Various well-informed interlocutors review 'The Scout Mindset' by Julia Galef
Noted rationalist and speaker on issues around clearheaded thinking, Julia Galef, has a new book out over the last week, The Scout Mindset. It’s a book about training your mind to function in a truth-seeking way rather than a belief-defending way. In military campaigns, scouts want to know the truth about the lay of the land. Soldiers defend positions. It’s just a metaphor, though, so don’t get too fixated on where it might run out of gas.
Playing card epistemology
I submit that we have a tendency to downplay it when people say that they “learned a lot” if they can’t articulate what they learned. But I had a very tangible experience with learning recently and I realized that I had learned a lot that I definitely could not put into words. And yet! I am able to use the knowledge I have gleaned in an easily demonstrable way. For anyone reading this, I submit, I know how to do a thing that I virtually guarantee you can’t.
On making America into a tribe again
America needs to find itself again, there’s no question. The Economist just released an excellent essay on a secular America putting its latent religious energy into political issues — such that neither the populist right now the woke left brooking any dissent or even discussion — with results that have become a global SNAFU in the original sense: Situation Normal: All Fucked Up. There has been one group of thinkers however that have done a good job of pleasing neither side and pleading for a renewed spirit of civil discourse, the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW).
Why 'Red Scare' is so good
I finally articulated for myself why I like the podcast Red Scare. 🎧 It hit me sometime last week while listening to something else that was trying and failing to evoke Red Scare vibes, but then the newest episode came out, the one where they sat down with Brontez Purnell, the author of a several books and also apparently a well traveled musician. He is now a Bay Area artist, but he grew up in Alabama.
The forest that grew upward and out
Once there was a magic forest that existed at the edge of several cities, and it was a place that people liked to visit because everything was more fun inside the forest. At first it was a small magic forest, but as people started to visit, it grew. Every new regular visitor grew it a quarter acre or so. It would grow out and out and reach many other cities and villages.
My heresy on philosophical sources
In my last post I mention listening to an episode of Philosophize This about Hegel and also one of the very short introductions about his work. 🎑 What I don’t mention at all is reading Hegel. I haven’t. 📚 📚 📚 Since I’ve started making an intentional study of the great philosophers over the last year or two, I haven’t really read original sources at all (mostly). And I think it’s been great.
What did Hegel think about God?
👼 Hegel had ideas about God that challenge me and I feel like I’ve been thinking about God a long time. 🎙️ In Episode 76 of Philosophize This, Stephen West discusses Hegel’s conception of the almighty. 🎧 To Hegel, freedom is achieved when a human teases out all the inner prejudices and external messages that are guiding his decisions on a day to day basis. Only by clarifying what presumptions come from where and analyzing their merits can a person truly be said to be free.
Free expression is much more than a legal concept
I want to like the website 1000 word philosophy and generally I do, but this is a very bad essay, at least for a site about philosophy. The essay is about free speech, and it is by a fellow named Mark Satta. I looked him up. He’s an attorney. Not that you can’t be an attorney and a philosopher, but it does seem that once people really learn law they tend to conflate “the law” with “the world.
Libtards, glibtards and drats — the cast members of this liminal philosophical moment
Libtards are very real, but they are hardly the only breed of whatevertards out there. In fact there’s a new breed of retard: the glibtard. He’s a dumb type, but a good sign. To explain, we are in this moment between moments. We’re kind of in a double between moment, like a parenthetical within a parenthetical. On the most obvious level, the pandemic has put the whole world into time out.
Politicians are punching bags
Politicians are a psy-op. They are a psy-op now. This has not always been the case, but they are now. 📺 It’s important to watch all of the BBC film series Can’t Get You Out of my Head, but I just want to tune folks into episode 4. 📺 In this segment, Curtis really nails one of his most important points: politicians don’t have any real power any longer because there are no longer well organized masses of people undergirding them.