Tag Archives: George Orwell

10 Questions to Ask Before You Believe Something

How well does a belief that you currently subscribe to hold up under these ten questions? And wouldn’t it be nice if we all asked such questions before professing belief in something? Do I have any actual evidence for the thing … Continue reading

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Look

Really. Look. __________ No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert. What is a course of history, or philosophy, or poetry, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking … Continue reading

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Give George Orwell a Statue Near BBC Headquarters

The exact site has yet to be settled on, but this is in the Telegraph today (quoting the artist commissioned to make the statue): George Orwell is regarded as something of a patron saint of political journalism so his presence … Continue reading

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In Memoriam of Christopher Hitchens

On hearing of Christopher Hitchens’s death this morning, my first thoughts went to something he had once said as a play on Socrates: The unlived life is not worth examining. Christopher Hitchens lived a life worth examining. May his future … Continue reading

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Jacob Wrestling the Irrational Animal: George Orwell on Critical Thinking

In London’s Tribune, George Orwell wrote an essay (“In Front of Your Nose,” March 22, 1946) with a number of great observations on critical thinking. The first is this:   In general, one is only right when either wish or fear coincides with … Continue reading

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Critical Thinking Tip #6: Try These Four Fog Breaking Steps for Getting at the Truth of a Matter

Feel like you’re in a fog about what you should believe concerning a claim? Try running it through the following four criteria and see how well it holds up:   The claim is accompanied by evidence. If evidence is not … Continue reading

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Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris: Is This What a Rising Christian Political Star Looks Like?

Mayor R. Rex Parris, 58, a born-again Baptist who last year declared his city, the city of Lancaster, Ca., a “Christian community,” was profiled a while back in the Los Angeles Times, and I notice that the Times described R. Rex Paris’s … Continue reading

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An Atheist Poem by Charlotte Perkins Gilman?

Something that people might not know about Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the 19th century author of the frequently assigned (in college) feminist short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892), is that she was also a poet. In her lifetime she published well over … Continue reading

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Orwellism Watch: Biologist Jerry Coyne Takes Down Robert Wright a Peg

Atheist biologist Jerry Coyne, in his recent review for the New Republic of Robert Wright’s new book, The Evolution of God, catches Wright out on an Orwellian euphemism that Wright deploys to describe Islamic historical setbacks on the road to greater tolerance: … Continue reading

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Jeff Bezos’s Orwellian Treatment of George Orwell’s 1984

The potentially Orwellian implications of the Kindle here.

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Sarah Palin’s Orwellian Mind: She Can’t Call Things What They Are, and Words Can Shift Their Meaning Whenever They Are Useful to Her

Gail Collins caught these two Sarah Palin resignation speech Orwellisms this week: “It would be apathetic to just hunker down and ‘go with the flow.’ Nah, only dead fish ‘go with the flow.’ No. Productive, fulfilled people determine where to … Continue reading

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Today’s Orwellism

As Sarah Palin had a weird and very public political meltdown today (announcing her intent after a great deal of “prayer and deliberation” to abandon her first-term governorship in a few weeks), she got all euphemistic at the end of her rambling and language-strained speech, … Continue reading

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Michael Jackson Pedophile Reality Check: Is It Mean to Suspect that Michael Jackson Might Have Been a Pedophile?

. The short answer is no, it’s not mean or irrational. Under normal circumstances nobody gets to do what Michael Jackson did (bring unrelated children into his bedroom overnight). No adult man gets to do that without suspicion cast upon … Continue reading

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Was George Orwell a Clear-Headed Critic of Literature, or Was He Hopelessly Confused About It?

Perhaps something in between. At the New Statesman website, New Yorker staff writer, Keith Gessen, discusses the tensions and contradictions in George Orwell’s writings on literature and the arts. One of the examples that he offers is Orwell’s evaluation of … Continue reading

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Debating Torture and the Law at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Scott Horton v. Stu Taylor:

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Mexican Flu, Swine Flu, or H1N1? A Pandemic Gets Rebranded

Whether or not the source for H1N1 was a Mexican pig farm (and this is by no means certain), the implication that this virus is somehow a “Mexican flu” and should be called Mexican flu borders on the racist, and carries … Continue reading

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Mike Allen’s Orwellian Description of Bush Era Torture: “Aggressive interrogation practices critics decried as torture.”

Glenn Greenwald lets loose: Politico’s Mike Allen — in the same article where he granted anonymity to a cowardly “top Bush official” to do nothing other than smear Obama as a friend of Al Qaeda (and marvel at Allen’s pathetic … Continue reading

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KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING: A Great George Orwell Novel That A Lot of People Don’t Know

Below is an image of one of my favorite George Orwell novels. It’s the story of a poet who struggles with what to do with his life: Should he marry? Should he debase his gift for poetry by writing advertising copy … Continue reading

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BIG JESUS is Watching You? Is Christianity a Form of Authoritarianism/Totalitarianism?

Christopher Hitchens thinks that Christianity, in the way it surrounds and encloses the psyche of the believer, and threatens the unbeliever with torture, is a form of totalitarianism: It is an odd thing, isn’t it, to tell somebody, IF YOU … Continue reading

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Mental Health Break: Harry Tuttle Doesn’t Like Paperwork, and He is at Your Service!

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