The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Peace and Progress
The above quote was famously delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was apparently often quoted by President Barack Obama. But it was probably originally written by slave abolitionist, and Unitarian church minister Theodore Parker on the eve of the American Civil War. All three men were suggesting hope as a hallmark of our days on earth. Do we still believe this quote? Are we justified in such a belief? (more…)
On the frontier of artificial intelligence journalism
In an era when venerable news publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post are being maligned by key societal figures accusing them of “leftist” bias, when publications such as Breitbart or similar media sources often deemed “conservative” unabashedly present stories slanted to reflect political views far right of the majority of public sentiment in the country and when a significant portion of the general public acquires its “facts” about the nature of world events from Twitter, Facebook and a network that used to fly a banner emblazoned with the words “fair and balanced”, bias both inadvertent and intentional has become an insurmountable impediment to attaining the “truth” about what is going on around us. In the face of such a large, sprawling situation, we sometimes get lost, failing to understand the meaning of our daily encounters and the most appropriate intent we should seek regarding any of these events. Enter knowherenews.com. This website proposes that computer software can filter reports of world events and effectively sanitize them of ideological bias.
We believe in the power of stories to help us learn from and better understand one another and serve as a reminder that there is more that unites us than divides us.
Last week, we posted a “feel good” story about free medical tuition. If you could use another dose of feel good, maybe even on a regular basis, check out 500 Pens which describes itself as an “anti hate news project”. Organized around the values of inclusion, opportunity and respect, 500 pens seeks “to produce honest and compelling content that encourages readers to care, connect and act”.
To get a better sense of who is behind 500 pens, read through their About page. Even better, if you really want to know what they have to offer, read through some of their articles. Perhaps you might discover a place of continued rejuvenation.
Sometimes, size matters. Sometimes, we can only accurately define “size” within specific contexts. Most times, the situation is not about “size” per se but something considerably more profound. This post is a bit different from what usually appears on this blog. It is meant to be heuristic rather than specifically informative. This is to suggest, that as you work through the superficially different videos below, ideally, you will come away with an integrated idea that no one video presents on its own. Hopefully, you will develop ideas regarding large and small actions in the world, actions which uniquely apply to your own life situations. As always, as has been a major orientation of this blog, indoctrination is not the goal, but rather, expanding opportunities for personal enablement through information and imagination. So imagine this … (more…)
Multiple times in the since mid-2017, this blog have made reference or presented ideas relative to Moral Foundations Theory (MFT). While we do not wholly agree with all of the proposals of the theory, while we have found the “universality” of its proposals somewhat wanting and while we have questioned the motivations of its founder, Jonathan Haidt, we do believe the framework presents a worthwhile configuration of morality categories, if only for its heuristic value. Apparently, a blogger who writes under the moniker “Moral Navigator” shares an interest in this set of ideas. Check out one of his recent posts called “Which Moral Foundations Do You Value?”
The seekingGood blog addresses a wide range of topics. Out of deference to a known portion of our readers, often, we fall short of the depth we might prefer as well as the academic rigor with which we are more comfortable (the language of which we must actively—sometimes unsuccessfully—resist). Moral Navigator’s blog appears to reflect no such limitations, focusing on morality topics written in a learned yet very readable style (complete with multiple references). Take a look at his blog. You might find a new home.
Amid the swirl of thoughts that reverberate throughout life experience, once in a while an interesting idea settles onto Quora, a question and answer website (registration required). As often as not, users post answers which are more interesting than the questions themselves. A few weeks ago, just such a response appeared in reply to the question ‘What makes life worth living?’
Many of us ponder this or similar questions, most often with little expectation of receiving a reasonable answer. In this instance, a responder we will simply call “Jimmy”, a self-defined entrepreneur and ”a Wall Street investor” stated the following:
“Nothing makes life worth living. The fact that this is even a question underlines the lack of life itself to provide a natural answer.”
The phrase “the lack of life” presents a curiously pointed accusation—an accusation directed at reality itself. Jimmy seems to think life owes us something, that life is somehow deficient, leaving us to pick up the pieces so to speak. He continues “Most of life is a sentence [did he mean “sequence”?] of failures and pains, punctuated with only the briefest of moments of happiness.” What’s wrong with this picture? (more…)
Many of us are dissatisfied with our experience of the world. We say we want things to be “better”. If we really want this “better”—whatever that means—of course we need to step up and make it happen. So what should we be doing as individuals, as a nation and as a world society? In the trenches activists like Sophia Burns urges sound strategy and tactics if appropriate change is to be achieved. Others like a blogger who goes by the moniker “Tisias” encourages left-leaning folks to step up their verbal game in order to engage “the enemy” effectively. Others stress sometimes more and sometime less radical approaches to change. All of these actions are absolutely necessary or at least potentially useful. But we should also be taking a long, hard look at who is engaging or should be engaged in such noble civic actions. Before we can answer what we should be doing, perhaps we should first answer the question “Who is ‘We’?” (more…)