Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ayaan Hirsi Ali discusses Is Islam Compatible with Liberal Democracy?

Recorded is 2007, she is someone whose views I have been interested in for a while now, but I have never actually seen her speak about her views... This discussion was very enlightening.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Film psychology THE SHINING: spatial awareness and set design. Parts 1 and 2

Spatial awareness is something that has always been completely intuitive for me. I could probably sit down and draw from memory the floor plan of every house or apartment I have ever lived in with a fair degree of accuracy. So I was naturally fascinated by this spatial breakdown of the set design of one of my favorite films.

How Stanley Kubrick used Escher-styled spacial awareness & set design anomolies to disorientate viewers of his horror classic The Shining. This is a must for serious Kubrick fans and psychology students. Written, narrated and edited by Rob Ager

Visit my website for more film and psychology related videos

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What The Word 'Compromise' Really Means

A very interesting linguistic breakdown of a word that is being used as well as avoided quite a lot in Washington lately.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Neil Tyson talks about UFOs and the argument from ignorance

We need more scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is not only one of the most prominent astronomers living today, he is also one of the best public communicators on the subject of science.

The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam ("appeal to ignorance" , argument by lack of imagination, or negative evidence, is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false, or is false only because it has not been proven true.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Majestic Plastic Bag

The Majestic Plastic Bag from Heal the Bay on Vimeo.

An excellent spoof on nature videos... Please, just bring your own bag to the grocery store. Is that too much to ask?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rebecca MacKinnon: Let's take back the Internet!

Artist's Statement

Requiring a visual artist to write an artist's statement about their work is a bit like requiring a writer to illustrate their own book... So naturally, reading an artist's statement can be a vomit inducing experience. This video translates the jargon into what the artist really means.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

RSA Animate - Language as a Window into Human Nature

I had seen this lecture by the linguist and philosopher, Steven Pinker on you tube before, but it was nice to go back and re-visit it in the form of the wonderful RSA Animate series.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Artist Formerly Known as Captain Beefheart - BBC

A great documentary about the life of Captain Beefheart narrated by the unmistakable voice of John Peel. This portion of the documentary is dedicated to the making of one of my all time favorite albums, Trout Mask Replica... The music is definitely not for everyone, but give it a chance... It sticks in your memory.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


  He puts it better than I ever could have hoped to express the sentiment.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Postmodernism: Good for the Arts, Bad for the Sciences

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This was a really interesting interview with Ophelia  Benson, who writes the blog, Butterflies and Wheels, and hits on topics that I have been thinking about lately. Foremost among those topics is the reflexive stance of the progressive movement to accept the postmodernist idea that all ways of thinking are relative to the individual person and their cultural background. The idea that no one outside that culture can criticize that culture's practices... I think this kind of cultural relativism completely breaks down and is indefensible when it comes to real-world human rights issues such as female genital mutilation, honor killings and genocide.

But I also think the topic of postmodernism has a very divided good side and bad side...

I believe that when the philosophy of postmodernism tries to step into the sciences, such as math, astronomy, physics, sociology and biology it automatically gets itself into trouble... On this side, there really are facts and non-facts and things that are true and things that are simply not true. It doesn't matter what culture or socioeconomic background you come from; two plus two will always equal four, the speed of light will always be a universal constant, and killing an innocent girl because she was raped will always be a bad thing...

But on the other side are the creative arts, such as literature, poetry, music, film and visual art... These are the things that are derived purely from the human imagination.... I think the difference here is between what is knowable versus what is imaginable.

Early twentieth century modernism in painting began as an incredible leap forward. It was seeing the sciences of the time reducing itself to a very tidy series of laws and principles and was trying to do the same for the arts. The reductivism of modernist abstract art was trying to hone in on a similar abstract truth that Einstien was focusing on with his theory of relativity.

It is very interesting that postmodernism in the arts came about roughly at the same time that the unpredictability of quantum physics, but that doesn't change the fact that the sciences are in the quest for what is knowable in reality and the arts are in the quest for what is possible in the human imagination.

I think the crux of my argument is that the two are entirely separate endeavors. That doesn't change the fact that the arts can be greatly influenced by the findings of the sciences and, in turn, the sciences can see paths unimagined if it were not for the creativity of the arts... But the fact remains that one area is about what is real and natural, and the other is about what is imaginable.

The idea of postmodernism was like a giant explosion in the world of the visual arts. To a visual artist in the 1960s, modernist abstraction was a set of rules that was almost a tunnel that was getting smaller and smaller... The movement was literally painting itself into a corner. To us artists, the idea that references could come from comic books, from the point of view of another gender, from graphic design, other cultures, or even from grandma paintings was a completely refreshing idea. The ironic thing about it all is that the postmodern change that happened in the arts feels very similar to the change a country under dictatorial rule feels after a change to a democratic state... It does feel like the possibilities are endless...

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Stiffs - Fuck You (1978)

In keeping with my sentiment of the evening, I thought I would round off the night with the original version of a great punk rock anthem covered by the likes of the Subhumans, DOA and Overkill...

 This is the original version of the Vancouver punk anthem later re-recorded by the Subhumans (who featured ex-Stiffs Gerry Hannah and Mike Graham) and has been covered by DOA, Screeching Weasel, Overkill and many others

Recorded in May 1978 but was never released until 1991 when the song appeared on the double-CD compilation "Last Call: Vancouver Independent Music 1977-1988"

Fuck You

I had an old friend in town the week of June 19th through the 26th and I didn't post anything because I was actually interacting with a real person... I'm sorry about that brief vacation from the blog, not that anyone is actually reading it.... But if you were wondering why I didn't post anything during that time, it was because I had actual things to do.

Back to the Roots: Business model based on growing mushrooms from coffee grounds

I am truly impressed with these guys' willingness to create a very lucrative business around something most of us would consider trash.

Louis C.K. on the Daily Show

What's not to love about a good fart joke?

Ask Sam Harris Anything #1

Sam Harris, author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape, answers questions submitted by users on
Hear Sam talk about everything from meditation to religion, and see if one of your questions got answered!