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.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
* For those of you who missed the great physics “downwind faster than the wind” jihad, this video should catch you up.
* An interesting debate in print took place in the late 19th century on the ethics of belief, involving among others, William Clifford (now termed an evidentialist, he famously held that “it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence”) and William James (a pragmatist with regard to truth and evidence). It is worth reading Clifford’s original essay “The Ethics of Belief,” followed by James’ semi-reply “The Will to Believe” — both of which are very pleasant and interesting. I suspect RS readers are mostly in Clifford’s camp, but James makes some points worth addressing.
* Yvain, aka Scott Siskind, is writing a series of articles outlining game theory at LessWrong; these look to be extremely useful. The sequence guide can be found here, with links to the individual articles. I particularly enjoyed the one on signaling.
* David McRaney, author of “You are not so smart” (on my reading list) is now putting out an excellent podcast of the same name; check it out.
* Katja Grace on anthropics. When I get a free decade, I really must take up this topic in more depth.