A reader having a crisis of faith sent me an e-mail describing his situation; with permission I’m posting excerpts from it with my responses:
Philosophy buffs will want to check out this post I just made on LessWrong: Willing gamblers, spherical cows, and AIs. The main focus is on probability theory and Dutch Book Arguments. Please leave your comments over there. Angry e-mails that you hate the commenting system on LessWrong can go to challquist at Google mail.
I’ve found that Hans Moravec is a name that comes up a lot in discussions of transhumanism and futurism more generally. For example, he seems to be the source of the idea (used by Ray Kurzweil and many others) that Moore’s law can be extended back before the invention of the integrated circuit.
When I first heard this I was like, “pfft, that’s no surprise,” but this statement from Pat Robertson is really quite telling:
I just caught word that Rick Warren’s 27 year old son has committed suicide. This is obviously tragic and yet… it’s hard not to think about the theological problem this creates for Christians like Warren, which was apparently referenced obliquely in a statement Warren put out. From The Christian Post (emphasis mine):
I’m the kind of person who likes to spend as much time learning as possible (when I’m not doing necessary work or giving myself some fun time, that is). So I really like having podcasts ready to listen to while I’m on my way somewhere–but mainly podcasts I’ll actually learn something from.
For awhile now, I’ve been meaning to learn more about nutrition and health in general. In the past few days, I’ve made a start on it… but it turns out to be really hard to sort these issues out, especially if you’re (1) concerned about eating ethically (2) a starving artist like me.
As a huge fan of both Sam Harris and Glenn Greenwald, I feel like I ought to comment on this exchange. I’m a little unsure what to say though, because Greenwald’s points are a mixture of plausible and nonsensical.
As you may have heard by now, film critic Roger Ebert has died. In the wake of his death, a lot of people are passing around an essay he wrote on the subject, which begins:
I’ve been meaning to do some reading up on/blogging about scientific nutrition and scientific health and general, and it occurred to me that it might be worth starting off by reposting my review, first published in September 2009, of Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food.
Ha! We’ve poached another former Freethought Blogger: Hank Fox’s blog A Citizen of Earth is now on Patheos! Head over and give Hank a warm “Hello.” (While you’re at it, you may want to read my review of Hank’s book Red Neck, Blue Collar, Atheist.)
Yesterday, Keith Parson’s posted a very interesting “Taxonomy of Interlocutors.” The first and last categories, “The Troll” and “The Rational Responder,” are self-explanatory, but what makes the post noteworthy is what Parsons puts in-between:
Recently, in an exercise in thinking about things that are way too far off in the future to be really thinking about, I wondered: “If I do eventually get a Ph.D. in philosophy, and end up on the philosophy job market, will I list philosophy of religion as an AoC?” (AoC stands for Area of [...]
I am one of the 41% of Americans who’ve smoked marijuana at some point in their lives. Mostly in college. I’ve never been big into it. For me, it’s like going to a mediocre genre flick: enjoyable, something I’ll do if it’s what my friends want to do but not something I seek out.