Friday, October 16, 2009

Lesser- Known Vocabulary to shed some light on my last post :)

Atheism: a naturalistic view of reality; a belief that no God or gods exist

De-constructionism: belief that the source of a literary discipline must be dismantled; an author's point of view is only as valid as the reader may determine; guts classical literature and law' the Constitution becomes what the reader or the judge says- not its authors

Egalitarianism: belief that total equality must exist for everyone in every area of life: political, social, cultural, economic; all opinions, talents and wealth must become equal; its fallacies are addressed in Federalist Paper #10

Empiricism: All knowledge is based on sense experience alone; nothing can be true unless it can be tested (like the Scientific Method)

Existentialism: An introspective humanism; an attempt to create a personal identity from a meaningless universe based on the subjective feelings of the individual -"live for the moment," My life, my way," the 1960's mindset

Hedonism: Doctrine that elevates pleasure as the sole end and a good life; moral duty is fulfilled in the gratification of pleasure" Root word from the French: "world- weary"

Humanism: Ascribes to the individual the highest value and considers him to be the ultimate source of value apart from the supernatural- "man is the measure of all things" or the Serpent in the garden: "You shall be as gods."

Materialism: Belief that nothing exists other than matter; everything that exists is material and natural and is only the result of the product of time + chance + matter (like evolution/ Darwinism)

Modernism: Basis found within the Enlightenment thought (expressed through the Renaissance) which centered on humanity as the ultimate source of authority' emphasis on human autonomy "modernity"

Multiculturalism: Belief that each culture or ethnic group creates its own reality, its own universe; no belief, idea, or culture is superior or inferior another (i.e. Gorbachev= Reagan; USA = China) No individual choice; attempts to unite by division; polar opposite of E Pluribus Unum ("out of many, one")

Naturalism: There is no supernatural; all can be explained by the physical; there are no consequences to actions; man is a product of his genetics and environment, therefore, he is a victim of society' life has no meaning- man is no better than plants or animals

Nihilism: Latin- "nihil" or "nothing." Theory which ascribes the universe as meaningless and without any purpose. Nothingness.

Pantheism: Belief that God is identical with the universe; God and nature are synonymous and impersonal

Relativism: Theory that truth is only whatever a particular individual or society decides that is is; truths change with circumstances; no objective standards of right or wrong; no universal truth, no absolute code of conduct. (values clarification or situational ethics)

Utilitarianism: Radical individualism; autonomy unguided by virtue; personal happiness and success are achieved and justified by whatever means is necessary to obtain them- the use ("utility") of people and/ or circumstances is justified; the goal is paramount to whatever means may be needed to reach it - "the end justifies the means"- Machiavelli

Because People Keep Asking Me: What Postmodernism is.

Postmodernism- a word that people my age aren't familiar with, and should be. Postmodernism is a worldview.

First of all- what is a worldview anyway? A worldview consists of ten different areas and how we answer the questions they raise:

THEOLOGY: Is there a God, and what is God like?
PHILOSOPHY: What is real, and what can we know?
BIOLOGY: What is the origin of life?
PSYCHOLOGY: What is human nature?
ETHICS: What is the foundation for morals?
SOCIOLOGY: What is the optimum social structure?
LAW: What is the basis for law?
ECONOMICS: What produces a sound economy?
POLITICS: What is the best form of government?
HISTORY: How should we interpret human events?

Here is the Postmodern way of answering these questions, according to Nietzsche, Lyotard, Derrida, Foucault, and Rorty (all famous Postmodernists):

Theology: Atheism/ Pluralism

Philosophy: Anti- realism/ Anti- foundationalism

Biology: Chance Evolution

Psychology: Socially constructed self

Ethics: Culturally constructed values, relativism

Sociology: Multiculturalism - all societies have equally valid stories

Law: Critical Legal Studies

Economics: Socialism, Interventionism

Politics: Political Correctness - words are tools for power/ World Government

History: Revisionism

**and finally the ideal cultural structure: Dadaism in art, Deconstructionism (language is socially constructed) for Literature, and Nihilism for movies & music

So, essentially, Postmodernism says that there is no truth, there is no right or wrong; to reject all other philosophies and is characterized by nihilism and radical subjectivity. Everything is personal- nothing is true, there is no such thing as a lie because there is no truth.

***Nihilism: Latin: "nihil" meaning " nothing" -theory which ascribes the universe as meaningless and without purpose

****Dadaism: the style and techniques of a group of artists, writers, etc., of the early 20th century who exploited accidental and incongruous effects in their work and who programmatically challenged established canons of art, thought, morality, etc.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Hebrew is getting downright confusing.

There are sentences without verbs, and they don't have a "real" present tense. Conjugation isn't too bad, but there are these weird exceptions to things that are going to drive me crazy!

Also, speaking of driving me crazy- the Tabasco company has this new commercial out where the pepperonis on a single slice of slimy pizza have human heads on them, painted to match the pepperonis, that sing. Oh. My. Gosh. They make me want to puke! And never again eat Tabasco sauce! Goodness! I normally just tune out commercials, but this one was so disturbing I actually had a visceral reaction to it. Ewwwwww.

Here is the youtube link:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Breakfast

The breakfast went well! Barry Goldwater's son held a door for me, I met a court Justice from Alabama and a prominent lawyer from New York, and I had an awesome breakfast too. It was worth my time getting up so early!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Tomorrow I have to be up extra early... because I'm serving breakfast to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor!

I was given this opportunity through one of my scholarship programs... and I am so very, very greatfull for this once- in- a- lifetime event! I will tell you all about it after it happens. Yay! :)

(this, children, is why you try your best in school... it really does pay off!)