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Tag: the school of life

POP CULTURE: Emma Watson

POP CULTURE: Emma Watson

“And now, let’s turn to a young woman who has chosen to lend her voice… …to this very important solidarity movement. She’s a leading British actor, an advocate for gender equality in her own right, she’s been involved with the promotion of girls’ education for several years. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming to this stage our co-host and the UN women’s global goodwill ambassador, Emma Watson.” “Oh… Emma, don’t worry about it. You look great.” “Ahahallo!” “Mwah….

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POP CULTURE: Pop and Philosophy

POP CULTURE: Pop and Philosophy

When pop music started in a big way in the 1960s, it seemed at times like an especially silly medium, favoured by hormonal school girls and connected up with delinquent and tedious and bizarre behaviour. “Have you tried to sneak in the hotel?” “Yes.” “Yes, we were in the hotel.” “How far in did you get?” “Twelfth floor.” By contrast, Philosophy had a reputation for being deeply serious and impressive – the natural home of the big ambition to understand…

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POP CULTURE: Better Celebrities

POP CULTURE: Better Celebrities

Serious people are used to thinking badly of celebrity culture. They hate how everyone wants to read about where the latest big name has been on holiday, or who they’re dating. They say it’s silly and a sad reflection of modern civilization. Such stern attitudes may sound sensible and noble, but they are in truth deeply irresponsible. The impulse to admire and have heroes is an important part of human nature. Ignoring it or condemning it won’t kill it off;…

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HISTORY: CONSUMERISM

HISTORY: CONSUMERISM

For most of history, the overwhelming majority of the Earth’s inhabitants have owned, more or less, nothing. The clothes they stood up in, some bowls, a pot and a pan, perhaps a broom and, if things were going really well, a few farming implements. Nations and peoples remained consistently poor. Global GDP did not grow at all from year to year: the world was an aggregate as hard up in 1800 as it had been at the beginning of time….

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SOCIOLOGY – Alexis De Tocqueville

SOCIOLOGY – Alexis De Tocqueville

Democracy was achieved by such a long arduous and heroic struggle that it can feel embarrassing even shameful to be pretty Disappointed by it Perhaps the best guy to such feelings and to Modern democracy in general is a 19th century French aristocrat [Alexis] De [Tocqueville] Photo Tocqueville Democracy was a highly exotic and new political option he’d been born in 1805 when Napoleon was the populist dictator of half of Europe But he prescient lee believed that democracy was…

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Are we too Materialistic?

Are we too Materialistic?

it doesn’t seem to make sense to suggest that there might be such a thing as good materialism. After all isn’t materialism just plain bad always? It can seem as if we’re faced with a stark choice. Either you can be materialistic and that means obsessed with money and possessions shallow and selfish, or you can reject materialism be good and focus on more important matters of the Spirit. But in truth most of us are in our hearts stuck…

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Meritocracy

Meritocracy

Politicians from all walks of life nowadays agree on one thing: we need to build more meritocratic societies. That is, societies where everyone, no matter what their background is, has the chance to succeed on their own merits. This is a beautiful idea responsible for some great things like free education for all, positive discrimination, and a real effort to end nepotism in business and government. We’ve largely done away with the old world of feudalism where lords couldn’t manage…

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PHILOSOPHY – Soren Kierkegaard

PHILOSOPHY – Soren Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard was a brilliant, gloomy, anxiety-ridden, often hilarious Danish 19th century philosopher. The author of 22 books, of which 3 continue to make his name. He was born in an immensely wealthy family in Copenhagen in 1813, the youngest of 7 children. Death was around him constantly from a young age, and was to obsess him throughout his career. It is, in a sense, his only theme. Not only was he extremely physically frail, by the time he was…

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Cultural Mining

Cultural Mining

Cultural mining describes the process by which the most valuable parts of culture by which we understand the arts, humanities and philosophy are recovered and made useful for our own times. In cultural mining the pratical sides of culture are carefully extracted, cleaned, blasted and remolded and then used to manufacture the mental tools that we need to navigate contemporary life. It’s been a historic problem that hugely valuable cultural insights have often been lodged within highly unappealing material far…

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