February 2015

Political Activism in the Digital Age

  This week, we're asking about Cyber-Activism -- social or political activism mediated and enabled by the use of cyber-tools like email, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, podcasts and so on.  The internet has changed practically everything – from the way we work to the way we play.  It stands to reason that it would change the way we engage in social and political action too. 

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The Psychology of Climate Change Denial

Something has puzzled me for a long time about the psychology of those who deny climate change—about the denialists, as they’re called. I’m talking about the serious climate change deniers, the ones who go around making “research” presentations on the matter, like Lord Monckton. But I think I’ve just recently started to grasp what’s going on in their heads.

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Regulating Bodies

 

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Food Justice

An astounding one in eight people on the planet are undernourished, over three million children die every year from hunger or malnutrition, and two billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies (Caritas). And as the world’s population continues to grow, with estimates putting it at ten billion by 2050, we can only expect the situation to get worse. Unless, of course, we do something about it.

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Camus and Absurdity

What would be the point of living if you thought that life was absurd, that it could never have meaning? This is precisely the question that Camus asks in his famous work, The Myth of Sisyphus. He says, “There is only one really serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” He was haunted by this question of whether suicide could be the only rational response to the absurdity of life.

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The Evolution of Storytelling

  Our topic this week is the evolution of storytelling, which brings to mind two different questions. One is about whether storytelling is an adaptation involved in the evolution of the human species. The other is about how storytelling is changing and evolving with human culture and technology. Obviously, these are related questions, but let’s think about the adaptive function of storytelling first.

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