"Milwaukee - not New York, Chicago or Los Angeleswas the scene of a number of television firsts: The Journal Company filed the very first application for a commercial TV license with the FCC in 1938. The first female program director and news director in a major market were both at Milwaukee stations. The city was a major battleground in the VHF vs. UHF war that began in the 1950s. The battle to put an educational TV station on the air was fought at the national, state and local levels by the Milwaukee Vocational School. WMVS-TV was the first educational TV station to run a regular schedule of colorcasts, and WMVT was the site of the first long-distance rest of a digital over-theair signal." "This detailed story of the rich history of the city's television stations since 1930 is told through facts, anecdotes, and quotations from the on-air talent, engineers, and managers who conceived, constructed, and put the stations on the air. Included are discussions of the many locally-produced shows - often done live - that once made up a large part of a station's broadcast day. Through these stories - some told here for the first time - and the book's extensive photographic images, the history of Milwaukee television comes alive again for the reader." "From the first early tests using mechanical scanning methods in the 1930s, through the first successful digital television tests, the politics, conflicts, triumphs, and failures of Milwaukee's television stations are described in fascinating detail." --Book Jacket.
Describes how the author journeyed to Greece with a suitcase full of philosophy books in order to learn how to achieve a fulfilling old age, explaining how he came to regard old age as a life stage filled with simple and heady pleasures.
Fifty years ago, Daniel Klein began studying philosophy at Harvard University, hoping to find an answer to that most burning of questions: what is the best way to live my life? He thought the great philosophers would be able to give him some ideas, or at least some clues. But, aside from the occasional hint, all he got were more questions, ones which philosophers thought needed answering first. They included ‘what is the meaning of meaning?’ and ‘how can we know what is true?’ Now in his seventies and looking back on his life, Klein brings us a personal commentary on the great philosophical pronouncements he’s collected over the years. Told with the same brilliantly dry sense of humor that made Travels with Epicurus so popular, Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life is an eminently readable series of thoughts on wise words.
Here’s an accusation – Sherlock Holmes never deduced anything. When it comes to language, it all depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is. And one for the existentialists – you haven’t lived until you think about death all the time. Daniel Klein and Thomas Cathcart take philosophy to task with flair and gusto in this wise and hilarious treasure of a book. Lively, original, and powerfully informative, Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar... is an irreverent crash course through the great thinkers and traditions. It’s philosophy for everyone, from the curious layperson to the professor who’s seen it all. Klein and Cathcart have the knack of getting to the core of an issue in a crystal clear line, meaning there’s more room for jokes – good jokes, clever jokes, jokes that’ll have you laughing so hard the people nearby will shoot you strange looks. It’s the philosophy class you wish you’d had and finally, it all makes sense!
Q. Why are there almost as many jokes about death as there are about sex? A. Because they both scare the pants off us. Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein first made a name for themselves with the outrageously funny New York Times bestseller Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.... Now they turn their attention to the Big "D" and share the timeless wisdom of the great philosophers, theologians, psychotherapists, and wiseguys. From angels to zombies and everything in between, Cathcart and Klein offer a fearless and irreverent history of how we approach death, why we embrace life, and whether there really is a hereafter. As hilarious as it is enlightening, Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates is a must-read for anyone and everyone who ever expects to die. And now, you can read Daniel Klein's further musings on life and philosophy in Travels with Epicurus and Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change it. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The philosophy of Epicurus (c. 341-271 B. C. E.), has been a quietly pervasive influence for more than two millennia. At present, when many long revered ideologies are proven empty, Epicureanism is powerfully and refreshingly relevant, offering a straightforward way of dealing with the issues of life and death. The chapters in this book provide a kaleidoscope of contemporary opinions about Epicurus' teachings. They tell us also about the archeological discoveries that promise to augment the scant remains we have of Epicurus's own writing. the breadth of this new work will be welcomed by those who value Epicurean philosophy as a scholarly and personal resource for contemporary life. "Epicurus: His Continuing Influence and Contemporary Relevance," is the title of a 2002 conference on Epicurus held at Rochester Institute of Technology, when many of the ideas here were first presented.
English poet Roger Green left the safety of God, country, and whiskey to immerse himself in an austere and sober life on the Greek Island of Hydra. But when Green discovered that his terrace overlooked the garden of sixties balladeer Leonard Cohen, he became obsessed with Cohen's songs, wives, and banana tree. Hydra starts with a poem the author wrote and recited for his fifty-seventh birthday (borrowing the meter of Cohen's "Suzanne," and ripe with references to the song), with Cohen's ex-partner Suzanne, who may or may not be the subject of Cohen's song, in the audience. By turns playful and philosophic, Green's unconventional memoir tells the story of his journey down the rabbit hole of obsession, as he confronts the meaning of poetry, history, and his own life. Beginning as a poetic meditation upon Leonard Cohen's bananas, Green's bardic pilgrimage takes the reader on various twists and turns until, at last, the poet accepts the joy of accepting his fate.
The idea that happiness is a choice accessible to all is far from new; the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus developed the Natural Philosophy of life over two thousand years ago, providing practical, contemporary guidelines to finding meaning and happiness. Unlike Plato, who valued the divine logic above all, Epicurus argued that the pursuit of ideals produced by logic alone leads to inner conflict, cognitive dissonance, dissatisfaction, and even depression. He suggested that by first embracing our natural desires, then using logic to determine which choices will increase pleasure over time, and using our will to take action, we could learn and change, and achieve happiness. Join the author Haris Dimitriadis on a journey through the history of philosophical thought, as well as an in-depth look at the modern neuroscience, psychology, and astrophysics, and discover why the ancient Epicurean Philosophy of Nature matters as much today as it did two thousand and three hundred years ago!
A trolley is careering out of control. Up ahead are five workers; on a spur to the right stands a lone individual. You, a bystander, happen to be standing next to a switch that could divert the trolley, which would save the five, but sacrifice the one—do you pull it? Or say you’re watching from an overpass. The only way to save the workers is to drop a heavy object in the trolley’s path. And you’re standing next to a really fat man…. This ethical conundrum—based on British philosopher Philippa Foot’s 1967 thought experiment—has inspired decades of lively argument around the world. Now Thomas Cathcart, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, brings his sharp intelligence, quirky humor, and gift for popularizing serious ideas to “the trolley problem.” Framing the issue as a possible crime that is to be tried in the Court of Public Opinion, Cathcart explores philosophy and ethics, intuition and logic. Along the way he makes connections to the Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham, Kant’s limits of reason, St. Thomas Aquinas’s fascinating Principle of Double Effect, and more. Read with an open mind, this provocative book will challenge your deepest held notions of right and wrong. Would you divert the trolley? Kill one to save five? Would you throw the fat man off the bridge?
Our society worships at the fountain of youth. Each year, we seek to avert the arrival of old age using everything at our disposal, from extreme exercise and botox to pilates and cosmetic dentistry. But in the process, are we missing out on a distinct and extraordinarily valuable stage of life? Daniel Klein ponders whether it is better to be forever young or to grin toothlessly and live an authentic old age. He journeys to the Greek island of Hydra to discover the secrets of ageing happily. Drawing on the lives of octagenarian Greek locals, as well as philosophers ranging from Epicurus to Sartre, he uncovers the pleasures that are available only late in life. An escapist travel book, a witty meditation, and an optimistic guide to living well, this is a delightful jaunt through the terrain of old age, led by a funny and uniquely perceptive modern-day sage.
The brilliant writings of a highly influential Greek philosopher, with a foreword by Daniel Klein, author of Travels with Epicurus The teachings of Epicurus—about life and death, religion and science, physical sensation, happiness, morality, and friendship—attracted legions of adherents throughout the ancient Mediterranean world and deeply influenced later European thought. Though Epicurus faced hostile opposition for centuries after his death, he counts among his many admirers Thomas Hobbes, Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx, and Isaac Newton. This volume includes all of his extant writings—his letters, doctrines, and Vatican sayings—alongside parallel passages from the greatest exponent of his philosophy, Lucretius, extracts from Diogenes Laertius' Life of Epicurus, a lucid introductory essay about Epicurean philosophy, and a foreword by Daniel Klein, author of Travels with Epicurus and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Describes travel experiences in Vanuatu and Fiji, which include coping with Mother Nature--typhoons, earthquakes, volcanoes--and observing the relaxed lifestyle of the islanders and their attitudes toward new parenthood.
96-year-old author of Pulitzer Prize-winning The Caine Mutinypens an ingeniously witty novel about the life of Moses For more than 50 years, Herman Wouk has dreamed of writing a novel about the life of Moses Finally, at the age of 96, he has found an ingeniously witty way to tell the tale of The Lawgiver, a romantic and suspenseful epistolary novel about a group of people trying to make a movie about Moses in the present day. At its centre is Margo Solovei, a brilliant young writer-director who has rejected her father's strict Jewish upbringing to pursue a career in the arts. When an Australian multi-billionaire promises to finance a movie about Moses, Margo does everything she can to land the job, including a reunion with her estranged first love, an influential lawyer with whom she has unfinished business. * Visit Herman Wouk's website at www.hermanwouk.net 'Endearing and light-hearted' Michael Prodger, FT
Uses jokes, cartoons, and philosophy to expose what politicians really mean, analyzing quotations from everyone from Condoleeza Rice to Al Sharpton.
Time has always been the great Given, a fact of existence which cannot be denied or wished away; but the character of lived time is changing dramatically. Medical advances extend our longevity, while digital devices compress time into ever briefer units. We can now exist in several time-zones simultaneously, but we suffer from endemic shortages of time. We are working longer hours and blurring the distinctions between labour and leisure. For many, in an inversion of the old adage, time has become more valuable than money. In this look at life's most ineffable element, spanning fields from biology and culture to psychoanalysis and neuroscience, Eva Hoffman asks: are we coming to the end of time as we know it?
The renowned French philosopher’s “ode to love’s power to unite in the face of eternity, and its optimism in the face of pain” (Publishers Weekly). In a world rife with consumerism, where online dating promises risk-free romance and love is all too often seen as a mere variant of desire and hedonism, Alain Badiou believes that love is under threat. Taking to heart Rimbaud’s famous line “love needs reinventing,” In Praise of Love is the celebrated French intellectual’s passionate treatise in defense of love. For Badiou, love is an existential project, a constantly unfolding quest for truth. This quest begins with the chance encounter, an event that forever changes two individuals, challenging them “to see the world from the point of view of two rather than one.” This, Badiou believes, is love’s most essential transforming power. Through thought-provoking dialogue edited from a conversation between Badiou and Truong, a vibrant cast of thinkers are invoked: Kierkegaard, Plato, de Beauvoir, Proust and more create a new narrative of love in the face of twenty-first-century modernity. Moving, zealous, and wise, Badiou’s “paean to the anticapitalist, antiessentialist, unifying power of love” urges us not to fear it but to see it as a magnificent undertaking that compels us to explore others and to move away from an obsession with ourselves (Publishers Weekly). “Finally, the cure for the pornographic, utilitarian exchange of favors to which love has been reduced in America. Alain Badiou is our philosopher of love.” —Simon Critchley, author of The Faith of the Faithless
Epicureanism has been diluted into a byword for gourmet dining, but does the original ancient Greek 'philosophy of the Garden' contain insight that could save the world? Luke Slattery argues that reading Epicurus could help us rethink our materialist ways and challenge the inevitability of man-made climate change.
The late Leszek Kolakowski was one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. A prominent anticommunist writer, Kolakowski was also a deeply humanistic thinker, and his meditations on society, religion, morality, and culture stand alongside his political writings as commentaries on intellectual—and everyday—life in the twentieth century. Kolakowski’s extraordinary empathy, humor, and erudition are on full display in Is God Happy?, the first collection of his work to be published since his death in 2009. Accessible and wide ranging, these essays—many of them translated into English for the first time—testify to the remarkable scope of Kolakowski’s work. From a provocative and deeply felt critique of Marxist ideology to the witty and self-effacing “In Praise of Unpunctuality” to a rigorous analysis of Erasmus’ model of Christianity and the future of religion, these essays distill Kolakowski’s lifelong engagement with the eternal problems of philosophy and some of the most vital questions of our age.
A meditation on escaping the chaos of modern life and rediscovering the luxury of solitude. Winner of the Prix Médicis for nonfiction, The Consolations of the Forest is a Thoreau-esque quest to find solace, taken to the extreme. No stranger to inhospitable places, Sylvain Tesson exiles himself to a wooden cabin on Siberia’s Lake Baikal, a full day’s hike from any "neighbor," with his thoughts, his books, a couple of dogs, and many bottles of vodka for company. Writing from February to July, he shares his deep appreciation for the harsh but beautiful land, the resilient men and women who populate it, and the bizarre and tragic history that has given Siberia an almost mythological place in the imagination. Rich with observation, introspection, and the good humor necessary to laugh at his own folly, Tesson’s memoir is about the ultimate freedom of owning your own time. Only in the hands of a gifted storyteller can an experiment in isolation become an exceptional adventure accessible to all. By recording his impressions in the face of silence, his struggles in a hostile environment, his hopes, doubts, and moments of pure joy in communion with nature, Tesson makes a decidedly out-of-the-ordinary experience relatable. The awe and joy are contagious, and one comes away with the comforting knowledge that "as long as there is a cabin deep in the woods, nothing is completely lost."
For many of us it is the ultimate fear: to die alone. Loneliness is a difficult subject to address because it has such negative connotations in our intensely social world. But the truth is that wherever there are people, there is loneliness. You can be lonely sitting in the quiet of your home, in the still of an afternoon park, or even when surrounded by throngs of people on a busy street. One need only turn on the radio to hear a crooner telling us just how lonesome we can be. In this groundbreaking book, philosopher Lars Svendsen confronts loneliness head on, investigating both the negative and positive sides of this most human of emotions. Drawing on the latest research in philosophy, psychology, and the social sciences, A Philosophy of Loneliness explores the different kinds of loneliness and examines the psychological and social characteristics that dispose people to them. Svendsen looks at the importance of friendship and love, and he examines how loneliness can impact our quality of life and affect our physical and mental health. In a provocative move, he also argues that the main problem in our modern society is not that we have too much loneliness but rather too little solitude, and he looks to those moments when our loneliness can actually tell us profound things about ourselves and our place in the world. The result is a fascinating book about a complex and deeply meaningful part of our very being.