Home Work Audio Birding Miles Jazz

Peter Losin

For many years (1992-2013) I taught in the Honors College at the University of Maryland, College Park. By day I work in Washington, DC. At Maryland I taught two courses:

Prior to coming to Maryland I taught philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, the College of Charleston, and Gonzaga University. Most of my teaching and writing has focused on Greek philosophy, especially Plato and Aristotle. Some of it is available elsewhere on this website.

I'm also a discographer. Since early 1995 I've maintained a website called Miles Ahead, focused on the music of Miles Davis. If you're interested in Miles Davis (especially his pre-1980s music), take a look. There's a discography, a session list, a query form to search the database, cover art, news about upcoming releases, links to other Miles Davis websites, etc. There's also a separate Charlie Parker session list and a rudimentary discography. I also maintain a desultory list of jazz links if you're interested in jazz more generally.

My other interests you can probably infer from the links at the top of this page.

A mixture of gullibility and cynicism had been an outstanding characteristic of mob mentality before it became an everyday phenomenon of masses. In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. The mixture in itself was remarkable enough, because it spelled the end of the illusion that gullibility was a weakness of unsuspecting primitive souls and cynicism the vice of superior and refined minds. Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness... The result of a consistent and total substitution of lie for factual truth is not that the lie will now be accepted as truth and truth be defamed as a lie, but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world -- and the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end -- is being destroyed. (Hannah Arendt, "The Origins of Totalitarianism," 1951 -- here we are again...)

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