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Moral Futurism and the Enemies of an Open Society

Karl Popper is one of the SuperGeniuses of our time, and his brilliant book — “Open Society and Its Enemies” — is a must read for anyone hoping to understand our necessary and active place in the world.

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The Lesson of the Singing Bowl

As often happens here in your favorite Urban Semiotic, yesterday’s article — The Unnecessary Necessary: An Anonymous Stranger — and its comments, creates the inspiration for a second article to expand the ideas we expressed together.

Today I will share with you a story I learned many years ago from my first Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga guruji: The Lesson of the Singing Bowl.

A Singing Bowl

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Lindsay Lohan Proves Her Illiteracy

Young people look up to other young people. Unfortunately, many of the role models young people choose to use to model are not worthy of imitation or the attention. If you ever needed proof of why young people should not look up to celebrities and imitate their morality and their behavior in the classic Aristotlean way of learning and mimicry, please read actress Lindsay Lohan’s incoherent — and frankly, illiterate — public sympathy card to genius film director Robert Altman’s family she released on Tuesday to see the sad, living proof, of a Long Island public education and the perils of false celebrity.

Ms. Lohan

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Goffman-esque Response Cries: Is Sha! the New Duh?

Is “Sha!” the New “Duh?” I ask because slang erupts from the mouths of the young and lately I have been seeing and hearing this expression — Sha! — appearing in some blogs as well as being heard on the street. Sha! — is not a word, I only learned how to spell it by watching it appear on blogs — and it appears to be an emotional utterance, or more formally: “A Response Cry” as studied by the great sociologist Erving Goffman:

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Raised On Radio

At 14-years-old I started in radio in Lincoln, Nebraska as the host of a weekly 10 minute interview show called Unique Youth. I would celebrate kids in the community who were making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Rick Alloway was my mentor and defender. Unique Youth aired on KFOR 1240 — the number one station in the city — and on their FM sister station X103 (now known as KFRX 102.7 after the advent of digital stereo tuners) at 5:30am Fridays.

I was quickly able to move up to weekend air shifts and I steadily worked in radio at KFOR and X103 as well as KLMS 1480 (the call letters at the time were pronounced “Kay-Elle-Aim-Esh-ah!” on air in an old-time classic boss jock performance) and KBHL FM. Later I added television to my resume when I became the teen movie critic on Kidding Around — with hostess Leta Powell Drake — for broadcast powerhouse KOLN/KGIN-TV and those stations had a coverage map the shape and size of the entire state of Nebraska.

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Haunted by the Tragedy of Wendy

Today I am haunted by yesterday and the tragic death of Playwright Wendy Wasserstein. She died of lymphoma at the age of 55. Her sister died of breast cancer at 60. Wendy, unmarried, left behind a six-year-old daughter named Lucy Jane who was born three months premature and weighed 1-pound, 12-ounces at birth.

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Philosophy & The Good Life

by Andreas Saugstad

How can philosophy make your life better? And what relevance does philosophy have to life? My view is that by engaging in the questions and situations we are confronted with in ordinary life, philosophy may give us a higher quality of life. Philosophy is relevant to life in the sense that it discusses the basic questions of human existence, and because philosophy is a creative activity carried out by individuals constructing meaning, philosophy is constitutive, i.e. it gives us meaning to life and gives reality a new dimension.

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