Thou shalt not read this book! The world according to people who DON’T think

Priceless: “Funny how nobody ever seems to suggest banning the ‘Bible’.”

Thou shalt not read this book! The world according to people who DON’T think

The other day, while reading a local college newspaper, I came across a story about how one parent here in North Carolina caused a book to be pulled off the shelf at one of the local high schools. The book? The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.

According to the report I read, the parent of a student filled out a detailed complaint about the sexual content of the book and the overall content of this work, and raised the ire of the local school board. The book was subsequently pulled from the shelves for a bit. This book has been on the required reading list in schools for many years, was on the best-seller list for many weeks when it first appeared on the literary scene, and has won awards. It’s one of those books everyone should read, in my view. Apparently, some other folks also thought it is an excellent and thought-provoking book as well, which is why it was placed on school reading lists in the first place.

Thinking used to be encouraged in some circles. Not so much anymore, obviously.

There always seem to be some people out there who want to determine what the rest of us should be exposed to, what we should see, what we should read, what and how we should think.

These kinds of people presume they also know what’s best for our kids as well.

Rather than speaking for themselves, the intent appears to be to speak for everyone else, and to force their own narrow views onto others.

The Heretic: Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him?

The Heretic: Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him?

For all this and more, Thomas Nagel is a prominent and heretofore respected member of the country’s intellectual elite. And such men are not supposed to write books with subtitles like the one he tacked onto Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.

Imagine if your local archbishop climbed into the pulpit and started reading from the Collected Works of Friedrich Nietzsche. “What has gotten into Thomas Nagel?” demanded the evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker, on Twitter. (Yes, even Steven Pinker tweets.) Pinker inserted a link to a negative review of Nagel’s book, which he said “exposed the shoddy reasoning of a once-great thinker.” At the point where science, philosophy, and public discussion intersect – a dangerous intersection these days – it is simply taken for granted that by attacking naturalism Thomas Nagel has rendered himself an embarrassment to his colleagues and a traitor to his class.

The Guardian awarded Mind and Cosmos its prize for the Most Despised Science Book of 2012. The reviews were numerous and overwhelmingly negative; one of the kindest, in the British magazine Prospect, carried the defensive headline “Thomas Nagel is not crazy.” (Really, he’s not!) Most other reviewers weren’t so sure about that. Almost before the ink was dry on Nagel’s book the UC Berkeley economist and prominent blogger Brad DeLong could be found gathering the straw and wood for the ritual burning. DeLong is a great believer in neo-Darwinism. He has coined the popular term “jumped-up monkeys” to describe our species. (Monkeys because we’re descended from primates; jumped-up because evolution has customized us with the ability to reason and the big brains that go with it.)

If you haven’t read Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos, we have a thread on our forum about it you should check out. We see here the psychopath-dominated science of the mainstream taking aim at Nagel, which tells us he’s on the right path.

Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock axed from TED talks channel!

Totally disgusting.

Open for discussion: Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake from TEDxWhitechapel

After due diligence, including a survey of published scientific research and recommendations from our Science Board and our community, we have decided that Graham Hancock’s and Rupert Sheldrake’s talks from TEDxWhitechapel should be removed from distribution on the TEDx YouTube channel.

We’re not censoring the talks. Instead we’re placing them here, where they can be framed to highlight both their provocative ideas and the factual problems with their arguments. See both talks after the jump.

All talks on the TEDxTalks channel represent the opinion of the speaker, not of TED or TEDx, but we feel a responsibility not to provide a platform for talks which appear to have crossed the line into pseudoscience.

Murder of baby found in stolen SUV prompts soul searching in China; censorship revealed

So senseless it is jaw-dropping!

Murder of baby found in stolen SUV prompts soul searching in China

“Journalists leaked a circular from the Changchun propaganda department instructing local media on how to report on the crisis. “No frontpage coverage allowed,” it said. “There shall be no questioning of the police’s work.” Posts containing the instructions have since been deleted by internet censors.”