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Archive | Popular Culture

Robotic Thinking

In the celebrated film Space Odyssey 2001 the spaceship and its crew symbolize humanity. The ship’s computer, Hal, steals more from them than their navigation and destiny. He robs them of their consciousness. To expand this myth, Hal stands for all forces, like indoctrination, propaganda, and self-deception, which rob human beings of their ability to […]

Story-telling Myths

Story-telling myths exist in fictional realms which point to ideals in real life.  The tale of Cinderella and the prince signals, for example, an ideal happiness wished for every loving couple.  Visits to earth by aliens from other planets express human longing to interact with other life-forms beyond earth’s lonely orbit. “Sherlockian” powers of acute […]

Eccentricity, a bulwark against indoctrination and self-deception

In his piece “On Liberty”  philosopher John Stuart Mill valued eccentricity as a surprisingly close partner to authentic freedom, as if perspectives from the comic “far-side” are crucial for getting to the heart of any matter.  In his writings overall and in his blog, Haystack, Edward Hays’  post “Tending your little Spark,” beautifully confirms a similar […]

Mass Suggestion, How?

If you scan faces at a political convention, you will see some which don’t look very with-it; and others who seem very intelligent and alert.  Yet many, if not most, variously succumb to mass suggestion. Why? Perhaps because intellectuals can be controlled, as much as any of us, by unexamined assumptions, by fear, and by […]