Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) was a famous American journalist, essayist, critic of American life and culture, and a scholar of American English. An expert in so many fields, he was called “the Baltimore Sage.” At the age of 22, Mencken became managing editor of the Morning Herald in his hometown of Baltimore.[...]
Albert Einstein’s activities as a passionate advocate for peace were well-documented during his lifetime. His celebrity as a famous physicist and one of the world’s most recognizable faces lent a great deal of weight to his pacifism, a view otherwise not given much consideration in the popular press at almost any time in history.[...]
We’ve already featured former Black Flag frontman and current spoken-word artist Henry Rollins explaining why, to his mind, only education can restore democracy. He also believes it can cure something he calls “disaster capitalism,” and you can hear more from him about it in the Big Think video above.[...]
Noam Chomsky has issued a statement in reaction to our July 17 post, “Slavoj Žižek Responds to Noam Chomsky: ‘I Don’t Know a Guy Who Was So Often Empirically Wrong.’ In an article posted yesterday on ZNet titled “Fantasies,” Chomsky says Žižek’s criticism of him is completely ungrounded.[...]
Earlier this month we posted an excerpt from an interview in which linguist Noam Chomsky slams the Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek, along with the late French theorists Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida, for cloaking trivial ideas in obscure and inflated language to make them seem profound.[...]
Russian punk performance art collective Pussy Riot will not be deterred. Despite two of their members still languishing in prison labor camps for a musical protest in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the band continues to rail against its country’s corruption and abuses.[...]
Burly Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei has never lost his sense of humor, even when facing harsh repression from his government. But while the idea of 55-year old Ai recording a heavy metal record might seem like a stunt, the source material for his first single, “Dumbass” (above), is anything but funny.[...]
The United States has only five percent of the world’s population, but somewhere between 35 and 50 percent of the world’s privately owned guns. Is it a surprise, then, that we have significantly higher rates of gun violence?
According to research published by the National Institutes of Health, homicide rates in the U.S. are 6.
In the early ’90s, the so-called “Iron Archives” of Russian political documents from the Cold War era opened up to historians, shedding light on the earliest days of Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin’s diplomatic alliance.
But not all of the Russian documents were declassified at that time.
Bertrand Russell saw the history of civilization as being shaped by an unfortunate oscillation between two opposing evils: tyranny and anarchy, each of which contain the seed of the other. The best course for steering clear of either one, Russell maintained, is liberalism.[...]