Wednesday, December 28, 2022

A Window into Living


“Lives don’t work the way most books do… Lives are funny and sad, scary and comforting, beautiful and ugly, but not when they’re supposed to be, and sometimes all at the same time.”

We have been, so to speak, repeatedly asked, “Who are you going to trust, us bureaucrats, or your own lying eyes?” And it is not only nice, but fundamental to rational self-rule that we know it was them, the bureaucrats, and not our eyes that were lying. 

  1. “Leopards break into the temple and drink the sacrificial vessels dry; this is repeated over and over; eventually it can be calculated in advance and becomes part of the ceremony” — Kafka’s aphorisms (via Oran Magal)
  2. “Why lotteries and not voting? The Athenians weren’t fools; they learned through bitter trials that elections are tools of elites” — Nicholas Coccoma discusses the case for abolishing elections in Boston Review
  3. The first philosophy unboxing video — Pete Mandik (William Paterson) contributes to the popular YouTube genre
  4. “It’s fine if a vindicatory strategy is question-begging, so long as it achieves a kind of explanatory unity through which mysteries are not left to linger. And I think my strategy does just that.” — Andrew Sepielli (Toronto) is interviewed about his “pragmatist quietism” in meta-ethics at 3:16AM
  5. “A Søren Kierkegaard in skirts” — Kristin Gjesdal (Temple) on how Ibsen’s “women characters play out ideas and positions on stage”
  6. 9 philosophers interviewed about “Philosophy Illustrated” — in a New Books Network podcast
  7. “It’s a commonplace among lecturers that students don’t know how to read anymore” — so what advice should we give them about how to do it better? Martin Lenz (Groningen) has some suggestions

  1. “Having a higher sense of purpose appears protective against all-cause mortality,” according to a recent study — or to put it another way: a purpose of purpose in life is life
  2. “I take these to be the most important human achievements — language, literacy, human rights and the spread of these things — but I think our next level up is for everyone to have the conceptual framework for their own life be open to them for modification and reflection” — Agnes Callard (Chicago) interviewed about her life and work
  3. “Concepts of philosophical interest vary across cultures, ages, generations, genders, and socio-economics status” — a video summing up some of the results of the Geography of Philosophy Project, via Edouard Machery (interesting also as an example of philosophy research PR)
  4. “Even if it were possible, to build infallible memory into machines would mean forgoing some of the important benefits of forgetting” — Ali Boyle (LSE) on why it’s important that AI learns to forget
  5. “Did any parent ever say to their toddler, ‘The dog… now I can say that because there is exactly one member of that species that is salient to us at the present moment…’? I doubt even Russell did that. But young children learn to use definite descriptions just the same” — an interview with Paul Elbourne (Oxford)
  6. “Successful social movements have frequently—and appropriately—drawn on the socially transformative possibilities of imagination to help make space for justice” — Michele Moody-Adams (Columbia) on the connection between imagination and political life
  7. “In an overheated debate, your fatigue may lead you to misinterpret the situation and believe that your opponent is too dim or too deluded to see the truth… We humbly suggest that sometimes it’s not them; it’s you” — Nathan Ballantyne (Arizona State) and Jared Celniker and Peter Ditto (UC Irvine) on “persuasion fatigue”

Face Recognition Tech Gets Girl Scout Mom Booted From Rockettes Show — Due to Where She Works

NBC 4 New York: “A recent incident at Radio City Music Hall involving the mother of a Girl Scout is shedding light on the growing controversy of facial recognition, as critics claim it is being used to target perceived enemies — in this case, by one of the most famous companies in the country. 

Kelly Conlon and her daughter came to New York City the weekend after Thanksgiving as part of a Girl Scout field trip to Radio City Music Hall to see the Christmas Spectacular show. But while her daughter, other members of the Girl Scout troop and their mothers got to go enjoy the show, Conlon wasn’t allowed to do so. That’s because to Madison Square Garden Entertainment, Conlon isn’t just any mom. They had identified and zeroed in on her, as security guards approached her right as he got into the lobby…Conlon is an associate with the New Jersey based law firm, Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, which for years has been involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant venue now under the umbrella of MSG Entertainment…”