Will Computers Ever be Conscious?

At first glance, imagining that one can answer this question seems highly hubristic. Who knows? I’m certainly interested in the notion of humanoid robots. Perhaps one can even ask, who isn’t? I enjoy the character of Data in Star Trek Next Generation, but mostly for the same reasons as the writers of the show – […]

Hijab: beyond the stereotype

“The hijab — the Muslim headscarf — is a simple item of clothing that has the power to represent complex and even contradictory ideas — from tradition and social conservatism to revolution and democracy (or the hope of democracy, e.g., via the Arab Spring). The symbolism of the hijab depends partly on in which country […]

Buddhists, Occultists and Secret Societies in Early Bolshevik Russia: an interview with Andrei Znamenski

Mongol commissars with Lenin sacred scroll.

Andrei Znamenski is the author of Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia, published by Quest Books. Shambhala, a mythical, heaven-type land in Tibetan Buddhism, was created during a period of conflict between Buddhists and Muslims in Asia, and appears to have been partly modeled on Islamic doctrine. As Znamenski himself […]

Soul outside: identity, the body, and advertising in the consumer age

“Japanese ad agency Absolute Territory PR has begun paying young women to wear advertising on their legs. The women must be at least 18-years-old, and they must be connected to at least 20 people on any social media site, since they are contractually required to post images of themselves, wearing their ad, online. Otherwise, the women […]

Louis Vuitton’s allegory of Christ: unpacking LV’s enigmatic ad campaign

Louis Vuitton’s new one-minute film tells us much about the world’s most desirable luggage company, and just as much about ourselves: our history, and our society and its hopes, its day dreams, and its anxieties. The film’s title — L’Invitation Au Voyage (“Invitation to the Voyage” — is taken from the poem of the same […]

Toward a Holistic Politics

Although a relatively obscure thinker in the English-speaking world, it is to the German theorist Oswald Spengler that we must look to find the influence on much of the political thought of the West. Huntington’s “clash of civilization” thesis is Spenglarian, as is Walter Laquer’s Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent and […]

Beautiful, Dirty, Politics

Republican Congresswomen are more “feminine” than their counterparts in the Democratic Party. But Republican Congressmen are “less masculine” than Democrat Congressmen. This is the slightly surprising conclusion of a recent University of California study. The study was conducted by Kerri Johnson — an assistant professor of communication studies and psychology at UCLA and the senior […]

Etheric body: Fashion and the image of God

A revolution was spreading across Europe during the 16th century. In what would become known as the Protestant Reformation the rebels were not just acting against the power of the Papcy, or trying to grab power and land for themselves. For the ordinary zealot, one of the bigger issues was the power of images, or […]