Suggested readings, #106

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

Coronavirus: do we have a moral duty not to get sick? Yes, we do. (The Conversation)

An ontology of evil. Evolutionary biology, data science, and why evil is a bigger problem than many like to admit. (Medium)

What’s it like to go mad? Meet the man who found out. Psychosis gave Dutch linguist Wouter Kusters an insight into mental illness. See if you can make much sense of it, because I couldn’t. (Irish Times)

What does it mean to be a living thing? Review of what looks like a very good by science journalist Carl Zimmer. (New York Times)

The radiant inner life of a robot. Kazuo Ishiguro returns to masters and servants with a story of love between a machine and the girl she belongs to. Another book review, this time of a philosophically laden sci-fi book that I’ll probably put on the list for my regular philosophy book club. (The Atlantic)

Suggested readings, #105

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

Where Do Posthumanist Fantasies of Tech-Enabled Life Fit Into Evolution? (LitHub)

The fight against fake-paper factories that churn out sham science. Some publishers say they are battling industrialized cheating. A Nature analysis examines the ‘paper mill’ problem — and how editors are trying to cope. (Nature)

Where science and miracles meet. Recent speculations in physics reveal that believers and nonbelievers may have more in common than they think. (The Atlantic)

I have come to bury Ayn Rand. A prominent evolutionary biologist slays the beast of Individualism. (Nautilus)

Huxley’s warning. Orwell vs. Huxley, fear vs. pacification, and the battleground of individuality. (Medium)

Suggested readings, #104

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

Eight of literature’s most powerful inventions—and the neuroscience behind how they work. These reoccuring story elements have proven effects on our imagination, our emotions and other parts of our psyche. And for once, a “this is your brain on X” article that is actually worth reading. (Smithsonian)

Diogenes and a puzzle of social critique. Even the ancient Cynics didn’t always “punch up.” But they should have. (3 Quarks Daily)

Wise women: 6 ancient female philosophers you should know about. (The Conversation)

Cilantro love and hate: is it a genetic trait? (23andMe)

The science of terrible men. The pioneers of social genetics were racists and eugenicists: should we give up on the science they founded altogether? The author makes a couple of scientific mistakes and errors of reasoning, in my mind. But it is nevertheless a must read. (Oh, and I think her example of Woody Allen is a bad one.) (Aeon)

Suggested readings, #103

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

Wilfrid Sellars, sensory experience and the ‘Myth of the Given.’ (Psyche)

That is not how your brain Works. Forget these scientific myths to better understand your brain and yourself. (Nautilus)

For chaos or country? Thomas Hobbes vs Jean-Jacques Rousseau about what society does to human nature. (The Philosophical Salon)

The politician is the malformed monster of our coexistence. (Psyche)

Procrastination: a strategy for change. On the power of implementation intentions. (Psychology Today)

Suggested readings, #102

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

Final thoughts. Do deathbed regrets give us a special insight into what really matters in life? There are good reasons to be skeptical. (Aeon / Psyche)

How to cope with teen (and others’) anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy provides a toolbox of skills to help you manage anxiety and do what you want with your life. (Aeon / Psyche)

Stoicism as an ally against anxiety. (Modern Stoicism)

The quest to tell science from pseudoscience. Philosopher Karl Popper famously asked how to tell the two apart. His answer—falsifiability—hasn’t aged well, but the effort lives on. (Boston Review)

When does an idea die? Plato and string theory clash with data. How long should one wait until an idea like string theory, seductive as it may be, is deemed unrealistic? (Greece High Definition)

Suggested readings, #101

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

7 lessons from Diogenes that will change the way you look at life. Learn from the notorious philosopher-troll. (Medium)

Beyond Order shows the disconnect between how Jordan Peterson is perceived and what he writes. Why not? One more on JP! (Globe & Mail)

The machine stops: science and its limits. (LA Review of Books)

The sustainable food paradox. Why are so many attempts to eat ethically counterproductive? (Medium)

Academics aren’t content creators, and it’s regressive to make them so. A video by a professor for only their class is akin to the single-copy, handwritten book disseminated to just one room of people. (Times Higher Education)

Suggested readings, #100

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

The abuses of Popper. A powerful cadre of scientists and economists sold Karl Popper’s ‘falsification’ idea to the world. They have much to answer for. (Aeon)

The art of abiding. Why the Dude is a hero not to be emulated (Medium)

The limits of computation. In what sense, if any, is the human brain a computer? (Philosophy Now)

11 science fiction books that are regularly taught in college classes. Add your own to the list! (io9)

Why we need virtue ethics. And don’t be fooled by the picture of Kant accompanying the article… (3 Quarks Daily)

Why easing restrictions will lead to more, not less, collateral damage. By my friend and collaborator Maarten Boudry. (Areo Magazine)

Why are literature and philosophy such an awkward match? A new anthology reveals the perils and rewards of philosophical fiction. Also, why do so many articles recently begin with “Why”? (New Republic)

Suggested readings, #99

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

The proper application of preconceptions: Curing “the cause of all human ills.” (Modern Stoicism) The Stoic philosopher Epictetus thought he had found the cure to all human ills. Give it a try.

Shaka, when the walls fell. In one fascinating episode, Star Trek: The Next Generation traced the limits of human communication as we know it—and suggested a new, truer way of talking about the universe. (Atlantic)

The “learning styles” myth is still prevalent among educators — And it shows no sign of going away. (Research Digest)

Ancient Rome has an urgent warning for us. The era of the Antonine Plague offers a reminder of what a powerful force nature has been throughout human history. (New York Times)

The Simulation Hypothesis is pseudoscience. (BackReaction) Sabine Hossenfelder nails another one.

Suggested readings, #98

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

The coup we are not talking about. We can have democracy, or we can have a surveillance society, but we cannot have both. (New York Times) And this one should very much worry us.

How the brain responds to beauty. Scientists search for the neural basis of an enigmatic experience. (Scientific American) As usual, a piece on neuroscience that promises far more than it delivers. Still, some interesting stuff.

What if selling out is the right thing to do? (Junkee) It isn’t, and this article does a decent job at critiquing the much popular Effective Altruism movement.

Metaphysics in free fall. How empty intuitions lead philosophy astray (IAI News) Along similar lines, see also this.

Pseudophilosophy encourages confused, self-indulgent thinking. (Aeon / Psyche) Along similar lines, see also this.

Where have all the lesbians gone? They’re coming out as nonbinary or as men. (The Weekly Dish) A rather controversial take on the relationship between lesbian and transgender identities.

The best science diction of 2020. Sci fi is booming, says Tom Hunter, the director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction, as he discusses their 2020 shortlist: six novels that embrace classic sci fi narratives, while subverting or reimagining them for a contemporary audience. (FiveBooks)

Suggested readings, #97

Here it is, a rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

Did an alien life-form do a drive-by of our solar system in 2017? (New York Times) We have no good reason to believe it, but it sure sells books.

Aristotle to anti-vax: internet and the decline of reason. (World Crunch) Though one wonders whether reason was ever much higher than it is now.

The tyranny of work. Jobs have become, for so many, a relentless, unsatisfying toil. Why then does the work ethic still hold so much sway? (Aeon)

There are two kinds of happy people. Some of us strive for a virtuous life. Others strive for a pleasant one. We could all use a better balance. (Atlantic) A bit simplistic, but some food for thought.

The inflation of concepts. Human rights, health, the rule of law – why are these concepts inflated to the status of totalizing, secular religions? (Aeon) One of the best articles you’ll read this month.