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.. Epistemology
Language and thought

.. Art
Fake art

.. Cognition
General Artificial Intelligence
Observing My Experience

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

.. Epistmology
Dire Warnings

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

.. HUM
A Mind

.. Society
Adversarial Legislatures
Borders
Cut Energy Use
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Jesus and the Money Changers
Merry Christmas
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Red flags
Red Rover Red Rover
Reusable Bags
Sleeping in a tent
Social Media

...HUM
Culture is Ordinary

Art
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
Weave
What is Art?
Working With Reality

Cognition
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
Genius
GIGO
I Lost My Knife
Illusion
Incomplete Information and Stories
Instinct
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Is free will an illusion?
Metarepresentations
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On Affordances
Pencil and Paper
Post Phenomenology
Reflective Equilibrium
Return of the Law of Forms
Shifting Meanings
Structures of Understanding
Superstition
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?

Economics
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
Inflation
Invisible Hand
Job Creators
Job Destroyers
Markets
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

Environmentalism
Blowing Up Pipelines

Epistemology
Absolute Knowledge
Equivalence
Exists
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
Unpredictability
Verificationism
Whatever happened to The Truth?

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

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

HUM
10 Views of Landscape
Affect and Effect
Dataism
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?

Mathematics
As Much As Possible
Zipfs Law

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

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

pending
Police

Philosophy
Agency
Being
Maps and Territories
Metaphysics Without Absolutes
Philosophy Buds
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Sorites Paradox
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The Gorilla in the Room of Science
The Purpose of Science
What is Going On?

Politics
If It Walks Like a Duck
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Programming
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Science
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Correlation Wins
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Time
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UFOs
Watching Pigeons
Weirdness in Physics

Society
A Job
A society needs a government.
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Drag Story Tellers
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I Distrust the News
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Its a Free Country
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Privacy
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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
Swimming
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
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Trial by jury
Virtue Signalling
Voting
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.

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







UFOs

What's going on?

What is going on with these things?

I was pretty young when I first encountered stories about 'flying saucers" but never gave much credence to the idea that the government was hiding evidence of aliens at Rosswell. Though I've always wondered about these things in the sky that all sorts of credible people have reported. I've never jumped to the conclusion that it must be aliens - there was no information about aliens - just stories of unexplained things in the sky. Soon we will get to see a long awaited report about all the US government knows about UFOs (Now called UAP's for unexplained aerial phenomenon) I'm very curious to see what it reveals.
But I don't expect anything very breathtaking.

The media reports lately have been of Navy pilots reporting UAP's. We get enigmatic crude videos of (I guess) a pilot's heads up display and audio of "what was that!!!" They report on objects not shaped like airplanes moving in ways that airplanes never could. I take Navy pilots as generally reliable witnesses. I don't think they have a conspiracy to deceive us.

And yet, and yet . . . they are reporting things that are physically impossible as far as I know and I actually know a lot on a layman level.
That is a problem.
I'm not prepared to toss out physics to accommodate anecdotal reports. I think there must be another explanation. I don't know what it is.

There's an interesting article about this at:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/30/opinion/ufo-sightings-report.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
The author, Adam Frank is part of a team that has a NASA grant to search for extra terrestrial civilizations He's convinced that there are many. It seems that the universe contains a billion trillion planets where life could arise. It isn't likely that it only arose here. As a scientist he says we need to treat UFO's as a scientific matter.

What is the hard data evidence - as opposed to anecdotal reports? How do we gather that evidence? The anecdotal reports are significant enough that we should apply significant resources to that project.

We should find out what's going on there.

One of the issues here is the reliability of eye witness reports. There is this idea that an eye witness can report what really occurred. They were there on the spot and saw with their own eyes. It is very well known that that is not reliable. It's even less reliable when it depends on remembering

Professor Frank points out that the pilots were perceiving these objects often through things like HUDs - that is what they see is provided by very complex computer systems I can imagine how that could be hacked to produce what they see by unfriendly actors without the objects being there. Radar data about the objects would be great. That would report concrete data about position and velocity. But even that can be hacked.

But let's not be that paranoid. Let's imagine that there are aliens hiding from us and flying around in enigmatic phenomena - if we gather as much data as we can about the UFO's we may get a clue to things in physics we don't know about

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.