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Opinion

Words Matter

The Value of Education

By: Stephen Rifkin - 11/16/2014
The Value of EducationPeople who make money are successful. They are sometimes well educated, and sometimes not, but they are smart. They are smart enough to be successful in the way most of us value success.

The Limits of Our Education System

Functioning in Flatland

By: David Zaig - 11/07/2014
Functioning in FlatlandWe had to teach ourselves and share what we have learned with the rest of the class. Apia, the beautiful brown girl I mentioned earlier, is back in town.

Can One Idiot Learn from Another

What You Don't Know About Quantum Mechanics Does Help You

By: David Zaig - 09/21/2014
What You Don't Know About Quantum Mechanics Does Help YouKnowledge doesn’t limit us or take away the beauty and mystery of the world—it actually enhances our view of the world and should make us stronger and more tolerant.

Boston Mayah Walsh on the Arts

Reply to Larry Stark

By: Joyce Linehan - 09/16/2014
Reply to Larry StarkVeteran Boston theatre critic Larry Stark wrote an open letter to Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. He stated his disappointment that campaign promises to the arts community were soon forgotten. We posted his original letter which is linked in this reply from the Mayor's spokesperson longtime arts advocate Joyce Linehan.

Unexamined Life Isn't Worth Living

But Not By IQ Tests

By: Stephen Rifkin - 09/09/2014
But Not By IQ TestsSchools used to assign children to classes based on their IQ test scores. Then schools decided it was better for children to be in heterogeneous, or mixed IQ, classes. They would get a better feel for life because many people are not so fast. Now experts may be reconsidering. It is one of the truisms of fashion, and there are intellectual fashions, too, that they change. Here Rifkin again rebuts Zaig.

Are Humans Becoming Stupider

IQ Scores Have Declined 14 Points Since the 19th Century

By: David Zaig - 09/09/2014
IQ Scores Have Declined 14 Points Since the 19th CenturyThe reason why humans are getting stupider is because we think we are immutable. In the grand scheme of things, we are as primitive as an amoeba trying to build a brain. Some think our brain has reached its peak. Evolution is either too slow or becoming ineffective. Now we are on our own.

Outside The Machine

Waxing Philosophical

By: Stephen Rifkin - 09/03/2014
Waxing PhilosophicalThere has been a lively response to the provocative series of think pieces by the Berkshire artist David Zaig. Here the Berkshire poet Stephen Rifkin debates Zaig's contentions. They often sit at the same table during weekly Monday night Chinese dinners in North Adams. Rifkin recently gave a poetry reading at the Rudd Art Museum where Zaig is currently exhibiting his work.

The Freud Machine

Taking Responsibility for Opinions We Promulgate

By: David Zaig - 09/02/2014
Taking Responsibility for Opinions We PromulgateAs an artist, I learned to understand that in this world of ours we humans must take responsibility for the opinions we promulgate: that means, ideally, we ought to search for the data to support what we say. We take notions such as subjectivity, creativity, feelings, or likes and dislikes for granted. Let’s not forget that, first, these notions are words--words we inherited and use automatically, words that can be skewed when translated into action, and as such misrepresent and distort our perception of the world.

Vaccination Followup

Poor Former Dr. Wakefield

By: Jimmy Midnight - 08/31/2014
Poor Former Dr. WakefieldIn this sidebar to the Vaccination Divide we discuss the contoversies surrounding the research of Dr. Andrew Wakefield who uncovered links between autism and a particular type of gut inflammation. Eventually his findings were discredieted and his liscense to practice medicine was revoked. But he is correct that aluminum toxicity is capable of doing real damage.

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