Archive for the 'Language & Linguistics' Category

The gold-standard definition of plagiarism, as we all learned in high school, is the deliberate and dishonest appropriation of another’s words and ideas; it’s taking credit for yourself, failing to attribute originality to others.

The definition immediately breaks down when we try to apply it.

The real point of the Babel story is subjugation and dependence: God says that if humans can build the tower, they will be able to do whatever they set out to do and nothing “will be beyond their reach.” We learn early on how the Torah writers felt about human ambitions.

Interestingly, religion and science agree that there is a “brotherhood of humanity.” But once again, the two diverge sharply in reality. With religion, it’s just lip service, usually – and hypocritically — accompanied by commands to ostracize or murder those who look different.

Is the goal of therapy to dissolve delusions – or to encourage them?

Back in the day, the insane were considered evil, possessed. You had to beat, torture or drown the demon within. But the torturers were delusional themselves. And with the psychotics who were hearing voices, where was the line? Countless ancient prophets heard voices and were honored. How about Joan of Arc? Joseph Smith? Apparently being REALLY earnest is essential to having “authentically” heard God’s voice. Also, what God is saying has a lot to do with it

What company will dare to be first to point to the Emperor’s new clothes, to note that we’ve been at this diversity thing for a whole generation, that grouping and counting people by gender and ethnicity is odious and bogus, that it’s not worth the investment, and henceforth all hires and promotions will be made on the basis of competence and experience alone?

We don’t need a violent revolution. We just need to vote these assholes out and replace them with politicians who really care about the future of this country. If we don’t get some soon, the country won’t have much of a future at all.

I’ll make a deal with religious believers: you stop vilifying me, and I’ll stop saying things that result in you causing YOURSELF to be offended (but we can still ridicule each other). They’re just words.

I can’t afford the luxury of thinking my every thought is of interest to everybody. I can’t afford to waste time. I can’t afford being told by a machine how to communicate.

I can’t afford the Twitter.

Rabbi Wine used to say that after the Holocaust, the nicest thing you could say about God is that he doesn’t exist.

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