Who has the potential to do high-impact philosophy?

I recently wrote about deciding between philosophy and programming as career options, then gave a talk that, among other things, emphasized the importance of doing what you’re good at. A natural follow-up question here is, how do you tell if you’re good at philosophy? And more specifically, how do you do tell if you have [Read More...]

List of people Richard Carrier has called insane

So I went ahead and ordered Richard Carrier’s new book, but I’m pretty damn apprehensive about it. A lot of this is from having seen his exchange with Bart Ehrman, but there’s also Carrier’s curious tendency to call people who disagree with him insane. I was reminded of this when he posted his list of [Read More...]

Philosophy of religion is mostly not taken seriously in mainstream philosophy

In my very first semester in college, in my very first philosophy course, there was a unit on arguments for and against the existence of God. An article by Swinburne was assigned as the rebuttal to an atheist’s article on the problem of evil. However, the professor skipped lecturing on Swinburne. When I asked him [Read More...]

My talk on earning to give

Which I gave last weekend, can be found here. I learned a lot from the ensuing discussion, which is included in the linked audio, so I strongly recommend you give it a listen. The discussion continued after the part recorded above, and during that time someone made an interesting point, relevant to wannabe tech entrepreneurs, [Read More...]

So you’re thinking of applying to App Academy…

The entire reason I have my current programming job is because of App Academy. App Academy is a great program, because they take people with talent but little programming experience and, after a nine week intensive course, graduates are able to get jobs with starting salaries averaging $100,000 a year. Best of all, you don’t [Read More...]

Philosophy vs. programming

I used to be a PhD candidate in philosophy, but now I’m working as a software engineer, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when I got a Facebook message asking for advice for someone trying to decide between philosophy and programming as careers, from the point of view of what career will allow [Read More...]

Why it kinda sorta matters that early Christian leaders could have been frauds

I say the topic of my post only kinda sorta matters, because anyone’s obligated too much to worry about what exactly happened with the origins of Christianity. Anyone who knows their Biblical scholarship 101 should realize that the available evidence is extremely sketchy to the point that it’s obviously ludicrous to try, as some Christian [Read More...]

Information toxicity, or why I feel bad about my post on Elliot Rodger the other day

Earlier this week, a friend shared a rather amusing Guardian article on Facebook: If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I don’t much care for mood-altering substances. But I’m not afraid of them either. With one exception. It’s perhaps the biggest threat to the nation’s mental wellbeing, yet it’s freely available on every street – for [Read More...]

Scattered thoughts on Elliot Roger, evolution, and gender

I have a theory on Elliot Roger that I haven’t seen anyone else mention yet. The theory comes from chapter 6 of Steven Pinker’s excellent book How The Mind Works. The chapter is entitled “Hotheads,” and begins as follows: On March 13, 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, carrying two [Read More...]


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