Choose a topic

.. Epistemology
Language and thought

.. Art
Fake art

.. Cognition
General Artificial Intelligence
Observing My Experience

.. Epistemology
Consciousness defined
Dialectics and Evolution
Intentional Stance
Training vs learning
What is a Vegetable?

.. Epistmology
Dire Warnings

.. Evolution
Life is Amazing
What is a Species?
Why are Tropical Birds So Colorful

.. HUM
A Mind

.. Society
Adversarial Legislatures
Cut Energy Use
Emotional Plague
Improving Democracy
Jesus and the Money Changers
Merry Christmas
Misinformation and disinformation
Moral Hazard
Red flags
Red Rover Red Rover
Reusable Bags
Sleeping in a tent
Social Media

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


We can do better

I typed "Capabilities Approach" into ChatGPT and it generated this:
(start quote)
The capabilities approach is a framework for thinking about social justice and human well-being developed by philosopher and economist Amartya Sen and further elaborated by Martha Nussbaum. It focuses on what people are able to do and be, rather than just their resources or income.
According to the capabilities approach, individuals should have the freedom and ability to pursue their own goals and interests, and to live a life that they value. This requires not only the availability of resources such as food, shelter, and healthcare, but also the ability to use those resources effectively to achieve their goals.
The capabilities approach emphasizes the importance of a wide range of capabilities, including basic abilities such as being able to read and write, as well as more complex capabilities such as having a sense of purpose in life or being able to participate in political processes. It also emphasizes the importance of personal agency and the ability to make choices and control one's own life.
The capabilities approach is often used to evaluate policies and programs aimed at improving human well-being, by assessing their impact on people's ability to live the lives they value. It has been used to critique traditional measures of economic development, such as GDP, which do not take into account people's capabilities and freedoms.
(end quote)
Heh - couldn't have said it better myself

My neighborhood is one with a lot of people living in tents on the sidewalk. Last week I was looking at an encampment while waiting for an appointment. There was lots of stuff. I could see a propane tank. On Sunday that tank exploded. Not a good situation.
But what is to be done?
For one thing, there is a pretty severe housing shortage here. It manifests itself in sky high rents if you have money. If you don't have money then it is very hard to find a place and many people can't.
Additionally, mental illness is common and a serious problem. Once mentally ill people were segregated into mental hospitals. The conditions in mental hospitals were so bad that they were closed. My guess is that being homeless now is better than being housed in one of those hospitals.
The situation is dire though. Last week one of the camps on Main St a block from here burned down.
Perhaps we need to rethink our approach to homelessness. What are the capabilities that a home provides a person?
My home is very small. It provides privacy and security and shelter and storage space and a bathroom and food handling resources and an address so I can get mail and internet. It's the biggest expense in my life. I'm way lucky to have it.
Perhaps we can find a way to provide those capabilities without a person having a house or apartment. I've lived in irregular housing for most of my life when I think about it. Before I moved here I was living in the back of a sculpture studio illegally. It was under a flop house hotel and the people upstairs were not good at keeping water in the plumbing. Floods through the ceiling were regular and I had plastic sheets strung up to funnel the water back into the plumbing. I loved the place. The City found out about me and a nice woman said "tut tut - you can't stay here" and offered me my present apartment.
Once I built a little hut in the woods far from town. No plumbing but 2 cats. (I can't have cats here:-()
I've lived in communal houses.
Once I pitched my tent in a basement beside a furnace
When I read about government trying to deal with homelessness they always talk in terms of housing units, not in terms like that. I was considered homeless when the City caused me to move here.

A lot of people, for many reasons would not be a good fit in an apartment like mine. They would not be good neighbors in a crowded building.

Once I had a fantasy of utilizing some of the many ravines in the city by building concrete caves for people who don't want to live in regular buildings. I visualize a small community with a communal kitchen and security and social services available.

That might be attractive enough that people would start abandoning their houses :-)

What do you think?

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.