Where your mind goes, you go? (Part 1)

What does it take for you to persist across time? What sorts of changes could you survive, and what sorts of changes would bring your existence to an end? The dominant approach to personal identity
What does it take for you to persist across time? What sorts of changes could you survive, and what sorts of changes would bring your existence to an end? The dominant approach to personal identity [More]

Bolder than a boulder and other stumps and stones of English orthography

One good thing about English spelling is that, when you look for some oddity in it, you don’t have to search long. So why do we have the letter u in boulder (and of course in Boulder, the name of a
One good thing about English spelling is that, when you look for some oddity in it, you don’t have to search long. So why do we have the letter u in boulder (and of course in Boulder, the name of a [More]

A basic income for all: crazy or essential?

Shouldn’t society provide a safety net for all in modern society? The radical idea of ensuring a regular stream of cash payments to all members of society, irrespective of their willingness to work,
Shouldn’t society provide a safety net for all in modern society? The radical idea of ensuring a regular stream of cash payments to all members of society, irrespective of their willingness to work, [More]

Graphs and paradoxes

A directed graph is a pair where N is any collection or set of objects (the nodes of the graph) and E is a relation on N (the edges). Intuitively speaking, we can think of a directed graph in terms
A directed graph is a pair where N is any collection or set of objects (the nodes of the graph) and E is a relation on N (the edges). Intuitively speaking, we can think of a directed graph in terms [More]

Immunology in perspective

Among students of science, in contrast to those who do science, the dominant discussion revolves around the degree to which scientific interpretations are subject to extra-curricular influences,
Among students of science, in contrast to those who do science, the dominant discussion revolves around the degree to which scientific interpretations are subject to extra-curricular influences, [More]

The eternal Cheshire cat

Unlike Alice, who was advised to begin at the beginning and stop only when she came to an end, I’d rather begin at the end. The English-speaking world is interested in the Cheshire cat only because
Unlike Alice, who was advised to begin at the beginning and stop only when she came to an end, I’d rather begin at the end. The English-speaking world is interested in the Cheshire cat only because [More]

How to write dialogue

I'm sitting at my computer early in the morning and my wife walks in. "Good morning," she says. "Is there any more coffee?" I nod. "Do you want some?" I answer. "I'll get it," she says. "What are
I'm sitting at my computer early in the morning and my wife walks in. "Good morning," she says. "Is there any more coffee?" I nod. "Do you want some?" I answer. "I'll get it," she says. "What are [More]

Ineffable facts, deep ignorance, and the sub-algebra hypothesis: Part 2

If there are any ineffable facts, then it is striking that they essentially are nowhere to be found. It is natural to think of ineffable facts as rare, radical exceptions, something unusual, maybe
If there are any ineffable facts, then it is striking that they essentially are nowhere to be found. It is natural to think of ineffable facts as rare, radical exceptions, something unusual, maybe [More]

Face to face with brash: part 2

James Murray showed great caution in his discussion of the Modern English words spelled and pronounced as brash (see Part I of this essay). It remains unclear how many of them are related. One of
James Murray showed great caution in his discussion of the Modern English words spelled and pronounced as brash (see Part I of this essay). It remains unclear how many of them are related. One of [More]

Measuring belief?

Pop quiz: What do standing in a long line outside a temple on New Year’s Eve, kneeling alone in a giant cathedral, and gathering around with 10-15 friends in an apartment room all have in common?
Pop quiz: What do standing in a long line outside a temple on New Year’s Eve, kneeling alone in a giant cathedral, and gathering around with 10-15 friends in an apartment room all have in common? [More]