Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Australasian philosophers on the pandemic

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.” 

― Napoleon Hill


I hear revenge is a dish best served cold, so does that make it a prepared meal?  


Our hibernation in these recent strange months may have caused us to form some unusual habits; perhaps ensuring only our upper body need to satisfy work attire standards or ensuring that our dogs are vigorously walked past local cafes at least twice a day. Our minds may also have wandered during this time to ponder important questions during a Zoom meeting, such as: 

Does that beautiful furniture in my junior colleague’s home office really belong to her? 

Has she read all of those neatly piled literary classics on the shelf behind her head? 

Surely that sweeping ocean view is a virtual background? 

Is that floral shirt under her blazer a pyjama top?


Australasian philosophers on the pandemic — a bibliography of recent public-facing work


Australia’s politicians have learned that in the era of coronavirus, the future comes at you fast

TIME ALWAYS CATCHES UP: Before COVID-19, our politicians had more than a decade in which there was almost no issue they were unwilling to leave to the future to solve.


A Philosophy & COVID-19 Bibliography

Jef Delvaux, a Ph.D. student in philosophy at York University, has undertaken the project of putting together a bibliography of writings by philosophers about the COVID-19 pandemic and related issues. (more…)

To add material to the bibliography, contact Mr. Delvaux at or via Twitter, where his handle is @JefDelvaux

The bibliography is below. You can also access it directly here.

Humans are natural conformists” and because of this, “individuality, each nugget of genuine idiosyncrasy that is successfully maintained, is a precious achievement worth defending” — Don Ross (Cork) interviewed on the philosophy of economics, individualisms, minds, and more

Diversity in philosophy vs. the strong barriers put up by “the prestige economy of academia” — Barry Lam (Vassar/Hi-Phi Nation) with a thoughtful analysis of the obstacles to broadening philosophy

The world’s oldest philosophy major just graduated. 96 years old, he was first in his class with top honors. — “I’ve finally realized my dream,” said former railway worker and WW2 veteran Giuseppe Paternò (via John Bogart)

A student’s path from philosophy to work as a tech analyst and now to studying artificial intelligence — there are “a lot of touch points” between philosophy and the tech world, says Iva Simon Bubalo

We should “learn to relish the fruits of idleness” — Max Hayward (Sheffield) on leisure, education, and the “tedium of lockdown

Australasian philosophers on the pandemic — a bibliography of recent public-facing work

“Cancel culture”: Republican politician calls for adjunct lecturer to be fired for anti-police tweet — his school, the public Auburn University, does not appear to be standing up for him

“Free Will Matters” just completed a season of nine episodes featuring interviews with various philosophers — the podcast is part of the LATAM Free Will project, and is hosted by Santiago Amaya (Universidad de los Andes)

“The first authoritative collection to establish trans philosophy as a unique field of inquiry” is in the works — it will be edited by Talia Mae Bettcher (Cal State LA), Andrea Pitts (UNC Charlotte), and Perry Zurn (American)

Using Dungeons & Dragons to teach ethics — Rebecca Scott (Harper College) shares an interesting, active, and fun teaching strategy

“Philosophers don’t have a monopoly on critical thinking — but it is their core business” — a case for the value of philosophy, and against the reasoning behind raising the costs of studying it in Australia, from Daniel Gregory (Eberhard Karls Univ.)

What is capital gains tax all about?

Posted on 

The government is undertaking a review of capital gains tax, but it’s my suggestion that very few people seem to have much understanding of why
Read the full article…

Researchers created a test to determine which masks are the least effective - CNN – “…a group of researchers at Duke University created a simple technique to analyze the effectiveness of various types of masks which have become a critical component in stopping the spread of the virus. The quest began when a professor at Duke’s School of Medicine was assisting a local group buy masks in bulk to distribute to community members in need. The professor wanted to make sure the group purchased masks that were actually effective. In the study published Friday, researchers with Duke’s physics department demonstrated the use of a simple method that uses a laser beam and cell phone to evaluate the efficiency of masks by studying the transmission of respiratory droplets during regular speech…Researchers tested 14 commonly available masks including a professionally fitted N95 mask, usually reserved for health care workers. First the test was performed with a speaker talking without wearing a mask. Then they did it again while a speaker was wearing a mask. Each mask was tested 10 times. The most effective mask was the fitted N95. Three-layer surgical masks and cotton masks, which many people have been making at home, also performed well…”

Sydney dams start to spill after a saturated six months