Yet the superstition In which we have grown up, not therefore loses When we detect it, all its influence on us. Not all are free that can bemock their fetters... The worst of superstitions is to think One's own most bearable. G. Lessing, Nathan the Wise
Philosopher Peter Sloterdijk claims there never was a religion that wasn't actually a misunderstood personal training regime. But if self-improvement is indeed the new religion, why should we settle for the mediocre stuff were currently offered.
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
This blog, by Daniel Little, chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, I like.
Victor Stenger, is the author of God, the Failed Hypothesis – How Science Shows that God does not Exist. The book claims: Not only does the universe show no evidence for God, it looks exactly as it would be expected to look if there is no God. I would frame this slightly differently and suggest … Continue reading Is it necessary for God to be doing anything different from the laws of physics?
Colin Allen spoke about Robot morality at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas. This relates to The Ethics of Autonomous Robots.
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
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!
Over the last three decades Grid-group cultural theory, first devised by anthropologist Mary Douglas, has been used in a wide variety of disciplines. Here’s an example by David Low from 2008 of its use as: ‘a heuristic structure through which to view the diversity of university-community engagement and create shared understandings of the appropriateness of … Continue reading Mapping four-fold conceptual schemes onto Grid-Group Cultural Theory
Meika recently posted a comment on this site, highlighting the concept of niche construction as a driver of evolution. I found it fascinating, which, partly is why it's taken me so long to respond. (The other reason is a total computer melt down). Anyway, I'm intrigued with the niche construction material, which I hadn't come … Continue reading Niche construction: what does it tell us about culture?