Ever since I was teenager and read Arthur C. Clarke’s The City and the Stars, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of a machine that could satisfy all of our needs and provide us constant pleasure. This is also the topic of a well-known thought experiment developed by the philosopher Robert Nozick in his 1974 … Continue reading Ignorance is bliss
I rarely make a promotion on our blog, but this is just too cool. Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen have launched a joint podcast Renegades: Born in the USA. Spotify sums up the podcast best: Renegades: Born in the USA is a series of conversations between President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen about their lives, … Continue reading Barack and Bruce!
I finished The Thirst on Friday. It was an entertaining diversion and has already provided the basis for an earlier blog entry about the availability heuristic. Jo Nesbø is a true multi talent. Before becoming a writer, he was a professional soccer player and successful stockbroker, and for 29 years he has been the lead … Continue reading Death as a career move
Last week an article about the bestselling Austrian/German author Daniel Kehlmann caught my eye. Kehlmann is probably best known for Measuring the World (original title: Die Vermessung der Welt) a historical novel / buddy book about mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss and geographer Alexander von Humboldt. In his newest book to be released in March, Kehlmann … Continue reading Can a robot write a novel?
In offline conversations regarding my post about job personality test lying, many argued that mispresenting personality traits is not really a lie. I tend to disagree. Let’s start by defining what it means to lie. James Mahon provides one commonly accepted definition of lying: to make a believed-false statement to another person with the intention that … Continue reading Liar, liar pants on fire!
One of my favorite books is The Cat in the Hat. I love how the Cat in the pursuit of “lots of good fun that is funny” releases Things 1 and 2 in the unnamed narrator’s house to wreak havoc. Meanwhile, the superego pet fish repeatedly urges the narrator and his sister Sally to toss … Continue reading The Cat and climate change
I love colorful motivational daily desk calendars. I love how the publishers place quotations over photos of ocean sunsets, palm trees or people doing the tree pose. My favorite is when they combine all four: the quote on top of someone doing the tree pose silhouetted before an ocean sunset with palm trees to left … Continue reading Just be yourself
Jo Nesbø’s The Thirst is my current eye candy book. If you enjoy fast paced Scandinavian crime fiction, I highly recommend Nesbø’s brilliant but alcoholic protagonist Harry Hole. The Thirst is the 11th book in the series and also provided me with an opportunity to return to cognitive biases, something I have written about in … Continue reading Why we fear terrorism but not car crashes
Yesterday the stores reopened in Austria after a six week lockdown. In a newspaper interview, the managing director of a discount fashion chain with over 180 outlets expressed his joy and relief. Customers could once again pay tribute in his shopping temples fulfilling a “basic human need”. What? When did shopping become a basic human … Continue reading Is shopping a basic need?
A few days ago in a much discussed post I posed the question: What duties do the living have to compensate victims of past injustices? The tenor from comments, and also my opinion, is that at minimum the living have obligations towards the dead regarding their historical memory. It seems that Sperello di Serego Alighieri, … Continue reading Divine redemption or comedy of errors?