Editor’s Note: In this personal blog, the artist Agnieszka Pilat reflects on men, machines, and the arrival of spring. My zeal for the liberating power of technology has become the defining element of my paintings in the last three years. My fascination with machines is an unyielding and ceaseless effort to bring attention to American industry; but, now that spring has arrived, I’m taking a personal, more romantic look at my relationship with technology. Great industrial machines. . . There’s something intensely erotic in the scenes of lubricated pistons and greased gears repeating the same actions over and over again. At a subconscious level, the human brain draws parallels between the mechanic repetition and masculine masturbation, or powerful sexual fantasies. As a female artist, I have to ask myself if my obsession with the Machine, my willingness to surrender to its ceaseless energy and intense power, is at all related to my personal values and my worship of men. Is it possible that my zeal for the Machine is an expression of my female desire to yield control to the masculine in my desire for order and security? Having failed in my personal romantic relationships, perhaps I have subconsciously turned to the Machine for love? “At the first kiss I felt something melt inside me that hurt in an exquisite way. All my longings, all my dreams and sweet anguish, all the secrets that slept deep within me came awake, everything...
Editor’s Note: Frankensteel is Book One of the the Just Hunter Series by Robin Craig. It is the near future, and in the conflict between advancing high technology and those who want to stop it, the world's first self aware, thinking robot violently escapes the men who seek to destroy it. This novella follows the intertwining lives of the robot, Steel, and the people trying to find, save or destroy him; and explores the philosophical implications of artificial intelligence and what it means to be human. Frankensteel is part of The Writers Series, our highly popular feature that spotlights novelists who have been influenced by Ayn Rand. He clenched the piece of paper in his fist. Such a small, innocuous thing, a piece of paper, to be crumpled and discarded without a thought. But not this one. He remembered those men so many years ago, men who could not see the vision so clear before his eyes, men afraid to move forward: as if life lay in the safety of stillness not in flight over unlimited horizons. But he understood. It was their money, well maybe not theirs but entrusted to their care, and like all men they could only follow their own vision not that of someone else. But if they could refuse him, if they could put obstacles in his path, still they could not stop him and he would find his own way without them. And so he had, and it had brought him to where he now sat, at a burnished desk high in the sky...
Is Operation Varsity Blues really about wealth and privilege? Boston U. S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, who broke the case charging parents and university officials with cheating on college admissions applications, thinks so. He called the complicit parents, “a catalog of wealth and privilege.” It’s true, the parents all shelled out big bucks--Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, to name two,  allegedly paid $500,000 to get their daughters into USC. Such flaunting of wealth has upset a lot of people. According to this blogger in the Intelligencer, As the first person in my family to attend college, I was appalled to see wealthy parents cheat the system to the detriment of children who worked hard but lacked their wealth. We should also use these prosecutions to launch a broader debate about a system that compares wealthy students who receive private tutors and submit applications prepared by professionals with students who can barely afford the application fees. But focusing on the wealth takes the emphasis off the real issue--fraud. Apparently, even the accused are baffled. Many are not sure that they did anything wrong. According to prison consultant Justin...
Rubbing noses, sniffing hair, pawing women…. what’s next for Joe Biden, licking faces?   That’s what Speaker Nancy Pelosi might have answered Monday when asked whether two allegations against the former Vice President of inappropriate touching should chill his presidential bid.  Nope! Pelosi instead brushed concerns away: “I don’t think that this disqualifies him from being president. Not at all.” To many, this smacks of hypocrisy, given how gleefully some Democrats have milked the “MeToo" movement for political advantage.   To many, this smacks of hypocrisy, given how gleefully some Democrats have milked the "MeToo" movement for political advantage. But remember, that for Pelosi walls are “immoral”(at least when it comes to border security) -- so maybe boundaries are mere expediencies, whether they exist to protect women (and men) from unwanted touching, or to protect countries from illegal crossings. The first allegation came from Lucy Flores, who said Biden came up behind her, took a deep whiff of her hair, then planted a kiss on the back of her head, prior to their going on stage at a campaign rally back in 2014 during her race for for lieutenant...
HERE’S WHY INDOCTRINATING CHILDREN MAKES PERFECT SENSE TO POSTMODERNISTS. Postmodernism is a sprawling movement centered on the conviction that the modern world’s most distinctive achievements—among them the rise of science, technology, individualism, universal rights, democratic-republicanism, and liberal capitalism—should be treated with suspicion or outright contempt. Most of us encountered old-fashioned indoctrinators in our education. Indoctrinators think this way: There is the One Truth. I am in possession of it. So important is it that students must believe it. Alternative ideas are a waste of time—and a temptation to unformed minds—and should be shunned. So as a teacher I will use my authority and my power to instill only the correct ideas. Our modern ideal of liberal education fought a long battle against that view. Truth matters, yes, but it is often complex, and exposure to contending theories and their leading advocates is the best way for students to sort it out. Students also need to develop their own strength of mind to be able, independently and with confidence, to handle the new, complex issues they will encounter all their lives. John Stuart Mill’s now-classic statement of the liberal-education ideal argued passionately that students must learn not only the best answers but also their contenders, and that a trained mind will know not only the reasons for the best answer but also the strongest criticisms of it. And not only that, they will know the...

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