Of Gravity Fields and Quantum Fields

  “The gravitational field is described without taking quantum mechanics into account, without accounting for the fact that fields are quantum fields—and quantum mechanics is formulated without taking into account the fact that spacetime curves and...

Of Reality

  All of us have a tendency to hold a limited and parochial view of reality.  We must read and listen to others in order to get a more expansive, inclusive, cosmopolitan view of reality.  

Of the Ether

  “In the middle of the nineteenth century, it was the accepted view of almost all scientists that space was filled with a ubiquitous ethereal fluid.  There was no vacuum.  All forces and interactions were mediated by the presence of ether, either...

Of the Human Soul

  “If you want an image of the soul, remarked the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, look at the human body.”     —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of the Present

  “To see the present as it truly is, is to see it in the light of its possible transformation.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Human History and Human Nature

  “It is our history, not our nature, that makes us what we are; and since history is all about change, we can transform ourselves by altering our historical conditions.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Human Nature and Change

  “Because we are laboring, desiring, linguistic creatures, we are able to transform our conditions in the process we know as history.  In doing so, we come to transform ourselves at the same time.  Change, in other words, is not the opposite of...

Of Communism

  “Communism may see an end to grinding toil, but it is hard to believe that Karl Marx envisages a social order without accident, injury and disease, any more than he anticipates one without death.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Human Nature

  “It is a mistake to think that the idea of human nature is just an apology for the status quo.  It can also act as a powerful challenge to it.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Socialism

  “It is easier to attain Karl Marx’s goal if you do not have to rely on everyone being morally magnificent all the time.  Socialism is not a society which requires resplendent virtue of its citizens.  It does not mean that we have to be wrapped...

Of Socialism and Human Conflict

  “One would expect any socialist institution to have its fair share of characters, toadies, bullies, cheats, loafers, scroungers, freeloaders, free riders and occasional psychopaths.  Nothing in Karl Marx’s writing suggests that this would not be...

Of Human Potential

  “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” -William Shakespeare      

Of Educational Television

  “I must say that I find television very educational.  Whenever somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book.” —Groucho Marx  

Of Atheism

  “It has indeed been said that the highest praise of God consists in the denial of him by the atheist, who finds creation so perfect that it can dispense with a creator.” -Marcel Proust  

Of Philosophy

  “If God had meant us to do philosophy he would have created us.” -Marek Kohn  

Of the Sirens

  “Now the sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence.  Someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence never.” –Franz Kafka  

Of Marxian Communism

  “For Karl Marx, communism means an end to scarcity, along with an end to most oppressive labour.  But the freedom and leisure which this would grant men and women can then provide the context for their fuller spiritual flourishing.” - Terry...

Of Education

“Education can change attitudes and breed new forms of behavior.” - Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of the Possibility of Making a Better Future

  “If wars, famines and genocide really did spring simply from some unchanging human depravity, then there is not the slightest reason to believe that the future will fare any better.  If, however, these things have been partly the effect of unjust...

Of Socialism and Equality

  “The complaint that ‘socialism would make us all the same’ is baseless.  Karl Marx had no such intention.  He was a sworn enemy of uniformity.  In fact, he regarded equality as a bourgeois value.  He saw it as a reflection in the political sphere...

Of Thought-Experiments

  “Thought-experiments appeal to common experience.” - John David Barrow, The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe, 2000  

Of Miracles

  “Miracles are explainable; it is the explanations that are miraculous.”   -Tim Robinson  

Of Zero

  “The ancient Greeks, who developed the logic and geometry that form the basis for all of modern mathematics, never introduced the zero symbol.  They were deeply suspicious of the whole idea.” - John David Barrow, The Book of Nothing: Vacuums,...

Of Conservative Utopians

  “Some conservatives are utopianists, but their utopia lies in the past rather than the future.” - Terence Francis Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011