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Suggestions for Guests (Merged)
Posted: 08 January 2009 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 121 ]
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truthaddict - 07 January 2009 07:10 AM
VYAZMA - 06 January 2009 04:50 PM

I’m reading it TA.I find it more interesting to see you try and advance the cause for progressive-leftist ideals,than to seek out these podcasts or websites.I would add that most of this is Hokum!!There have been plenty of reasonable social-economic constructs already put forth throughout the years.Some of them failed not for lack of ingenuity and probability,but failed due to repression.Repression!!
I’m with you though.I’m reading your posts.You haven’t been around for awhile.Keep up the fight!Watch out for Pigs on the Wing!!

Yeah, I happen to feel strongly that progressive-leftist ideals respond more deeply to society than conservative or centrist ideals (if you can say centrism is really anything to begin with). Sub Marcos said in one of the early EZLN statements that humanity, like the heart, prefers to be on the Left side. I am obviously a fellow traveler.

What other examples are you referring to? Just out of curiosity. Of course many experiments have been repressed, and there is always the possibility of that with a humanist or parecon society. But that shouldnt alter our desire to work towards it.

I mean, even if we felt our chances for success were zero, that shouldnt matter. Because the choice is between apathy or inaction, in which we assure failure, or hope and action, in which we at the very least have a possibility of success. The choice shouldnt be difficult for those who are not sociopaths or cynics.

I have considered a lot of different theories and models and for various reasons I happen to think participatory economics and complimentary holism has the most to offer.

*looks around and sees no pigs on the wing…

Yes some examples would be our current form of government,and what it is ideally purported to offer.Of course I see your in a big discussion with Balak over Communism,that would be another example.It was repressed,as well as, It hit the ground running too hard and too forced.Lenin decided to try to take a nation that wasn’t in the full throngs of capitalism,but was largely agrarian,and run by a monarchy,and convert it directly over to full blown Communism.This is why fanatics never win.
Another social-political-economic construct that has failed in this nation due to repression would be Labor.

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Posted: 09 January 2009 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 122 ]
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Anything can fail.

But what underlies the constructive criticism of Leninism or Labor or Social Democracy or Representative Democracy is basically the same: it is the difference between social management by a class or system of coordinators or social liberation by democratic and participatory participation by all to the degree that they are affected.

But I suggest Albert as a guest not just to talk politics or economics. I think these are two of many elements of social life that need to be addressed for creating a truly humanist society.

First, a humanist society should not be a totally secular society. While I am a full-blown atheist I also must respect other people to believe how the wish so long as their beliefs dont culminate into actions that infringe on the rights of others. In other words, I advocate diversity and self-management.

But what about culture and kinship? Beyond the politics and economics of a humanist society what can or should these entail?

It is the inter-connecting social spheres of the social theory Complimentary Holism (ie politics, economics, culture, kinship), put forth by Albert and several others, and how this approach coupled with humanist values can lead to a humanist society that I would like Point of Inquiry to discuss with Albert.

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Posted: 09 January 2009 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 123 ]
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some may want to know why social liberation is prefered to social management.

the answer lies in self-management.

if in cultural or kinship spheres we want people to have control over their lives and to have a say in things to the degree they are affected we must recognize that this is also necessary in political and economic spheres. If we want to liberate women from male-dominated restrictions that cast them below men then we are not talking about being anti-men. We are not talking about perpetual conflict between men and women. We are talking about solidarity and to have that we must have diversity by respecting each other and we must allow others to control their lives which would mean self-management. Men have an integral part in the feminist movement in that we can speak out, expose and transform gender biases to our peers. Much like white people can do and have done the same in regards to racism.

So if political management is dominated by politicians who can get elected with populist rhetoric only to turn on their supporters once in office as is the case with representative democracy then we should look for new methods to make polity more humanist, or as shalom called it “good.”

Same with economic management. If economic decisions are monopolized by market systems where dollars vote then huge parts of society are left virtually voiceless. If wealth can be passed down through generations then the social inequality is exasperated. Imagine if politics was similar. Imagine if you could buy your vote and more than one. Now imagine if your successors could inherit your monopoly of votes. We see a lot of this in society in terms of economics. Property ownership, inheritance of wealth, how labor is remunerated, how resources are allocated and so on all have tremendous impacts on society. And to create such disparities in power and privilege is hardly a system worth replicating in a humanist society.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 124 ]
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truthaddict - 09 January 2009 08:59 AM

Anything can fail.

But what underlies the constructive criticism of Leninism or Labor or Social Democracy or Representative Democracy is basically the same: it is the difference between social management by a class or system of coordinators or social liberation by democratic and participatory participation by all to the degree that they are affected.

But I suggest Albert as a guest not just to talk politics or economics. I think these are two of many elements of social life that need to be addressed for creating a truly humanist society.

First, a humanist society should not be a totally secular society. While I am a full-blown atheist I also must respect other people to believe how the wish so long as their beliefs dont culminate into actions that infringe on the rights of others. In other words, I advocate diversity and self-management.

But what about culture and kinship? Beyond the politics and economics of a humanist society what can or should these entail?

It is the inter-connecting social spheres of the social theory Complimentary Holism (ie politics, economics, culture, kinship), put forth by Albert and several others, and how this approach coupled with humanist values can lead to a humanist society that I would like Point of Inquiry to discuss with Albert.

I don’t know what you mean by “self-management”.Are you saying everyone should behave themselves and play fairly?Never!Never in the past can we find one instance where the world or peoples weren’t being enslaved and downtrodden.This complimentary holism sounds like another person coming down the pike crying out for peace,justice and harmony.
How do you think we can get everyone to get along?We live on a Prison Planet.I’m sorry,I have nothing constructive or cheerful to say.

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Posted: 13 January 2009 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 125 ]
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I would like to hear Paul Offit interviewed.  He is the pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who has written a new book debunking the theory that vaccines cause autism.  Check it out: Autism’s False Prophets

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Posted: 13 January 2009 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 126 ]
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VYAZMA - 12 January 2009 09:46 AM

I don’t know what you mean by “self-management”.Are you saying everyone should behave themselves and play fairly?Never!Never in the past can we find one instance where the world or peoples weren’t being enslaved and downtrodden.This complimentary holism sounds like another person coming down the pike crying out for peace,justice and harmony.
How do you think we can get everyone to get along?We live on a Prison Planet.I’m sorry,I have nothing constructive or cheerful to say.

In society there are various decisions made that affect others. Self-management means that people should be able to participate in a diverse democratic fashion (this could be consensus, majority vote, etc) in making decisions that affect them to the degree they are affected.

In a relationship “the Man” should not have say over the woman when the “say” affects her.

In economies workers and consumers, and people in general, should have a say in things that affect them. In other words, we should have a democratic and participatory response to externalities.

The rest of your comment is quite cynical. It assumes things have always been the same and will always be the same. Truth is, the maxim “the only thing that stays the same is that nothing stays the same” is more accurate. Things have changed for the better in many regards and things can continue to change for the better in many regards. Also, things can get worse.

But recognizing that there have been significant changes in social relations over the course of human history I think it is instructive to point out that cynicism, apathy and inaction has never liberated anyone or broken a chain of oppression or ended an injustice. Change in regards to social relations is somewhat similar to Pascal’s Wager. If we assume nothing can change and do nothing about it then we pretty much ensure that things won’t get better; but if we do try and do something about it then the prospects of success are considerably higher. This doesn’t assure success, just increase chances for it.

Last, I think you completely misunderstand Complimentary Holism as a social theory. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Utopia or what progress can be made, though it was designed to help those who may wish to move in that direction. It is a social theory tool to help others vision and strategize. It starts with the notion that society consists of at least four spheres (comunity, kinship, politics and economy) and that no one sphere is always more important than the other and that more so, these spheres interact in society.

For example, the socialization process doesnt just occur in the community, or at home, or through State laws or via the economy. It occurs in all spheres. So if some activists want to address socialization issues they would be ill-served to focus on one sphere. Likewise, education is not just impacted by communities but by kinship, economics and politics as well. Furthermore, not all societies are the same. In some societies certain spheres might be more prevalent. Take apartheid in South Africa as another example. It would not help to analyze and strategize around sex or economics. It was largely a community (ie race) issue, though it did effect the other spheres as well.

So many on here want a Humanist Society. I do too. But what I find usefl in CoHo is that it can assist those in seeing that having a Humanist society means more than addressing the issue of secularism versus religion. There is the issue of gender relations, parenting, sexuality, agism, legislation, courts, public works, citizen participation, property rights, wages, allocation, cultural diversity, education, lifestyles, ethnic and racial relations, and so on.

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Posted: 13 January 2009 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 127 ]
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Let’s try to keep this thread for guest suggestions. If you want to engage in back and forths about the particular merits of what those potential guests could offer, better to do so in another thread.

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Posted: 13 January 2009 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 128 ]
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Ayaan Hirsi Ali, definitely.

I would second Paul Offit, author of Autism’s False Prophets.

I’d also like to see these guests on the show:

Lee M. Silver, Princeton professor of molecular biology and author of Challenging Nature: The Clash Between Biotechnology and Spirituality. It was a really enlightening book and I bought it after reading an article by Silver in an issue of Skeptical Inquirer.

Bob Seidensticker, author of Future-Hype: The Myths of Technology Change. Seidensticker’s book is a nice counter-balance to books like Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near, whose premise is often accepted without question by thinkers like Michio Kaku and Michael Shermer.

Phil Zuckerman, author of Society Without Gods. That’s a pretty obvious choice.

John Shelby Spong, author of Jesus for the Non-Religious, sounds like an interesting choice too.

This one’s kind of a shot in the dark but Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism Without Beliefs. I recently finished that book, and found it’s premise interesting, but maybe not my style. It was the first book I read about Buddhism. He advocates an agnostic version of Buddhism as a method, not a set of doctrines to be believed, and argues against karma and reincarnation. Dunno if he’s PoI material or not, but just throwing it out there.

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Posted: 13 January 2009 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 129 ]
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Agree completely about Lee Silver. He’s very good, and I also bought and read his book after the SI article.

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Posted: 14 January 2009 02:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 130 ]
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More professional philosophers. Pick any one of the guest from philosophybites.com for example.

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Posted: 15 January 2009 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 131 ]
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I have a couple suggestions for guests.  I only recently discovered this podcast, so apologies if these folks have already been on.

Simon Conway Morris, paleontologist - he’s definitely not a proponent of intelligent design, but his Christian beliefs do color his views on evolution in some interesting and controversial ways (see especially his book Life’s Solution).  I would also love to hear a debate between Conway Morris and Richard Dawkins.

Lee Smolin, physicist - Smolin is one of a growing number of scientists who have grown critical of the stranglehold that string theory has on theoretical physics (which I guess should actually be called a “stringlehold”).  This may seem rather far afield from the usual PoI fare, but at the heart of string theory criticism is the claim it isn’t really a “theory” at all in the scientific sense—which would place it in the same category as intelligent design. 

In fact I think it would be great to hold a panel discussion on the topic “What makes string theory any better than intelligent design?”  Leave aside the obvious religious implications of intelligent design, and what do you have?  A hypothesis that proposes a possible explanation for what we observe in nature, but makes no testable predictions that could be used to falsify that hypothesis.  Why then is intelligent design discarded as “junk science” (which it is) while string theory dominates theoretical physics?  This suggests a certain hypocrisy among scientists, doesn’t it?

I’d also love to hear some of my favorite previous PoI guests again: Joe Nickell (we never did get the show dedicated to the Shroud of Turin that DJ promised), Garrett Fagan, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Ibn Warraq, Peter Singer, and of course Salman Rushdie or Richard Dawkins.

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Posted: 15 January 2009 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 132 ]
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Maybe he has been mentioned already, but I am new here and have not had time to read through all the posts.

Bishop Spong, the apparently atheist Episcopalian.

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Posted: 15 January 2009 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 133 ]
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Chris Mooney is a writer and blogger on the intersection of science and politics I’ve enjoyed following for the past couple of years. Seems like he would be the perfect subject for a POI interview.

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Posted: 16 January 2009 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 134 ]
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Balak - 15 January 2009 08:47 PM

Chris Mooney is a writer and blogger on the intersection of science and politics I’ve enjoyed following for the past couple of years. Seems like he would be the perfect subject for a POI interview.

Agreed, but he’s hardly unknown to PoI; he’s already been on three times. Right now I’m having a problem doing searches on the PoI site, but if you poke around you can find them. Here are the titles:

Chris Mooney - The Republican War on Science

Chris Mooney - Science, Politics, and the Midterm Election

Chris Mooney - Storm World

And also his sometime co-author:

Matthew C. Nisbet - Selling Science to the Public

Matthew C. Nisbet - Communicating about Science and Religion

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Posted: 16 January 2009 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 135 ]
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Oops. Thanks Doug,
How about that - a suggestion so brilliant that POI was forced to copy it (several times) in advance!

Next time, I’ll try checking the archives first….

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