Comments and observations on social and political trends and events.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thinking objectively - applied

I’ve provided suggestions in earlier posts about thinking objectively. Here are two more examples or resources. The first is a web page that features a series of debates on various topics in many different subjects, not politics. It is Intelligence Squared.

The other isn’t so much a resource as an example: Camille Paglia. She also writes a regular column on If you’re not familiar with Camille she is University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a feisty author who, according to Wikipedia, “is an intellectual of many seeming contradictions: an atheist who respects religion and a classicist who champions art both high and low, with a view that human nature has an inherently dangerous Dionysian aspect, especially the wilder, darker sides of human sexuality. She favors a curriculum grounded in comparative religion, art history and the literary canon, with a greater emphasis on facts in the teaching of history. She came to public attention in 1990, with the publication of her first book, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson.”

To me the inability to pigeonhole Paglia into neat political or ideological cubbies suggests that she thinks independently and maybe objectively as well. I say this because Paglia is willing to give credit, where she thinks it is due, to those on the other side of the political fence from her rather than dismissing opposing viewpoints with a knee jerk reaction that is all too typical and prevalent on both sides. Even when I don’t agree with Paglia I nonetheless love reading her entertaining, vivid writing style. I wish I were half the writer she is. Check her out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

1 comment:

Rafe said...

Thanks for the feed! By the way, I really enjoyed your timeline on the financial meltdown which I have spread about on the blogosphere in Australia (a lot of good it did).

On the topic of cultural commentators, did you notice that Jacques Barzun turned 101 last year?