Mudita Journal

Current Events Archive

Ed Snowden’s public appearances

June 7, 2014  ·  Category: Current Events, Politics

If you find a recorded public appearance by Ed Snowden not listed here, please e-mail the link to me at joshuazader at GMail. Please also notify me if any links below have expired. Below is a list of all publicly available appearances by Ed Snowden since the original disclosure of his identity as the whistleblower behind Glenn Greenwald's reporting, in early July 2013. For additional information about Snowden, his motivations, and the story behind his decision to become a whistleblower, I highly recommend Greenwald's new book No Place to Hide. 2013-07-09 - The Guardian: Interview Part I and Part II (12 and ...

Ostracism: What does civility require? The case of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich

April 4, 2014  ·  Category: Current Events, Intellectual, Politics

Here are my thoughts on the forced resignation of new Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich. I ultimately believe the differences of opinion on this topic come down to the question of civility. The uncivil perspective: Use ostracism when someone is wrong about something important, and we think we can get away with it. Problem is, people commonly disagree about what is wrong and what is important. If we use it on them today, they have more justification for using it on us tomorrow. It creates an inquisition-like atmosphere of fear and conformity on all sides of all issues, because the stakes are higher, there ...

Toward a better relationship to sex … and porn

May 23, 2012  ·  Category: Current Events, Health, Intellectual, Mindfulness

Here are some choice quotes from a recent Q&A in The Guardian with Alain de Botton, author of the book Religion for Atheists. Ideally, porn would excite our lust in contexts which also presented other, elevated sides of human nature -- in which people were being witty, for instance, or showing kindness, or working hard or being clever -- so that our sexual excitement could bleed into, and enhance our respect for these other elements of a good life. No longer would sexuality have to be lumped together with stupidity, brutishness, earnestness and exploitation; it could instead be harnessed to what ...

Reflections on science, materialism, and near-death experiences

May 6, 2012  ·  Category: Current Events, Health, Intellectual

Curious to hear thoughts from others who walk the fine line between materialism and spirituality, I posted this article about near-death experiences to Mudita Forum. (I also included links to a critical response to that article and a subsequent reply from the author.) Some forum members responded that it's all rather anecdotal and unscientific, despite being researched by neuroscientists who appear committed to scientific investigation and the value of empirical studies. Below is my reply. As far as I can tell, consciousness exists only inside sufficiently evolved living organisms. So I view these kinds of NDE reports with a kind of default assumption ...

Science: Oh, you found a study? How nice for you!

January 31, 2012  ·  Category: Current Events, Intellectual

On Facebook, my friend Joe Duarte, a grad student in positive psychology at Arizona State University, asked why I've been so scornful of science and clinical trials lately. (For those who don't know, for six years I studied to be a research scientist while pursuing my Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of New Mexico.) I replied: As you might suppose, I'm not a proponent of rejecting science or clinical trials, per se. Rather, I'm a critic of how people trust them broadly, while remaining ignorant of common systematic faults in how they are used. Science has become a kind ...

The Battle of Chosin Reservoir

November 26, 2011  ·  Category: Current Events, Intellectual, Politics

This moving message just landed in my inbox, from friend Ross Barlow. Honoring “The Chosin Few” in the Korean War from 27 November 1950 on into December 1950. The battle of Chosin Reservoir. It was intensely brutal combat in temperatures sometimes down to minus-35 degrees in the mountains. A frozen Hell. Honored warriors there were from the US Marines, the US Army, the Republic of Korea (the “ROKs,” South Korea), and the British Royal Marine Commandos. But don’t forget, the ill-equipped (and tyrannically led) communist Red Chinese troops fought bravely against these UN forces, sometimes fighting down ...

Free Cities Project

September 27, 2011  ·  Category: Current Events, Politics

This Thursday, September 24th, The John Stossel Show on Fox Business Network will air a show with the theme "What if Libertarians Were in Charge?" The last seven minutes of the show will include a segment featuring Michael Strong and Magatte Wade, discussing how Free Cities will reduce poverty and create jobs, hope, and prosperity in the developing world. The work to develop such cities is being spearheaded by the Free Cities Institute, but on the program Stossel actually refers to it as the "Free Cities Project." So I'm creating this blog post to help point interested parties -- as well ...

Care about the poor? Fight for their economic freedom.

July 4, 2011  ·  Category: Current Events, FLOW, Politics

An outstanding video for anyone who truly cares about the quality of life of poor individuals from around the world. Or, for that matter, about their own quality of life.

Dutchman Wim Hof uses meditation to control parts of his autonomic nervous system

May 23, 2011  ·  Category: Current Events, Health, Meditation

Since I use meditation as part of my regimen to manage chronic facial pain, this story caught my attention. A key difference, though, is that while I use meditation to manage my body's reaction to the primary pain -- i.e., to reduce the tension and anxiety and subsequent pain -- this guy uses meditation to alter the body's own primary functions: heart-rate, cortisol levels, body temperature, etc. I'd love to learn more about how he does it. ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - The sun beams down on a warm Dutch spring morning, and the Iceman's students look wary as they watch him dump ...

On the psychological impact of the Atlas Shrugged movie

April 19, 2011  ·  Category: Atlasphere, Current Events, Individualism, Intellectual, Objectivism

Brian Wright offers some insightful reflections after seeing the Atlas Shrugged movie. These pargaraphs caught my attention as particularly noteworthy: Tonight I find myself clarifying several of the key ideas that Ayn Rand developed that were expressed in the movie. Here are the four key ideas I see in ASM: Innovation and the joy of creation The importance of industrial production Egoism and reason vs. altruism, faith, and force The distinction between the productive class and the political class Each of these points emerges from time to time as the theme of Atlas Shrugged comes forward: That theme is "What happens to society when the 'men ...