The Tall Poppy’s Lament: In Defence of Elon Musk

retrofuturism-mars

I recently watched the unveiling of Elon Musk’s planned mission and, eventually, colonisation of Mars with a kind of rapturous childlike awe. I admit, it’s a personal interest of mine and I share Elon’s (very obvious) conviction that the only way to ensure the long-term survival of the human species and therefore intelligent life and consciousness (as far as we’ve discovered it), is for the human race to become a multi-planetary species. It remains to be seen how practical SpaceX’s plan and timeline are, but it was a fascinating presentation and they appear to have innovative solutions for many of the commonly cited challenges of such a mission. Read More…

“Cultural Appropriation” Is Developing Into A Dangerous Trajectory For Society

cultural-appropriation

 

It is reassuring to see that open critiques of various entries in the social justice Newspeak dictionary are now more commonplace. The first of these to really get my hackles up was the concept of the “safe space” which I covered in an earlier article, though South Park did a better job of ridiculing this infantile notion than I ever could.  Unfortunately, as well as being more frequently critiqued, this new pseudo-lexicon is also becoming more widely used (and even accepted as gospel), both among the censorious twits that invented it and the well-meaning and easily misled – I was disappointed to see that George Takei, who I am fond of, despite his occasional Panglossian naivety, shared an article defending “Trigger Warnings” by way of some fatuous reference to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (as if every blue-haired student activist is teetering on a psychological precipice akin to an Iraq war veteran). Read More…

Why We Fight The Good Fight

sam harris politics

In a recent podcast, philosopher, neuroscientist and vocal critic of religious extremism, Sam Harris, made the following comment:

“At this point I view most of my career as a massive opportunity cost. Most of what I spend my time talking about I do not find intellectually interesting, but I do find politically and morally necessary – how is it that I am living a life where I even have to know what honour killing means let alone spend time talking about it?”

This statement gave me pause for thought in regard to my own work. Of course I can’t claim anywhere near the readership, reach or back-catalogue Harris has to his name, nor can I (at least at this point) count my writing as a “career” so much as a passionate side-line. That being the case, I began thinking about how our focus at Imagine Athena, as well as my own, has shifted, or at least superficially appeared to do so, in recent years. From its inception, this website has been a platform to celebrate what makes life most worth living to us: the examined life, freedom of thought and expression, the values of the Enlightenment, human progress and virtue, the nebulous boundaries of art, science, philosophy, the numinous and transcendent (the only kind of “intersectionalism” that interests me). These concepts are at the core of everything we do. Read More…

The Talib Kweli, Maajid Nawaz Twitter Fight Exposes The Hypocrisy Of Those Who Supposedly Oppose “Harassment” Online

On Wednesday, we bore witness to a stark demonstration of the hypocrisy of social media activism, the callousness of so many of its practitioners and, unless some action has been taken by them in the interim, the double-standards of the platform custodians themselves.

Rapper, activist and self-important intellectual non-entity Talib Kweli Greene took to Twitter to condemn the liberal Muslim reformer and anti-extremist activist Maajid Nawaz as a racist shill and a tool of white supremacy and anti-Muslim bigotry. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mr Nawaz, his journey spans an immense distance between extremes; after a rough start in life involving direct experiences of violent white racism in his native UK, he became radicalised and worked as an Islamist agitator under the banner of Hizb ut-Tahrir, for which he languished in an Egyptian prison, undergoing hardships I can’t imagine.

He has since done more to build bridges between faiths and communities, and fight extremism from every direction, be it xenophobia, jihadism, anti-Muslim bigotry, anti-Semitism and racism in all forms. But the irony of throwing accusations like this at such a man as Nawaz seems lost on Greene, who, on the other hand, is an evidently privileged narcissist who attempts to pass off his thoroughly banal pseudo-intellectual masturbation as some kind of liberationist activism. The sort of person who thinks bellowing “Black Lives Matter!” and “White Supremacy!” at various intervals should confer certain additional privileges upon you. Read More…

Brexit: Democracy Is Not All About Getting Your Own Way

Is Discourse Dead?

I never thought I would find myself writing about Brexit. The main reason being that my position on the actual vote has not progressed much further than agnosticism and constant vacillation in the face of various different arguments. I have passionate and erudite friends on both sides of the argument but, perhaps most significantly, I have lived in Cape Town for 3 years now and, while I care deeply for Britain’s future, I felt somehow distant from the issue, as if it is not my decision to make. Until passions began to run high on the immediate eve of the vote and bubbled over into a social media civil war in its aftermath, I had become rather fatigued by the whole thing.

That being said, I have found the fallout from the vote more interesting than the build-up to it. And, while I did not wish to comment upon what the right decision was for Britain, the aftermath has revealed some frightening societal fissures in regard to how a democratic society should be run – and that is something I cannot ignore. Read More…

Orlando: Changing the Subject Again

 

orlando shooting political correctness

I was hesitant to write anything about the horrifying events in Orlando as Jihadist mass murders are almost becoming commonplace at this point, at least in Europe and I have very little to say about the trend more broadly that wouldn’t be a reiteration. But a number of trends in the aftermath of the massacre warrant some reflection.

It was probably only a matter of time before the LGBT community was targeted en-masse; a population group almost as hated by Jihadists as Jews. Unlike the Jews, however, the LGBT community is embraced by the liberal mainstream. Unlike the Jews, gay people are not frequently accused of being the cause of their own suffering by the oh-so-tolerant and loving liberal media elite. Read More…

Disagreement Is Not “Violence”

melissa click mizzou

One of things I find most sinister about the odious and autocratic “social justice” movements, currently destroying all that was once great about campus culture and academia, is their tendency to speak in a bizarre lexicon all of their own, cooked up in their little cultural echo-chambers. Aside from being infuriatingly pretentious, it is also rather creepy when you consider the goals they have in mind and the kind of horrible world they are trying to create. Read More…

Brussels Attacks: Mourn, Rinse, Repeat, Wait

brussels attacks

With each new incidence of the now regular sadistic assaults on Western laimingivilisation, disturbing new realisations come to the surface. The only hope is that we can learn from them and face up to this enemy; the defeat of which is essentially to the survival, both individually, as civilians and citizens of free societies, and as a way of life. One of the most important lessons to learn, I believe, is that anyone who read that previous sentence and found it to be sensationalist or hyperbolic, is delusional, masochistic or some abject combination of the two. Read More…

Look No Further Than Twitter For a Virtual Model of Dystopia

black mirror dystopia

Despite writing several articles on it and observing it on social media and countless YouTube videos, I often feel no closer to understanding the bizarre new lexicon and array of stifling slander and censorship tactics employed by modern campus “social justice” movements. Everything about them seems at odds with what I understand to be the purpose of education: to prepare you for a life of cognitive and discursive challenges rather than shield you from them. Furthermore, what kind of world are they trying to create? If you have also considered this question, I submit that you need look no further than Twitter for a virtual model of their Utopian society. Read More…