Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Coronavirus Hit the U.S. Long Before They Knew

 This clip of an off-screen interviewer asking film director Werner Herzog how many languages he speaks and then Herzog answering is only slightly more than 90 seconds long, but it’s a masterclass in how to tell an entertaining story. He playfully misdirects at first and then just goes from there.

I do understand French but I refuse to speak it. It’s the last thing I would ever do. You can only get some French out of me with a gun pointed at my head.

See also 24 Pieces of Life Advice from Werner Herzog

No, wearing a mask doesn't make you sicker. So why do some people say that it does?

*checks calendar* Yep: It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. 

This is super interesting: Islamic scholars wrote about concepts of evolution, natural selection, and speciation hundreds of years before Darwin.

The 100 Most Influential Sequences in Animation History, including those from Gertie the, Snow White, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jason and the Argonauts, My Neighbor Totoro, Toy Story, and Lord of the Rings.

"The emergency antibody that Trump received last week was developed with the use of a cell line originally derived from abortion tissue."

IBM is splitting itself into two separate companies: a high-margin AI & cloud services company that will retain the IBM name and then everything else grouped into an as-yet-unnamed company.

WSJ – The COVID Storm – Coronavirus Hit the U.S. Long Before We Knew Months before travel bans and lockdowns, Americans were transmitting the virus across the country. “The Wall Street Journal interviewed disease detectives and reviewed hundreds of pages of new research to piece together how the coronavirus infiltrated the wealthiest nation on earth. The latest genetic, epidemiological and computational research suggests it was spreading inside the country before anyone started looking. How did this happen?…”

  1. “People don’t want to associate with material things that are associated with evil” — there are irrational reasons for this, but also a rational one, writes James Harold (Mount Holyoke)
  2. The collective project of building a comprehensive mathematical “proof assistant” is underway and will probably take decades — one wonders whether such a project would be possible, eventually, for parts of philosophy
  3. “Philosophers are excellent candidates for the program” — Shane Wilkins on the Presidential Management Fellowship, a 2-year program to train recent graduate degree earners for positions in the US federal government
  4. “Pregnancy is an epistemically transformative experience” — and, says Fiona Woollard (Southampton), “this matters because in order to think properly about the ethics of abortion we need to know what being pregnant is like”
  5. Real life population ethics case — what’s better: fewer kids created, each with a lower chance of injury in a car crash, or more kids created, each with a higher chance of such injury? (via Robert Long)
  6. More on publishing philosophy one doesn’t believe — Will Fleisher (Northeastern) responds to Alexandra Plakias (Hamilton)
  7. If you’re a philosophy professor, you can nominate someone for the Nobel Peace Prize — professors in some other disciplines can, too