News Bits

by Luke Muehlhauser on December 4, 2010 in News

How to Save the World. (No, seriously.)

Matt McCormick: Naturalism and the A Priori.

This video explains Julian Barbour‘s reduction of time.

Why Do William Lane Craig’s Views Merit Respect?

A superb collection of links on Bayesianism. And, here’s another.

Excellent podcast: BBC – A Brief History of Mathematics.

Democracy Now interviews Noam Chomsky on the latest Wikileaks megaleak.

A simple idea: take an ordinary savings account, but instead of paying interest to account holders, hold a lottery to see who gets the lump sum… In Highland Park, MI, PLS accounts have been very successful at converting “non-savers” into “savers”. Why hasn’t it caught on in the US? It’s illegal in most states.”

Richard Dawkins Reads His Hate Mail.

Excellent comeback, sir.

A good overview of the confusing distinction between “analytic” and “continental” philosophy. And, here’s another.

Lydia McGrew argues that we shouldn’t let any more Muslims into the country.

What good is Wall Street?

What Obama should have done.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexander Kruel December 4, 2010 at 4:23 am

Thanks for linking to my list of links on Bayes’ Theorem. It got merged into the following list, expanded and updated:

References & Resources for LessWrong : Probability section

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juhou December 4, 2010 at 4:51 am

That “good overview of analytical and continental” started out great but in the became just another rant on the superiority of analytical philosophy. I would really like to find a more objective perspective on this issue.

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juhou December 4, 2010 at 4:52 am

I meant: in the end became…

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zaarcis December 4, 2010 at 7:05 am

About AP vs CP.

I found this link to be much better for me – http://www.westga.edu/~rlane/analytic/lecture02_analytic-continental.html
Maybe it will be useful for someone else too.

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juhou December 4, 2010 at 7:31 am

zaarcis,

Thanks for the link!

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Heads Up December 4, 2010 at 7:44 am

Related to the Continental and Analytical conversation…

Here’s a post by Brian Leiter on the continental tradition vs. party line continentals with some special reference to “analytic” philosophy.

http://brianleiternietzsche.blogspot.com/2009/11/continental-philosophy-vs-party-line.html

And here’s another post by Leiter on the topic of “What is ‘Analytic’ Philosophy?”

http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2004/10/what_is_analyti.html

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Tshepang Lekhonkhobe December 4, 2010 at 9:15 am

Regarding “Excellent Comeback, sir”:

I felt like the lady was rather too militant, but wasn’t the general showing extreme prejudice and idiocy, likening “selling pussy” to “violent murder”? I think he was worse than the lady.

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Justfinethanks December 4, 2010 at 9:42 am

likening “selling pussy” to “violent murder”? I think he was worse than the lady.

Firstly, it’s important to point out that the story is apocryphal.

But even within the story, he wasn’t saying that violent murder and prostitution are morally equivalent. He was saying that you shouldn’t infer that someone is more inclined to commit an act merely because they have the ability to. And that seems like a somewhat valid point. It would be, for example, silly to say that teaching young people chainsaw safety is equipping them to hack off limbs.

However, I kind of agree there is a whiff of misogyny in the story. Whoever wrote it felt the need to make the shrill, clueless interviewer a woman, even though strictly speaking a man is also “equipped” to be a sex worker, and the punchline could remain the same. In fact, even though the reporter is given the title “FEMALE INTERVIEWER,” when you think about, the interviewer’s sex is really irrelevant to the success of the joke.

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Luke Muehlhauser December 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

Alexander,

Added. Thanks.

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Luke Muehlhauser December 4, 2010 at 10:01 am

zaarcis,

Added! Thanks.

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Tshepang Lekhonkhobe December 4, 2010 at 10:38 am

@Justfinethanks I

But even within the story, he wasn’t saying that violent murder and prostitution are morally equivalent. He was saying that you shouldn’t infer that someone is more inclined to commit an act merely because they have the ability to.And that seems like a somewhat valid point.

I mentioned ‘extreme prejudice’ not because he was speaking to a woman, but that he regards prostitution as a lowly (morally wrong) way of making money. This unfortunately spoils his main point, which is valid (we are in agreement here).

PS: He also screwed up by making it too personal (IE, by using the lady as an example), and the heavy emotion brought by such an action is gonna throw someone off so hard that she can’t even think of a retort, and then look (and feel) like loser.

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Taranu December 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm

about Julian Barbour and The end of time:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/19429

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TaiChi December 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Free book on modal logic: Possible Worlds: An Introduction to Logic and its Philosophy by Raymond Bradley and Norman Swartz.

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Mazen Abdallah December 5, 2010 at 12:37 am

One of those should be entitled ‘Lydia McGrew makes tired, overused arguments and can’t use logic’

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ildi December 5, 2010 at 9:23 am

How delightfully Howard Stern-ish of you to think that sad little story constituted an excellent comeback, Luke! Didn’t he also reduce any conversation with a woman down to who and how often she fucked?

The potential danger womens’ pussies pose to society is truly a national epidemic… regulation and training on proper use at an early age is the only way to protect poor gun-clutching men from the maws of those gleaming gashes!

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Andrew @EC December 5, 2010 at 10:39 am

Jesus, Lydia McGrew is one evil human being.

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JS Allen December 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

Regarding the PLS in Highland Park, it’s actually modeled after similar programs in the poorest areas of India, Southeast Asia, etc. The lesson is that incentives behave rather differently in the ghetto; Sendil Mullainathan has some interesting work in this area.

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Reginald Selkirk December 6, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Didn’t he also reduce any conversation with a woman down to who and how often she fucked?

In the same way that she reduced any conversation about guns to one about violent crime.

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Reginald Selkirk December 6, 2010 at 1:37 pm
Tshepang Lekhonkhobe December 6, 2010 at 1:58 pm

…the only way to protect poor gun-clutching men from the maws of those gleaming gashes!  

@ildi, good humour

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Luke Muehlhauser December 6, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Reginald,

More technical link.

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ildi December 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm

In the same way that she reduced any conversation about guns to one about violent crime.

Guns are for killing; women are for fucking?

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zaarcis January 16, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Now the link http://www.westga.edu/~rlane/analytic/lecture02_analytic-continental.html is broken. (Did anyone make backup?)

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Luke Muehlhauser January 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm

zaarcis,

Stupid internet!

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zaarcis January 16, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Indeed!

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zaarcis January 16, 2011 at 11:52 pm
Luke Muehlhauser January 17, 2011 at 12:04 pm

zaarcis,

Thanks! I PDF-ed it and updated my link above.

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zaarcis January 27, 2011 at 4:29 am

Link isn’t updated yet. Sorry for nitpicking.

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Luke Muehlhauser January 27, 2011 at 8:39 am

zaarcis,

Which link?

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zaarcis February 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm

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