How Finland Created One of the Best Educational Systems in the World (by Doing the Opposite of U.S.)

≡ Category: Education, Politics |Leave a Comment

Every conversation about education in the U.S. takes place in a minefield.

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Kurt Vonnegut Ponders Why “Poor Americans Are Taught to Hate Themselves” in a Timely Passage from Slaughterhouse-Five

≡ Category: Literature, Politics |Leave a Comment

Image by Daniele Prati, via Flickr Commons
Amidst what is now an ordinary day’s chaos and turmoil in the news, you may have noticed some outrage circulating over comments made by erstwhile brain surgeon, former presidential candidate, and current Secretary of HUD Ben Carson. Poverty, he said, is a “state of mind.

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The MC5 Performs at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention, Right Before All Hell Breaks Loose

≡ Category: Music, Politics |Leave a Comment

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qgSBrgZlzM”>lectures

With some rare exceptions (Sid and Nancy, I’m Not There, maybe Walk the Line and Cadillac Records), biopics usually stumble badly when they try to recreate the personalities and atmospheres of famous musicians.

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John F. Kennedy Explains Why Artists & Poets Are Indispensable to American Democracy (October 26th, 1963)

≡ Category: Poetry, Politics |1 Comment

The Greek word poesis did not confine itself to the literary arts. Most broadly speaking, the word meant “to make”—as in, to create anything, godlike, out of the stuff of ideas.

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Artist is Creating a Parthenon Made of 100,000 Banned Books: A Monument to Democracy & Intellectual Freedom

≡ Category: Art, Current Affairs, Politics |3 Comments

With the rise of Far Right candidates in Europe and in America, along with creeping dictatorship in Turkey and authoritarianism in the Philippines, the idea of democracy and freedom of speech feels under threat more than ever.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Says This Short Film on Science in America Contains Perhaps the Most Important Words He’s Ever Spoken

≡ Category: Politics, Science |1 Comment

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has won a reputation as a genial, yet pedantic nerd, a scientific gadfly whose point of view may nearly always be technically correct, but whose mode of delivery sometimes misses the point, like someone who explains a joke.

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138 Short Animated Introductions to the World’s Greatest Ideas: Plato, Michel Foucault, Simone de Beauvoir & More

≡ Category: Animation, Education, History, Philosophy, Politics |2 Comments

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgc0-Cn4AAs&list=PLRXstY5OaIwdMcpMaRsTz0jRwlD9x-NIM&t=5s&index=4″>in

The Open Culture audience, by my estimation, divides into two basic groups: those who’ve read the collected works of the likes of Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault, and Plato, and those who’d like to.

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Pink Floyd Adapts George Orwell’s Animal Farm into Their 1977 Concept Album, Animals (a Critique of Late Capitalism, Not Stalin)

≡ Category: Music, Politics |5 Comments

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy8NdJTOR9E”>Mastodon

Pink Floyd will always be known for their massively successful concept albums, and David Gilmour and Roger Waters’ tense, and personally explosive, dynamic on albums like Dark Side of the Moon seems reminiscent of another masterful songwriting duo known for rock high concepts.

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Harvard Students Launch a Free Course on How to Resist Trump

≡ Category: Current Affairs, Politics |7 Comments

I have my doubts about whether we should call regular acts of civic duty “resistance,” rather than Constitutionally-protected democratic freedoms.  Yesterday we remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 49th anniversary of his assassination (and the 50th anniversary of his speech opposing the Vietnam War).

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An Animated Introduction to Roland Barthes’s Mythologies and How He Used Semiotics to Decode Popular Culture

≡ Category: Current Affairs, Philosophy, Politics |Leave a Comment

In 1979, French theorist Jean-François Lyotard declared the end of all “grand narratives”—every “theory or intellectual system,” as Blackwell’s dictionary defines the term, “which attempts to provide a comprehensive explanation of human experience and knowledge.

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