Archives for May 2013

Why no alien radio signals?

On plausible assumptions, the universe should be teeming with intelligent life, so where are they all? The folks behind SETI have responded by going out and looking for it by scanning radio signals, but so far the search has turned up nothing. Could there be a Great Filter at work? Or do the aliens just have better technology? [Read more…]

Fisking the Sermon on the Mount

“Fisking” is a term I used to see a lot on the internet, which sadly seems to have fallen out of use. It means a point-by-point critique, and they can be a real joy to read. Today, I give you a fisking of the Sermon on the Mount. [Read more…]

“Naturalism” has a bunch of definitions

A friend of mine told me that she’s been archive binging my blog, but complained about me using words she doesn’t know, particularly “naturalism.” This is a bit embarrassing to me as a writer, because I thought I’d been clear on this point, but then we all overestimate how clear we’re being. So let me tale a moment to say that “naturalism” has a bunch of definitions. [Read more…]

Everyone in America should fail to learn a foreign language

Everyone talks about the benefits of learning a foreign language. But in my experience, the benefits are greatly overrated. What most Americans would really benefit from is failing to learn a foreign language. [Read more…]

Could Robots Take All Our Jobs?: A Philosophical Perspective

I’ve written a new post on LessWrong that deals with a lot of the philosophical objections to AI; it’s titled, “Could Robots Take All Our Jobs? A Philosophical Perspective.” People are welcome to comment both here or over there. [Read more…]

An index of why William Lane Craig is a dishonest genocide-defending creepy homophobe

William Lane Craig is a strong candidate for the greatest living proponent of natural theology. But that’s because serious philosophers have almost entirely abandoned natural theology. A guide to Craig’s track record of dishonesty and fundamentalist lunacy. [Read more…]

Will human-level AI be created this century? Nobody really knows

That’s the take-away from MIRI executive director Luke Muehlhauser’s recent blog post, “When Will AI Be Created?” He writes: “We can’t be confident AI will come in the next 30 years, and we can’t be confident it’ll take more than 100 years, and anyone who is confident of either claim is pretending to know too much.” [Read more…]

On disemvowelling and creationism

I’ve been learning to program in Python, and midway through an “online intro to Python” thing I’ve been doing, I realized it had given me everything I’d need to write a Python script for disemvowelling text. Also: my policy on creationism in the comments. [Read more…]

Star Trek Into Darkness was about as mediocre as I expected

I expected Star Trek Into Darkness to be at least mildly enjoyable. And it was in fact mildly enjoyable. Unfortunately, it also ends up less being a movie than a series of action scenes strung together by references to Trek lore that will only make sense to fans. [Read more…]