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Friday, August 6, 2010

Herbert Spencer

For what is meant by saying that a government ought to educate the people? Why should they be educated? What is the education for? Clearly, to fit the people for social life — to make them good citizens. And who is to say what are good citizens? The government: there is no other judge. And who is to say how these good citizens may be made? The government: there is no other judge. Hence the proposition is convertible into this — a government ought to mold children into good citizens…. It must first form for itself a definite conception of a pattern citizen; and, having done this, must elaborate such system of discipline as seems best calculated to produce citizens after that pattern. This system of discipline it is bound to enforce to the uttermost. For if it does otherwise, it allows men to become different from what in its judgment they should become, and therefore fails in that duty it is charged to fulfill

Faith No More (Mike Patton) VS Lady GaGa - Poker face

Who Rules America ?

by G. William Domhoff

My book, Who Rules America?, presents detailed original information on how power and politics operate in the United States. The first edition came out in 1967 and is ranked 12th on the list of 50 best sellers in sociology between 1950 and 1995. A second edition, Who Rules America Now?, arrived in 1983 and landed at #43 on the same list. Third and fourth editions followed in 1998 and 2002, and the fifth edition, upon which most of this web site is based, came out in 2006.

The sixth edition of WRA was released in 2009, and is available at (and other bookstores). This new edition has information on the rise of Barack Obama, his campaign finance supporters, and the nature of his administration. The last chapter focuses on the potential for serious challenges to class and corporate dominance. It does not have answers, but it raises the key questions and states the possibilities, noting that the strategies and tactics adopted by activists are an essential part of the power equation.

You'll find the following in this site: supplementary information and updates for readers of WRA; an overview of the American power structure at the national level and an in-depth look at power at the local level; a look at the wealth and income distribution in the U.S. and how this relates to power structures; an overview of the Four Networks theory of power, which provides the best general theory of power and social change within which to situate the class-domination theory I've developed specifically for the United States; commentaries on alternative theories of power; a special section on the Bohemian Club & Bohemian Grove, including pictures of the club in San Francisco and the encampment in the redwoods; suggestions for activists on what they can learn from social science research; links to Web sites and books about power and social change in the United States; and much more. You can use the menu on the left side of the page to navigate through the site.

Prison Populations

Democracy for the Few

God and Logic

Logic is also a primordial reality, and bares the same relationship to existence as time does to matter. Logic is intrinsic to reality. It requires no justification for its existence, because reality itself is the initiator of logic. The mere fact of the existence of anything at all, automatically puts existence into a relationship with non-existence. This relationship is logic. Existence versus non-existence, is the foundation of logic.....As time and space need no validation, since there is no existence without them, so logic needs no validation outside of itself. One would be foolish to try to disprove the existence of time, because he must take time to do that. No less of a fool is one who tries to invalidate logic. One must use logic itself to do so.

Michael Parenti

Parenti stresses the role of class in all societies, particularly the purportedly classless US one. He extends the definition of class as a demographic trait relating to status, education, lifestyle, and income level to include the effects of social interrelationships. He observes that there can be no rich slaveholders without poor slaves, no powerful feudal lords without serfs, no corporate bosses without workers. The interrelationship is highly asymmetrical. It centers on the organized wealth of the society.

Parenti also believes that there is a third factor involved in class relationships, specifically the productive resources (land, agriculture, herds, natural resources, factories, technology, etc.). The dominant group in class relationships owns or controls these economic resources. The weaker class historically has had only its labor to sell. Hence the “dominant money classes” exercise a preponderant influence over workforces, markets, major investments, consumption patterns, media, and public policies. Parenti concludes that when discussing class; class power, how it is used, for whose interests, and at whose expense, must also be discussed.

Michael Parenti -- The Myth of the Founding Fathers 1/3

Thursday, August 5, 2010

100 Most Influential Sociological Books

Here are the first 30:

1 Weber, Max Economy and Society 95
2 Mills, Charles Wright The Sociological Imagination 59
3 Merton, Robert K. Social Theory and Social Structure 52
4 Weber, M. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 47
5 Berger, P.L. and Luckmann, T. The Social Construction of Reality 45
6 Bourdieu, Pierre Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste 43
7 Elias, Norbert The Civilizing Process 30
8 Habermas, Jürgen The Theory of Communicative Action 29
9 Parsons, Talcott The Structure of Social Action 28
10 Goffman, Erving The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life 25
11 Mead, George Herbert Mind, Self and Society 23
12 Parsons, Talcott The Social System 23
13 Durkheim, Emile The Elementary Forms of Religious Life 22
14 Giddens, Anthony The Constitution of Society 21
15 Wallerstein, Immanuel The Modern World-System 21
16 Foucault, Michel Discipline and Punish : the Birth of the Prison 17
17 Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions 14
18 Simmel, Georg Sociology 14
19 Beck, Ulrich Risk Society 13
20 Braverman, Harry Labour and Monopoly Capital 13
21 Adorno, Theodor W. and Horkheimer, Max Dialectic of Enlightenment 12
22 Gramsci, Antonio Prison Notebooks 12
23 Coleman, James Samuel Foundations of Social Theory 11
24 Habermas, Jürgen Knowledge and Human Interests 11
25 Moore, B. The Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy 11
26 Polanyi, Karl The Great Transformation 11
27 Blau, Peter Michael and Duncan, Otis Dudley The American Occup 10
28 Gouldner, Alvin W. The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology 10
29 Luhmann, Niklas Social Systems 10
30 Mannheim, Karl Ideology and Utopia

Bertrand Russell

"I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology. Mass psychology is, scientifically speaking, not a very advanced study [...] This study is immensely useful to practical men, whether they wish to become rich or to acquire the government. It is, of course, as a science, founded upon individual psychology, but hitherto it has employed rule-of-thumb methods which were based upon a kind of intuitive common sense. Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called ‘education’. Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the Press, the cinema and the radio play an increasing part." - Bertrand Russell, 1952

Fichte on Education

"Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school masters would have wished."

James Clerk Maxwell Quote

I think men of science as well as other men need to learn from Christ, and I think Christians whose minds are scientific are bound to study science that their view of the glory of God may be as extensive as their being is capable. But I think that the results which each man arrives at in his attempts to harmonize his science with his Christianity ought not to be regarded as having any significance except to the man himself, and to him only for a time, and should not receive the stamp of a society.

Emulation of the Prussian education system in the United States

American educators were fascinated by German educational trends. In 1818, John Griscom gave a favorable report of Prussian education. English translations were made of French philosopher Victor Cousin's work, "Report on the State of Public Education in Prussia." Calvin E. Stowe, Henry Barnard, Horace Mann, George Bancroft and Joseph Cogswell all had a vigorous interest in German education. In 1843, Mann traveled to Germany to investigate how the educational process worked. Upon his return to the United States, he lobbied heavily to have the "Prussian model" adopted.

Mann was largely responsible for the introduction of compulsory public education, Prussian-style, in the United States. In 1852, he supported governor Edward Everett in the decision to adopt the Prussian education system in Massachusetts. Shortly after Everett and Mann collaborated to adopt the Prussian system, the Governor of New York set up the same method in 12 different New York schools on a trial basis.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Family Guy Einstein vs God

Heaven Worship

Heaven worship is a Chinese religious belief that predates Taoism and Confucianism, but was later incorporated into both.

The Ancient Chinese believed in a non-corporeal entity called Shangdi, an omnipotent, just, and monotheistic supreme being. Over time, Shangdi became synonymous with Tian, or Heaven. The worship of Heaven is highly ritualistic and requires that the emperor hold official sacrifices and worship at an altar of Heaven, the most famous of which is the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Idols are not permitted in Heaven worship.

Heaven worship is closely linked with ancestor veneration, as the ancestors are seen as a medium between Heaven and man. The Emperor of China, also known as the Son of Heaven, derived the Mandate of Heaven, and thus his legitimacy as ruler, from his supposed ability to commune with Heaven on behalf of his nation.

Early Abrahamic missionaries saw similarities between Shangdi/Tian and the Abrahamic God, and therefore rendered "God" as "Shangdi" in Chinese. Some Chinese Christian scholars assert that the Christian God and the Chinese Shangdi are in fact the same entity.

Pragmatism and Religion

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Notable Requiems

Many composers have written Requiems. Some of the most notable include the following (in chronological order):

* Ockeghem's Requiem, the earliest to survive, written sometime in the mid-to-late 15th century
* Victoria's Requiem of 1603, (part of a longer Office for the Dead)
* Mozart's Requiem in D minor (Mozart died before its completion)
* Cherubini's Requiem in C minor
* Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts
* Verdi's Requiem
* Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem, based on passages from Luther's Bible.
* Fauré's Requiem in D minor
* Dvořák's Requiem, Op. 89
* Duruflé's Requiem, based almost exclusively on the chants from the Graduale Romanum.
* Britten's War Requiem, which incorporated poems by Wilfred Owen
* Penderecki's Polish Requiem
* John Rutter Requiem, includes Psalm




Which is worse, ignorance or apathy?
I don't know and I don't care.

Form a class of all classes which include themselves. Does it include itself? The answer is yes, it includes itself, therefore it must be included in the class of all classes which include themselves.

- Bertrand Russell

Monday, August 2, 2010

Daniel Ellsberg: Secrets - Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

Bertrand Russell Quotes

Awareness of universals is called conceiving, and a universal of which we are aware is called a concept.

Boredom is... a vital problem for the moralist, since half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.

Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves.

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.

Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.

I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe - because, like Spinoza's God, it won't love us in return.

In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word experience have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word.

It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.

frost nixon watergate full interview part 1

The Trials of Henry Kissinger

Supreme Defined

highest in rank or authority; paramount; sovereign; chief.
of the highest quality, degree, character, importance, etc.: supreme courage.
greatest, utmost, or extreme: supreme disgust.
last or final; ultimate.

Is there a Supreme Being or a Supreme Intelligence?

Mazinger Z Intro

Sunday, August 1, 2010


n the Hindu religion, Brahman is the eternal, unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything beyond in this Universe.[1] The nature of Brahman is described as transpersonal, personal and impersonal by different philosophical schools. In the Rig Veda, Brahman gives rise to the primordial being Hiranyagarbha that is equated with the creator god Brahmā. The trimurti can thus be considered a personification of Brahman as the active principle behind the phenomena of the universe.


Ordinary matter, in the quarks and leptons definition, constitutes about 4% of the energy of the observable universe. The remaining energy is theorized to be due to exotic forms, of which 23% is dark matter and 73% is dark energy.

Max Planck Quote

As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.

Max Planck

Planck was a devoted and persistent adherent of Christianity from early life to death, but he was very tolerant towards alternative views and religions, and so was discontented with the Nazi church organizations' demands for unquestioning belief.

The God in which Planck believed was an almighty, all-knowing, benevolent but unintelligible God that permeated everything, manifest through symbols, including physical laws. His view may have been motivated by an opposition like Einstein's and Schrödinger's against the positivist view. Planck was interested in truth and a Universe beyond observation, and objected to atheism as an obsession with symbols.

Planck regarded the scientist as a man of imagination and faith, "faith" interpreted as being similar to "having a working hypothesis". For example the causality principle isn't true or false, it is an act of faith. Thereby Planck may have indicated a view that points toward Imre Lakatos' research programs process descriptions, where falsification is mostly tolerable, in faith of its future removal.

The Invention of Lying (2009)- Official Trailer

Max Planck

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.

As quoted in The Observer (25 January 1931)

The Trouble with Atheism (1 of 7)

Mythopoeia (poem)

Mythopoeia (mythos-making) is a term coined by J.R.R. Tolkien as a title of a poem.

Tolkien wrote Mythopoeia (the poem) following a discussion on the night of 19 September 1931 at Magdalen College, Oxford with C. S. Lewis and Hugo Dyson. Lewis said that myths were "lies breathed through silver". Tolkien's poem explained and defended creative myth-making. The discussion was recorded in the book The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter.

The poem is addressed from "Philomythos" (myth-lover) to "Misomythos" (myth-hater) and takes a position defending mythology and myth-making as a creative art about "fundamental things". The poem begins by addressing C. S. Lewis as the Misomythos, who at the time was sceptical of any truth in mythology:

"To one who said that myths were lies and therefore worthless, even though 'breathed through silver'".

Tolkien chose to compose the poem in heroic couplets, the preferred metre of British Enlightenment poets, as it were attacking the proponents of materialist progress ("progressive apes") on their own turf:

"I will not walk with your progressive apes,
erect and sapient. Before them gapes
the dark abyss to which their progress tends --..."

The poem refers to the creative human author as "the little maker" wielding his "own small golden sceptre" ruling his subcreation (understood as genuine creation within God's primary creation):

"your world immutable wherein no part
the little maker has with maker's art.
I bow not yet before the Iron Crown,
nor cast my own small golden sceptre down..."

The reference to not bowing before "the Iron Crown", and later reference rejecting "the great Artefact" have been interpreted as Tolkien's opposition and resistance to accept what he perceived to be modern man's misplaced "faith" or "worship" of rationalism, and "progress" when defined by science and technology:[2] It must be stated though that Tolkien believed in rationalism, however, he did not believe that the modernist project was actually based on rationalism.

"man ...keeps the rags of lordship once he owned,
his world-dominion by creative act:
not his to worship the great Artefact."

Mythopoeia takes the position that mythology contains spiritual and foundational truths, while myth-making is a "creative act" that helps narrate and disclose those truths:

"...There is no firmament,
only a void, unless a jewelled tent
myth-woven and elf-patterned; and no earth,
unless the mother's womb whence all have birth."