Not just satire but comedy itself begins with mocking. Plato and Aristotle said all laughter was wrong because comedy is inherently cruel (something many people still believe, especially me when I think about Ken Magnuson in 8th grade gym class).
It seems to me that an open-minded thinker, free of biases and misconceptions, would have no choice but to acknowledge the veracity of this argument. When properly understood, it is simple, direct -- and tough to refute. Why then does it seem to have so few backers?
No photo, witty posting or apt political cartoon can match sitting on a park bench with a friend. No amount of clicking "like" stands in for keeping me company before a scary mammogram. Friends take that seat next to you so you don't sit alone.
The field of positive psychology operates from the premise that we ought to acknowledge both the light and the dark sides of life. It focuses on positive elements of life such as character strengths, positive emotion, resilience, purpose, positive relationships, and creative achievement.
I've come to decide that Aristotle was a pretty smart guy and that plot, in both content and structure, matters quite a bit. I've also come to decide that we live in an age where plots have been greatly degraded.
Far from being some form of esoteric knowledge, critical thinking turns out to be one of the more easy-to-learn and pragmatic skills available to all. Or at least all those willing to put in the reasonable amount of work needed to achieve success.
Humans are complex animals. Our intelligence is a complex adaptation. And the diverse and surprising ways in which we use it today suggest that we owe it to more than a handful of simplistic evolutionary scenarios.
You have 20 days left in this race. To win the election, you're going to have to trade your philosopher's toga for a warrior's sword. Last night proved you're willing to pick up your sword. I'm here to tell you how you take away Mitt Romney's.
Which vision and version of citizenship is correct? The answer should be both. Early in this 21st century, however, where partisanship has been elevated to the new art of war it appears that neither may be.
In Jim Holt's lively, bestselling book, Why Does The World Exist?, the author informs us the very phrase, Big Bang, was coined by a cosmologist, Sir Fred Hoyle, who disagreed with the conception of a universe-creating explosion.
"Meaning" had been expunged from mainstream scholarship for some time. Those attempts -- to take it out of research -- have been, in fact, counter-productive: meaning is very much at the center of the human experience.
When I hear Morten Lauridsen's choral composition, I sense a boundless beauty and tenderness within the nature of humankind. Here, there is no place for evil. Perhaps his music is even the wind that would bend us to be better.