Monthly Archives: March 2023


Topics in this post: The success of wokeness. How the least religious nations are among the healthiest along many measures. Partha Dasgupta on how the GDP should account for the cost of what we use. Julian Baggini on philosophy and … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Reviews, Science, Social Progress | Leave a comment


Topics in this post: Why do “parents’ rights” only seem to involve requests to suppress and ban? The power of a single conservative snowflake. Undermining democracy. An authoritarianism quiz. Phony scandals. Banning non-existent vaccine microchips. Religion as the solution to … Continue reading

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Max Richter Deconstructs and Recomposes Antonio Vivaldi

On Sunday evening, March 26th, we went a concert on the UC Berkeley Campus, at Zellerbach Hall, to see the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. The concert included an extraordinary piece by contemporary composer Max Richter, a re-imagining of Vivaldi’s ever-popular The … Continue reading

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Five Planets Visible in the Sky

I missed seeing that greenish comet that was visible in the sky a few weeks ago. The latest sky event being discussed in the media — at least on TV and on websites — is a fairly rare conjunction of … Continue reading

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Wokeness and History

Today: some better descriptions of wokeism; how wokeness undermines the idea of eternal conservative values; and if so many other books are banned from public schools, why not the Bible? Today’s NY Times website has this letter column: A Conservative’s … Continue reading

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Another Chatbot Shoe Drops

The latest about chatbots, why they would be biased one way or another, and how there is now a conservative version of them; and recalling Conservapedia. Our story so far:

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Correction to Earlier Oscar Post

It turns out that a tune I liked, which I described as having “a relentless three note descending theme, underlying colorful violin lines,” in one of the Oscar nominated films, Triangle of Sadness, that I discussed in my post of … Continue reading

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Harari on the Dangers of AI

Also: reflecting on Arthur C. Clarke and John Brockman, wondering if there is a permanent limit to human cultural education. NY Times, Yuval Noah Harari, Tristan Harris, and Aza Raskin, 24 March 2023: You Can Have the Blue Pill or … Continue reading

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Last Questions and Possible Answers, 1

When I was browsing through several John Brockman books a few weeks ago, I decided to buy the last one he published in that series, from 2019. It’s called The Last Unknowns, and instead of gathering answers from many contributors … Continue reading

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Negative News, Conspiracy-Minded Customers, Conservative Traditions

Three items for today. How the negativity bias in news reporting is partly a matter of demand and supply; How “the customer is always right” thinking leads Fox News and Republican congressmen to pursue outlandish conspiracy theories, because that what … Continue reading

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