Only Discriminate – four versions of justice

"We do not support the notion of discrimination. But you have to distinguish between people." These were the words of the Archbishop of Westminster in response to the Pope’s comments on the proposed equality legislation in the UK (reported by the Guardian). Note the slipperiness of language. In its non-pejorative sense, discrimination does mean distinguishing … Continue reading Only Discriminate – four versions of justice

The decline of civilization – sudden or gradual?

Quick, quick, slow - the dance steps of collapse What kinds of stories are we telling one another these days about the fall of civilizations? The idea that the decline of a civilization is without narrative causality is itself a narrative. This is the unacknowledged ideology of historian Niall Ferguson’s recent piece for Foreign Affairs. … Continue reading The decline of civilization – sudden or gradual?

Culture and the Science of Climate Change

George Monbiot at the Guardian has finally begun to take account of Cultural Theory as a possible explanation for why people either believe or ‘refuse’ to believe in climate change. He cites an article in Nature by Dan Kahan of the Yale Law School Cultural Cognition Project. Prof Kahan says: ‘we need a theory of … Continue reading Culture and the Science of Climate Change

“People tend to conform their factual beliefs to ones that are consistent with their cultural outlook”

...according to law professor Don Braman, that is. NPR has an interview with members of the Cultural Cognition Project, who have been demonstrating experimentally that people's climate change beliefs are strongly linked to their worldview. It's intuitively obvious that our views, opinions and beliefs are linked together a bit like constellations in the night sky, … Continue reading “People tend to conform their factual beliefs to ones that are consistent with their cultural outlook”

Are the guardians of national boundaries beginning to look pathetic?

Commenting on the post about the Google Dilemma, The Other Gardener said: "There is very little that can be said to be “essential about national boundaries” now that the genie is out of the lamp. I think the guardians of these boundaries, including the academics, will always lag behind. They are already beginning to look … Continue reading Are the guardians of national boundaries beginning to look pathetic?

The Google Dilemma. National Differences and Cross-Cultural Theory

"Good enough for our transatlantic friends ... but unworthy of the attentions of practical or scientific men." Good enough for our transatlantic friends? This was the verdict of a British Parliamentary Committee , on the implications of Thomas Edison's new electric lamp, which had been patented in the US in 1879. In the gloom of … Continue reading The Google Dilemma. National Differences and Cross-Cultural Theory