Search Results for the system
A term that describes and enables individuals to speak about various interlocking social institutions, discourses and practices in a positive, negative, ambiguous or ambivalent manner.
The idea of The System usually carries negative connotations, however.
This is perhaps best exemplified in the song lyrics of “Maybe the Poet” by Canadian folk-rock musician Bruce Cockburn:
Don’t let the system fool you
All it wants to do is rule you
And more commonly, we hear people say something to the effect of… “s/he’s a nice person… I hope s/he doesn’t get gobbled up by the system.”
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In the ‘original’ (1978) and ‘reimagined’ (2003) versions of the science fiction film and TV program Battlestar Galactica, the Cylons are a mechanical race of beings created by mankind but which have turned on their creator.
In the reimagined TV series, the Cylons may look exactly like human beings. Not unlike the Hal 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Borg and The Matrix, Cylons symbolize the possibility of mankind becoming endangered by machines. And on the sociological level, Cylons could be taken to represent the very real issues of depersonalization, alienation and, as sociologist Max Weber put it, the bureaucratization and rationalization of human beings in contemporary society. Not only that. As the above poster suggests, Cylons could represent hostile spies in otherwise healthy societies.
The background story to the Cylons is pretty complicated. It’s actually quite amazing how thoroughly the Battlestar Galactica writers fleshed out – maybe not the best metaphor in this instance – their identity.¹
The word Cylon, itself, stems from an actual Athenian nobleman.
¹ Especially in the reimagined series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cylon_%28reimagining%29
- [Books] Battlestar Galactica: The Cylon’s Secret (geeky-guide.com)
- WATCH THIS: “Battlestar Galactia: Blood & Chrome” (lezgetreal.com)
- BSG: Blood & Chrome (Ep. 9-10) (storiesbywilliams.com)
- ‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome’ Blu-ray Review: Prequel Mocks Pre-9/11 Mindset (breitbart.com)
- Roundtable Review: Battlestar Galactica, “The Long Patrol” (thiswastv.com)
- Intergalactic War-Porn: ‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome’ (Review) (popmatters.com)
- After Action Report: Battlestar Galactica RPG (blackcampbell.com)
- Luke Pasqualino and Ben Cotton Talk ‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome’ (advocate.com)
- Battlestar Galactica “Twelve Cylon Models Note” Original Backup BSG Prop (ephemera.typepad.com)
- Artificial Intelligence (unrealengine.com)
In secular usage “faith” [Latin fidere = trust] refers to believing in something or someone. “I have faith in the system” the man or woman on the street might say when asked about societal problems.
In a non-denominational, spiritual sense it refers to believing in a loving, supernatural power or God and that things will eventually work out. That is, it’s a view of optimism.
In the general religious sense, faith in part refers to believing in a fixed set of teachings.
The Hebrew term for faith (emunah) originally meant trust in God but in the Middle Ages it came to mean believing that God exists and that the Jewish dogmas were correct.
In Hinduism faith generally means a belief that things will eventually work out and that justice will be served – for the good and the bad – as a result of the law of karma.
In Christianity, faith generally refers to the belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior—a perfectly loving and good, omnipotent, omniscient eternal Being belonging to the Holy Trinity.
In Catholicism faith is understood as both an objective truth and a subjective virtue. The Catholic Encyclopedia says:
Objectively, it [faith] stands for the sum of truths revealed by God in Scripture and tradition and which the Church…presents to us in a brief form in her creeds, subjectively, faith stands for the habit or virtue by which we assent to those truths.¹
- Faith and Action (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Galatians 3:9&14 (gracegalatians.wordpress.com)
- Fear or Faith ??? (footsoldiers4christ.wordpress.com)
- What Is A Vigorous Faith In God? (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)
- Accomplished by Faith… (webmasteryates.wordpress.com)
- You might be a hypocrite if…you turn Jesus’ message of faith and love into one of fear and hate. (god-still-speaks.com)
- Faith (briancoatney.com)
The meaning of the concept of Maya has been debated among different schools for centuries. The two most prominent Hindu thinkers on maya are Sankara and Ramanuja.
Sankara advocated Advaita Vedanta. His commentaries on scripture such as the Baghavad-Gita and Brahma-sutras outline the Advaita philosophy, which teaches the non-duality and absolute identidy of atman and brahman.
Ramanuja, on the other hand, developed the system of Visistadvaita or qualified monism. Specifically, Ramanuja challenged Sankara’s claim that only the Brahman is real and individuality is illusory (maya).
For Ramanuja the Brahman is real and beyond pain and suffering but individual souls (jivas) emerging from and ultimately resting within the Brahman are also real. While the Brahman is beyond the law of karma, the individual soul (jiva) is not. As a result, the jiva experiences the pleasure and pain of earthly life.
Ramanuja believes that liberation from samsara, the round of rebirth due to karma, is gained through individual effort as well as the grace of God (as Vishnu).
Search Think Free » Dukkha, Forms, Ramanuja, Sankara, Throat Singing, Visistadvaita
- Ramakrishna Paramahansa description of the Brahman (prophet666.com)
- Sankara Eye Hospital launches ‘Sankara College of Optometry’ in Bangalore (your-story.org)
- The real meaning of Om (prophet666.com)
- The path to Non-Duality (prophet666.com)
- Tibetan Yoga – hinduism – its doctrine and peace (badcreditdebtmanagement.com)
- Ganapati variations: the Ganapatyas (enfolding.org)
- Bhagavad-Gita on Non-Duality (prophet666.com)
- Philip Goldberg: It’s Yoga Month: Give Yourself a Break and Stretch Your Mind (huffingtonpost.com)
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The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction film written by Andy and Larry Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves as Neo.
The Matrix is part of a trilogy. The first film gained the attention of pop culture theorists through its depiction of the world as a deceptive computer program (called ‘the matrix’ by those in the know) designed to enslave human beings.
The majority of humanity exists in a state of comatose slavery, plugged into a master computer which, through cyber connectivity, creates the illusion of everyday life. Essentially, people are nothing more than dreaming ‘batteries’ for the matrix, living in a horrendous vault and living on a liquid that itself is the product of the dead.
Neo apparently is “The One” destined to free humanity from this mass cybernetic deception. His mentor Morpheus (and other awakened liberators) believes in his special status and liberates him. As it turns out, Morpheus is right. Neo really is the one.
However, Neo wouldn’t have made it if not for the love of Trinity (played by Carrie-Anne Moss), who at one point literally brings him back to life with a kiss.
Search Think Free » Hero, Soul Loss, Talbot (Michael), Virtual Reality
- SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE MATRIX – Viral Movie (kokasexton.com)
- The Matrix Trilogy Mash Up with Inception (screenhead.com)
- It Really Tied The Movies Together: Morpheus Explains The Matrix To The Big Lebowski (geekologie.com)
- Scott Pilgrim Enters The Matrix (cinemablend.com)
- The best of last night’s Matrix Reloaded Commentary Twack [The Matrix Reloaded] (io9.com)
- Magic music documentary from a Congolese social club (search.japantimes.co.jp)
- The Death Of Ted Theodore Logan And Cowboy Bebop (theotakuologist.com)
- Inception Enters The Matrix (cinemablend.com)
- The Matrix and consciousness (sciencehouse.wordpress.com)
- 40 Days of Screenplays, Day 9: “The Matrix” (gointothestory.com)
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Bob Marley (Robert Nesta, 1945-81) was a Jamaican Rastafarian singer, guitarist and reggae composer born near Kingston.
In the 1970′s he frontmanned “Bob Marley and the Wailers” and became a charismatic figure and international symbol for black emancipation and, in a general sense, personal liberation and peaceful coexistence.
His social commentary and spirituality was backed by first rate melodies, lyrics and musical arrangements in songs like Redemption Song:
How long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look? Some say it’s just a part of it, we’ve got to fulfill the Book.
And Pimper’s Paradise:
She’ll be laughing when there ain’t no joke. A pimper’s paradise, that’s all she was now. A pimper’s paradise, that’s all she was.
As well as Coming In From The Cold:
Would you let the system make you kill your brotherman?
No, Dread, no!
Would you make the system make you kill your brotherman?
No, Dread, no!…
Well, the biggest man you ever did see was – was just a baby.
Along with Time Will Tell:
Think you’re in heaven but you’re living in hell
Time alone, oh! time will tell
Think you’re in heaven but you’re living in hell
Marley was baptized in 1980 by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica over a year before he died of cancer in 1981.
Search Think Free » Rastafarianism
- Marley clan loses copyright fight (bbc.co.uk)
- Rumor: Bob Marley’s Legend comes to Rock Band Sept. 21 (joystiq.com)
- Bob Marley family loses case over hit records (reuters.com)
- Bob Marley ‘greatest hits’ album coming to Rock Band (destructoid.com)
- Bob Marley’s Daughter Pleads Guilty! (perezhilton.com)
- Is Bob Marley’s ‘Legend’ Heading To ‘Rock Band’? (multiplayerblog.mtv.com)
- Bob Marley Family Loses Case Over Hit Records (nytimes.com)
- 174 reviews of Bob Marley and the Wailers (rateitall.com)
- Bob Marley’s Work Declared ‘Work For Hire,’ Family Can’t Get Rights Back (techdirt.com)
- Bob Marley’s daughter pleads guilty to possessing marijuana plants (philly.com)
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Aside from being an adjective denoting a relation to politics, social theorists such as Michael Parenti¹ say the word ‘political’ has become a euphemism obscuring real human choices that influence or determine outcomes in a competitive struggle for control, command or jurisdiction.
The term can be used to hide the various human indecencies that may accompany organizational behavior.
Sociological power theorists often say that political choices may be legitimized as unavoidable due to “policy” and ”the greater good.”
Policies, however, are sometimes created to maintain systems of exploitation, fear and totalitarian control. Adolf Hitler used this strategy when writing laws to justify the actions of the Nazis. And while politicians may believe they’re acting in accord with the greater good, sometimes they’re perceived as flat wrong and removed from office.
In our competitive world, with much to gain and lose, to use the word ‘political’ in everyday speech arguably is a political act in itself.
Some are pessimistic about and simply “hate” politics. But critics of this negative take on politics would argue that politicians are just people, for the most part doing their best to make positive changes in an imperfect world. In other words, one must be political if one wants any change at all.
The term politically correct is arguably a subcategory of the political. This describes an idea believed to be true, legitimate or acceptable because the majority – or a highly visible social group – in a given culture and historical time period see it that way.
Quite likely some merely pretend to believe in politically correct ideas for fear of repercussions if they were to voice dissenting, politically incorrect opinions.
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The term persona is derived from the New Latin, dramatas personae, which means the characters listed at the top of a literary play.
In literary theory the persona is the alter ego, the “I” who speaks in a poem or work of literature.
In ancient Greece, the persona was a mask worn by actors. The masking effect was achieved by rubbing clay or dyes on the face or by wearing actual masks made of bark.
Persona later referred to “person,” arguably semantically related to the New Testament phrase, “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34).
C. G. Jung‘s use of the term persona points to our necessary social identity. In the Jungian sense, the persona is the convenient or appropriate ‘face’ that we show to the outside world.
However, Jung and Jungians like Daryl Sharp say there’s a danger, as with the actor, in identifying with the persona once the performance is over.
One only has to think of the tragedy of the late Heath Ledger (1979 – 2008), who apparently was haunted by his demonic “Joker” character after the completion of the The Dark Night Batman film.
So it is, Jung would say with the psychological persona. To over-identify with it could be psychologically hazardous.
For religious persons, the persona is sometimes used in an attempt to convey a particular belief system held dear. Some Christians, for instance, apply personas not just for social convenience, but to try to “fish” for souls—i.e. to lead others to a spiritual knowledge of Christ.
As a tool for facilitating religious conversion, the persona becomes a kind of well-intentioned lure, in keeping with the idea that Christ makes his disciples “fishers of persons” (Matthew 4:19).
In addition, the persona is found in pop culture as a device when lyrics are spoken or rapped over music, as with Canadian musician Robbie Robertson in the song “Somewhere Down The Crazy River”:
Take a picture of this
The fields are empty, abandoned ’59 Chevy
Laying in the back seat listening to Little Willie John
Yea, that’s when time stood still
You know, I think I’m gonna go down to Madam X
And let her read my mind
She said “That Voodoo stuff don’t do nothing for me.”
Likewise, Frank Zappa in the song “Camirillo Brillo” spoke over:
Is that a Mexican poncho or is that a Sears poncho?
In hiphop, rap and acid jazz music figures like Galliano, Guru and Kanye West make almost continuous use of this technique.
Guru, for instance, raps in “Living in this World”:
What’s happening.. check it out
It’s critical the situation is pitiful
Bear in mind you gotta find somethin spiritual
We never gain cause we blame it on the system
You oughta listen whether Muslim or Christian
or any other type religion or creed
Cause what we need is less greed
Ramanuja developed the system of Visistadvaita or qualified monism.
For Ramanuja the Brahman is real and beyond pain and suffering but individual souls (jivas) emerging from and ultimately resting within the Brahman are also real.
As a result, the jiva experiences the pleasure and pain of earthly life.
Liberation from samsara, the round of rebirth due to karma, is gained through individual effort as well as the grace of God (as Vishnu).
As a consequence of his religious and philosophical innovation, Ramanuja was persecuted by a rival Hindu who happened to be a Saivite ruler.
Science [Latin scientia = knowledge]
Science has, at the very least, two meanings. The first meaning is most commonly held in the so-called hard sciences (the natural and physical sciences) and relates to the systematic observation of nature from which laws and theories are developed.
These laws and theories, according to most definitions, may be supported or disproved. This is made possible by the fact that, once published, scientific results become public. As public knowledge, new findings (and the theories derived from them) are subject to peer review and, when appropriate, replication.
The other meaning of science is far more vague, often cropping up in relation to the so-called soft social sciences.
Political science, sociology and psychoanalysis, for instance, rely on theories. But these theories often rest on selective, scant or downright questionable empirical research. And they tend to use correlational or multivariate instead of causal experimental designs.
Correlational studies merely tell us that, in certain circumstances, two variables of interest occur together in some degree of statistical probability, whereas multivariate designs look at any number of variables and attempt to determine their probability of occurring together.
Most agree that no definitive causality can be determined with either correlational or multivatiate analyses (although debates, as with most everything else in life, continue here). And some philosophers like David Hume critique the entire notion of causality.
Without getting too complicated, we could say that most reasonable thinkers would agree that correlational and multivariate studies in any branch of science do not adequately explain why things happen.
We often hear the word “link” when scientific results are reported in the media; for instance, “Scientists Find Link Between Dopamine and Obesity.” But, again, this link doesn’t tell us what causes what.
“It’s possible that obese people have fewer dopamine receptors because their brains are trying to compensate for having chronically high dopamine levels, which are triggered by chronic overeating,” says Wang. “However, it’s also possible that these people have low numbers of dopamine receptors to begin with, making them more vulnerable to addictive behaviors including compulsive food intake.” (Source: Scientists Find Link Between Dopamine and Obesity in Brookhaven National Laboratory, February 1, 2001 » http://www.bnl.gov/bnlweb/pubaf/pr/2001/bnlpr020101.htm).
Contemporary depth psychologists and those interested in integrating science, religion and spirituality suggest that a new form of science, beyond immediate physiological, behavioral, social or environmental factors, is needed to better account for the workings of the psyche in relation to the universe and God.
Critiques of science take three main forms: Theological, philosophical and sociological.
Theological critiques of science have two branches. On the one hand theologians warn against falling into the trap of adopting a false moral neutrality that they say some scientists advocate (e.g. with the scientific technologies related to abortion). The other branch relates to the theological claim that conventional science cannot account for nor predict revealed, infused or illuminated forms of knowledge. And some theologians regard theology, itself, as a science—in fact, the noblest type.
Philosophical critiques of science tend to question the initial assumptions upon which results and subsequent theories are based. The role of interpretation is also highlighted, as it relates to the problem of ‘built-in’ biases that influence observation, results and subsequent analysis—i.e. critics say the total problem, approach and solution are biased by the cognitive parameters of the investigator or investigative team.
Karl Popper says that scientific truth claims may only be disproved, never proved. Meanwhile Willard Quine says empiricism contains “two dogmas.” One dogma is the distinction often made between intellectual constructs and facts. The second dogma is reductionism; that is, the belief that naming and meaning are the same.
Sociological critiques of science don’t overlook philosophical issues but tend to focus on the role of social power in shaping, legitimizing and reproducing scientific truth-claims within the broader context of social norms.
Some writers, like Broad and Wade (Betrayers of the Truth, 1982), report actual cases where scientific credentials have been forged and results fabricated. And some cultural theorists, particularly postmoderns, see science as just another conceptual game or ‘fiction’ posing as truth.
The bottom line is that science is complicated, far more than we usually hear on the evening news. But the word “science” still has a strange power to sway the masses, a power arguably out of sync with the realities of its complexity. No wonder some say that the ideology of science has replaced religion as the largest single social brainwasher.
» Archaeology, Aristotle, Chakras, Emic-Etic, Fundamentalism, Galileo Galilei, Ideal types, Myth, Particle-Wave Duality, Phenomenology, Postmodernism, Poststructuralism, Saint-Simon (Comte Henri de), Scientism, Semiology
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