Tuesday, October 11, 2022

“If we take Tolkien at his word and read LTR as a ‘true mythology’ of our own earth

 #Copenhagen is planting fruit trees in streets so everyone can enjoy fresh fruit. In #Ottawa, fruit #trees are being planted to support local food banks. #Adelaide is considering a similar plan to help the homeless.

We have the solutions. Implement them.

“If we take Tolkien at his word and read LTR as a ‘true mythology’ of our own earth, then we will find that the text metamorphoses chillingly from a quaint otherworldly fantasy into a literal transcription of one of the most malignant ideologies of the past millennium: the racist ‘Aryan Myth’” — a previously unpublished piece by the late Charles Mills (now unpaywalled)


Friedman, Barry, Lawless Surveillance (February 1, 2022). 97 N.Y.U. L. Rev. (2022), NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 22-28, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4111547

“Here in the United States, policing agencies are engaging in mass collection of personal data, building a vast architecture of surveillance. License plate readers collect our location information. Mobile forensics data terminals suck in the contents of cell phones during traffic stops. CCTV maps our movements. Cheap storage means most of this is kept for long periods of time—sometimes into perpetuity. Artificial intelligence makes searching and mining the data a snap. 

  • “There has not been time to come up with the nuances on how [AI art generators] should be used, and large numbers of very different stakeholders have suddenly shown up at the artists’ door, kicking it in” — Anders Sandberg (Oxford) on some of the issues AI art raises in moral, social, and political philosophy
  • “When a philosopher has misgivings about the value of philosophy, they’re not just asking ‘why,’ but ‘why why?,’ which is fancier” — Helena de Bres (Wellesley) recovers her gratitude for philosophy
  • The Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective (SERRC) launches a monthly podcast called “Knowledge for Breakfast” — hosted by Fabien Medvecky (Otago) & Michiel van Oudheusden (KU Leuven), the first episode is on “Epistemic Shame and Imposter Syndrome”
  • You feel attraction to someone? Which of the 12,228 possible versions of this feeling? — Maria Heim (Amherst) on how India’s “sophisticated traditions of philosophical reflection” explore “the nuances of felt experience with fine-grained particularity”
  • On “private and public sector jobs in a burgeoning ontological sector, involving the commercial and industrial applications of ontology across diverse industries” — an interview with Barry Smith (Buffalo)
  • Philosophers on the tools of neuroscientific experimentation — a discussion with contributions from Ann-Sophie Barwich, John Bickle, Dan Burnston, Carl Craver, and Valerie Hardcastle
  • “What is the main impediment to offline creativity? In short, not allowing one’s mind to be offline—rarely choosing, or having the chance, to be alone with one’s thoughts, and to let one’s mind wander” — Peter Carruthers (Maryland) on a contemporary threat to creativity