Tag Archives: sociology

Human Nature vs. Human Institutions: Camille Paglia on Sex and Rape on Campus

Since abandoning her monthly Salon gig a few years back, Camille Paglia hasn’t had much of an Internet presence, but when, beyond her book writing, she does surface, she writes thought provoking things. Here’s a bit of what Paglia recently … Continue reading

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Could The Holocaust Happen Again?

What were the conditions that made the Holocaust possible, and are those conditions present in the world today? Sociologist Zigmunt Bauman (b. 1925) tackles this two-part question in his book Modernity and the Holocaust (2000 edition). He begins by analyzing bureaucracy. In Bauman’s … Continue reading

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Is Religion Adaptive? Is It Worthy of a Contemporary Society’s Energy and Resources?

Jared Diamond thinks about religion.

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What, Exactly, Is Wrong With Bestiality?

__________ The above video is amusing, but also raises an interesting question: what is it, exactly, that’s wrong with bestiality? Notice that the perpetrator isn’t getting it on with women and fantasizing about animals; instead, he’s getting it on with … Continue reading

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Zygmunt Bauman On What Made The Holocaust Possible (And Whether Something Like It Could Happen Again)

In Modernity and the Holocaust (2000 edition), sociologist Zygmunt Bauman (b. 1925) explores the question of responsibility: who or what is responsible for the direction of the modern world? He explores this question via the prism of the Holocaust and has a provocative thesis: … Continue reading

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Critical Thinking Watch: Sybil Exposed

I haven’t read Debbie Nathan’s Sybil Exposed yet, but it certainly looks promising as an exercise in critical thinking and reflection. Here’s the author talking about her new book:

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America’s future is sunny? I hope David Brooks is right

In a recent essay for the New York Times, David Brooks claims that the next half-century in America looks damn sunny: [T]he fact is, despite all the problems, America’s future is exceedingly bright. Over the next 40 years, demographers estimate that … Continue reading

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King Tut Finger

In Western culture, Egypt seems to be the best place to trace lithe, high glamour, iconic posing, and so it seems fitting that a certain style of freeze frame dancing would be dubbed as “tutting” (as in “King Tut” or … Continue reading

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Mental Health Break: Woe is You?

Harden the fuck up!

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The Evolution of God: An Exciting New Book on Religion, Coming Out in the U.S. Next Month, Is Reviewed by Andrew Sullivan

The Evolution of God, by the once frequent New Republic contributor, Robert Wright, is due out next month, and Andrew Sullivan gave it an enthusiastic review for the Times of London. Money quote: From primitive animists to the legends of … Continue reading

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“There must be an easier way”: Kevin Roose Spent a Semester at Jerry Falwell’s Orwellian Named “Liberty University” and Wrote a Book About It

Kevin Roose pretended to be a fundamentalist Christian, and got himself admitted into Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. He spent a semester there taking classes in young earth creationism and evangelism and wrote a book about his experience (which included a week … Continue reading

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Holocaust Denial v. Young Earth Creationism?

In terms of a perversity of soul, Holocaust denial says something far darker about a person than young earth creationism. Young earth creationism is incorrect about the age of the earth and the fixity of species, but it is not … Continue reading

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Bearing Witness to the Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto (an Image Used as Evidence at the Nuremburg Trials)

This image was “taken by SS General Jurgen Stroop”, and is now part of the US National Archives:

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Social Policing and Trust Building in Groups: Two Things That Religion is Good For?

Jesse Bering, in Scientific American, reports on a small academic workshop on religion that he attended in Edinburgh, Scotland last week.  He offers a brief synopsis of some of the speculation surrounding the evolution of religion that the academics kicked around. Here are two … Continue reading

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Homosexual Metaphor Watch: Is Gay Behavior “a destruction of God’s work” Akin to Rainforest Destruction?

According to the International Herald Tribune today, Pope Benedict likened gay behavior to ecological destruction: Pope Benedict said Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction. The Church “should also … Continue reading

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A Non-God Collective Delusion?: Mind Control Conspiracy Web Sites Remind Some Mental Health Professionals of the Delusions Shared by Insular Religious and UFO Groups

The NY Times today has a fascinating article on people who believe that they are under constant surveillance by the government—and who comfort one another via Internet sites devoted to this “problem.” The article likens the phenomenon to insular religious groups: The extent of … Continue reading

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Border Crossings: The Hysterical and Paranoid Right-Wing Authoritarian—Here and Abroad

George Packer of the New Yorker on the paranoid style in Iraqi—and American—politics: A roundup (via Andrew Sullivan) of conservative anti-Obama blogging during the election. Much of it has appeared on popular right-wing Web sites, including National Review Online, disclosing … Continue reading

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“I’d never vote for a black man”: McCain Supporters in Pennsylvania Speak Candidly (and Hysterically) About Barack Obama

More scariness among the far right Palinistas:

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Obnoxious, Agressive, Demonizing McCain-Palin Rally Participants

  Chilling.

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“You have to be wired / In a way of being”: Hart Seely Takes Sarah Palin’s Opaque, Syntax-Strained Statements, Gives Them Line Breaks, and Turns Them Into “Poetry”

Slate.com’s Hart Seely debases the English language (or rather, Sarah Palin does): “On Good and Evil” It is obvious to me Who the good guys are in this one And who the bad guys are. The bad guys are the … Continue reading

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