Category Thought Exercise

The Homely Gangsters, Episode 11

Immigrants are good for the economy, slightly good for unemployment rates, they commit way fewer crimes and their kids are better students and more upwardly mobile than similar SES natives. And this is all a problem. You see, most people would rather have social status than a slightly more efficient economy or a safer neighborhood […]

The Homely Gangsters Episode 6

Do you spend all day watching the news, terrified of gun violence and involuntarily urinating at the thought of armed neighbors? Is your front room filled with assault rifles, NRA posters and shrines to John Rambo? Check out the latest episode for a balanced examination of exactly what the whole gun thing is about. https://www.buzzsprout.com/255212/1093037-guns

The Homely Gangsters Episode 4; The Paris Agreements

https://www.buzzsprout.com/255212/949605-the-paris-agreement.mp3?download=true As the greenest podcast in the history of podcasting, the Earth-Mothers Mia and Jen team up with primitive survivalists Ben and Jamal to talk global warming, Trump vs. the UN and the largely ignored conflict between fighting climate change and helping poor people in industrializing countries. 

Science Popularizers in the 19th Century

We are, as I’m sure you’re aware, in the middle of a boom for scientific prestige. Never before have we been so impressed with the scientist as a heroic figure and only once before have we been willing to listen seriously when scientists (like Niel De Grasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking) pretend that […]

The Homely Gangsters, Episode 3; Hannah Arendt and Victims

https://www.buzzsprout.com/255212/949600-victim-blaming-victim-culture-and-hannah-arendt.mp3?download=true Listen as your four intrepid podcasters take a journey with political philosopher Hannah Arendt to explore some unexpected aspects of victimization. For example, what happens when people latch onto their victimization? What are the benefits of “achieving” victimization? How do hero and villain narratives distort reality?

Threats to Democracy

We tend to think of democracy as an inevitability. Indeed, Violet Brown, the current oldest person alive, was born in 1900, 124 years after the establishment of democracy in the US. Even my host country, South Korea, has been democratic longer than my sister has been alive. However, our current wave of democracy is only […]

The Saturn Five Rocket and Human Suffering

Look upon the Saturn V rocket. It is 110.6 meters tall, taller than the Statue of Liberty. It’s 10 meters in diameter, weighs nearly 3 million kilograms and cost 700 million dollars in today’s money. The first stage of this rocket created more than 3.4 million kilograms of thrust and consumed 2.3 million kilograms of […]

Politicians > Military Leaders > Businessmen, Really?

  Between Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Han Fei-tzu and my rapidly worsening podcast addiction, I’ve been learning an awful lot about ancient history recently. One of the themes I’ve kept running across is this pattern where good politicians seem to be much more important and much more powerful than generals or […]

Beyond Christianity, Part 2

A friend on Facebook recently posted a Fox News video about “liberal agitators” at a Trump rally. Being that this was from Fox News, the agitators they chose to show were not particularly articulate. I was milliseconds away from forgetting all about it until I saw this comment beneath the video: “They’re being paid to […]

Kurt Godel and the Limits of AI

About two months ago I had the distinct pleasure to read Self Aware Patterns’ fascinating article on artificial intelligence. Mike Smith, author of that excellent blog, argued that AI need not fail because of Kurt Godel’s incompleteness theorem. He approached this problem from an empirical and deterministic theoretical framework. This inspired Tina Forsee, the writer […]