Feynman once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Two philosophers named Sextus Empiricus & Pyrrhon from ancient Greece would have probably agreed.
Ender’s Game is the ultimate nerdy kid power fantasy, but it has some problems, among them its treatment of genius & genetics.
What is it to be “manly?” And how many people who think of themselves as “men” are like that at all?
Speedrunning is a fascinating culture of video gamers who are wholly uninterested in what the designers of the game wanted them to do, opting instead to race to the end as quickly as possible, by any means necessary.
Kids, Google Glass was a thing that was very exciting for nerds for a few years because it was a step towards “augmented reality,” you know, that thing that you have on your phone now. It cost a lot of money, made you look stupid, gave uncle Josh headaches, & eventually failed. But man, what a dream!
How time travel works in fiction, how it might work in reality, and how it probably doesn’t work.
Many don’t realize that language is a form of mind control, & don’t think about its power to affect others in significant ways.
It’s pretty much a done deal, geeks have won, but what defines a “geek?” Is there any difference between them & a “real geek?”
Some thoughts on Social Darwinism, a common interpretation of evolution with regards to societies, in the context of Star Wars.
Many people will object to certain products or activities by accusing them of being “unnatural.” Funny thing is, being “natural” isn’t the same thing as being “good.”
Josh went to Costa Rica, and all he got me was this lousy video about New Year’s!
Well, it’s not that bad. We take a look at the common cultural practice of resolutions & how they might be interpreted thru the lens of an ancient spiritual philosophy from China.
Board games are a phenomenal gift for the holidays, & they might contain the key to a utopian future for humanity.
The Hedonic Treadmill makes it impossible to simply pump constant euphoria into our brains, but perhaps we can find a way to make a “rewarding fun engine,” rather than a “happy machine.” Also, Josh discovers that the Powerdirector software he just bought allows him to put pictures into his videos!
Genetic engineering is sometimes attacked by people who don’t really understand how it works, what it promises, or how we got dog breeds. However, there are some legitimate ethical concerns about harnessing the power of genetics.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t – we absolutely should. But we should at least do so with the awareness of what it might mean.
Intellectual property law is an insanely complex web of protections & laws designed to protect inventors & innovators, supposedly motivating them with the promise of profit. But weirdly enough, the freely-accessible open-source movement frequently produces useful & amazing stuff. Is there something we might be missing here?
Tinfoil hats for everyone! In this episode, we investigate the origins of an explicit “Right to Privacy,” & why enforcing such a right is a good thing, even if nobody is doing anything wrong behind closed doors.
In this weirdy-colored & fedora-ed episode, I talk a little about some persistent myths about what artificial intelligences will never be able to do (including “love” or “understand paradoxes”) that are perpetuated by science fiction.
Hats. Man, that was a bad idea.
Also a bad idea: Cartesian (or substance) dualism, the belief that some floaty spiritual substance which exists outside of our bodies is responsible for “mind.”
The first episode, in which I lay some ground rules & helpful guidelines for argumentation, online & elsewhere.
This is the first THUNK video I ever uploaded, in which I explain why I started the series & what I hope it will achieve.
They are nice shelves.