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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fortunatate Son
The well known Vietnam war protest song Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Pictures are Iraq/Vietnam war and protest pictures.

Cicero and the Five Arts

The Five Arts: Cannons of Rhetoric

Rhetoric, as an art, has long been divided into five major categories or "canons":
  1. Invention
  2. Arrangement
  3. Style
  4. Memory
  5. Delivery
These categories have served both analytical and generative purposes. That is to say, they provide a template for the criticism of discourse (and orations in particular), and they give a pattern for rhetorical education. Rhetorical treatises through the centuries have been set up in light of these five categories, although memory and delivery consistently have received less attention. Rhetoric shares with another longstanding discipline, dialectic, training in invention and arrangement. When these disciplines competed, rhetoric was sometimes reduced to style alone.

Although the five canons of rhetoric describe areas of attention in rhetorical pedagogy, these should not be taken as the only educational template for the discipline of rhetoric. Treatises on rhetoric also discuss at some length the roots or sources of rhetorical ability, and specific kinds of rhetorical exercises intended to promote linguistic facility.


A new wrinkle on "A Wrinkle In Time"

The Unlikely Best-Seller: 'A Wrinkle In Time' Turns 50

How did a book featuring complex discussions about quantum physics, theology and mathematics become a beloved children's book? Madeleine L'Engle's classic had a rocky path to publication.
From National Public Radio's All Things Considered.
A Wrinkle in TimeMadeleine L'Engle reads with her granddaughters, Charlotte and Lena, in 1976.

Madeleine L'Engle reads with her granddaughters, Charlotte and Lena, in 1976.

Imagine, for a moment, that you're a publisher hearing a pitch about a children's book whose tangled plot braids together quantum physics, fractions and megaparsecs (a measure for distances in intergalactic space). The book also casually tosses out phrases in French, Italian, German and ancient Greek. Sound like the next kids' best-seller to you?

Below: Rebecca Stead

Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007) was best known for her young adult fiction. Her works reflect both her Christian faith and her strong interest in modern science.It didn't to the many publishers who rejected Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, which turns 50 this year. The novel was an immediate hit with young readers and with critics when it was published, and it won the Newbery Medal in 1963. Since then, it has remained a beloved favorite of children and adults alike.

But it almost didn't see the light of day. At the time, L'Engle already had six books to her name, but publishers were perplexed by her latest.

L'Engle's granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis, describes the publishers' befuddlement to All Things Considered host Melissa Block: "Was it for adults, was it for children? What is this, science fiction? Oh, I know what science fiction is, but there aren't female protagonists in science fiction. Are you sure you want to talk about good and evil — isn't that a little bit philosophical? Can't you just cut that part out?"

Despite considerable misgivings, Farrar, Straus and Giroux bought the book. They sent it to an outside reader, who called it "the worst book I have ever read." The book's editor admitted it was "distinctly odd" but conceded: "I for one believe that the capabilities of young readers are greatly underestimated."

His faith in young readers paid off. There are currently 10 million copies of the book in print.
Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007) was best known for her young adult fiction. Her works reflect both her Christian faith and her strong interest in modern science.

What is it, 50 years on, that continues to appeal to children and makes adult fans positively vibrate when they talk about the book? Maybe its appeal lies in its unusual heroine, Meg Murry, who is insecure, outspoken, "outrageously plain" — and irresistible.

Voiklis says her grandmother put a lot of herself into Meg. "She really was Meg. In the same impetuous, passionate, stubborn, loving way that Meg is, she was."

Or maybe readers thrill to the creepiness of the planet Camazotz, where Meg has to go to rescue her father. With its shades of totalitarianism — Camazotz is ruled by IT, a disembodied, quivering brain that insists on conformity — the dismal planet recalls the Cold War era in which the book was written.

The success of A Wrinkle in Time hasn't immunized it from criticism, however. Critics have attacked its theological themes, some calling it blasphemous, others complaining it's too religious for a children's book.

"I still don't understand it, and maybe that's because it always confused Grandmother — that it would be vilified both by the Christians and by secular folks who thought that there was too much overt Christianity," Voiklis says.
The publishers who rejected the book insisted that children would be put off by the book's complicated, elliptical plot and concepts, but for author Rebecca Stead, the ambiguous aspects are what make the story so compelling.

In Stead's own children's book, When You Reach Me, the main character has read A Wrinkle in Time about a hundred times and won't read anything else. Stead says she could never really wrap her mind around all the time travel stuff in L'Engle's book, but to her, it didn't matter.

"A Wrinkle in Time also asks these huge questions, really, about the universe, and good and evil, and the power of love, and all of this crazy science and complex ideas. It assumes that kids are able to think about all that stuff. I think that a lot of people forget that, or never realize it, but a children's book is really the best place to ask big questions. Our worlds get smaller as we get older," Stead says.
Rebecca Stead's autographed copy of A Wrinkle in Time. The inscription reads: "for Rebecca — tesser well — Madeleine L'Engle."
Rebecca Stead's autographed copy of A Wrinkle in Time. The inscription reads: "for Rebecca — tesser well — Madeleine L'Engle."

Voiklis agrees that the publishers erred in assuming children weren't interested in stories that were so complex — semantically, morally and narratively.
"Even if a young reader doesn't know all of the words, or know who all of the quotations are from, or if they can't grasp exactly what a tesseract is ... it sort of gives room for the reader and shows possibility and a place where you want to go and understand," Voiklis says. "[L'Engle] didn't think condescending to children was the right thing to do."
And 50 years after it was published, L'Engle's unapologetically erudite novel continues to challenge and captivate — and Calvin O'Keefe, Meg Murry and her younger brother Charles Wallace take another generation on their unforgettable cosmic journey.

Listen to the Story

Star Trek, a reflection on morals and ethics..continued

Ethics is the major branch of philosophy that encompasses proper conduct and good living. It is significantly broader than the common conception of ethics as the analyzing of right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is "the good life", the life worth living or that is simply satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct.[1]

Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") has three principal meanings.

In its first, descriptive usage, morality means a code of conduct which is held to be authoritative in matters of right and wrong. Morals are created by and define society, philosophy, religion, or individual conscience. An example of the descriptive usage could be "common conceptions of morality have changed significantly over time."

In its second, normative and universal sense, morality refers to an ideal code of conduct, one which would be espoused in preference to alternatives by all rational people, under specified conditions. In this "prescriptive" sense of morality as opposed to the above described "descriptive" sort of sense, moral value judgments such as "murder is immoral" are made. To deny 'morality' in this sense is a position known as moral skepticism, in which the existence of objective moral "truths" is rejected.[1]

In its third usage, 'morality' is synonymous with ethics, the systematic philosophical study of the moral domain.[2]

Ethics seeks to address questions such as how a moral outcome can be achieved in a specific situation (applied ethics), how moral values should be determined (normative ethics), what morals people actually abide by (descriptive ethics), what the fundamental nature of ethics or morality is, including whether it has any objective justification (meta-ethics), and how moral capacity or moral agency develops and what its nature is (moral psychology).[3] In applied ethics, for example, the prohibition against taking human life is controversial with respect to capital punishment, abortion and wars of invasion. In normative ethics, a typical question might be whether a lie told for the sake of protecting someone from harm is justified. In meta-ethics, a key issue is the meaning of the terms "right" or "wrong". Moral realism would hold that there are true moral statements which report objective moral facts, whereas moral anti-realism would hold that morality is derived from any one of the norms prevalent in society (cultural relativism); the edicts of a god (divine command theory); is merely an expression of the speakers' sentiments (emotivism); an implied imperative (prescriptive); falsely presupposes that there are objective moral facts (error theory). Some thinkers hold that there is no correct definition of right behavior, that morality can only be judged with respect to particular situations, within the standards of particular belief systems and socio-historical contexts. This position, known as moral relativism, often cites empirical evidence from anthropology as evidence to support its claims.[4] The opposite view, that there are universal, eternal moral truths are known as moral absolutism. Moral absolutists might concede that forces of social conformity significantly shape moral decisions, but deny that cultural norms and customs define morally right behavior.

Smith Center could hurt local theaters

If just one of those million-dollar donors would divide their monies into all of the major local playhouses, they might be able to kick-start a long-predicted theater boom that has yet to happen.

Do Women Earn Less Than Men?

From: LearnLiberty  | Aug 30, 2011  | 12,155 views
Are women discriminated against in the workplace? Looking at the data, women on average earn an annual wage that is approximately 75% that of men, which many people believe is the result of discrimination. However, when Prof. Steve Horwitz analyzes the data more closely, he finds that women make certain choices, such as career selection and raising children, which tend to result in lower wages than men. These choices could be the result of personal preferences or sexist cultural expectations for women's work, though the relative influence of these two factors remains unclear.

More Information:

Cities Where Women Outearn Male Counterparts:

An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women: (less info)