Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course

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Democracy’s Pillar of Support – Greg and Stephanie

“Democracy means a system of government in which all the people of a country can vote to elect their representatives. Media came into existence in 1780 with the introduction of a newspaper namely The Bengal Gazette and since then it has matured leaps and bounds. It has been playing a very important role in shaping human minds.” 

Media plays a crucial role in shaping a healthy democracy. “Media is the backbone of every democracy.” Media makes us aware of various social, political and economical activities happening around the world. It’s like a mirror, which shows us the bare truth and harsh realities of life.  It has undoubtedly evolved and become more active over the years through magazines, television, and even some cartoons! It is the media only who reminds politicians about their crooked promises at the time of elections. News channels produce excessive coverage during elections to help people in electing the right person to the power. This reminder compels politicians to keep their promises so that they can remain in power.

The media also exposes loopholes in the democratic system, which ultimately helps government in filling the vacuums of those loopholes and making a system more accountable, responsive and citizen-friendly. A democracy without media is like a vehicle without wheels.

In the age of technology, we are bombarded with mass amounts of information. Every single information is accessible with just a click of a mouse away. The perfect blend of technology and human resources has not left a single stone un-turned in corruption within politics and society.

The impact of media is really noteworthy. Excessive coverage or hype of sensitive news has led to riots at times. The illiterates are more prone to provocations than the literates. Constant repetition of the news, especially sensational news, leads to a lack of interest. For instance, in the Dhananjoy Chatterjee case, the overloaded hype led to death of quite a few children who imitated the hanging procedure which was repeatedly shown in most of the T.V. news channels. There is an abundance of such negative impacts. Media should take utmost care in airing or publishing such sensational news.

Commercialization has created a stiff competition in media. In order to outdo each other print, media has often gone one step further in publishing articles and covering stories, for example relationships.  Media experts say this is one of the means of attracting readers who are glued to T.V. news channels, and has been deemed as “cheap journalism”.

No one is perfect in this world, and the media is no exception. Not trying to bash the media, but there is still a ton of room for improvement. Media is like a watchdog in a democracy that keeps the government active. From being just an informer it has become a critical part of our daily lives. With the passage of time media has become a more matured and a more responsible entity. The present media revolution has helped people in making an informed decisions and this has led to beginning of a new era in a democracy.

 

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Saving Art from Itself

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Greetings and Happy New Year, Philosophers!

I wanted to share a few links and the Conan joke above as a follow-up to our conversation today about the value, purpose and nature of art and beauty.

I saw this article recently in Slate Magazine, “Why the Art World is So Loathsome,” and I think it might provide a jumping off point for those of you wishing to take your pursuits during this week’s study of Aesthetics toward the more modern. I thought this laundry list of complaints about modern art might offer an opportunity to recalibrate and state what we might deem as art’s redeeming purpose, or necessity.

Freud said the goals of the artist are fame, money, and beautiful lovers. Based on my artist acquaintances, I would say this holds true today. What have changed, however, are the goals of the art itself. Do any exist?

How did the art world become such a vapid hell-hole of investment-crazed pretentiousness? How did it become, as Camille Paglia has recently described it, a place where “too many artists have lost touch with the general audience and have retreated to an airless echo chamber”?

The Slate piece links to another article that posits a solution to the dire situation that will no doubt entice at least one of our face to face participants:

For the arts to revive in the U.S., young artists must be rescued from their sanitized middle-class backgrounds. We need a revalorization of the trades that would allow students to enter those fields without social prejudice (which often emanates from parents eager for the false cachet of an Ivy League sticker on the car). Among my students at art schools, for example, have been virtuoso woodworkers who were already earning income as craft furniture-makers. Artists should learn to see themselves as entrepreneurs.

 
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