Thoughts on cultural representation: power and resistance

Thoughts on cultural representation: power and resistance

We often associate power with direct physical power. But power also has to be understood in broader cultural and symbolic terms, including the power to represent someone or something in a certain way. How should we navigate a legacy of established systems of representations, towarda conscionable “reality”? Continue reading “Thoughts on cultural representation: power and resistance”

Is democracy the foundation of resurgent fascism?

Democracy is generally considered to be a form of government that opposes fascism. However, fascism has arisen before, and could arise again in new forms, through democratic processes. Is democracy really the ideal instrument to counter the current rise of right-wing political groups in western societies? Continue reading “Is democracy the foundation of resurgent fascism?”

Why are we becoming insensitive to human tragedies?

Why are we becoming insensitive to human tragedies?

In response to worldwide daily reports of human tragedies, we hardly feel anything. In the view of the philosopher Günther Anders, the current incapability to experience a real state of anguish is due to an irreconcilable gap between the effective magnitude of our actions and our limited comprehension of them. We must train ourselves to emotionally live up to the consequences of our actions. Otherwise, we may end up losing complete control over the potential impact of our decisions. Continue reading “Why are we becoming insensitive to human tragedies?”

A useful psychopath?

A useful psychopath?

Psychopathy is thought to be present in approximately 1% of the general population. However, evidence suggests that these people are overrepresented in certain professions, many of which are leadership/management-based and can have a profound influence on our society. Should this be a cause for concern, or are people with psychopathic traits simply more capable of performing these roles? Continue reading “A useful psychopath?”

Lost empathy: what to change to change the world

Lost empathy: what to change to change the world

Empathy drives us towards actions that relieve the suffering of other people. However, in a world full of information, empathy acts as a negative selective force that pushes us either towards irrelevant or complete inaction. If we wish to change our world, we should highlight information and feel apathetic towards everything else. Continue reading “Lost empathy: what to change to change the world”

Sir F. M. M. Worrell and the moral value of sport

In 1960, Frank Worrell became the first full-time black cricket captain of the West Indies following a sustained journalistic campaign organised by the Trinidadian intellectual C. L. R. James. The event itself, as well as the character of the people involved, demonstrate how sport can become a battleground for moral issues, becoming cherished as something more than ‘just’ a game. Continue reading “Sir F. M. M. Worrell and the moral value of sport”

Visions of reality: the problem of experience in science

Scientific discovery is grounded in our experience. But is there something about our experience that is not quantifiable? This article explores the history of the debate surrounding the compatibility of lived experience with scientific data. How the different visions of reality presented in these debates are balanced in our culture will affect the very way that life itself is lived and understood. Continue reading “Visions of reality: the problem of experience in science”