Thursday, May 24, 2012
Most sources contain intentional messages. That is to say, they were produced by some person or persons for the purpose of conveying information to an audience. Oral, written, and visual sources can all contain intentional messages. ... Often, the meaning is open to debate ... Nevertheless it is clear that there are intentional messages ... We call the practice of seeking to understand the information or messages that the authors of the text wanted to convey to their audience reading with the grain. ...
However, texts also contain messages that their authors did not intend to convey to their audience. Often these messages are a set of assumptions. ... By definition, these assumptions are not explicitly stated in the text because they are assumed by the author to be universal truths that anyone (or at least the audience) would immediately recognize.
It is necessary, therefore, to read against the grain--or to deconstruct our sources--in order to gain access to the assumptions. The practice of deconstruction generally involves a series of steps. The first of these is to establish the origins, author, and other evidentiary issues about the text and to read it with the grain. It is especially important to know as much as possible about the author--his or her status in society, life experiences, political and cultural outlook, and so forth.This is because the assumptions we are looking for are usually generated communally and shared among a group. ...
The next step in deconstruction requires the researcher to search for assumptions and figurative language--metaphors, similes, stereotypes, and the like. Often, it is useful to look at a range of documents as a way of identifying language that is commonly used by many people in the same society or social group. At the same time, it is important to read the document closely to see where explanations end and assumptions begin--in other words, to search out the points that the author assumes need no explanation.
Source: Trevor R. Getz and Liz Clarke. Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History (New York: Oxford UP,
2012) pp. 126-127.
Reality follows where idealism leads.
Source: Inscription seen May 2012 on a monument on the University of Puget Sound campus.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring. Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.
Source: C. S. Lewis. The Magician's Nephew in The Chronicles of Narnia. (New York: HarperCollins, 2004) p. 75.
"Then I [Emeth] fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, 'Son, thou art welcome.' But I said, 'Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.' He answered, 'Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.' Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, 'Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one?' The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, 'It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites--I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child?' I said, 'Lord, thou knowest how much I understand.' But I said also (for the truth constrained me), 'Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days.' 'Beloved,' said the Glorious One, 'unless thy desire had been for me thou shouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.'
Source: C. S. Lewis. The Last Battle in the The Chronicles of Narnia. (New York: HarperCollins, 2004) pp. 756-757.
In the field of literature, myth usually does not mean a "fictitious story, or unscientific account, theory, belief, etc." (literary critics do not dismiss something as just a myth). Instead, to Lewis and Tolkien, myths deal with matters beyond and above everyday life, concerning origins, endings, aspirations, purpose and meaning, in concepts or narratives that appeal to the imagination and the emotions rather than the intellect. They are nonrational and nonintellectual, not irrational or anti-intellectual. Thus Tolkien says that myth has a "total (unanalysable) effect." Myth, Lewis adds, "deals with impossibles and preternaturals." The experiences that myths generate are serious and awe-inspiring, conveying a sense of the numinous. Myths open huge vistas, plumb depths of the emotions and the spirit. The sheer imaginativeness of such stories, like that of much poetry, adds to life, creates sensations we never had before, and enlarges our conception of possible experience.
Source: Peter J. Schakel. The Way into Narnia: A Reader's Guide (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005). p. 34.
- "Speech, reason, faith and knowledge in C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia" on the Into the Wardrobe site.
- "What's Christian About Narnia?" on beliefnet.com
- "The secret of the wardrobe" on the BBC news site
- The C. S. Lewis Review
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
|Photo of Jelly Babies by Father Jack at|
Last September, The Telegraph reported, in a piece featuring the same Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry article that Science Daily referenced: "Reports last week that researchers could be just six months away from producing the world’s first artificial meat, using thousands of stem cells bred in a laboratory, sent a wave of fascination around the world. Yet there is an even more ghoulish prospect ahead: the idea of eating artificial food made from humans" and "In fact, human-derived gelatin is already in use by the pharmaceutical industry in the manufacture of certain pills and vaccines."
Source: Nicholas Wapshott. Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics (New York: Norton & Co., 2011) p. 198.
I've posted this quote not as a blanket endorsement of Hayek's book but because I was surprised to read that Keynes actually had something good to say about it--shows you how little I know about Keynes, I suppose. I mainly agree with the Libertarian critique of the state. It's been a long time since I read The Road to Serfdom so I can't say if this is true of Hayek but what I generally find lacking in Libertarian rhetoric is an acknowledgement of and grappling with the real threat to liberty posed by private, as opposed to state, power. As if to confirm that it turns out that General Motors bankrolled the distribution of a cartoon version of the The Road to Serfdom, which was first published in Look in February 1945 (see video below).
- "The Road from Serfdom" by Thomas W. Hazlett on Reason.com
- "Why I Am Not a Conservative" by Friedrich Hayek on LewRockwell.com
Source: Robert Heilbroner. The Worldly Philosophers (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999) p. 215.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Goodman: Yours is a voice of criticism we don't often hear in the United States. Often when there is dissent expressed in the United States against policies of the Israeli government, people here are called anti-Semitic. What is your response to that as an Israeli Jew?You can watch the entire interview on Democracy Now. The segment quoted above starts at about 50:51.
Aloni: Well, it's a trick, we always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are anti-Semitic. And the organization is strong, and has a lot of money, and the ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong and they are strong in this country, as you know. And they have power, which is OK. They are talented people and they have power and money, and the media and other things, and their attitude is "Israel, my country right or wrong", the identification. And they are not ready to hear criticism. And it's very easy to blame people who criticize certain acts of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic, and to bring up the Holocaust, and the suffering of the Jewish people, and that is justify everything we do to the Palestinians.
- Israeli Foreign Ministry Hosted Leading Wikipedia Editor
- Hasbara Ops on Wikipedia Revealed
- Hasbara & SlimVirgin on Wikipedia
- Hasbara Fellowships--The Zionist War on Truth, Update