Culture | Media

Why You Should Read (More) Poetry

“Poetry,” wrote a jaded WH Auden, “Makes nothing happen.” The creative energy that had bloomed amid the ashes of the First World War had been snuffed out by the horrors of totalitarianism. Right-wing poets had seen their hopes for modernized tradition appropriated and discredited by Nazi Germany, while left-wing poets had dabbled in fashionable communism […]

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Religion | Politics

A Lifelong Leftist’s Cri De Coeur

“Iona is no leftist,” a Twitter acquaintance recently asserted. It’s left me pensive as to what it means to be on the left (or not) and why so many of us lifelong left-leaning voters find ourselves described by our fellow lefties as, bafflingly, “right-wing.” I think of myself as left-leaning primarily because of my belief […]

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Religion | Politics

After Barcelona: Let the Denial and Excuses Begin

In the aftermath of yet another Islamist attack in Europe, this time in Barcelona, the usual excuse makers will still be trying to blame the Iraq war, or the Crusades, or the fact the perpetrator may have been unemployed as the motivations for the atrocity. I worked for several years as a youth worker with […]

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Religion | Politics

Is Ireland Ready to Abandon Catholicism

And is repealing abortion really the best approach? Earlier this week, fellow contributor at Areo, Barry Purcell, wrote “Is Ireland Ready for Abortion?” in which he concluded: “No longer can the perceived lack of public appetite for change be used as an excuse for inaction. No longer can Catholic power be used as an excuse for […]

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Culture | Media

Into the Maelstrom: How the Hyperconnected Age is Tearing Us Apart

Writing during the twilight age of literature, maverick media theorist Marshall McLuhan devoted his life to the understanding of the global mass media and its effect on human behavior. He argued that by changing our sense ratios, different communication technologies altered the focus of our mental attention and affected us both on an individual and […]

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Religion | Politics

Trump’s Failure to Communicate

President Trump’s refusal to immediately disavow white nationalists and white supremacists — an ever-growing (or emerging) subset of the alt-right base — is telling. And they’ve noticed. After Trump’s comments on Charlottesville during the signing of Veteran’s Affairs legislation, a live update thread on the Daily Stormer, an alt-right white supremacist site, had this to […]

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Religion | Politics

Is Ireland Ready for Abortion?

Ireland has always been seen, along with Poland, The Philippines and Central and South America, as the heartland of Catholic belief. Despite Ireland’s official status as a democratic republic, however, the Catholic Church still wields a lot of secular power. For example, 85% of primary schools are owned and under the patronage of the Catholic […]

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Science | Tech

Assessing Female Mate Preferences: Answers to Ten Common Criticisms of Evolutionary Psychology

A few years ago, I was giving an invited presentation to an audience of mostly sociologists and family studies professors on the topic of evolution and human reproductive strategies. I mentioned that some social scientists hold false beliefs about “evolutionary psychology,” such as the mistaken assumption that evolutionary psychologists think all men are interested in […]

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Features

In Defense of the Google Manifesto

James Damore, the Google employee who wrote the viral Google manifesto, was fired yesterday for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” From the various reactions I’ve read, you would think Damore wrote the next iteration of Mein Kampf. Gizmodo labelled it an “anti-diversity screed.” Mashable called it a “racist/sexist manifesto” when reporting that the author’s identity had been revealed. Tweetstorms were fashionable, with […]

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Religion | Politics

Why I Still Call Myself a Feminist

Recently, many people have asked me why I still choose to identify as a feminist, especially since I dislike some of the excesses of contemporary Western feminism. I am wary of those strands of feminism which encourage young women to think of themselves primarily as powerless victims, a school of thought sometimes called “fainting couch […]

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Review

15 Years Later, Why Do We Still Believe in the Blank Slate?

On Twitter, I once saw a cultural anthropologist refer to Steven Pinker’s toenails as “magical” when accosting an evolutionary psychologist who had angered him. Some time later, on another scroll session, I saw a sociologist and gender/ masculinity/ post-colonial theorist very politely say to another professor: “Hi Diana, I remember discussing my view that Evolutionary […]

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