A couple of posts ago I wrote about Robert Nozick’s thought experiment the Experience Machine. This week the new semester started here at the University of Graz, and I am enrolled in a seminar titled Thought Experiments in Practical Philosophy. Yesterday was the first session and based on the first meeting, it looks like the … Continue reading Thought Experiments
I read a review in the paper yesterday that Ralph Keyes has published a new book The Hidden History of Coined Words. For those who don’t know Keyes, he is a popular American author of books that fall into the genre I refer to as brain erotica – popular non-fiction works that deal significantly with … Continue reading New book by Ralph Keyes
I missed a couple of blogging days last week because I was participating in a climate risk course sponsored by the Arqus European University Alliance. I mentioned the seminar in a previous post where I argued that currently living people in industrialized nations have a collective responsibility to take immediate and significant action for mitigating … Continue reading The dangers of Once-lerism
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