This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality [EPUB]

This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality [EPUB]
This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 0571338631 | 0.45MB

When information is a weapon, everyone is at war.

We live in a world of influence operations run amok, a world of dark ads, psy-ops, hacks, bots, soft facts, ISIS, Putin, trolls, Trump. We've lost not only our sense of peace and democracy - but our sense of what those words even mean.

As Peter Pomerantsev seeks to make sense of the disinformation age, he meets Twitter revolutionaries and pop-up populists, 'behavioural change' salesmen, Jihadi fan-boys, Identitarians, truth cops, and much more. Forty years after his dissident parents were pursued by the KGB, he finds the Kremlin re-emerging as a great propaganda power. His research takes him back to Russia - but the answers he finds there are surprising.

Part reportage, part intellectual adventure, This is Not Propaganda is a Pynchon-like exploration of how we can reimagine our politics and ourselves in a time where truth has been turned topsy-turvy.

Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature [TTC Video]

Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature [TTC Video]
Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature [TTC Video] by Professor Daniel Breyer, PhD
Course No 4189 | MP4, AVC, 1370 kbps, 960x540 | AAC, 126 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 7.79GB

You don’t consider yourself evil, do you? Of course not! No one does. And yet, the world is full of violence and suffering. We hear the stories in the news. We see the images online. We know too well how bad things can be, but if we’re sure of anything, we’re sure that we’re not like those who do evil. But what makes us so sure? It’s an uncomfortable question, but how different are we, really? Is it possible that we actually share something in common with those who’ve done the worst humanity has to offer? After all, we’re all human. Aren’t we?

In the 24 lectures of Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature, Professor Daniel Breyer takes you on a fascinating philosophical journey into some of the deepest—and darkest—questions that have haunted humanity for millennia. In exploring the dark side of human nature, you won’t just explore what it means to be evil; you’ll explore humanity’s fragile underbelly by investigating such topics as our thirst for vengeance, our tendency toward anger, our inability to do what we know is right, and much more. These are difficult topics, to be sure, and at least for some people, it would be easier to look away, rather than investigate them. But the truth is that unless we honestly confront who we are in all its sordid glory, we’ll never fully understand ourselves. We’ll never fully appreciate who we really are—or who we might ultimately become.

A Cross-Cultural Approach

Thinkers from across the world and in many different eras have considered the dark side of human nature, and that’s why this course will adopt a cross-cultural approach, investigating perspectives from many different traditions—from the Hindu Bhagavad Gita and the Buddhist Way of the Bodhisattva to the Christian Bible and the scholarship of contemporary philosophers and psychologists. In this course, you won’t just find yourself seeking answers to some of life’s biggest questions—you’ll also discover entirely new ideas from traditions you’ve not yet encountered.

This multi-cultural approach will help you see humanity from many perspectives, providing a wider opportunity for you to find your own answers. With Professor Breyer’s expert guidance, you will engage with a wide range of great thinkers, including:

  • Confucian philosopher Mencius;
  • Doaist thinker Zhuangzi;
  • Stoic philosopher Seneca;
  • Christian theologian Augustine of Hippo;
  • Buddhist monk and scholar Shantideva (or Œāntideva);
  • Existentialist thinker Albert Camus;
  • English philosopher Miranda Fricker;
  • American psychologist Paul Bloom; and many more.

Fascinating Questions

This course is fueled by the power of questions, one of philosophy’s most potent tools. Some are questions we have all asked ourselves: Why are people violent? Is anyone just born evil? Why is there so much suffering in the world? We might ask these questions with a certain level of cynicism, or perhaps sadness, not even expecting a real answer, but philosophers have taken these fundamental questions seriously for thousands of years. Mining insights from many different philosophical traditions, Professor Breyer provides some fascinating responses to these and many other dark questions, while offering guidance on how to build flourishing and meaningful lives in the face of darkness.

As you’ll discover, confronting the dark side of human nature is sometimes messy. You won’t find every point of view completely satisfying, and sometimes you won’t even know which arguments to believe, but you will be constantly engaged in an ongoing conversation with an expert guide whose goal is to help you think for yourself and reach your own answers to difficult questions like these:

  • If someone does something evil, does that mean they’re an evil person?
  • What does it say about us if we do something awful in our dreams?
  • Is it rational to fear death?
  • Do we live in a just world, where victims are to blame for their own suffering?
  • Can anything good come from painful emotions like anger and grief?
  • Is there something wired into human nature that drives us to kill others?
  • Is anyone ever beyond redemption or forgiveness?
  • With so much suffering in the world, how can we create meaningful lives?

Exploring the Dark Side through Stories and Thought Experiments

Stories and thought experiments are powerful, and that’s why thinkers from many different traditions have used them to explore difficult questions. In Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature, you will encounter fascinating thought experiments and stories—some fictional, some drawn from the headlines—that concretize abstract ideas and help us find meaning in our own lives.

Among many others, you will explore:

  • Gyges’ Ring. Plato tells of Gyges, a man who found a ring that could make him invisible. With help from this newfound power, he seduced the king’s wife, killed the king, and took over the entire kingdom. If we had a mechanism for escaping punishment, would we honestly live a just life, or one that took us to the dark side?
  • Zen Parable of the Two Brothers. Two brothers were shopping when they noticed an aging woman who needed help. The older brother carried her and her bags to her car. The younger brother was upset the woman hadn’t said, “Thank you,” and he brought that up again and again later in the day. The older brother responded, “Little brother, I set that woman down hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?” Why do we have a craving for things to go a particular way and allow ourselves to be distraught when they don’t?
  • A Mother’s Grief. In a famous Buddhist story, a woman loses her baby and becomes overcome with grief, looking for medicine that could bring him back to life. The Buddha says he will help if she can find a pinch of mustard seed from a household untouched by the suffering of death. She finds the spice easily enough, but every household shares a story about a loved one lost. Is it possible that grief, one of our darkest emotions, is valuable to us, as we learn positive lessons about life and the need for community?
  • The Luck of the Two Partygoers. Two people attend a party, drink beyond the point of legal intoxication, get in their separate cars to drive home, lose control of their cars, and swerve onto the sidewalk. In one case, a man standing on that sidewalk is killed. In the other, the sidewalk was empty. Both partygoers broke the law by driving while intoxicated. Should we judge them the same, or differently? How can we take responsibility for our actions, but recognize the role that luck plays in our lives?

These memorable thought experiments and stories, along with many others, will help you wrestle with big ideas and dark questions by grounding them in everyday experience and making them vividly real.

If we really want to understand ourselves and the world around us, we must confront humanity’s dark side. In Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature, you’ll do just that, while being guided by thinkers from across the world, with whom you’ll engage in a great conversation, as you attempt to find your own answers to life’s biggest—and darkest—questions. What will you do to confront your own dark side? How will you choose to live in this troubled world?

Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature [TTC Video]

Norse Myths: Viking Legends of Heroes and Gods [EPUB]

Norse Myths: Viking Legends of Heroes and Gods [EPUB]
Norse Myths: Viking Legends of Heroes and Gods by Martin J Dougherty
2016 | EPUB | ISBN: 1782743324 | 19.43MB

The stories of Thor, Odin and Loki are familiar to most of us. Many people know that the Norse gods fought against giants and were ultimately betrayed by Loki the trickster. The end of the world and the death of the gods in a grim battle called Ragnarok has also found its way into popular culture. Ideas taken from Norse mythology are frequently found in modern fantasy and science fiction – such as elves, dwarfs and undead warriors rising from an unquiet grave, for example. Norse mythology is rich in adventure and ideas about creation, death and the afterlife. Norse Myths takes a wide-ranging approach, examining the creation stories of the Norse world, the monsters and the pantheons of the deities, including such figures as Heimdall, Freya and Baldr. It looks at the sagas and the Prose and Poetic Eddas, which tell of real and imagined people, featuring both heroic tales and humorous escapades.

The book also examines how Norse myths were interpreted in a Christianized Europe and how their motifs influenced medieval German writers and, in turn, were used in the modern world in very different ways, by the likes of composer Richard Wagner and in the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. Illustrated with 180 color and black & white artworks and illustrations, Norse Myths is an engaging and highly informative exploration of a rich mythology that still resounds today.

Apollo 13 [EPUB]

Apollo 13 [EPUB]
Apollo 13 by Jeffrey Kluger, James Lovell
2019 (2006) | EPUB | ISBN: 0618056653 | 17.83MB

In April 1970, during the glory days of the Apollo space program, NASA sent Navy Captain Jim Lovell and two other astronauts on America's fifth mission to the moon. Only fifty-five hours into the flight of Apollo 13, disaster struck: a mysterious explosion rocked the ship, and soon its oxygen and power began draining away. Written with all the color and drama of the best fiction, APOLLO 13 (previously published as Lost Moon) tells the full story of the moon shot that almost ended in catastrophe. Minutes after the explosion, the three astronauts are forced to abandon the main ship for the lunar module, a tiny craft designed to keep two men alive for just two days. As the hours tick away, the narrative shifts from the crippled spacecraft to Mission Control, from engineers searching desperately for a way to fix the ship to Lovell's wife and children praying for his safe return. The entire nation watches as one crisis after another is met and overcome. By the time the ship splashes down in the Pacific, we understand why the heroic effort to rescue Lovell and his crew is considered by many to be NASA's finest hour.

Now, thirty years after the launch of the mission, Jim Lovell and coauthor Jeffrey Kluger add a new preface and never-before-seen photographs to Apollo 13. In their preface, they offer an incisive look at America's waxing and waning love affair with space exploration during the past three decades, culminating only recently when the Apollo 13 spacecraft itself, long consigned to an aviation museum outside Paris, was at last returned to its rightful home in the United States. As inspiring today as it was thirty years ago, the story of Apollo 13 is a timeless tribute to the enduring American spirit and sparkling individual heroism.

Europe's Reformations, 1450-1650: Doctrine, Politics, and Community, 2nd Edition [EPUB]

Europe's Reformations, 1450-1650: Doctrine, Politics, and Community, 2nd Edition [EPUB]
Europe's Reformations, 1450-1650: Doctrine, Politics, and Community, 2nd Edition by James D Tracy
2006 | EPUB | ISBN: 0742537889 | 36.48MB
In this widely praised history, noted scholar James D. Tracy offers a comprehensive, lucid, and masterful exploration of early modern Europe's key turning point. Establishing a new standard for histories of the Reformation, Tracy explores the complex religious, political, and social processes that made change possible, even as he synthesizes new understandings of the profound continuities between medieval Catholic Europe and the multi-confessional sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This revised edition includes new material on Eastern Europe, on how ordinary people experienced religious change, and on the pluralistic societies that began to emerge. Reformation scholars have in recent decades dismantled brick by brick the idea that the Middle Ages came to an abrupt end in 1517. Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses fitted into an ongoing debate about how Christians might better understand the Gospel and live its teachings more faithfully.

Tracy shows how Reformation-era religious conflicts tilted the balance in church-state relations in favor of the latter, so that the secular power was able to dictate the doctrinal loyalty of its subjects. Religious reform, Catholic as well as Protestant, reinforced the bonds of community, while creating new divisions within towns, villages, neighborhoods, and families. In some areas these tensions were resolved by allowing citizens to profess loyalty both to their separate religious communities and to an overarching body-politic. This compromise, a product of the Reformations, though not willed by the reformers, was the historical foundation of modern, pluralistic society.

Richly illustrated and elegantly written, this book belongs in the library of all scholars, students, and general readers interested in the origins, events, and legacy of Europe's Reformation.

Matilda: Empress, Queen, Warrior [EPUB]

Matilda: Empress, Queen, Warrior [EPUB]
Matilda: Empress, Queen, Warrior by Catherine Hanley
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 0300227256 | 16.09MB

A life of Matilda—empress, skilled military leader, and one of the greatest figures of the English Middle Ages

Matilda was a daughter, wife, and mother. But she was also empress, heir to the English crown—the first woman ever to hold the position—and an able military general.

This new biography explores Matilda's achievements as military and political leader, and sets her life and career in full context. Catherine Hanley provides fresh insight into Matilda's campaign to claim the title of queen, her approach to allied kingdoms and rival rulers, and her role in the succession crisis. Hanley highlights how Matilda fought for the throne, and argues that although she never sat on it herself her reward was to see her son become king. Extraordinarily, her line has continued through every single monarch of England or Britain from that time to the present day.

Chasing the Sun: The New Science of Sunlight and How it Shapes Our Bodies and Minds [EPUB]

Chasing the Sun: The New Science of Sunlight and How it Shapes Our Bodies and Minds [EPUB]
Chasing the Sun: The New Science of Sunlight and How it Shapes Our Bodies and Minds by Linda Geddes
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 1781258333 | 0.9MB

Since the dawn of time, humans have worshipped the sun. And with good reason. Our biology is set up to work in partnership with the sun. From our sleep cycles to our immune systems and our mental health, access to sunlight is crucial for living a happy and fulfilling life. New research suggests that our sun exposure over a lifetime - even before we were born - may shape our risk of developing a range of different illnesses, from depression to diabetes.

Bursting with cutting-edge science and eye-opening advice, Chasing the Sun explores the extraordinary significance of sunlight. - from ancient solstice celebrations to modern sleep labs, and from the unexpected health benefits of sun exposure to what the Amish know about sleep that the rest of us don't.

As more of us move into light-polluted cities, spending our days in dim offices and our evenings watching brightly lit screens, we are in danger of losing something vital: our connection to the star that gave us life. It's a loss that could have far-reaching consequences that we're only just beginning to grasp.

The Last Unknowns: Deep, Elegant, Profound Unanswered Questions About the Universe, the Mind, the Future of Civilization, and the Meaning of Life [EPUB]

The Last Unknowns: Deep, Elegant, Profound Unanswered Questions About the Universe, the Mind, the Future of Civilization, and the Meaning of Life [EPUB]
The Last Unknowns: Deep, Elegant, Profound Unanswered Questions About the Universe, the Mind, the Future of Civilization, and the Meaning of Life edited by John Brockman
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 0062897942 | 1.4MB

This is a little book of profound questions—unknowns that address the secrets of our world, our civilization, the meaning of life. Here are the deepest riddles that have fascinated, obsessed, and haunted the greatest thinkers of our time, including Nobel laureates, cosmologists, philosophers, economists, prize-winning novelists, religious scholars, and more than 250 leading scientists, artists, and theorists. In The Last Unknowns, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, asks “a mind-blowing gathering of innovative thinkers” (Booklist): “What is ‘The Last Question,’ your last question, the question for which you will be remembered?”

Foreword by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Why is the world so beautiful? • Is the actual all that is possible? • Why are there no trees in the ocean? • Will humanity end up with one culture? • Why don’t naked mole rats age or get cancer? • Are humans capable of building a moral economy? • Is love really all you need? • If we discover another intelligent civilization, what should we ask them? • Is immortality desirable? • How diverse is life in the universe?

Featuring the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel JARED DIAMOND • Nobel Prize–winning economist RICHARD H. THALER • Harvard psychologist STEVEN PINKER • religion scholar ELAINE PAGELS • author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics CARLO ROVELLI • Booker Prize–winning novelist IAN McEWAN • neuroscientist SAM HARRIS • philosopher DANIEL C. DENNETT • MIT theorist SHERRY TURKLE • decoder of the human genome J. CRAIG VENTER • Nobel Prize–winning physicist FRANK WILCZEK • MIT cosmologist MAX TEGMARK • Whole Earth Catalog founder STEWART BRAND • economist TYLER COWEN • psychologist JUDITH RICH HARRIS • Princeton physicist FREEMAN DYSON • musician BRIAN ENO • environmental scientist JENNIFER JACQUET • Duke economist DAN ARIELY

Out of Italy: Two Centuries of World Domination and Demise [EPUB]

Out of Italy: Two Centuries of World Domination and Demise [EPUB]
Out of Italy: Two Centuries of World Domination and Demise by Fernand Braudel, translated by Siân Reynolds
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 1609455347 | 1.2MB

In the fifteenth century, even before the city states of the Apennine Peninsula began to coalesce into what would become, several centuries later, a nation, “Italy” exerted enormous influence over all of Europe and throughout the Mediterranean. Its cultural, economic, and political dominance is utterly astonishing and unique in world history.

Viewing the Italy―the many Italies―of that time through the lens of today allows us to gather a fragmented, multi-faceted and seemingly contradictory history into a single unifying narrative that speaks to our current reality as much as it does to a specific historical period. This is what the acclaimed French historian, Fernand Braudel, achieves here. He brings to life the two extraordinary centuries that span the Renaissance, Mannerism, and the Baroque and analyzes the complex interaction between art, science, politics and commerce during Italy’s extraordinary cultural flowering.