Binary Opposition

Western civilization is largely predicated on the concept of binary opposition or "pairs of opposites." A binary opposition is a pair or related concepts that are opposite in meaning. These dualities are fundamental structures through which we interpret our experience. Here are a few that you might have encountered or experienced personally: West/EastNorth/SouthMale/FemaleWhite/BlackWhite collar/Blue collar …

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Bias

"For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; …

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The Inclination of Expectation

March is the Month of Expectation by Emily Dickinson March is the Month of Expectation. The things we do not know - The Persons of prognostication Are coming now - We try to show becoming firmness - But pompous Joy Betrays us, as his first Betrothal Betrays a Boy. March is here, which means that …

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Demystifying the Issues

My in-laws forwarded me an interesting article from the May 2011 edition of WSJ Magazine that featured Marc Newson, the Australian-born industrial designer and artist who was recently included in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Newson's work can be found in airliners, cars, restaurants, shoes, bicycles and more and his designs, …

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The Truth in Motion

"The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer Mankind tends to orbit the truth as Halley's Comet does the earth. At times he is close, intimately …

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To Life, To Life, L’Chaim!

Speaking of dancing, life and inspiration, I would be remiss were I to fail to mention a fascinating scene from the musical "Fiddler on the Roof." Written in the late 1800s and first performed on Broadway in the 1960s, the musical stars Tevye, a poor milkman with five daughters and tells the tale of the …

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Empathy: A Cure for Self-righteous Rage?

Empathetic capacity is one of man's greatest gifts. Whatever its provenance, the ability to empathize is one of the central tools necessary for creative living. As a father, I am deeply concerned that we find ways to encourage the development of this capacity in our youth, for their sake and for the sake of the …

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The Benefit of the Doubt

So often in life we are forced to verify things heard, seen or received second or third-hand. Imagine this scenario. You heard a rumor, a story or a passing remark about something or someone you are responsible for and you find it necessary to investigate a little further. You learned from previously bungled experiences that …

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