Friday, February 09, 2007

Disinterested passion

Whilst many of the Americans I have met have outside of U.S. appear to have a balanced viewpoint about what is happening in the world, the impression I get domestically is that there is a severe lack of critical thinking taking part in there that engages the general populace (no questioning of god, unpatriotic to not support a war, etc). Whether I agree with someone or not is besides the point, I want my co-citizens to challenge assumptions and decisions (especially those made by elected representatives). This is arguably the most patriotic thing they can do; this is something that has taken a back seat in the U.S.

Anyway, now that that stage is set, it was with some pleasure and subsequently hope that I found the following:
  • The movie "Why We Fight" - on the origins of the "military-industrial complex" quote
  • Fora.tv (videos of lectures)
From Fora.tv two lectures that quickly caught my attention were (and I recommend you watch them though they are long - particularly the Q&A parts):
  • Scott Ritter on Iran
  • Richard Dawkins talking about his latest book

In the former, although I don't agree with all his opinions I do respect his vociferous challenging and apparent passion and recognise that there are other viewpoints to situations. The latter, ...... well let me just say that I learned something about public speaking from him. :-)

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