Big data is a fascinating application of modern computational analysis, but how would you feel about handing control of your government over to it?
Many have a dim view of philosophy as a field of study, but considering how few people have had any exposure to its central ideas or history, that’s probably not surprising. Here, I make an argument as to why philosophy should be available in public schools.
Assassin’s Creed‘s plot revolves around an ancient battle between two secret societies – the Knights Templar, dedicated to the ideal of a utopian society, perfectly structured to maximize human happiness & productivity, & the Assassins, dedicated to…not that. Why are we rooting for the Assassins again? Well, because they have a good point.
Blaise Pascal was one of the most brilliant polymaths of the 17th century, contributing to an incredible number of different fields. One of his more famous combinations of these fields was his novel application of mathematics & probability to the question of theism…which has some problems.
Game theory is a branch of mathematics concerned with making the “ideal” decisions given certain conditions. The Cold War saw one of its most important applications – the prevention of World War 3.
The metric system is fantastic, but in its advocacy, some make unwarranted criticisms of the Imperial system. It’s not the train wreck many make it out to be.
“Design” isn’t just what people in black turtlenecks do for Apple, it’s an essential part of making anything.
Many mathematicians around the turn of the 20th century wanted to ground math in pure logic. Turns out that’s pretty damned hard…and as Gödel discovered, actually impossible.
Some awesome comments get highlighted. I have the best commenters!
What the Bleep Do We Know? is a movie loaded with ideas about the relationship between quantum physics and science…not good ideas…
Concerts are a fantastic metaphor for sex. Lots of lasers, smoke machines, stage diving…maybe I’m thinking of something else.
Free will is a favorite subject for intense debate…but what exactly does “free will” mean?
Many are quick to assert that there’s a clear & simple solution to social, economic, political, or cultural problems. That itself should be reason for suspicion.
The Matrix cites many interesting discussions regarding the nature of reality & our place in it, among them the possibility of an artificial “real world.” The question arises: is there anything important differentiating artificial reality from “real” reality?
Some recent detection of polarized light in the cosmic background radiation has been strong evidence for a particular theory about the origin of the universe called “cosmic inflation theory.” That’s pretty badass.
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.