Arendt’s 1964 Lecture on Cybernetics

[This is an uncorrected transcription of some remarks Hannah Arendt gave to the first annual Conference on the Cybercultural Revolution. I’ve copied it from the Library of Congress, here. Notice that her concerns with the end of work are quite strong in these remarks. Her comments on the necessity of a social safety net in a… Continue reading Arendt’s 1964 Lecture on Cybernetics

Personal identity intuitions

Most philosophers start with the big theories: psychological continuity, embodied persistence, “no further fact” anticriterialism. Yet in a vaguely Parfitian way, I’ve been wondering whether our identity intuitions can or should be forced to line up under a particular theory. So let’s look at some of the intuition pumps and see if they ought, in… Continue reading Personal identity intuitions

Some good sentences on science fiction

I’ve been looking at G. K. Chesterton’s theology lately, but today I came across this: The modern man no longer presents the memoirs of his great grandfather; but is engaged in writing a detailed and authoritative biography of his great-grandson. […]there is something spirited, if eccentric, in the sight of so many people fighting over… Continue reading Some good sentences on science fiction

Google evaluates our reading level

Check out the results here. How to take the news? Should I be pleased that I blog in an accessible style or worried that the blog is only 18% advanced? I think this is a good “first principles” question for philosophers to ask themselves, especially since Google seems to be using sentence length and jargon-laden… Continue reading Google evaluates our reading level

Wikileaks as Distributed Governance

Hannah Arendt begins The Human Condition with an account of a world in which “speech has lost its power,” where scientific omnipotence is achieved through the manipulation of mathematical equations whose sense escapes even the mathematicians’ capacity to intuit, and the decision to unleash destructive nuclear powers has been foisted upon non-scientists who are even more… Continue reading Wikileaks as Distributed Governance