Category Archives: teaching

79. Does religion emerge as a product of complex systems? – exploring an allegory

Why do peo­ple take up reli­gions, per­sist with them, and aban­don them ? What­ever you think of reli­gions per­son­ally, or any par­tic­u­lar reli­gion, they seem to have been around forever amongst (most) humans, and seem unlikely to go away entirely … Con­tinue read­ing

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74. The Purpose of Education – a hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy?

Is edu­ca­tion most com­monly treated purely as an instru­men­tal tool (e.g. to get a job), or as a path to self-devel­op­ment, or both? How can a bal­ance between objec­tives be achieved in pub­lic edu­ca­tion?  Thor May Bris­bane, 2014   Pref­ace: This … Con­tinue read­ing

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73. Some Uses and Misuses of Reason

When can the use of rea­son lead to bet­ter lives and soci­eties, and when can it under­mine them? Thor May Bris­bane, 2014 Think­ing point: The Aus­tralian Attor­ney Gen­eral, George Bran­dis has just declared that argu­ments for cli­mate change are irra­tional and that … Con­tinue read­ing

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72. Crime without Punishment – the journey from means to ends

Sooner or later every­one – indi­vid­u­als, gov­ern­ments, com­pa­nies – has to make choices about whether to put aside cer­tain val­ues to achieve a desired end. Michael Pas­coe, an Aus­tralian finan­cial jour­nal­ist, has recently dis­cussed this at Image credit: Hugh … Con­tinue read­ing

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71. Is learning “grit” is the best way to succeed?

How have you man­aged your fail­ures, and has fail­ure made you a bet­ter per­son? Every­one fails at some­thing sooner or later. The impor­tant thing is how they han­dle fail­ure. A recent edu­ca­tional fad in Amer­ica is to teach stu­dents “grit” … Con­tinue read­ing

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59. Super-Culture And The Ghost In The Machine

Pref­ace: This lit­tle essay is a bit mis­chie­vous, and appar­ently polit­i­cally incor­rect enough to have sparked out­rage in the minds of some sen­si­tive souls from the polite din­ner party set. Although it has no claims to aca­d­e­mic decency, I have … Con­tinue read­ing

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51. Getting It Done, Or Your Gift For Mine? – An Echo from the Philippines

On a stopover in Manila a while back, I wan­dered into a book­shop, look­ing for some­thing that could give me a fix on “the” cul­tural mind­set of the Philip­pines. This is a coun­try with which I have had only brief … Con­tinue read­ing

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