Ignoring the Corpse to Point at Tall Grass: How we turned politicians into vacuous robots

I’m trying to discern reliable strategies to rise above the mindless shouting matches that have become political discourse. It seems a good place to start is to choose your battles and your ammunition (evidence). So what makes a bad battle or bad ammunition?

No one … is the suppository of all wisdom” – Tony Abbott, 12/08/2013, making a political speech.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Psychology is not Guesswork: Philosophy as Abduction

Psychology is not fair game for guessing by the layman.

An interview with astrophysicists was ended with the question, “What is creativity?” Would you end an interview with a psychologist with a question about what happens in the centre of a black hole? Questions of psychology, politics, sociology, and economics are routinely asked of completely unqualified people on the assumption that basically, anyone’s guess is worthwhile. This is horrifyingly nihilistic regarding our ability to understand humans.

Continue reading

Are Humans a Bad Idea? When people think life is a well-designed game

Are humans terrible? Is civilisation a bad idea? People don’t realise it but these ideas, along with fate, karma, and anarchy, appeal because people think that reality is a video game. But is life really a game?

In the past  I have argued that humans have had a net negative influence on life and that Earth might be better off without them. I have also been tempted on occasion to say, “to hell with this silliness,” and leave the complexity of modern civilisation behind in favour of a simpler existence. But I have not been able to sustain either of these positions. They both crumble for the same reason.

Continue reading