“Our thinking has created problems which cannot be solved by that same level of thinking," (Attributed to Albert Einstein in Leonard D. Goodstein and J. William Pfeiffer, eds, The 1985 Annual: Developing Human Resources, Issue 14 New York: John Wiley & Sons, p. 185) What you think about why I don’t eat meat is culturally … Continue reading Eating less meat?
Science communication and conservative values
Roger Scruton's recent article in Prospect Magazine provides an interesting illustration of what Dan Kahn and Chris Mooney have been discussing on their respective blogs. (Kahn blogs regularly now at the Cultural Cognition Project and Mooney writes at the Desmog Blog.) The topic of their discussion: Is it possible to take the polemics out of … Continue reading Science communication and conservative values
Warmer is better!
Well into the Twentieth Century the slate industry of North Wales was the world’s largest. It roofed the buildings of the world and left a huge scar on the beautiful landscape of what is now the Snowdonia National Park. But that’s not all it left. If you visit Yr Amgueddfa Llechi Cymru - the National … Continue reading Warmer is better!
Tempting fate in schools: contrived randomness as educational policy
Australian economist Andrew Leigh has entered into public discussion with Noel Pearson about Aboriginal inequality by proposing that randomised trials should be initiated for those educational innovations supposedly aimed at improving outcomes for disadvantaged groups. He takes his cue from Harvard economist Roland Fryer, who is well known for testing the effectiveness of cash rewards … Continue reading Tempting fate in schools: contrived randomness as educational policy
What kind of duty is called for in Call of Duty?
Games have several important effects. One is that they train us to accept the premise of the game. If I don’t accept that a knight moves two spaces forwards and one sideways, I simply can’t play chess. If I don’t accept that mass murder is necessary, I simply can’t play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare … Continue reading What kind of duty is called for in Call of Duty?
Colin Allen spoke about Robot morality at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas. This relates to The Ethics of Autonomous Robots.
Two kinds of tales, one true and one false
More on truth and lies: 'There are two kinds of tales, one true and one false,' Socrates claims in Plato's Republic (trans A.D. Lindsay, 1935, London: Dent, p. 376). ‘The depth of consciousness created by the exercise of the arts of deception is the first arena for the practice of that dissimulation proper to the … Continue reading Two kinds of tales, one true and one false
The Ethics of Autonomous robots
Further to a recent post about the ethics of autonomous robots, it seems military robots are not the only kind that can kill, allbeit by 'mistake'. In Japan there are already robots that feed the elderly and baby-sitting robots in shopping centres. So who exactly should be held responsible when they go wrong? It's an … Continue reading The Ethics of Autonomous robots
Beware – Dangerous Robots!
Dan Kahan of the Cultural Cognition Project has been thinking about the possible ways of reacting to robots that kill. It's a relatively new set of technologies, but what happens when AI merges with weaponry to produce robots that want to kill you? He thinks the arguments could go in several ways and I tend … Continue reading Beware – Dangerous Robots!
A word on torture
In a world that's going to the dogs it's reassuring to see that the defenders of 'an alternative protocol for high value detainees' actually believed in it. Heaven help us had they turned out to be cynical and morally bankrupt manipulators. Take that, foreign barbarians!