July 7, 2012

Technology, Entertainment and Design

Green Army: Communications

Paul Bloom (1963):
[Reason] helps us to create a better world.
(Why Do We Create Stereotypes?, TED Radio Hour, NPR, 14 November 2014)

Michael Sandel

In 2009, Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, distributed free curricular materials about the energy industry to sixty-six thousand fourth-grade teachers.
The curriculum, called the “United States of Energy,” was funded by the American Coal Foundation.
The industry-sponsored lesson plan highlighted the benefits of coal but made no mention of mining accidents, toxic waste, greenhouse gases, or other environmental effects.
(p 198)

In 1983, US companies spent $100 million advertising to children.
In 2005, they spent $16.8 billion.
(p 199)

Advertising encourages people to want things and to satisfy their desires.
Education encourages people to reflect critically on their desires, to restrain or to elevate them.
The purpose of advertising is to recruit consumers; the purpose of public schools is to cultivate citizens.

It isn’t easy to teach students to be citizens, capable of thinking critically about the world around them, when so much of childhood consists of basic training for a consumer society.
(p 200)

(What Money Can't Buy, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)

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Frans De Waal

Professor of Primate Behaviour, Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta

[Humanity is] much more cooperative and empathic than given credit for. …
[There are two] pillars of morality. …
  • One is reciprocity [coupled with] a sense of justice [and] fairness.
  • And the other … empathy and compassion.
[Human] morality is more than this [but these are] absolutely essential.

(Moral behavior in animals, 26 October 2011)

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Pillars of Morality

Political and Economic Democracy

The Spirit Level


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