About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Monday, May 28, 2012
* Philosophy Bites interviews Adina Roskies on the relevance (or lack thereof) of certain neuroscience results to free will.
* David MacKay’s fantastic book Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air is a really wonderful starting point for energy policy research; although it is a bit UK-specific, the techniques (he shows his work!) are all nicely adaptable to other countries provided you’re capable of a google search. Even better, for those who are allergic to paying for stuff, there is a free online version.
* Richard Yetter Chappell at Philosophy, et cetera takes on an intuitive objection to Peter Singer’s “drowning child” thought experiment.
* Trends in science fiction’s vision of the future, by Annalee Newitz, complete with interesting speculations on where the trends come from. It appears the future is currently receding from us.
* Optics Picture of the Day is a fantastic site, which not only presents eye candy from the world of optics, but explains it. Do not click if you intend to be productive for the next hour.
* Stephen Novella of NeuroLogica on cognitive decline with aging. Actionable: “risk factors include hypertension, obesity, smoking, a high saturated fat diet, and social isolation. Protective factors include physical activity, staying mentally active and socially engaged, moderate alcohol consumption, and vegetable and fish consumption.”