Why Music Works

One of the most calming things that societies have ever devised is the lullaby. In almost every culture there has ever been, mothers have rocked and sung their babies to sleep.

The baby is showing us that we are all tonal creatures long before we are creatures of understanding.

The musician can, at points, trump anything the philosopher might tell us.

Read More

History Of Failure

Humans have always seriously messed up their lives.

Athens 429 BC – Premier of a tragedy called Oedipus Rex written by playwright Sophocles. Story of a highly honorable and capable man who messes up his life in a catastrophic way but the audience doesn’t view Oedipus as a loser. Greek tragedy designed to show audiences that terrible things can and very often do happen to good people. We must remain sympathetic and kind in the face of failure.

Similar story of Spartan army at Battle of Thermopylae. Small number of Spartans held out to the last man against a larger Persian force (Seen in the movie 300). Spartans defeated but their failure was seen as noble. You can lose and be good

Read More

What Pop Music Can Teach Philosophy

Pop music may seem like silly medium, associated with hormonal school girls and bizarre behavior.

By contrast, philosophy has a reputation for being deeply serious and impressive, a way to understand ourselves and transform the world through ideas.

But since the 1960s, philosophy has stalled and pop has conquered the world. It is now a leading medium for the articulation of ideas on a mass scale. If it is to survive, philosophy must study pop.

Read More

First World Problems

We’ve grown used to belittling things that don’t seem important to us right now – this is understandable but counterproductive. Just because an issue isn’t connected to life or death doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause genuine pain or isn’t worth thinking about. The problems of rich countries are for the most part complicated and serious and the ones everyone is going to face in about 300 years.

First world problems are central issues of philosophy and politics because everyday we are fighting to get richer so lets understand the problems that come with or undermine this struggle:

1. Not having enough – we don’t decide if we have enough by asking ourselves what we need or comparing our material possessions with those of parents or grandparents and we don’t compare ourselves to poor countries. We ask whether we have enough by looking at people around us in immediate vicinity and people we see on tv. Our happiness is comparative and relative by nature. Advertising shows there is more we could have and that others already do…enormous part of why rich countries can be unhappy. Wealth matters to happiness but only up to a point

Read More

What Comes After Religion

Fewer and fewer people believe today. There might not be religion in large parts of Europe, N America, Australia and Asia in a generation.

Religions are asking us to believe in something and when one can’t believe, they stop with religion and point out all horrible things religions have done and continue to do. But belief is less important and perhaps the least interesting side of religion

1. Religions regularly gather people around and tell them to be nice to one another

Read More