April 1, 2014

(via prettybooks)

March 31, 2014
How You, I, and Everyone Got the Top 1 Percent All Wrong

(via theatlantic)

March 28, 2014
"Bentham attacked the notion, still propagated by religious apologists, that homosexuality was ‘unnatural’. All that ‘unnatural’ meant, argued Bentham, was ‘not common’. The fact that something was not common was not a ground for condemning it. Neither was the fact that something was not to your taste."

Philip Schofield on Jeremy Bentham’s Of Sexual Irregularities, and Other Writings on Sexual Morality—the first defense of sexual liberty in the history of modern European thought. (via oupacademic)

March 25, 2014
Re HOBBY LOBBY

kellysue:

This is a false debate. If I pay my employee and she then buys groceries, I am not buying her groceries for her. I don’t get to go through her groceries and decide whether or not I approve of what she’s buying. I am paying the salary that she has earned. The same applies to…

March 23, 2014
tastefullyoffensive:

[jimkb]

tastefullyoffensive:

[jimkb]

March 20, 2014
"It began with a curiosity about why the ten most common verbs in the English language are irregular, even though the vast majority of verbs are regular. Their discovery, arrived at through data-mining several centuries’ worth of texts, amounts to a sort of linguistic natural selection: the more frequently an irregular verb is used, the less likely it is to be regularized over time. It was the Ngram Viewer, and access to Google’s vast library of digitized books, that enabled this discovery."

Mark O’Connell reads “Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture,” a new book by the scientists Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel, founders of the field they call “culturomics”: http://nyr.kr/OBr9bg (via newyorker)

(Source: newyorker.com, via newyorker)

March 16, 2014

tastefullyoffensive:

Sad Cat attempts comedy. [x]

March 9, 2014
nickdrake:

Jim Henson working Kermit the Frog, talking to John Cleese.

nickdrake:

Jim Henson working Kermit the Frog, talking to John Cleese.

(via mostlysignssomeportents)

March 5, 2014
theatlantic:

If He Lived Today, Plato Would Love Twitter and Be ‘Very Alarmed’ By TV

Imagining what the ancient Greek philosopher Plato would think of Google, Fox News, Tiger Moms, and neuroscience might seem like the sort of activity that would appeal only to undergraduate philosophy majors after a few drinks. But the novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein has just attempted the feat of imagining Plato in the modern world for the span of an entire book.
In Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away, out this week, Goldstein revives the ancient form of the philosophical dialogue. Plato’s dialogues often explore basic questions about the nature of art, knowledge, love, and education, and as a result, Goldstein’s book ranges from the amusing (Plato carries a Google Chromebook and struggles with small talk) to the serious and ruminative (the Internet’s potential excites him, but he’s disappointed by the way it’s often used).
Goldstein holds a doctorate in philosophy from Princeton, and she has written studies of Spinoza and Gödel. I chatted with Goldstein recently to get Plato’s take on Twitter, the Olympics, novels, and celebrity culture. 
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia]


Good read.

theatlantic:

If He Lived Today, Plato Would Love Twitter and Be ‘Very Alarmed’ By TV

Imagining what the ancient Greek philosopher Plato would think of Google, Fox News, Tiger Moms, and neuroscience might seem like the sort of activity that would appeal only to undergraduate philosophy majors after a few drinks. But the novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein has just attempted the feat of imagining Plato in the modern world for the span of an entire book.

In Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away, out this week, Goldstein revives the ancient form of the philosophical dialogue. Plato’s dialogues often explore basic questions about the nature of art, knowledge, love, and education, and as a result, Goldstein’s book ranges from the amusing (Plato carries a Google Chromebook and struggles with small talk) to the serious and ruminative (the Internet’s potential excites him, but he’s disappointed by the way it’s often used).

Goldstein holds a doctorate in philosophy from Princeton, and she has written studies of Spinoza and Gödel. I chatted with Goldstein recently to get Plato’s take on Twitter, the Olympics, novels, and celebrity culture.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia]

Good read.

February 23, 2014
On Idealism Versus Cynicism

supplysideliberal:

image

Image source: “Noonan Goes All Krugman on Us” by Hendrik Hertzberg

I know from Twitter interactions that Peggy Noonan is not everyone’s favorite essayist. But I like what she has to say in her February 18, 2014 blog post “Our Decadent Elites.” She starts by talking about the TV series…

Miles Kimball makes a good point about how to influence the world for the better by durably influencing the young, whom he defines as those who will have more power later than they have now. Necessary conditions for being able to influence the world for the better, if you are an economist (or any professional): judgment, dignity, and standards. Don’t leave home without these.