Facebook and the Decline of Ideas By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones, Aug. 14, 2011 http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/08/facebook-and-decline-ideas Neal Gabler writes today that we no longer care much about big, exciting ideas, the kind that we used to hear from Albert Einstein, Reinhold Niebuhr, Daniel Bell, Betty Friedan, Carl Sagan and Stephen Jay Gould. “We are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passé.”
Conservative Politics, ‘Low-Effort’ Thinking Linked In New Study By David Freeman, The Huffington Post, 04/09/2012
New Evidence That Grandmothers Were Crucial for Human Evolution By Joseph Stromberg, smithsonian.com, October 23, 2012 …grandmothering helped us to develop “a whole array of social capacities that are then the foundation for the evolution of other distinctly human traits, including pair bonding, bigger brains, learning new skills and our tendency for cooperation.”… From an evolutionary perspective, it makes more sense for older females to increase the group’s overall offspring survival rate instead of spending more energy on producing their own.…the social relations that go along with grandmothering could have contributed to the larger brains and other traits that distinguish humans…“Grandmothering gave us the kind of upbringing that made us more dependent on each other socially and prone to engage each other’s attention.”...The theory is by no means definitive, but the new mathematical evidence serves as another crucial piece of support for it. This could help anthropologists better understand human evolution—and should give you another reason to go thank your grandmother.
Susan Jacoby on Secularism and Free Thinking, Moyers and Company, March 1, 2013
How Thinking Works: 10 Brilliant Cognitive Psychology Studies Everyone Should Know by Jeremy Dean, PsyBlog, January 2014
Why We Need New Ways of Thinking by Barry Boyce, Shambhala Sun, September 2008 — The same old thing doesn’t work… because when it comes to complex, tough problems—global warming, food crises, civil war, terror, drugs, urban decay, persistent poverty—we have to go beyond the approaches that got us there in the first place…a loose but growing collection of thinkers, activists, academics, and social entrepreneurs who are searching for the “unthinkable”—the new ways that we can’t see because of our old ways of looking…they all firmly believe that the good old world we’ve come to know and love is coming apart at the seams. Systems of all kinds are breaking down and will continue to do so. In response, they champion ways of seeing and acting that acknowledge that the world is a chaotic, deeply interdependent place, a place that won’t yield to attempts to overpower it. We must come to understand, they argue, the nature of complexity, chaos, and interconnectedness—and to train ourselves in ways of acting that embrace this unmistakable reality.
Wisdom: The Forgotten Dimension? by Mary Jaksch…Wisdom means having the moral will to do right by other people, and to have the moral skill to figure out what doing right means. This is not a new idea; it is something that Aristotle taught in ancient Greece…A wise person takes the overview…Compassionate action – the outflow of wisdom – happens when we stop being the center of our concern. Then we can open up to a wider view of reality that includes the suffering of others, as well as our own – and respond with compassion.
Reclaiming Our Imaginations from ‘There Is No Alternative by Andrea Brower, January 25, 2013 by Common Dreams We live in a time of heavy fog. A time when, though many of us dissent and resist, humanity seems committed to a course of collective suicide in the name of preserving an economic system that generates scarcity no matter how much is actually produced. To demand that all have enough to eat on a planet that grows enough food, that absurd numbers of people do not die from preventable disease, that utter human deprivation amongst plenty is not tolerated, or that we put the natural laws of the biosphere above socially constructed economic “laws” — is presented as unrealistic, as the fantasy of idealists or those who are naive to the “complexity” of the world’s problems. If we create and recreate the world every day, then how has it become so supposedly absurd to believe we might actually create a world that is honestly making the possibilities of egalitarianism, justice and democracy? Capitalism — the logic of subordinating every aspect of life to the accumulation of profit (i.e. the “rules of the market”) — has become today’s “common sense.” It has become almost unthinkable to imagine coherent alternatives to this logic, even when considering the most basic of human needs — food, water, healthcare, education. Though many have an understanding of capitalism’s failings, there is a resignation towards its inevitability…What sustains the tragic myth that There Is No Alternative? Those committed to building a more just future must begin re-thinking and revealing the taken-for-granted assumptions that make capitalism “common sense,” and bring these into the realm of mainstream public debate in order to widen horizons of possibility…