Category Archives: Philosophy

Link and Comments: Ted Chiang interview

Ted Chiang is a science fiction writer who since 1990 has published a couple dozen works of short fiction (and no novel), gathered in just two books: Stories of Your Life and Others (2002), and Exhalation (2019). I’m certain he … Continue reading

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Nonfiction Notes: Alan Lightman’s PROBABLE IMPOSSIBILITIES

Alan Lightman: PROBABLE IMPOSSIBILITIES (2021) This is a new book of essays by a professor at MIT, author of earlier books including the well-regarded novel Einstein’s Dreams (Wikipedia, way back in 1993) and most recently of essay collection Searching for … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Science Matters, 18 Mar 2021

Catching up on things that have caught me eye the past week or two. How humans have remade the Earth; about Daylight Saving Time; Dark Matter; How time might flow in two directions; the Nature of mathematics.

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Thinking On Blog: Wise Men

(This is a blog post version of the process of “thinking out loud.”) In a book I read recently – it was Michael Shermer’s first book, WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS, my comments posted here) — the author made the … Continue reading

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A Hierarchy of Human Needs

Like the hierarchy of morality (discussed here), this one is not mine. It’s an idea first proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow in 1943. Wikipedia has this entry about it. It runs like this, from the most basic:

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Link and Comments: Dawkins, via Coyne, on Science and Truth

Today Jerry Coyne’s site (even though it’s a blog, with chronological posts every day, sometimes several a day, he’s obstinate about not calling it a blog, but a site) links an article by Richard Dawkins at the UK magazine The … Continue reading

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Principles and Moral Guidelines, Update

I polished my Principles page today, tightening a bit, and adding a section at the end listing my favorite alternatives to the Biblical Ten Commandments.

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Notes for the Book: Simplex, Complex, Multiplex

Several themes are starting to gel, so perhaps I’ll record some of my current thoughts as they now stand. Just the act of writing a blog post helps me organize and clarify them. I still find myself learning: almost every … Continue reading

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Bertrand Russell: Why I Am Not a Christian: Summary and Comments

This is a famous essay/lecture by one of the 20th century’s most influential philosophers. I first read the book containing this essay in 1979, when I was 23; I was thrilled to find someone so eminent unapologetically spell out the … Continue reading

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More on the Enlightenment and Its Critics

An essay by Damon Linker at The Week. (I’ve seen Linker’s work on various website for years; he’s an interesting commentator, though one perhaps without any consistent philosophy; he seems to enjoy playing the contrarian role.) The Enlightenment’s legacy is … Continue reading

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