The Chemistry Behind Homo-Blind-Daticus: New York Times technology reporter Alina Tugend reports on the growing number of websites who are turning to science-y approaches to matchmaking. As Tugend reports, one of the latest, chemistry.com, is guided by bio anthropologist Helen Fischer. Fischer’s system, adopted by the site, uses a questionnaire to discover the brain chemistry ‘type’ of each dater. Asked if it works, Fischer commented, ‘nobody knows for sure.’
Disciplinary ill Communication: Inside Higher Ed reported on the new NEH initiative that is making philosophers pull their disheveled hair out. The Enduring Questions grant encourages scholars from various disciplines to consider key ‘pre-disciplinary questions’ like ‘What is Happiness?’ or ‘Is There a Human Nature?’ Angry philosophers’ response? That’s our gig.
Sorry to Burst Your Bubble: Oh yes! The Economist talks ish on economics. The Economist writes on how the current world financial crisis has humbled ‘an arrogant profession’ [economics], at least in public opinion. While the rest of the article disappoints, turning a pointed critique to a how-to plan for building up better financial models, the concluding line reads: “For in the end economists are social scientists, trying to understand the real world. And the financial crisis has changed that world.” True that.
Conceiving the Right Object in Time: Material World posted some of Webb Keane’s thoughts on the possibilities of worlds of radically different ontologies and whether a temporality of objects can make sense with such ontological distinctions. Did I just write that? No, it was past me. Whoa.
From Eagleton, with Love: Sociologist Laurie Taylor interviews Terry Eagleton on his new book Reason, Faith and Revolution, and his continuing public debate with Richard Dawkins over religion. One particularly interesting point, Eagleton describes his humanist differences with Dawkins’s humanism:
“Dawkins deeply believes in the flourishing of the free human spirit which makes him a liberal humanist rather than a tragic humanist. He believes that if only those terrible guys out there would stop stifling and shackling us, then our creative capacities would flourish. I don’t believe that. As a Marxist I reject that simple liberationism. I’m not again humanism. I’m for a humanism which recognises the price of liberation. And that’s what I call tragic humanism
Know Thyself: Maximilian Forte at Open Anthropology asks a simple, provocative question. If cross-cultural understanding promotes peace (as HTS state as their raison d’etre), then why not apply the increase the cross-cultural understanding of the American public itself?
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