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Thursday, January 25
by Ron on January 25, 2007 12:59PM (PST)
Here are the latest emails from my friend Mark Turcotte, reporting on his travels in Southeast Asia:
Chong Fa Falls, Thailand
Along the path to Chong Fa Falls there are many so-called "sensitive" plants. (You see them for sale sometimes in stores.) One touch causes them to fold up their leaves; another causes them to droop their whole branch. ... more »
Sunday, January 14
by Ron on January 14, 2007 10:11PM (PST)
"Prophets Facing Backward," my book under discussion here, claims that the cluster of social constructivist, feminist and postcolonial theories that deny any cognitive distinctions between warranted knowledge and collectively accepted beliefs ... have provided philosophical justifications for [a] kind of populist interpretive flexibility ...
Set against the backdrop of the rise of Hindu nationalism in India, the book argues that the relentless debunking the very idea of universally valid, bias-free facts has received in the hands of its many academic critics, has added to a culture of doublethink where truth has becomes infinitely malleable, open to all kinds of nativist, pseudo-scientific and faith-based interpretations.
Intellectuals, whose job it is to challenge such mystifications, I argue, have betrayed their calling by condemning the very possibility of impartial and universally valid truth that can cut through cultural and national boundaries. This betrayal has made it easier for the religious right to present itself as the defender of the tradition, dressed up as “alternative science”, which it claims has been unfairly rejected and willfully suppressed by the secular elite. The logic of deconstruction of modern science simultaneously provides the logic for the construction of “sacred sciences” by the resurgent religious-political movements that have sprung up among the Hindus, Christian and Muslims alike.
It is indeed high time for science studies to get engaged in the thorny issues raised by the attempt of religious extremists to take on the prestige of science for their objectively false and outdated cosmologies. It is gratifying to note that the debate I began in the "Prophets" has now been joined. My colleagues from science studies and postcolonial studies have done me the honor of critically engaging with the concerns I have raised regarding the political dangers of epistemic multiculturalism in this age of religious fundamentalisms. In this essay, I will respond at length to the issues my critics have raised in their readings of the "Prophets." ... more »
Wednesday, January 10
by Ron on January 10, 2007 07:16PM (PST)
My name is David Ulansey. I am a Professor in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and before I came to CIIS I taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Boston University, Barnard College (Columbia University), the University of Vermont, and Princeton University. My specialty is the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, especially the ancient Mystery religions, Gnosticism, ancient cosmology, and early Christianity.
My publications have focused on the ancient mystery religion of Mithraism. ... more »
Tuesday, December 19
by Ron on December 19, 2006 12:53PM (PST)
Here are a few more of the email updates I've been receiving from a friend who's now traveling in SouthEast Asia. His writing is so vividly "on the spot" that I thought to share it here on SCIY.
Nearby (4 km. north) is the larger walled city of Angkor Thom. Within its 10 sq. km. area lies Bayon, a three tiered temple best know for its collection of 54 gothic towers decorated with 216 coldly smiling enormous faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Below on the first level are 16 intricate bas-relief panels relaying among other things naval battles, linga (phallic symbol) worship, every-day life and more. Amazing. ... more »
Monday, December 11
by Ron on December 11, 2006 02:27PM (PST)
I received this email a couple of days ago, from a friend who's now traveling in SouthEast Asia. His writing is so vividly "on the spot" that I thought to share it here on SCIY. ~ ron
Here in Siem Riep (Angkor Wat) Cambodia, there is no shortage of entrepreneurial capitalism….just like in Thailand. Because of all the foreign dollars, euros and yen flowing into here because of Angkor´s famous temples, there´s a plethora of people catering to the foreigner´s needs. ... more »
Monday, November 20
by Ron on November 20, 2006 12:55PM (PST)
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program has just taken another step forward by shipping the first 10 computers from the manufacturer in Taiwan, to the US State Department for testing. This is the first batch of the $100 laptops for children in poor countries such as Nigeria, China, Brazil, Egypt and Thailand who have already placed an order for 1 million laptops... India was part of the program initially until Indian Education Secretary Sudeep Banerjee reversed the decision to back the OLPC project. ... more »
Friday, October 20
by Ron on October 20, 2006 01:28PM (PDT)
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006, divided into two equal parts, to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank for their efforts to create economic and social development from below. Lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty. Micro-credit is one such means. Development from below also serves to advance democracy and human rights. ... more »
Monday, October 9
by Ron on October 9, 2006 09:07AM (PDT)
A barrage of condemnation and calls for retaliation befell the communist state Monday after it announced it had set off a small atomic weapon underground. -- The United States, Japan, China and Britain urged action by the United Nations Security Council in response to the reported test. The Council warned North Korea just two days earlier not to follow through with any test, and Kim Jong-il's government's defiance could mean a serious international backlash. -- White House spokesman Tony Snow called for "immediate actions to respond to this unprovoked act" and said that the United States was closely monitoring the situation and "reaffirms its commitment to protect and defend our allies in the region." ... more »
Tuesday, October 3
by Ron on October 3, 2006 05:31PM (PDT)
South Korea's foreign minister is quite likely to be answering to a new title soon - United Nations secretary-general. Seoul's chief diplomat has cleared what is widely viewed as the last major hurdle to winning the post. -- South Koreans are enthusiastic about the prospect that Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon will soon replace United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is retiring. ... more »
A Review of Dipesh Chakrabarty's "Provincializing Europe" by Amit Chaudhuri (London Review of Books) Debashish
AntiMatters vol 3 no 4 is out koantum
Classicism, post-classicism and Ranjabati Sircar’s work: re-defining the terms of Indian contemporary dance discourses by Alessandra Lopez y Royo Debashish
LACMA 111909 - Debashish Banerji Debashish
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Within the limits of capitalism, economizing means taking care - Bernard Stiegler
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Within the limits of capitalism, economizing means taking care - Bernard Stiegler