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Posts tagged "Aldous Huxley"

Another Week Ends: Too Much Fun, Deflating Pikachu, Rock’N’Roll Church, Lovely Creatures, Facebook Grief, Self-Control, and The Forbidden Apple

1. “Are We Having Too Much Fun?” asks Megan Garber, in this week’s Atlantic. She’s examining the objections of renowned tech-skeptic Neil Postman (1931 – 2003) who cautioned against a society focused too heavily on entertainment — a bitter pill to serve this Golden Age of TV that so often leaves us viewing our lives […]

PZ’s Podcast: Mystic Traveler

69beb7a301876b0c0ac7cb7955465776EPISODE 215

What are we all looking for in this life…? The new being, rebirth, meeting your inner child again for the first time. However you name it, whatever you make of it, the truth of reality is this: we all withhold a few things from everyone including and especially from ourselves. We lose so much in the withholding and the repression, which is quite understandable. But there is hope! You can go forward through going backward. Aldous Huxley did it. He became a theological psychologist par excellence, and we can follow his lead. A graced archeological excavation can produce so much in the way of the teleological imagination.


The introduction to this cast is done by Bill Borror and Scott Jones, co-hosts of New Persuasive Words. Scott also hosts The Mockingcast.

The Difference Between the Prophecies of Orwell and Huxley

A provocative quote from the introduction to Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, ht VH:

brawndo2“Contrary to common belief even among the educated, [Aldous] Huxley and [George] Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny ‘failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.’ In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.”

The Loneliest Question: Knowing Ourselves from the Stories We Tell

Another reflection–this time on the illusive nature of identity and memory–from the pen of Charlotte Hornsby. Sarah’s dad says it best. Beaming his blue eyes past the camera, he squints and asks, “How is it we talk and talk without conveying somehow what we’re really like?” This conundrum lies at the heart of Stories We […]

PZ’s Podcast: What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) and Fraulein Doktor

Episode 104: What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) This one is about defense. Someone said that human beings are “covered by thirty or forty skins or hides, like an ox’s or a bear’s, so thick and hard.” That’s not especially good to hear. Someone else said to me recently, “Well, Paul, you have […]

PZ’s Podcast 100 & 101: Eternity and I Feel Like I Win When I Lose (plus Reception Address)

EPISODE 100: Eternity Didn’t The Beach Boys sing something called “Hang On To Your Ego”? I guess it was a kind of “Not!”. Well, this talk concerns death and the “art” of dying. What dies when you die physically? What lives on? What, if anything? Consider the following observation from The Genius and the Goddess […]

PZ’s Podcast 98-99.5: Reflections in a Golden Eye, A Night at the Bardo and Got to Have a Hundred

Episode 98: Reflections in a Golden Eye This is a little “onesy” and posits your current media/avocational/move-television/music-iPod interest as a sort of “true north” of your life, of what’s really going on inside you, and therefore outside you. What I mean is, the books you like, the TV show you can’t miss, the music you […]

PZ’s Podcast 90-94: The Rest of Your Life, Sequels, G-d (Robinson Crusoe on Mars), Falsification and My New Program

Episode 90: “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” The song’s not actually that great. But the title! This talk concerns your profession, and tries to say what I wish someone had said to me: I wish someone had said this to me when I was 21 and flailing around looking for something […]

PZ’s Podcast, 84-89: Yvette Vickers, Protestant Episcopal SuperMarionation I&II, Bette Davis Eyes, Tana and Tahrir, and Pacific Overtures

Thanks again for your patience with us this past week. As you’ll see, while the site slept, some of us were busy! Episode 84: Yvette Vickers (f. 4.27.11) Newspapers and blogs seem to settle for the categorical in reporting such events as the discovery, on April 27, 2011, of the body of Yvette Vickers in […]

Aldous Huxley on the Dangers of Misplaced Seriousness

Some light post-Christmas reading for you, from his novel After Many a Summer Dies the Swan: Misplaced seriousness — the source of some of our most fatal errors. One should be serious, Mr. Propter had said, only about what deserves to be taken seriously. And, on the strictly human level, there was nothing that deserved […]

PZ’s Podcast: Canned Heat and Under Satan’s Sun

EPISODE 77: Canned Heat I’m reaching here, for a useful and accurate definition of the human being. I found one, an interesting one, in the middle of a 1939 novel entitled After Many a Summer Dies the Swan. That one-sentence definition, tied in my own mind to a recent study of Fritz Lang’s movie from […]

Simultaneously the Pillars and the Dynamite: A Few from Aldous Huxley’s Time Must Have a Stop

For whatever reason, the only novel of Aldous Huxley’s that gets much airtime these days is the dystopian classic Brave New World (1932). Occasionally you hear about The Doors of Perception, if only for its role in inspiring Jim Morrison (ugh). It’s a shame, because not only is Huxley far less dippy than the Lizard […]