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Feb 12, 2015, 11:02 AM
In Praise of Being Boring
As readers of this blog may have noted, I am loath to take a strong position on political issues, and write quite blandly about my own life. I hereby intend to continue to be a boring person, if I...
Feb 11, 2015, 9:28 PM
On the Proper Care & Use of Your Pet Facts
Facts, they say, are a stubborn thing. Of particular stubbornness are our own "pet facts" – whether statistical information, the results of attitude polls, geographical knowledge, or bits of information about history or religion – which we consider important,...
Jan 28, 2015, 8:57 PM
How the Internet is (Really) Changing Us
Everybody knows the internet changed the way people interact with each other. The various social networks such as Facebook or Google+, in particular, are there to help one connect with others -- not just professionally, but personally, as well. This had...
Jan 17, 2015, 11:52 PM
On Reading in Bed
It is a given that reading is a serious thing. Reading in bed is not serious. Sure, you can read some detective story, or perhaps science fiction. But Dante? Shakespeare? Tolstoy? Dickens? Forget about it. Well, I disagree. Reading in...
Oct 22, 2014, 8:35 PM
Ayn Rand was not an Egoist — but her Followers are
Recently, various people in the public eye, from protesters to professors, openly declared their allegiance to Ayn Rand's philosophy of egoism, known as 'Objectivism'. The reaction to these people is, typically, that Rand's view are morally dangerous and selfish. I...
May 3, 2014, 10:33 PM
“It’s Land Day. We Get the Day Off.” (Or, The Dangers of Ideology)
"The imagination and spiritual strength of Shakespeare's evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology" -- A. Solzhenytzin. Living in Haifa, there are often days when the malls have many Arab customers -- usually, of course, during...
Dec 7, 2013, 4:41 PM
Can science fiction ever be great literature?
In the "good (?) old days", science fiction's literary status was that of popular detective fiction at best, or "true romance" and "true adventure" - type pulp fiction at worst. The idea of an academic study of the field...
Nov 23, 2013, 2:06 PM
In Praise of Elitism
A recent news article declared that the Hebrew University is considering the firing of many humanities instructors due to low demand. Similarly, recently in Ynet, a series about "generation Y" gives the tales of young people who studied the humanities and...
Jun 1, 2013, 11:42 AM
On Keeping One’s Reasons Straight
If you go to your local prison and speak to the inmates, you will discover two things. First, they will say they are innocent. Second, they will claim the real thieves are the government, or the banks, etc., not...
Dec 6, 2012, 8:01 PM
The fallacy of success
Recently, Israel has been inundated by new “colleges of success” that attempt to teach one how to get rich. Such colleges collect fees in return for courses and books with titles like “Coaching Your Business to Success” or “Quick...
Dr Avital Pilpel is a lecturer of Philosophy at the University of Haifa and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC). As a hobby, he researches the history of Chess in Israel and the Yishuv