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  • Marijuana “Experts” Disappoint: Part II – The Law Enforcement Establishment

    Opinion | Perspective ‘Experts’ disappoint, part 2 April 17, 2016 in Rutland Herald / Times Argus Surprised and disappointed by the marijuana misinformation in circulation, we set part of the record straight in part one of our commentary (“Marijuana ‘experts’ disappoint,” April 10): Despite what Vermont’s health experts are telling us, science has not shown that marijuana causes laziness or...
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    Marijuana “Experts” Disappoint: Part II – The Law Enforcement Establishment

    Marijuana “Experts” Disappoint: Part I – The Medical Establishment

    Opinion | Perspective | Rutland Herald By Brendan Lalor and Philip Lamy Commentary | April 10,2016 Editor’s note: What follows is Part 1 of a commentary piece by Brendan Lalor and Philip Lamy. The second part will run in a future edition. We are concerned by the marijuana misinformation in circulation — and in particular by the number of “expert”...
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    Marijuana “Experts” Disappoint: Part I – The Medical Establishment

    Abe Lincoln on Prohibition

    Abe Lincoln: "Prohibition ... goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. ... A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
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    Abe Lincoln on Prohibition

    Marijuana “Experts” Disappoint

    We are concerned by the marijuana misinformation in circulation - and in particular by the number of “expert” sources ignoring relevant scientific data. These include organizations such as the Vermont Medical Society, the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians, the Vermont Psychiatric Association, the Vermont Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Vermont Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Vermont Chapter of the American College of Physicians, the Vermont Public Health Association, Vermont Department of Liquor Control, the Vermont Department of Health, and individuals such as Dr. Paul Parker of Richmond. Why are so many experts repeating half-truths and outright falsehoods? This is especially disturbing because we Vermonters look to these medical and scientific bodies to inform our marijuana policy discussion. Further, when young people learn the real science, or gain experience of their own, they develop a legitimate cynicism that undermines their trust in our institutions. Hence, we write to promote greater integrity on the information-based side of our marijuana policy discussion.
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    Marijuana “Experts” Disappoint

    Reefer Madness 2.0

    Recently, I attended a public showing of the documentary “The Other Side of Cannabis: Negative Effects of Marijuana on Our Youth.” The film has been traveling across the state, sponsored by local drug awareness groups to stimulate public discussion of potential marijuana legalization in Vermont. The film might more accurately be subtitled “Reefer Madness 2.0” ...
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    Reefer Madness 2.0

    For the Sake of the Children, Outlaw it!

    Thanks to Ms. Slaton's Letter, we awoke from our slumber, recognizing in her words a call for an about-face from our current focus on marijuana in Vermont. She asks, "What are we teaching [our children] if we legalize a substance that is known to be harmful to their development and their ability to learn?" Bingo. She's right. If our children learn by paying attention to messages implicit in the law as Ms. Slaton suggests they do, then we are in big trouble, and we have already brought down immense harm on them by introducing them to alcohol.
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    For the Sake of the Children, Outlaw it!

    Flimsy ‘facts’ on pot

    Arthur Peterson’s letter, “Pot legalization will hurt Vermont” (Dec. 24), is full of misinformation aimed at manipulating Vermont voters into taking action against legalization. We write to correct the key falsities on which he rests his case.
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    Flimsy ‘facts’ on pot

    The Perfect Moral Storm: Philosophers Respond to the Impending Anthropogenic Apocalypse

    For at least the next 200 years, weather forecasts predict shitstorms, with global temperatures now set to remain elevated for hundreds of years to come. The latest IPCC report explains that our emissions are nearing the point of no return. Even if industrialized nations switched to solar power overnight, it is now too late to fully reverse the planet's course. Geologists have officially termed this new epoch, where the human species has irreparably shaped earth's geological history, the Anthropocene. Policymakers no longer have the luxury to decide how we might "stop" global warming. Instead, we have to figure out how we'll manage amidst climate instability.
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    The Perfect Moral Storm: Philosophers Respond to the Impending Anthropogenic Apocalypse

    20 Cognitive Biases

    An iconic taxonomy of bias.
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    20 Cognitive Biases
    Mushrooms I’ve Known
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    Christian Miller believes that there is a character gap, a gap between what we think we are like morally and how we actually behave. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he explores the psychology of moral behaviour, and how we can become better people. 

    We are grateful for support from the Marc Sanders Foundation

    Where did ethics come from? Philip Pettit tells an 'as if' story about the birth of ethics that is designed to illuminate what ethics is and why it evolved on this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

    We are grateful for support from the Marc Sanders Foundation and from Patreon donors for this episode. 

    Philosophers often talk about possible worlds. Is this just a way of describing counterfactual situations? As Helen Beebee explains, some of them believe that possible worlds actually exist. This episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast is supported by the Marc Sanders Foundation and by Patreon donations. 

    Throughout its history there have been challenges to the status of philosophy. Paul Sagar discusses some of these in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

    We are grateful for support from the Marc Sanders Foundation in making this podcast, and for donations from Patreon patrons. 

    Is it always good to be trustworthy? Can trustworthiness come into conflict with other values, such as generosity? Katherine Hawley discusses these and other questions about trustworthiness with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

    We are grateful for support from the Marc Sanders Foundation and from our Patreon subscribers for this episode. 

    Civility is a conversational virtue that governs how people talk to each other. How important is it in political life? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Teresa Bejan discusses this manner of speaking and writing and its history. 

    We are grateful for sponsorship for this episode from the Marc Sanders Foundation and from our Patreon patrons

    You can overdo most things, but can you overdo democracy? Political philosopher Robert B. Talisse thinks you can. He explains why in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

    We are very grateful for sponsorship from the Marc Sanders Foundation for this episode. 

    Robert Wright believes that there are a number of key tenets of Buddhism which are both compatible with present day evolutionary theory, and accurate about our relationship with the world and with our own minds. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he discusses Buddhism, reality, and the mind, with interviewer Nigel Warburton. 

    We are very grateful for support for this episode from the Marc Sanders Foundation

    We are also grateful for the continuing support we receive from donations on Patreon and Paypal.

    A remarkable step, and also remarkable how rare this is in Asia. The reactionary stance of so many Asian countries on this issue leads to absurd situations like this one in Japan, where a trans woman has her new gender...

    Philosopher and lawyer Nicholas Serafin (Michigan) comments.

    Ernst Thälmann was right that a vote for Hindenburg was a vote for Hitler. He was alas wrong about other things.

    A nice write-up in the Chicago Tribune about my colleague Agnes Callard's very popular "Night Owl" series for undergraduates.

    A great Irish blues guitarist does his brilliant solo version of this month's song:

    The Irish President is an admirably humane person: Ireland needs to guard against a reengineering of the education system under the assumption that “we exist to be made useful”, President Michael D Higgins has said. Attending the Irish Young Philosopher...

    MOVING TO THE FRONT FROM FEBRUARY 1, 2019--STILL RELEVANT, ALAS One of the tactics for shutting down rational discussion of the gender self-ID law in the U.K. is the accusation of "transphobia." Because I've given attention to the important and...

    by Grant Bartley

    Word frequency reveals morality’s tides • Marx’s tomb vandalised • Black holes evade conceptual capture — News reports by Anja Steinbauer

    Matt Qvortrup argues that Marx still inspires those longing for a better world.

    Lucian Lupescu sees how far Kant’s and Marx’s ideals overlap.

    Jack Fox-Williams explores power, class and religion.

    Chris Christensen considers a clash of two colossal Karls.

    Patrick Cannon on anarchy and state.

    Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now (and author of The Metarevolution) is joined by members of London philosophy groups Philosophy For All and the Philosophical Society of England to debate an argument advanced by PFA member Kieran Quill that according to quantum mechanics the universe is mental in nature. Join us to hear the fallout. First broadcast on 29 June 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Ludwig Wittgenstein worked out how language has meaning, twice. He also thought that some of the most important things we can know we can’t express at all. Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now finds out the meaning and limits of language from guest Daniel Hutto from the University of Wollongong, NSW. First broadcast on 22 June 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Might Nietzsche be right, claiming that lying is “a condition of life?” – Or Kant, arguing that lying means annihilating human dignity? Is it ever acceptable for governments to lie to the public or for individuals to lie to the government? Anja Steinbauer is joined by politician and philosopher Shahrar Ali and moral philosopher Piers Benn to discuss whether lying can be a good thing. First broadcast on 15 June 2014 on Resonance FM.

    What is meta-ethics? How does meta-ethics differ from ethics, and what does it tell us about ethics? Why is it important for how we should live our lives? Join Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now and his guests Edward Harcourt from Keble College, Oxford, and Richard Rowland from the University of Warwick, to find the answers to these questions and more. First broadcast on 8 June 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Join Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now and guests John Callanan from King’s College, London, and Andrew Ward from the University of York to talk about the most important idea you’ve never heard of, and some other persuasive arguments from revolutionary but unfortunately unknown-to-the-world philosopher Immanuel Kant. First broadcast on 1 June 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Join Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now and guests Philip Goff from the University of Liverpool and Tom McClelland from the University of Manchester as they try to work out how all that electricity between your nerve cells relates to and produces all your experiences and thoughts. First broadcast on 25 May 2014 on Resonance FM.

    What has Buddhism to offer the 21st Century? Join Anja Steinbauer and her guests, Martin Muchall and Rick Lewis, for a critical discussion of ideas in and about Buddhism. First broadcast on 18 May 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Isaiah Berlin said of David Hume, “No man has influenced the history of philosophy to a deeper or more disturbing degree.” Join Grant Bartley from Philosophy Now plus guests Jane O’Grady, Peter Kail and James Arnold to find out why. First broadcast on 11 May 2014 on Resonance FM.

    Written by Stephen Rainey and Christoph Bublitz Increasing use of brain data, either from research contexts, medical device use, or in the growing consumer brain-tech sector raises privacy concerns. Some already call for international regulation, especially as consumer neurotech is about to enter the market more widely. In this post, we wish to look at […]

    Written by Steve Clarke,Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities and Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, & School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Charles Sturt University   Shamima Begum, who left the UK in 2015 at age 15, to join the Islamic State, has been the subject of consistent media attention since she […]

    Written by Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford Caster Semenya is legally female, was from birth raised as female and identifies as a female. Jon Connell on flickr , CC BY-NC Middle-distance runner Caster Semenya will need to take hormone-lowering agents, or have surgery, if she wishes to continue her career in her chosen athletic events. The […]

    Guest Post: Torbjörn Tännsjö, Kristian Claëson Emeritus Professor of Practical Philosophy Statistically speaking, women perform less well than men in most sports. Their top results are 10-12 % worse than those of men. If they are to have a chance to compete at the top level, they need a protected space. At least, this has been […]

    Written by Ben Davies We recently saw a legal challenge to the current UK law that compels fertility clinics to destroy frozen eggs after a decade. According to campaigners, the ten-year limit may have had a rationale when it was instituted, but advances in freezing technology have rendered the limit “arbitrary”. Appeals to arbitrariness often […]

    By Charles Foster Statistically there is a good chance that I will ultimately develop dementia. It is one of the most feared conditions, but bring it on, I say. It will strip me of some of my precious memories and some of my cognitive function, but it will also strip me of many of the […]

    Julian Savulescu The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced that multiple Olympic and World Champion runner Caster Semenya and other athletes with disorders of sex (DSD) conditions will have to take testosterone lowering agents in order to be able to compete in her events. Reducing the testosterone levels of existing intersex female athletes is […]

    Written by Gabriel De Marco Neurointerventions can be roughly described as treatments or procedures that act directly on the physical properties of the brain in order to affect the subject’s psychological characteristics. The ethics of using neurointerventions can be quite complicated, and much of the discussion has revolved around the use of neurointerventions to improve […]

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    • Billionaire LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman says his masters in philosophy has helped him more than an MBA

      by Richard Feloni | Business Insider Nov. 24, 2017

      Reid Hoffman said that he has been "greatly aided by the crispness of thinking that comes with philosophical training."

      Reid Hoffman said that he has been “greatly aided by the crispness of thinking that comes with philosophical training.”

      • Reid Hoffman is the billionaire cofounder of LinkedIn and one of tech’s most influential investors.
      • Instead of a business education, he pursued his master’s degree in philosophy.
      • He told us that the analytical thinking skills he learned have made him a better investor and entrepreneur.

      When students begin graduate studies in philosophy, they’re typically looking to explore the essence of existence — and suffice it to say, most are not getting on a path to riches.

      But one of Silicon Valley’s most influential billionaires, LinkedIn founder and Greylock Partners investor Reid Hoffman, received his masters degree in philosophy from Oxford in 1993. He was originally planning to go into academia, but decided that his desire to do nothing less than change the world would be more likely in the world of tech. That’s not to say, however, that he abandoned the lessons he learned.

      In an interview for Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It,” he explained that his unusual educational background has proven quite helpful throughout his career.

      Hoffman told us his favorite philosophers are Aristotle, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and he said that studying them has proven useful in two ways.

      It honed his critical thinking
      Hoffman said that “philosophy is a study of how to think very clearly,” and that is useful in both investing and being an entrepreneur, which he said is like being “an all-in investor.”

      “Formulating what your investment thesis is, what the strategy is, what the risks with the approach are, what kinds of things you would be doing with it, are all greatly aided by the crispness of thinking that comes with philosophical training.”

      It gave him deep insight into human nature
      He told us, “I think what every entrepreneur in consumer internet is doing is essentially embodying a theory of human nature as individuals and as a group for how they’ll react to the service, especially if it’s community or network properties, how they’ll interact with each other, how this will fit in their landscape of how they identify themselves and how they communicate or transact with other people.

      “That’s particularly, of course, part of the reason why at Greylock, I tend to look at networks and marketplaces centrally in my investment thesis, and these kinds of things are the concepts which actually come out of philosophy.”

      Hoffman said in a recent episode of his podcast “Masters of Scale” that he considers the MBA path to be potentially dangerous for entrepreneurs, because it teaches them to approach business in a safe and ordered way; by studying the essence of human nature, he explained in our interview, he instead had an education into how humans interact with each other and the world — his business education came through trial-and-error in the real world.

      “There’s almost a sense in which part of being an entrepreneur or being an investor is being an applied philosopher or an applied anthropologist,” Hoffman said.

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