About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lena's Picks

by Lena Groeger
* Quirky professors and annual hacks — could MIT be the “beacon of inspiration” for creating a brighter future around science and technology? 
* Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. What happens when the rapture doesn’t. 
* The Stone is back! Looking forward to this fantastic NY Times philosophy series.
* “Discovering that hunter-gatherers had constructed Göbekli Tepe was like finding that someone had built a 747 in a basement with an X-Acto knife.” What this ancient site tells us about the role of religion in the rise of civilization. 
* The forgotten sanctuaries of learning: John Wilford on the golden age of Arabic science.
* The wonders of modern technology brought us food that can grow quicker, last longer, taste tastier, and look better. Ironic we would need a robot to test its safety.
* How do education, economics and religion fit together? Very colorfully in this NY Times chart
* We needn’t be so afraid of memory loss
* An Islamic studies scholar outlines the challenges of explaining Islam to the public in a post 9/11 world. 
* Synesthesia is a condition of mixed sensations — so that you might taste the number four or hear blue. This bizarrely surreal video attempts to capture the experience.


  1. Many thanks for that reference to the Göbekli Tepe article. But it's about a lot more, perhaps, than the role of religion in the rise of civilization. The rise of a sophisticated symbolic and pictorial use of language before its known time in history is central to the story of the rise of both religion and its concurrent culture.


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