Aldous Huxley’s Neoliberal Dystopia

Techno Occulture

Aldous Huxley, author of Doors of Perception and the Brave New World, on March 20 1962, he gave a lecture at the UC Berkley in which he clearly laid out the vision of a planned future society which appears the blueprint of a Neoliberal Dystopia:

In the past, we can say that all revolutions have essentially aimed at changing the environment in order to change the individual. Today, we are faced with the approach of what may be called the ultimate revolution, the final revolution where man can act directly on the mind and body of his fellows. The nature of the ultimate revolution which we are now faced is precisely this; that we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy that always existed and presumably will always exist, to get people to actually love their servitude.

First of all, to…

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Thoughts on Philosophy and the Sciences

Techno Occulture

The deficiencies of each of these alternatives, in each of their variations, have been well demonstrated time and again, but this failure of philosophers to find a satisfactory resting spot for the pendulum had few if any implications outside philosophy until recent years, when the developments in science, especially in biology and psychology, brought the philosophical question closer to scientific questions – or, more precisely, brought scientists closer to needing answers to the questions that had heretofore been the isolated and exclusive province of philosophy.

Daniel C. Dennett,  Content and Consciousness

Rereading Denett’s book Content and Consciousness makes me see how little has changed between 1969 and now in philosophy. The point of his statement above is to show how over time (history) the questions of philosophy are replaced by the questions of scientists. Why? Is there something about philosophy that keeps it at one remove from reality? Are we…

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Richard Dawkins responds to Kerry Walters’s distortions

Why Evolution Is True

Yesterday I reported on a HuffPo hit piece about Richard Dawkins by an academic and Catholic priest named Kerry Walters. I sent the links to Richard, who of course is used to this kind of thing, but wanted to set the record straight about some of Walters’ misrepresentations of his words (Dawkins pulls no punches, calling them “lies”). Richard’s response, which I publish with permission, is below (indented):

There’s not much left of Kerry Walters by the time Jerry Coyne has finished dealing with him. I would add only this.

Walters wrote the following. “Dawkins is also a master of outrageously unjustified moral claims about religion: religious education, he says, is child abuse, religion is responsible for most terrorism (a claim, by the way, that’s time and again proved to be not at all self-evident), and faith makes people “ignorant, stupid, insane, or wicked.” I’ll take his three allegations in…

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Priest at HuffPo: Dawkins is dangerous and has damaged our culture

Why Evolution Is True

Amazingly, the link to the “religion” section at HuffPo seems to have vanished, so there’s no way to see its articles except by Googling “HuffPo religion”. This is good, for there’s no longer one-click access to the panoply of HuffPo pieces extolling all religions save fundamentalist Christianity, and the endless Islamsplaining articles by Carol Kuruvilla. Most of the pieces you get under “religion” seem to have been pulled from other sections of the site.

When I did the requisite Googling, however, I found a pretty odious piece, which you can get it by clicking on the screenshot below.  The author, Kerry Walters, is an retired academic and a Catholic priest. He’s quite prolific: his Wikipedia bio shows that he writes about three books a year (theologians can do that)—eight in 2013 alone. His latest is St. Teresa of Calcutta: Missionary, Mother, Mystic, (he should have added “Malefactor”), which appears…

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Exiting the Iron Prison of our Cultural Matrix

This was GOOD. Nicely written.

Techno Occulture

In answer to a friend’s inquiry:

I’ll put it this way, you speak of a mystic turn in your personal life. I’ll admit that my own quest – so to speak, has been one that has tried to push beyond either traditional religious indoctrination, and – as well, the whole gamut of Secular indoctrination… the notion of the Real that so many use as a sort of limit concept is this blank wall against which thought comes to a point past which it cannot use those mind-tools that have for millennia been built up through either religious orthodoxies or through secular philosophical modes. We are living in a moment when the utter breakdown of both religious and philosophical truths that have guided human kind for millennia – whether of Western or Eastern forms, is forcing some of us to abandon them altogether rather than to try to “pour new wine…

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JayMan's Blog may have to make “misdreavus” a co-blogger here at some point, considering how I quote him here. But, in defending HBD (Human BioDiversity), he has made a nice basic summary of the reasons why we believe in HBD (that is, overwhelming evidence).

This was all in response to social anthropology scholar A. J. West, who some of you may remember from Cochran’s & Harpending’s. West wrote a post critical of HBD. I’m not going to recite anything from it, because it is a long drawn-out collection of strawman arguments and nonsense. But misdreavus’s response to West was an impressive review of the case for HBD. I am going to annotate it with links to references to his claims (emphasis in original):

1) The scientific basis behind so-called “human biodiversity” (or HBD) is blessedly simple in its obviousness, albeit one that goes shockingly…

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