Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Sherlock Holmes is good company in bed

 One lesson in Philosophy is as good as one lesson in piano playing.


Basically what Quine does is he goes around, locates some aspect of practice that he can pretend to defer to, and then where it doesn’t actually have the form that he likes, he acts like the practitioners are not applying their own principle consistently. There has to be a word for this… this self-serving, hypocritical, ‘I just do what they say, unless it’s not what I want, in which case I correct in light of what they would have said if they’d seen things as clearly as I do.’
—Stephen Yablo

Why is it so hard to be rational? (New Yorker) — and here is part of my cameo: “Cowen suggested that to understand reality you must not just read about it but see it firsthand; he has grounded his priors in visits to about a hundred countries, once getting caught in a shoot-out between a Brazilian drug gang and the police.”

41 Questions We Should Ask Ourselves About the Technology We Use

In an issue of his newsletter, The Convivial Society, L.M. Sacasas posed 41 questions that we should ask ourselves about technologies to help us “draw out the moral or ethical implications of our tools”. Here are a few of the questions:

Sherlock Holmes is good company in bed

So, friend, I confess that I have been sleepless and anxious recently. (Covid lockdown unsettles me.) This advertisement for a bookstore suggests a remedy. Well, going forward, perhaps Sherlock Holmes will help me make it through the night. Hmm. 

… the church offers a consistent ethic of solidarity: against pre-emptive war of any kind (which the church tells us cannot be waged in a just manner under modern conditions), against the enrichment of the wealthy in poor and rich nations alike at the expense of the working and middle classes, against the increasingly nebulous claims of academic progressives and activists about the nature of the human person and against the pursuit of maximal shareholder value to the detriment of virtually every other meaningful consideration.


SETH BARRETT TILLMAN:  What I Learned About the United States After Ten Years in Ireland.

The War Nerd: Was There a Plan in Afghanistan?

Trying to make sense of Afghanistan.