Author Archives: alan

The Hostage Exchange is welcome (and overdue)

Of course, as the CBC reports  The timing of the releases of Meng, and Spavor and Kovrig, show China clearly saw a connection between the two, several diplomats and foreign policy experts told CBC News. “China … up until now, has … Continue reading

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Why doesn’t philosophy progress from debate to consensus? | Aeon Essays

Source: Why doesn’t philosophy progress from debate to consensus? | Aeon Essays My first thought on this article was to be puzzled by the idea that Molyneux problem is not trivial. Surely any person handling and feeling a sphere will … Continue reading

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The world can learn from South Africa’s ideal of nonracial democracy | Aeon Essays

Challenging perspectives (|and contrary comments) on a deeply painful situation that provides a reflects our own – albeit in a strongly distorting mirror. Source: The world can learn from South Africa’s ideal of nonracial democracy | Aeon Essays

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(239) If two more particles bond together to make a bigger particle, what happens to their wave functions? – Quora

The quantum state of a system of two particles is represented by a vector in the tensor product of their individual sate spaces.This is made up of linear combinations of products of state vectors (including integrals as well as finite … Continue reading

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My words may have meaning, your parrot’s may too.

A recent essay by Stephen Law in Psyche Ideas, entitled My words have meaning, your parrot’s do not. Wittgenstein explains, is forcing me into yet another diatribe in my ongoing love-hate relationship with “philosophy”. A slogan often associated with the … Continue reading

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Plastic Peril

From strangled seabirds to trapped turtles to the giant floating island and the discovery of nano-particles in the flesh of the fish we eat, we are all aware of the horrors of widely distributed plastic waste, and so it is … Continue reading

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The Village Green

My friend John Butler is back in fine form churning out issues of his wonderful newsletter on a regular basis. His latest issue is a blockbuster – full of interesting, and sometimes challenging, content. It starts with an account of … Continue reading

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What About a Truly Progressive Wealth Gain Tax?

The idea of a minuscule 1% Wealth tax has been promoted recently, but what I think would be better is a truly progressive tax on all wealth gains regardless of source – whether it be through employment income, capital gains, … Continue reading

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What is Murder?

It’s in the last minute and a half of this video that the doctor testifying in Chauvin’s defense provides what I consider the most damning evidence for the prosecution. It relates to the difference between the last two videos in … Continue reading

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Coleridge’s Theory of Ideas

Well, I have to admit that I had been completely unaware of Coleridge as a philosopher until coming upon this Aeon Essay. But on reading it  I found much to like about what seems to have been his approach. In … Continue reading

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Where does our “Number Sense” come from?

Source: Why do humans have numbers: are they cultural or innate? | Aeon Essays The fact that we can reliably count to 152 and distinguish it from 153 does not mean that we have a “sense” of either of those … Continue reading

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Are Numbers “Real”?

This Aeon Essay about whether numbers are cultural or innate is a rerun from 2017. But I read it again and it strikes me that the claims attributed to cognitive scientist Rafael Núñez are wrong on at least two counts. … Continue reading

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The Problem with “Scientism” is the Word

This is old enough that I may have already responded to it. And after more than half a century maybe I should admit defeat. But every time I see that word I re-live the indignation I felt as a 17 … Continue reading

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Death in Custody

My contempt for the fearful overreactions of police is tempered by things like this (if that goes on too long for you here’s a summary and shorter version but I actually found the initial boring bit of the longer version … Continue reading

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This Ignorance is Scary

So, apparently many nursing home staff in the US are skipping the vaccine. What scares me most about this (aside from the obvious fact that these people will potentially be carrying the virus into their clients’ living space) is what … Continue reading

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Worth Sharing!

1/16/2021 1:33 GMT —Nigel Higgenbotham reports from Washundasee, in the Republic of Uzambongo“The free and fair elections that recently took place in the tiny nation of Uzambongo are now being violently rejected by the followers of current Prime Minister and … Continue reading

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What About the Workers?

The Economist has noticed that: After years of dithering, companies are embracing automation – though I wouldn’t necessarily consider waiting for development of the appropriate level of DeepLearning-based AI before making the leap to be “dithering”. “We must build, but … Continue reading

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Storming the Capitol

 Habib Fanny’s answer to What do you think about the fact that 45% of Republicans said they strongly or somewhat support the storming of the Capitol? correctly points out that the reported figure is nonsense. But the somewhat smaller numbers … Continue reading

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75 year old, black, cancer-surviving congresswoman tests positive after being breathed on by maskless Republicans

Source: Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman tests positive for coronavirus after lockdown with maskless lawmakers during Capitol siege – The Washington Post

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Michael Mann is an Idiot (again)

A friend recently pointed me to an article at Inside Climate News : Many Scientists Now Say Global Warming Could Stop Relatively Quickly After Emissions Go to Zero –  with the understandable comment “The game-changing, optimistic assertion in the headline … Continue reading

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