Hiram Crespo's Articles (25)

Darwin and the Planet of the Apes

The following article was written in celebration of Darwin Day.

I recently had the pleasure of listening to the translation of the original, French-language book in the Planet of the Apes series in audio-book format. I’ve always considered PotA folklore to be among the most underrated, most enjoyable in all of science fiction, but it also raises many interesting cultural and…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on February 12, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

A Review of Sophie’s World

Sophie’s World is a history of philosophy written in the format of a mystery novel by Jostein Gaarder. It had been recommended to me many years ago.

The novel concerns a little girl, Sophia, who gets a correspondence course in philosophy from a mysterious character … further details into the plot would require spilling the beans, which I won’t do, except to point out that this is also a…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on May 26, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

Concord: a Book on Friendship

The following is a review of the Book of Concord, which is just one of the books within the Humanist Bible by AC Grayling. The Humanist Bible is a secular, philosophical alternative to the Abrahamic one which is written in the same editorial style and contains numerous wisdom traditions, such as one on leadership (Lawgiver) and this one, on friendship.…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on May 19, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

Tending the Epicurean Garden

My book Tending the Epicurean Garden is available from amazon and can also be purchased directly from Humanist Press which, by the way, also made available WH Mallock’s Lucretius on Life and Death available as a free companion to it. I'm thrilled that to be able to take…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on May 14, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

A Few Days in Athens, Friends of Epicurus Edition

A Few Days in Athens: The Friends of Epicurus Edition is now available in paperback from Amazon. The FoE Edition includes the introductory review written for societyofepicurus.com as well as a study guide at the end of the novel.

The Spanish translation was recently also made available in paperback from…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on May 7, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

A Few Days in Athens, Friends of Epicurus Edition

A Few Days in Athens: The Friends of Epicurus Edition is now available in paperback from Amazon. The FoE Edition includes the introductory review written for societyofepicurus.com as well as a study guide at the end of the novel.

The Spanish translation was recently also made available in paperback from…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on May 7, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

On Natural Community

In Epicurean discourse we often get into discussions of minimalism from the perspective of natural and necessary desires: minimalism not for the sake of frugality and simplicity, but for the sake of having a deep conviction of what is and what isn’t necessary.

The natural measure of wealth is that which corresponds to our natural and necessary desires.

Thus, in our discussions of autarchy we talk about the …

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Added by Hiram Crespo on May 5, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

Oinoanda: “What the Truth Was Before it Turned into Ruins”

Even if you carve the truth on a gigantic rock mass, in the end, there will be no one to understand it. It will eventually merge into the soil and keep waiting to be understood. As human beings occupy themselves with empty beliefs instead of searching for the truth, we should take it our destiny to ask curious and wailing questions wondering “what the truth was before it turned into ruins”

– Quote from the documentary “Gigantic…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on April 30, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

6th Taoist Contemplation: Lao-Tse as Life Coach

Efficient people do one thing at a time. They work on one project, bring it to completion, then move on to the next task. In On Why Materialism Matters, I made the case that in nature we observe what I call the paradigm of emergence. Complex things emerge from simpler things.

Notice the sense of emergence that is presupposed in materialism.  We believe that, first, there are atoms and…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on April 28, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Epicurean revival

As the annals of history have it, in the sixth century Emperor Justinian had all the schools of philosophy that competed with Christianity finally closed. This was the last we heard of the Epicurean School, whose tradition had remained culturally vibrant for seven centuries. Epicurus had been among the first to propose the atom—2,300 years ago—the social contract as a foundation for the rule of law, and the possibility of an empirical process of pursuit of happiness: a science of happiness.…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on April 23, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

9th Contemplation of Tao: Control of Desires

Nothing is enough to someone for whom what is enough is little. The thankless nature of the soul makes the creature endlessly greedy for variations in its lifestyleVatican Sayings 68-69

Goods that are difficult to acquire make one cause damage. – Tao Te Ching 12

Lao-Tse explains that the high use the low as their foundation and basis. A mountain is not a mountain, except…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on April 21, 2015 at 10:08pm — 2 Comments

On the Radicalization of Martin Luther King

"... an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. Questions must be raised ... when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question who owns the oil, you begin to ask the question who owns the iron ore, you begin to ask the question why we have to pay water bills in a world that is 2/3 water. These are words that must be said." - MLK

Added by Hiram Crespo on January 25, 2013 at 1:08pm — No Comments

2012: The Awakening of the Sleeping Monster of Global People-Power

Thousands descended on Stonehenge to celebrate the 2012 winter solstice and busloads of New Age pilgrims from all over the world made their way to the Mayan ruins of Guatemala and Southern Mexico in celebration of what many considered the end of the world, but for others the world was coming to a start. Latin American celebrities and common folk went to Guatemala and participated in public cleansing rituals under the guidance of Mayan shamans.

In recent years, the Mayan script has…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on December 22, 2012 at 3:33pm — No Comments

Walmart: Corporate Tyranny with a Smiley Face

This Black Friday, a boycott was called against that All-American sweatshop Walmart, fueled by a decades-long litany of complaints by workers unable to earn a living wage, even while working full-time.  

Like many other giant corporations that seek to increase profits by relying on outsourcing production to China, Walmart also employs in its stores a large amount of part-time workers and as few full-time workers as it can get away with.

Concern over Walmart’s detrimental…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on November 26, 2012 at 5:30am — No Comments

The Sands of the Sahara in the 2012 Frankenstorm

Did you know that hurricanes and storms in the New World take their baby steps as sandstorms in North Africa?

Sandy is indeed a sandy phenomenon, as are all the storms that visit us during hurricane season every year. Hurricanes originate as storms or tropical depressions just off the west coast of Africa in the Atlantic. They originally carry winds from North Africa with tons upon tons of sand from the Sahara, which are sometimes visible from the islands of the Caribbean as storms…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on November 2, 2012 at 1:00am — No Comments

Caravan of Peace: Victims of Mexico's Drug War Speak Up

Last week at Northeastern Illinois University we were visited by the Caravan for Peace, a collective of thousands of Mexican mothers, siblings, fathers and other family members who accidentally became activists after having lost loved ones in the drug war.

Their presence on campus helped to humanize and personalize the difficult problems related to drug and arms traffic between the two countries.  The illicit nature of these two markets makes it difficult to accurately track how…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on September 18, 2012 at 5:13pm — 1 Comment

Built-in Obsolescence, or How Consumerism Beat Genius

Built-in Obsolescence, or How Consumerism Beat Genius

Candles are magical, but light bulbs have a magic that candles don’t have.  One never sees a cartoon with a candle symbolizing a person having a brilliant idea.  Light bulbs represent human genius.

But recently, as I watched the documentary Planned Obsolescence, aka The Lightbulb Conspiracy, I learned about…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on August 18, 2012 at 1:33pm — 1 Comment

The Boycott: A Brief History of the Non Violent Resistance Movement

The Boycott: A Brief History of the Non Violent Resistance Movement

During the 1940′s, India was being exploited by its colonial  overlord, Britain, and was fed up.  Tired of being servants in their own land,  they chose a pious Hindu as their revolutionary leader but he did not take up arms.  He believed in Ahimsa, the doctrine of non violence, a pillar of Hindu ethics.  Ahimsa teaches that one should not knowingly generate any kind of unnecessary…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on June 15, 2012 at 9:51pm — 4 Comments

Zombies and Snakes and Entheogens

Zombies and Snakes and Entheogens! Oh My!

For years we’ve said that 2012 was going to be a great paradigm shift, but every day we see stranger things happening. Zombie folklore used to be part of our Halloween tradition. Interesting how culture and art become life.

First, a naked man is found eating 75% of the face of a homeless man. He growls like a beast when the cops find him and they have to shoot and kill him. His victim remains in critical condition.

Now, a 21…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on June 3, 2012 at 2:05pm — No Comments

The Water Wars ... Coming Soon to a City Near You

The continued commodification and privatization of public water resources ensures that they will be in private hands in the future, and that the process of making decisions regarding them will be based on their profitability.  The humanitarian crisis that is already unfolding in many countries due to lack of water will not weigh in as heavily as the bottom line.  This is how corporations work.

 

The companies that profit from water know that scarcity always translates into higher…

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Added by Hiram Crespo on May 28, 2012 at 2:00am — No Comments

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