Category Archives: science fiction

Astronomy and the History of Common Knowledge

How far away are the stars? and How has the cosmic distance records progressed over time? My speculations about how people throughout history have perceived the size of the world; Veritasium’s person-on-the-street interviews reveal that many people have no clue … Continue reading

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Bertrand Russell, THE PROBLEMS OF PHILOSOPHY

This is the third of three short books about philosophy that I read in January. It’s as unlike the other two as those two were unlike each other. (Oxford University Press, 167pp, first published 1912, paperback edition 1959, edition shown … Continue reading

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Why Progressives Are Moving to the Right: For a Simpler Story

Busy pre-holiday weekend — making rusks and another batch of lemon bars. So only a single item for today, setting aside yet again the more substantial topics I alluded to yesterday. Here’s one of those pieces where I react to … Continue reading

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Last Questions and Possible Answers, 4

This is my fourth and likely last post, following this one in March and this one in June, and this one eight days ago, in which I consider the John Brockman book The Last Unknowns, in which he gathers deep … Continue reading

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My Essay Accepted for Publication

The news this late October is that I’ve had an 11,000 word essay, the one I’ve been working on since June, accepted by Gary Westfahl for publication in a volume of essays to be published in a year or so … Continue reading

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Deep Questions and Tribal Answers

Science fiction and philosophy; The next frontier of book bans; Ken Ham rues the difficulty of indoctrinating children; Paul Krugman on voters, and why conservatives still think the economy is bad. Big Think, Jonny Thomson, 3 Oct 2023: Apocalypse philosophy: … Continue reading

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An SF “Quiz” from 25 Years Ago

Here’s a “quiz” I composed way back in 1996 or so, inspired by an earlier list by Connie Willis of quotes and names from classic (1950s and 1960s) works of SF, that she read off at some convention in 1995, … Continue reading

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Science and Political Items

First, a couple science bits. Let’s start with an intriguing episode of Veritasium. Veritasium: Math Has A Fatal Flaw. Maybe not a “flaw” but an aspect beyond human intuitive understanding: how in any system of mathematics, there exist true statements … Continue reading

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Scientific Reality and Ideological Imagination

Reality check about warp drives; Reality perspective about the Kardashev ladder; My evolving ideas about traditional vs. honest science fiction; How the latest conservative panic appears in the new film Sound of Freedom; How House Republicans are openly discriminating against … Continue reading

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The Supreme Court’s Conservative Rollback

Topics today: This week’s Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action and discrimination against gays; My wondering why such discrimination against, say, mixed-race couples, and people of other religions, isn’t also OK (or maybe it is?) Republican hysteria about immigrants, whom … Continue reading

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