Why We Need to Teach Kids Philosophy & Safeguard Society from Authoritarian Control

Several friends and relatives of mine teach philosophy, writing, and critical thinking to undergraduate college students. And many of those people have confessed their dismay in recent months. Threats and McCarthyite attacks on higher educators have increased (and in places like Turkey escalated to full-on war against academics). Many educators are also filled with doubt about the meaning of their profession. How can they stand in the pulpits of higher learning, many wonder, extolling the virtues of clear expression, logic, reason and evidence, ethics, etc., when the world outside the classroom seems to be telling their students none of these things matter?

But then there are some with a more optimistic bent, who see more reason than ever to extol said virtues, with even more rigor and urgency. Philosophy improves our mental and emotional lives in every possible situation. While millions of people in supposedly democratic countries have decided to put their trust in autocratic, authoritarian leaders, millions more have determined to resist the curtailing of civil liberties, democratic rights, and social progress. Educators see the tools of language and critical thinking as integral to those of political action and civil disobedience. And not only do college students need these tools, argue the executives of UK’s Philosophy Foundation, but children do as well, and for many of the same reasons.

Created in 2007 to conduct “philosophical enquiry in schools, communities, and workplaces,” the Foundation works with both children and adults. In the Aeon Magazine video above, COO and CEO Emma and Peter Worley explain the special appeal of philosophy for kids, making the case for teaching “thinking well” at a young age. Rather than lecturing on the history of ideas or presenting a thesis, their approach involves getting children “thinking about things together, working together collaboratively, coming up with counter-examples… really doing philosophy in the true sense.” Young students see problems for themselves and apply their own philosophical solutions, using the nascent reasoning faculties most of us can access as soon as we’ve reached school age.

The Foundation has shown that the teaching of philosophy to children “has an impact on affective skills and also on cognitive skills.” In other words, kids become more emotionally intelligent as they become better thinkers, developing what Socrates called “the silent dialogue” with themselves. These benefits are goods in their own right, argues Emma Worley, and as valuable as the arts in our lives. “We need philosophy because it’s a human thing to do,” she says, “to think, to reason, to reflect.” But there is a decided social utility as well. Philosophy can “safeguard against the ways in which education might sometimes be used to control people,” says Peter Worley: “If we have something like philosophy within the system, something that steps outside that system and asks questions about it, then we have something to protect us” against authoritarian means of thought and language control.

via Aeon

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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Jane Fonda Celebrates 79th Birthday Supporting Standing Rock with Lily Tomlin and Frances Fisher

Jane Fonda returned to her activist roots for her 79th birthday on Wednesday in Los Angeles when she appeared at a rally with famous friends Lily Tomlin, Frances Fisher and Catherine Keener.

The Grace and Frankie star marched alongside her friends and labor leader Dolores Huerta to stand in solidarity with the people of Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The #BankExit movement promotes the idea of moving money out of big banks and into local credit unions.

Fonda was treated to a cake and the “Happy Birthday Song” by Fisher and Tomlin. The actress has deep roots in activism. She made waves in the early 1970s when she shared her dissenting opinion about the Vietnam War.

In 1972, she traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam and posed in an infamous photo where she sat on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft battery. She was called “Hanoi Jane” after the incident.

In May, the Monster-in-Law actress talked to AARP The Magazine about rethinking her approach to acting.

“Last year I thought, ‘I can’t very well leave the business now and never come back. Maybe I should find out what’s up.’ So I went into therapy and got an acting coach,” she said.

“It’s really scary when you’re looking at it from the outside,” Fonda continued. “When you’re inside it, it’s not scary at all. You feel better.”

She added: “If you’d told me when I was 20 or 30 that I’d be happier at 70, I would’ve said to you, ‘You’re out of your mind.’”

Who is Adam Saleh? Meet the YouTuber Who Was Allegedly Kicked Off A Delta Flight For Speaking Arabic

Who is Adam Saleh? Meet the YouTuber Who Was Allegedly Kicked Off A Delta Flight For Speaking Arabic

The viral video of Adam Saleh getting escorted off a Delta flight because he was speaking Arabic continues to make headlines.

The 23-year-old YouTube star filmed the incident on his phone and explained to viewers that he felt he was being treated as a terrorist merely because of his appearance and language.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Adam Saleh

In addition, some people on social media are accusing Adam of staging the entire thing because of his past with pranks on YouTube.

But he insists that it wasn’t a stunt.

“The only thing I can say is, I would never film a phone video,” Adam told the NYT. “That’s when it’s really serious, and I must film.” His video camera was in his luggage.”

Meanwhile, Adam has received an outpouring of support from celebrities who were outraged by the alleged discrimination.

So who is Adam? We put together five fast facts for you.

Click through to find out more about Adam Saleh…

Earn points when you travel with Tourist Guide

Travellers can now earn points when they join an online travel network with the launch of homegrown portal Tourist Guide. The points earned, in turn, can be converted to hotel bookings, flight bookings and travel packages.

Tourist Guide managing director Devan Kumar said Tourist Guide differs from other travel platforms by setting up the world’s largest travel network.

“When travellers sign up as our member, they will be placed in the traveller’s network and be connected to each other,” he said during the launch in Kuala Lumpur, adding that the free membership programme is a first of its kind in the world.

Devan said the goal is to create a database of over 100,000 Malaysian travellers before expanding to other countries, with over 10 million global travellers registered in the future.

“With this vast database of travellers, we are able to bargain with travel agents and providers to get better deals,” he said.

Tourist Guide.

Tourist Guide is a platform for travel agents and hotels from across the country to promote their travel packages to Malaysians.

Tourist Guide will also serve as a platform for travel agents and hotels from across the country to promote their travel packages to Malaysians. Devan said the platform only charges commission for each successful sale.

There are currently 13 travel agents that have partnered with the platform. Tourist Guide also works with online hotel wholesaler bedsonline to source to provide hotel booking service on its portal.

Meanwhile, Tourism Malaysia director (Kuala Lumpur) Mohd Akbal Setia applauded the initiative by Tourist Guide.

“Travelling should not be hard and Tourist Guide has a simple enough system that will be able to help people to travel,” he said.

Tourist Guide has over 3,000 registered members to date and can be accessed at www.touristguide.com.my.

Wellness Gift Guide


Gift-giving season is officially here, you guys! If you’re one of those people who has their shopping done by Black Friday, I praise you (p.s. how?!), but if you’re still knocking people off your gift list, I’ve got you covered.

I’m all about giving people things that will better their life or treat them, and the list below does that. While everything listed is catered towards wellness lovers, the items are general enough to add health, ease, or luxury to anyone’s life-even if they don’t rely on bone broth and meditation. Everything below is something I’ve used and am obsessed with, and none of this is sponsored.

NutriBullet – There are tons of expensive juicers out there, but this is such an affordable solution for needing a quick smoothie…a.k.a every weekday morning. Quick nutrition, quick to clean! For the record, I love the Vitamix for bigger batches.

Year of Wellness – Duh! Treat someone to a couple months-or a year if you really love them!-of putting them and their wellness first. Amazing for a mother-in-law, sister, or best friend.

Juice Beauty Glow Kit – Clean beauty at its finest. This is an excellent present for anyone who deserves quality products and some self-love.

Natural Yoga mat – For the person who prioritizes fitness, this non-sticky biodegradable mat is wonderful for sweaty yoga and the Earth.

Moon Dusts – Major #girlcrush on the founder of this company, and I like that you can add these fun dusts to smoothies/drinks for an extra boost of nutrition. Also love the company’s cookbook.

Essential Oil Diffuser and oils – I diffuse oils non-stop, whether it’s in the office or my house. This is perfect for anyone who loves candles but wants something better for the air.

Sound Machine – I was actually gifted this years ago and I now have to travel with it. It blocks all sounds and promotes a blissful, long night’s sleep. Trust!

Adult coloring book – Such a fun little gift for a friend, coworker, or family member. Coloring shows major benefits for stress release, so this is ideal for anyone who loves art or needs to chill out.

Love & Lemons cookbook – This is one of my favorite cookbooks, ever. Such easy, healthy recipes. I’m picking this up for a few people in my life, including males!

Collagen – I add this to my smoothies for healthy hair and nails, among other things, so swoop this for a loved one who is into taking care of themselves.

Stocking Stuffers

Dry Brush – Everyone probably knows the benefits of dry brushing by now, but if not, read this. Then pass the goodness along to someone’s stocking.

Clean sunscreen – Every single person needs SPF in their life (I hope!), so treat someone to a clean version of this essential product.

Charcoal facial puff  – A cute lil’ somethin’ for beauty lovers.

Argan oil – I use this every single day and the consistency is magical. Perfect for ladies who take care of their skin, or any dudes with a beard (it’s great for moisturizing!)

Lavender tea – Because who doesn’t love a relaxing tea moment before bed?

Happy shopping!

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Steps Down

Stephen Brashear / Getty Images

Howard Schultz is stepping down as Starbucks CEO effective next year, the New York Times and NPR report. Kevin Johnson, the company’s President, COO, and a longtime Schultz ally, will take over the CEO position effective April 3. Schultz will return to his position as the company’s executive chairman.

“This is a big day for me,” Schultz told the Times. “I love the company as much as I love my family.”

Schultz first joined the coffee chain 30 years ago, and is attempting to hand over the reigns for the second time. He stepped down as CEO first in 2000 to serve as executive chairman, a position he held until 2008, when he replaced executive James Donald as sales were stagnant. Under Schultz’s stewardship, the chain has grown to around 25,000 stores in 75 countries. Since taking the reigns again in 2008, he increased the company’s valuation from $15 billion to $84 billion.

The move fuels speculation that Schultz may seek to enter politics. He’s nurtured close relationships with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Not only that, but Starbucks has often championed progressive causes under his watch. Those have included writing “Come Together” on cups during the 2011 government shutdown and providing tuition to employees seeking a college education.

Shares of Starbucks fell 3.6 percent to $56.44 after-hours trading following Schultz’s announcement.

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