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


Freedom for me but not for thee

When I think of totalitarian regimes I think of places like Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.
These were times and places where a dictatorial government tried to maintain complete control over the thoughts and actions of citizens.
"That which is not compulsory is forbidden".
And these countries were notorious for encouraging citizens to report on the behavior of the people around them. It created a kind of hell on earth where everyone was paranoid and suspicious.

I look with some alarm at movements happening now in America.
Two things this week caught my attention.

The mass murder in Texas stimulated politicians into their "guns don't kill people, people kill people" mode.
And they start talking about how we need to get violently mentally ill people off the streets.
They talk about 'red flags" that should have alerted the authorities to take action before the mass murder occurred.

Consider how that would work.
The authorities would have to be arresting people before any crime had been committed based on suspicions
Say a mother might grow alarmed that her son had just bought 2 rifles with his birthday money and reported that to the police. The police would be unperturbed; guns are pretty OK. No red flag there.
Say a cop kills by kneeling on a neck has a history of violence. No red flags there.
But I think Gov Abbott had a different thing in mind. If a citizen grows suspicious of somebody then they should tell the cops who would then check them out.
What could possibly go wrong?

And Abbott's thesis is wrong. Statistics show that Americans are no crazier than any other people. The difference is American gun culture that creates a society where privately owned guns outnumber the citizens.
And in calling for citizens to be on the watch for dangerous people, Abbott is among those who refuse obvious steps in that direction like background checks.

Texas already has the Texas Heart Beat act which among other things "authorizes members of the public to sue anyone who performs or facilitates an illegal abortion for a minimum of $10,000 in statutory damages per abortion, plus court costs and attorneys' fees."
In anticipation of Roe v Wade being overturned, many states are passing even more draconian anti-abortion regulations: Members of the public would be able to sue a woman who has an abortion.
They'd be able to sue even if she went out of state for care.
Which raises the question of how would people know if a woman had had an abortion.
How would they know if she got abortion pills via Fedex?

Siblings don't always get along - what would prevent one from making up a story and suing a sister? Or a classmate?
But leaving that old fashioned stuff aside, there are new possibilities.
Google tells me that there are 11 menstrual cycle tracking apps.
I read one article (can't find it) that pointed out that the data in such an app could be parsed to identify possible abortion events. Unexplained stopping of periods and then restarting.
So if such data was hacked it could provide the hacker with a trove of women to try to sue.
The point I'm trying to raise here is that these examples show that bad right wing ideas lead to totalitarianism in an attempt to enforce them.
So we need surveillance on citizenry invasive enough to prevent crimes before they happen and to intimidate women into carrying all fetuses to term.

And these wanabe totatalitarians speak of themselves as fighting for freedom ffs

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.