Columnists | The Socjournal – Part 3

Epistemology = How do we know the world that we know? Ontology = What is the nature of the world that we know? In this short article Dr. Tim argues not only that the world is a materialist presence that exists independent of our observation (his ontological statement), but that this materialist presence can be known basically through a process of empirical trial and error. The empirical trial and error is necessary because the human is fallible, given to delusion, and open to manipulation and contrivance. That much is true, we are too easy to fool it seems. But is that in our nature, or is it a function of our flawed socialization process? That’s the rub. Personally, I think socialization but then hey, this a Sociology journal and I’m a sociologist, so maybe I’m biased (or maybe, it is the Truth).

Timothy McGettigan | Jan 24, 2012 | Comments 9

V is for victory and that’s what this was. Thousands of websites, millions of people, billions of voices all around the world spoke out loud and clear against a piece of American legislation that would wipe out the Internet as we know it. Good for the rich Hollywood producers, bad for all the millions of democratic content generators that have sprung up all around the world. After a decade of declining progressive politics, the will of the people is getting a much needed jolt to the fibrillating fibers. And the moment has come none too soon if you ask me.

Dr. Michael Sosteric | Jan 23, 2012 | Comments 0

North Korea is a secret state that is accepted by the general World society, perhaps because of the fear that they have nuclear weapons — or perhaps North Korea is accepted in the world as it is, because we each accept a living North Korea within ourselves – as secret states of dictatorship, fear and self-delusion, that we keep hidden from everyone, including ourselves.

Anna Brix Thomsen | Dec 13, 2011 | Comments 0

Science is as science does, but science isn’t infallible. In fact, as global information democracy trundles on we can start to see just how fallible the scientist really is. Neither our methods, nor our ontology, nor our epistemology provide us with a privileged preview of the truth. The capital “T” truth is, we are subject to political, economic, sexual, even class based bias just like everybody else. The only difference between us and the priests discredited by the scientific revolution? We admit our bias…. Sometimes….

Dr. Michael Sosteric | Dec 09, 2011 | Comments 1

Thinking about going to university? What a great idea that is! Post-secondary education opens doors and increase income. But hold it. Not sure if you’re smart enough? Not sure if you’ve got the IQ, or the talent, or the ability? Idea of massive student loans weighing your emotional systems down? Take a deep breath and relax. Ignore the nonsense about IQ and intelligence and focus on the master within! You have it within you to succeed.

Dr. Michael Sosteric | Nov 22, 2011 | Comments 0

Here are two books that bring the notion of drug and alcohol rehab and treatment into personal control and away from expensive treatment centers. Both books eschew moralistic therapies that focus on character weakness or genetics and instead focus on the actual brain mechanisms involves in alcohol and drug rehab. It is not quite sociology, since environmental precursors (like abusive childhood environments) are not considered, but it a fascinating approach to rehab nonetheless.

Dr. Michael Sosteric | Nov 19, 2011 | Comments 9

Greetings today children, and welcome to my neighborhood. Our word of the day today is “hypocrite.” Can you say that? “Hypocrite? I thought you could, and so can Dr. Mcgettigan. Though he is saying it in a far nicer way, he is saying it just the same. We are a nation of contradictions, with a morality based on profit and domination, and a sensibility that dictates the end justifies the means. Dose up with those performance enhancing drugs sir ’cause not even your health and well-being takes precedence over the need to dominate another living being.

Timothy McGettigan | Nov 11, 2011 | Comments 0

The world in 60 seconds? A sociologist looks at daily life differently. Walking through a market with melon in hand, we see interrelationships, economic realities, injustices, and a world that “could be” or “might be” if we stopped buying into the “that’s just the way it is” mentality of “normal” life. Revolutionary? No. In a way it is deeply ironic. Engineers, chemists, even physicists work hard to improve the things that matter to them and nobody questions that. Is it so strange then that sociologists might aspire to ask questions, point out contradictions, and contribute towards a better future? It’s only strange, I feel, that more people don’t listen.

Anna Brix Thomsen | Oct 27, 2011 | Comments 0

A fascinating excurses on the gendered, and often misogynist, nature of our popular culture and the fantasy life we all buy into. Like zombies we walk this earth playing out our programmed gender roles. Wake up, wake up wherever you are. There is no benefit in “the game.’ It leads only to misery, oppression, and a slow and depressing descent into the prozac haze of our modern world.

Anna Brix Thomsen | Oct 23, 2011 | Comments 0

War!? What is it good for? Taking stuff from others. Say it again. Oh, ah. Well, enough with the homage to Frankie who was in Hollywood in the 80s. War is another one of those ideological hot buttons, like greed, and competition, and our “inner nature” (see other articles in this series), there’s all sorts of excuses and justifications. But in the end justifications for war, just like justifications for competition, or greed, or just that, justifications. They are not based on any kind of valid social or natural research, and they often just ape (no pun intended) the special interests who benefit from war, etc. What side of the fence are you on? Better be the right one ’cause Billy’s got a gun.

William Hathaway | Sep 29, 2011 | Comments 4