If you enjoy old school crime fiction and are looking for an entertaining fast paced read for the weekend, get a copy of Eric Ambler’s Epitaph for a Spy. Written and set in 1938, it casts an unlikely protagonist into the role of spy. Josef Vadassy is a language teacher of Hungarian descent. He is … Continue reading Book Recommendation: Epitaph for a Spy
An area of philosophical thought I find particularly interesting is ethical intuitionism. It is a hotly debated concept among philosophers that is difficult to grasp and ever more difficult to justify. When exploring contested philosophical topics, my favorite starting point is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I highly recommend it because it has serious academic … Continue reading Ethical intuitionism
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!