Sidney, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Adam Smith, Gabriel Tarde, Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Erich Auerbach, Paul Ricœur, Luce Irigaray, Jacques Derrida, René Girard, Nikolas Kompridis, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Michael Taussig, Merlin Donald, and Homi Bhabha. Classical definitions Plato In Book II of The Republic, Plato describes Socrates' dialogue with his pupils. So the artist's bed is twice removed from the truth.
Societies With Little Coercion Have Little Mental Illness Throughout history, societies have existed with far less coercion than ours, and while these societies have had far less consumer goods and what modernity calls “efficiency,” they also have had far less mental illness. This reality has been buried, not surprisingly, by uncritical champions of modernity and mainstream psychiatry. Coercion—the use of physical, legal, chemical, psychological, financial, and other forces to gain compliance—is intrinsic to our society’s employment, schooling, and parenting. However, coercion results in fear and resentment, which are fuels for miserable marriages, unhappy families, and what we today call mental illness. Societies with Little Coercion and Little Mental Illness Shortly after returning from the horrors of World War I and before they wrote Mutiny on the Bounty (1932), Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall were given a commission by Harper’s Magazine to write nonfiction travel articles about life in the South Pacific.
Hanlon's razor As an eponymous law, it may have been named after Robert J. Hanlon. There are also earlier sayings that convey the same idea dating back at least as far as Goethe in 1774. Origins and etymology Inspired by Occam's razor, the aphorism was popularized in this form and under this name by the Jargon File, a glossary of computer programmer slang. In 1990, it appeared in the Jargon File described as a "'murphyism' parallel to Occam's Razor". Later that same year, the Jargon File editors noted lack of knowledge about the term's derivation and the existence of a similar epigram by William James. In 1996, the Jargon File entry on Hanlon's Razor noted the existence of a similar quotation in Robert A. In 2001, Quentin Stafford-Fraser published two blog entries citing e-mails from one Joseph E. Similar quotations Another similar quotation appears in Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774): Similarly, Jane West's The Loyalists (1812) includes: See also
Elementary School Cafeteria Worker Fired for Giving Hungry Students Free Lunch Jonathan Schoenfeld June 3, 2015 (ANTIMEDIA) Della curry, mother of two, is out of a job since she decided doing what’s right is more important than following the orders. Curry was fired for giving out lunch to students who would have otherwise gone hungry at Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado. Curry recalls her experience, saying: “I had a first grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn’t have enough money for lunch. Some may argue that the only thing curry is guilty of is having compassion for a child in need. The rules to approve students for the free lunch and reduced-price lunch programs are explicit. Curry said that the students she helped were unable to qualify for either program. Curry stated that, “Kids whose parents make too much money to qualify, but a lot of times they don’t have enough money to eat” Students that don’t qualify for the assisted lunch program receive a lunch that consists of one slice of cheese on a hamburger bun and a small milk.
Razor (philosophy) In philosophy, a razor is a principle or rule of thumb that allows one to eliminate ("shave off") unlikely explanations for a phenomenon. Razors include: