New Philosopher – Issue 17 (2017)

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New Philosopher Magazine, Issue #17, Aug-Oct 2017
Theme: Communication
Editor: Zan Boag
Pages: 130
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Opening line:

“Watching a newborn adapt to his surroundings, it’s clear from the moment we emerge that communication is essential to our survival.”

About the magazine (from the website):

New Philosopher is an independent quarterly magazine devoted to exploring philosophical ideas from past and present thinkers on ways to live a more fulfilling life. Commentary on New Philosopher aims to guide readers into living a happier and freer mode of existence.

New Philosopher caters to those who have not studied philosophy, as well as philosophy students and academics. Our aim is to introduce philosophical ideas that challenge contemporary thought and conditioning. Are our thoughts and aspirations truly ours?

We will bring you some of the top minds in the world on perspectives rarely heard – covering the technological society, consumerism, happiness, the war on your mind, an extraordinary life and ideas to change your life.

My review

We’ve all no doubt heard, and continue to hear, the phrase ‘fake news’ in and around the media. It’s all very George Orwell if you ask me, but New Philosopher have embraced this phrase and presented us with an issue all about Communication.

‘Is the medium the message?’ they ask. And there’s something quite satisfying about buying a magazine that displays the words ‘fake news’ on the cover, as if everything within shouldn’t be believed. However, we’re exploring how we communicate, and if you think about it every issue of this magazine, and all others, are doing just that all the time. Every issue communicates something different, every article, picture, reporter…but what’s great about this is that New Philosopher are communicating to us about communication itself, and I love that.

As someone who has recently completed a Masters in Magazine Journalism, I loved the articles that talked directly about the news and media, and the moment on page 34-35 which re-created the look of reading a newspaper called ‘The Daily Truth’.

The first parts of the magazine explore this notion of ‘fake news’, offering insights, stories and anecdotes which help to explore ideas around the subject, and give readers an honest and well-researched set of articles. There’s no reason to think that any of the facts presented here are fake, untrue or misleading…until you get to page 67.

New Philosopher is clever but not too clever that only certain people can appreciate it. On page 67 we have an essay called ‘Deconstructing postmodernism’ which at first glance gives me flashbacks to my first year of university. Read the essay.

In the second half of the magazine, we delve more into actual communication…human communication. There’s an exploration of what it means to be silent, which I enjoyed reading and was glad for its inclusion because I’m often one of these silent people. I’m not silent because I have nothing to say (most of the time) I’m silent because…because I just am. Until I have something to communicate, I’ll be quiet.

One of my favourite parts was the double spread of quotes concerning communication. There are some gems in there, and they all made me think about what it means to communicate: to speak, to stay silent, to think, to absorb. And my favourite:

“Be quiet, unless your speech be better than silence.” – Salvator Rosa

The photos, pictures and illustrations in this issue are also a joy, and I particularly liked seeing the French sign language alphabet. It’s these sort of inclusions and details that make New Philosopher unlike most magazines. I’m astounded while simultaneously being grateful that the magazine exists, and that there are writers and thinkers out there gathering all this information, and ideas into themed publications.

If you haven’t read this magazine before, then get hold of a copy. You don’t have to be a philosopher or have a degree in deconstructing postmodernism, and you don’t have to know who Friedrich Nietzsche is or be able to spell his name. You just have to be human with a mind open to all things curious about the world around you.

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