“But where there is danger, there grows also what saves.” Friedrich Hölderlin Attention is our most limited resource. William James proposed…
“A philosopher who is not taking part in discussions is like a boxer who never goes into the ring.” Ludwig Wittgenstein
Watching a newborn adapt to his surroundings, it’s clear from the moment we emerge that communication is essential to our survival. We make noise to ensure we get what we need to flourish: mother’s milk, attention, and warmth in our early days; variations of these as we proceed through our lives.
As our skill in communicating develops – as we learn to manipulate sounds, symbols, gestures, and images – so too does our ability to convey to others what we want, what we think, what we feel. Mastery of these methods of communication equates to power: the power to inform and influence, as well as to manipulate and deceive.
What to do with these hard-earned skills? How best to deploy the power we have acquired? Many opt simply to be receivers and repeaters of messages, despite the suspicion that the information may be spurious. Behold the mediated human being.
But there is another way: swap exposure for expression; switch viewing for doing. Take Wittgenstein’s advice: get off your seat and go into the ring.
—Zan Boag, Editor, New Philosopher
News from nowhere
Global language network
Attentional commons ~ Oliver Burkeman
Language games ~ Existential Comics
Fake news ~ Tom Chatfield
Laughing in Spanish ~ Mariana Alessandri
Massaging minds ~ Nigel Warburton
Mother tongue ~ Sara Nović
Virtue signalling ~ Damon Young
An antidote to prejudice ~ Maggie Jackson
History of communication
Information overload ~ Nicholas Carr
Virtual communication ~ Gillian Terzis
The value of silence ~ Marina Benjamin
The suffering of others ~ André Dao
Why do humans laugh? ~ Sophie Scott
The trouble with irony ~ Patrick Stokes
Ethical dilemmas ~ Matthew Beard
The thieves’ code ~ Steven Poole
13 questions: Nely Galán
And much more.