Choose a topic

.. Cognition
General Artificial Intelligence
Observing My Experience

.. HUM
A Mind

Culture is Ordinary

AI and Art
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Excellence is a Plateau
Is this picture real?
NonFungible Tokens
Public Art
Tearing Down Statues
What is Art?
Working With Reality

Artificial Intelligence and the Collingridge Dilemma.
Bird Brains
Bounded Rationality
Competence Without Comprehension
Consciousness is More Like Fame Than Television
Developmental Processes
Emergence and Cognition
Gender dysphoria
I Lost My Knife
Incomplete Information and Stories
Intelligence and Motivation
Is free will an illusion?
Natural Law
Necessary Illusions
On Affordances
Pencil and Paper
Post Phenomenology
Reflective Equilibrium
Return of the Law of Forms
Shifting Meanings
Structures of Understanding
Taking Things on Faith
The Hard Problem
The I Love You Gesture
The Imagined Order
The Phenomenology of Swim Bladders.
Thinking about medical procedures
Thinking About Risk
Underdetermination and Redundancy
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
What Does Google Know?
What is going on?

A Country Is Not Like A Company
Alternate ideas lying around waiting for disaster
Blood and Money
Can Capitalism Survive?
Do Our Minds Own Our Bodies?
Everyday Communism
Invisible Hand
Job Creators
Job Destroyers
Money and Value
Money is Different
National Accounts
Necessary Production
Paper Wealth
Post Capitalist Society
Profit Motive Fails
Rentier Capitalism
Social Wealth vs Surplus Value
Spending Money Into Existence
The Metaphysics of Money
The Ontology of Debt
Thinking about Money
Wealth is What Money Buys

Blowing Up Pipelines

Absolute Knowledge
I do not know everything
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Rethinking Knowledge
Rethinking Knowledge
Semiotics and Body Language
The Curious Ineffectiveness of Facts
The Past and the Future.
Uncertainty and Unpredictability
Whatever happened to The Truth?

Body Plans
Competition and Cooperation
Dr Malthus would be pleased
Error Correction
Evolution Defended
Evolution is not Religion
Evolution of Cars
Forces of Nature
Is Natural Selection Obsolete?
Politics and Evolution
The Evolution of Purpose.
The Problem with Natural Selection.
The Source of Bad Behavior
Thinking about Tails
Why Does a Leopard Have Spots?

Free Speech in the age of Twitter
Freedom and Badness
Freedom and Morality
Freedom From and Freedom To
Freedom in the Age of Convoys
Libertarian Coercion

10 Views of Landscape
Affect and Effect
I pay rent.
Listening to Corn
The Reform vs Revolution Paradox
What is Public Schooling For?

Levels of Abstraction
Levels of Abstraction and Minds
What is a newspaper?

As Much As Possible
Zipfs Law

Emotional Plague
Memes: Imitated Behavior.
The Problem with Memes
What is a replicator?

Beyond Rules Based Morality
Freedom and Morality
Moral Realism.
What do we owe animals?


Maps and Territories
Metaphysics Without Absolutes
Philosophy Buds
Sincerely Held Beliefs
Sorites Paradox
Stereoscopic Vision and The Hard Problem
The Gorilla in the Room of Science
The Purpose of Science
What is Going On?

If It Walks Like a Duck
Right Wing Freedom
The Sovereign Citizen
Tyranny of the Majority


Constructed Life
Correlation Wins
Quack Doctors
The Great Shattering
The Material Space
Thinking about Interconnection
Too Small to See
Watching Pigeons
Weirdness in Physics

A Job
A society needs a government.
Babies and Bathwater
Belly of the Beast
Cultural Appropriation
Drag Story Tellers
Family Values
Governance and Power
Griefers and Misinformation and Disinformation
I Distrust the News
Inclusion and Christmas
Its a Free Country
Life Extension
Moral Decline
Open Society and Falsification
Parents, Children, and Community
Rethinking Rights
Rules in a Knife Fight?
Sex and Gender
Should We Go to Mars?
Social vs Individual Responsibility.
Society and The State
Society evolved
Spheres of Influence
The Care and Feeding of Free Speech
The Collingridge Dilemma
The Common Good
The Dual Meaning of Power
The Homeless
The Problem with Hedonism
The Rule of Law.
Thoughts on Justice
To the Moon
Trial by jury
Virtue Signalling
We Live in the Present
What is to be said?
What made freedom a bad word?
Why is there a shortage of nurses?
Work - Productive, Useful, Worthless, and Bad.

Implications of Very Productive Technology
Modest Proposal
Problems with Universal Basic Income
Tormenting Unlucky People
Why there are oligarchs

Family Values

Good idea

The world has changed a lot since I was a kid. I had a good childhood. The adults in my life took a lot of care to shelter me from their personal struggles. I kind of grew up without a care in the world. Certainly fear wasn't a big element in my outlook on life. I took it as normal that a man and a woman would get married and raise kids. That is, have a family.

I think that certain attitudes and values and opportunities need to be in place before that works. I think of children in particular as requiring a long term commitment.
But also the family has to have an adequate income.

I suggest that we consider the set of attitudes, values and opportunities needed to have a stable family to be family values.

Since I was a kid I've learned that people are way more diverse than I saw in my sheltered childhood. Back then Catholics seemed slightly foreign but were tolerated.

By early adulthood I knew from scientific studies that about 10% of people were gay but that was a time when most gay people were in the closet and I didn't know any.
Ten years later I knew many. They seemed perfectly normal people to me.
And the ones who formed stable relationships had what I call family values though the families had no children often. Now there are so many genders that I have a hard job keeping up with their names but it is fine with me. Long ago I learned that people are far more variable than societies from the past really comprehended.
But here's a significant point. The families that produce and raise healthy children are the only source of new humans. Should we restrict the idea of 'family values' to the values that enable families who raise kids?
I say, of course.

I proposed earlier that we consider - the set of attitudes, values and opportunities needed to have a stable family to be family values.
Just as an example, if someone emerges from childhood filled with rage - is that an attitude that would lead to a stable family ?
What if couples get torn apart by the economy does that lead to a stable family? What if a family's income isn't big enough to pay for rent and healthy food let alone for tutors for kids?

And when it comes to raising kids I've known many families raising kids that were not your stereotypical mom/pop operation.

So I think that on a societal level an important family value has to be ensuring that everyone has a good income.
This is complicated stuff. Some social institutions like religions are strongly supportive of family values like commitment. Once married, a couple may find divorce to be hard because of legal pressures and social pressures from a congregation.
And this can be good and bad.
When it's good it helps people overcome bad patches in their relationship.
When it's bad it involves trapping people in unhappy relationships that produce unhappy families.

For many years I've watched various radical christians like Evangelicals wage culture war defending their concept of family values.
I'm not a christian and many of their values seem to me to be flat out wrong.

This article presents a significant point:
To paraphrase: Evangelicals see America as a Christian and nationalist country. They see that Putin sees Russia as a Christian and nationalist country too.

And now we have this absurdity of protesting against schools teaching Critical Race Theory.
I know of no school that teaches it at all. It's a university level study.
But it's being applied by the Right to any mention of America's racist past.
The complaint is that that information is hurting their kids feelings by making them ashamed of their race.
And I wonder who was teaching the kids to be proud of their race.
And if they thought they were promoting a family value.

What do you think?
I open the floor

Star I present regular philosophy discussions in a virtual reality called Second Life. I set a topic and people come as avatars and sit around a virtual table to discuss it. Each week I write a short essay to set the topic. I show a selection of them here.

I've been thinking and reading about philosophy for a long time but I'm mostly self taught. That is I've had the good fortune to read what interests me rather than follow a course of study. That has it's limits of course but advantages. It doesn't cost as much and is fun too.

My interests are things like evolution and cognition and social issues and economics and science in general.