Three wishes for America
🧞🧞🧞 If I could have three wishes for America, they would be these: 🏩 widespread group living, 🚚 suburban revitalization modeled after Renaissance Florence and 🥾 a program for sending teenagers en masse into the woods for a month when they are about 15 years old. What about inequality, you might say? The war state? Conservation? Racism? Climate change? Health care? All these other big global problems? To me those things seem like intractable problems until a deeper underlying problem gets addressed: the lack of a common American identity and feeling of commonality with each other.
Reza Negarastani dasein on the scene without me
There’s a new interview with Reza Negarastani on Nero Editions. I never knew about the guy until I read this conversation (nor about this website), but apparently he has been a bit of an It-Boy of the non-acadmic philosophy scene for a while. The conversation covers all sorts of ground. I had no idea that it would be as long as it turned out to be until I tried to sit down and read it quickly on Sunday, but the part that will probably grab any denizen of the philosophically inclined internet will be the part on auto-didacticism.
Julia Galef's podcast is back
Julia Galef’s podcast is back. It’s nice to hear a lady from the rationalist community articulating their perspective. Her show disappeared through most of 2020, but it came back suddenly and she tours through four different areas of interest. The most interesting episode is the one with the philosopher Michael Sandel, where they talk about the issue of work that undermines the human spirit, work that lacks dignity. She says:
The objectivity of numbers is a mirage
Numbers are seductive. Numbers seem to offer an objectivity that words can’t. Let’s take an example of a morally objectionable practice that all reasonable people in the West now agree on: slavery. If slavery is bad then anything that even approaches slavery is also bad, right? So let’s imagine that there are some number of people in the world who still function much as if they are enslaved. Theoretically they still function under some sort of employer-employee relationship and they have a right of departure, but the truth is they don’t.
Hannah Arendt's 60s struggle session and the right side of history
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been really discouraged about people attacked by online mobs who simply look at the world and — in good faith — say what they see. One example: Lee Fang, a strong reporter at The Intercept, went to a Black Lives Matter protest. He interviewed some of the protesters, one of which was a black person from Oakland who was there to support BLM — but not blindly so.
Understanding Immanuel Kant's 'Copernican Revolution' by way of your cat
Your cat doesn’t know what a couch is, but you do. 🐱 A cat does know what feels ideal for scratching in such a way that it will sharpen her claws though. You probably have a rough idea of this, but you probably lack the discerning taste for scratchable surfaces your cat possesses. 👿 Sometimes that scratchiness and your couch coincide; this creates a problem with your feline roommate. She will never know what a couch is and you will never what a perfect scratchable thing is.
Speech is much more different than thought than it seems
So I’ve been listening to the Prof. Jordan Peterson lectures on the Bible recently for a variety of reasons, but I suppose the main one is because so many people in the milieu I exist in are telling me I’m not supposed to. If so many people are saying this man is terrible then I guess that means I need to find out more about what he’s about. I don’t really want to get into the larger debate about the guy, but I will say he just basically seems like a nice Canadian conservative who both happens to want people to live their best lives and is just antisocial enough that he won’t bend on his worldview because he knows it’s unpopular with the chattering class.
Did you have a nice time with that boy? Logo Daedalus's novel: SELFIE, SUICIDE
What better place for an existential crisis than on an internet date? Every internet date I ever went on felt like its own little existential crisis, anyway. Selfie, Suicide: or Cairey Turnbull’s Blue Skidoo is a short novel by Twitter personality Logo Daedalus, a maybe 26-year old writer who went to college in New York City and now lives somewhere in Texas (according to the last time I heard him talk about it on a podcast).
Quantum mechanics somewhat syncs up with Kant: What I learned this week
I’ve been reading Quantum Reality by Jim Baggott. When the second part of it starts he starts to get into the real stuff he wrote the book for. I’m probably going to butcher this, but Baggott comes to present a quantum understanding of the world as something of a verification of the perspective of Immanuel Kant. Kant’s so-called Copernican revolution changed epistemology by contending that our knowing all depended on the mind.
Reply All: The Happiness Calculator in Vermont
Now for something completely different. I’ve long thought that Reply All is one of the all time best podcasts, this despite the fact that P.J. and Alex (the hosts are creators) 💯% fall completely in line with exactly what you’d think and Brooklyn media personality would think about anything. This blog is not one for 👏👏👏ing the coastie consensus, so — while I listen to it decently often — I really didn’t think I would ever write about Reply All here.