This TED talk, by Netherland’s chief of defense Peter van Uhm, explains why we can’t do without guns. With insight and balance, van Uhm explains from a humanistic and humanitarian perspective why guns are now a necessary part of life.
In a recent TED talk, Michael Tilson Thomas explained how we got where we are musically. He also shared a concern that he has as a conductor and composer: what happens when the music stops, especially recorded music? What happens when a person has been listening to a canned piece of music and it ends? When the emotion is still there, but, unlike a hundred years ago, there is no one with whom we can share it at the time. There is no relationship between the musician and the listener, because the music was recorded in another time and another place. There is no corporate delight in the music because it came through ear buds. Continue reading
If you are reading this, someone is tracking you. As Gary Kovacs points out in this helpful TED talk, we are all leaving trails of information about our personal lives that other people use, and make money off of.
In the following TED talk, Hans Rosling posits the argument that religion really has nothing to do with birth rates. The talk is a fascinating one, and seems to indicate a general global pattern of declension from the God-given mandate to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28)
We were up in Canada last week and the student riots in Montreal are bigger news there than they are here. Hundreds of university students are making a huge fuss in Quebec which turned violent, all because tuition (which is currently about half of what it is in the U.S.) has gone up.
This sort of demonstration is irritating partly because they are making a mess, partly because they are taking up all the headlines, and largely because they are wrong. Having someone charge you more for an optional service is no reason to hurt other people or destroy their property. Continue reading
In my last semester at an old, secular university, I was invited to a faculty dinner. In a conversational lull, the female principal asked me from across the large table what I was planning to in the fall (she had provided parts for grad school applications and wanted to know where I would be studying). Fourteen weeks pregnant, I told her what my plan was: to have a baby. The whole table went silent. Male professors were surprised and awkward, but the women were visibly angry. The other student there later asked if I was serious. The only positive reaction was from my old school liberal, Anglican (male) thesis advisor. Someone changed the topic. Continue reading
“On Sunday morning, 21 May 1922, Harry Emerson Fosdick mounted the pulpit of the First Prsebyterian Church of New York to preach the most famous sermon of his career, “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?” Described by Fosdick as a “plea for good will,” the sermon fell like a bombshell on the Presbyterian Church and set in motion a series of explosions that would rock the church until well into the next decade. Continue reading
In our society, Postmoderns have come up with the idea that we cannot know truth; that we cannot even know if we are coming closer to truth or getting further away from it. On an academic level, this has led to deconstructionist literary criticism and the new historicism, among other things. Postmoderns deconstruct coherent and rational ways of thinking about the world and who we are. Such thinking is destructive on the intellectual level.
But the thinking does not end there. The fashion industry has taken these metaphysical concepts and applied them to the clothing it sells. Continue reading