Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Some links

I've had a bit of a hectic first week back at work, and my brain is melting down a bit (so Deanery Synod tonight might not be the best idea...) Anyhow, I've been reading a few things - here are some items of interest:

How to cope with your mid-life crisis

Strongly disagreed with this article - I suspect mandatory paternity testing is a good idea...

Third Nolan Batman film will be in 2D (hooray! I hate 3D)

Peak Oil is history - and why it'll be worse than expected (good article, at some point I might write a response explaining why he's too pessimistic)

Catholicism, Conservatism and Capital Punishment. Hmmm.

The crisis of the humanities (read part 2 as well)
and related - so you want to do a humanities PhD? and pushing back on mediocre professors

Giving up football - something I think about a fair deal as well, I've given up Sky football as a start

"liberalism cannot defend corporate religious freedom"

Peter Hacker (one of my fave philosophers) on neuroscience

Overconfidence in the IPCC

Homophobia is itself an abomination


  1. I'd really love to hear why you think Orlov is wrong.

    Please (something to cheer me up slightly after that bucket of cold water).

  2. I would like to hear why you are impressed with Peter Hacker. Well, yes, he is a a Wittgensteinian, but he also appears to be a materialist of sorts, in that he thinks it is a real question to figure out how sentience arose. His criticism of Nagel's "what it is like to be a bat" is similar to Rorty's, and amounts to a civil war within the materialist camp. For Nagel -- a materialist -- it probably is nonsense to ask his question. But for an idealist it is a sensible question to show the confusion of materialism. (For that matter, there is anecdotal evidence for an X (e.g., a man) to learn something of what it is like to be a Y (e.g., a woman), for example in having reincarnational memories. Which, of course, may be bogus stories, but it does indicate that the question itself is not necessarily nonsensical.)

    In other words, I am raising the same issue over Wittgenstein as I have in the past with pragmatists. In my view, a materialist Wittgensteinian aims to dissolve all conceptual confusion that keeps mystery alive (thereby hiding the problems with materialism), while an idealist Wittgensteinian wants to neither resolve nor dissolve true mysteries, but to clarify them, and to distinguish true mysteries from false ones.

  3. Mandatory paternity testing? For whom? When? What? That needs some explaining!
    I'm having visions of the NHS testing all babies before filling out the birth certificate now!


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