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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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    • 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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    Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, Karl Marx
    [F]ully developed naturalism equals humanism, and ... fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man.
    Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, Karl Marx
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    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.

    How can we best help other people? Peter Singer has argued that we should give aid. Despite a lifetime spent believing this, Larry Temkin has started to question whether the effects of aid are beneficial. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he discusses some qualms about Peter Singer's arguments. 

    Do states have a moral right to exclude people from their territory? It might seem obvious that states do have such a right, but Sarah Fine questions this in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. 

    This episode of Philosophy Bites was sponsored by the Examining Ethics podcast from the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University. You can subscribe to Examining Ethics on iTunes or listen to episodes at ExaminingEthics.Org

    A video about philosopher Herbert Fingarette, who died last year. For anyone who has had the experience, as I have, of caring for a very elderly parent or relative, it is illuminating and moving. (Thanks to Ruchira Paul for the...

    Kris McDaniel (metaphysics), Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. That's a real loss for Syracuse, and will further enhance Notre Dame's already strong position...

    See this and then this.

    Here, courtesy of Clifford Sosis as always.

    Stanford set up a program whose aim was to present diverse viewpoints on various topics but the program was criticized for not being "diverse" in terms of the race and gender of the speakers. But the two kinds of "diversity"...

    So there were over 800 votes in the poll since yesterday, although some suspicious voting for Gabbard/Bloomberg at one interval, so I'm going to list the top six, since Sherrod Brown was at times in the top five: 1. Bernie...

    This is curious, although one can imagine why--since he has an actual world view as opposed to a panache of sound bites and slogans--he would find this stunt so offensive.

    by Rick Lewis

    Brain to Brain networking demonstrated • Saudi Arabia to lift philosophy teaching ban • Philosophy Now Against Stupidity Award — News reports by Anja Steinbauer

    Frank S. Robinson ‘chooses’ to remind ‘us’ of problems some contemporary philosophers have with these central human concepts.

    Brett Wilson explores personal identity with John Locke and a dodgy 3D printer.

    Paul Austin Murphy repudiates a blasé reduction of mind to matter by one of the discoverers of the structure of DNA.

    Taylor A. Dunn asks, if free will were a drug, should you take it?

    Adrian Brockless on the proper way to use the words ‘thought’ and ‘consciousness’.

    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.

    It is with great pleasure that we announce the finalists in the Oxford Uehiro Prize for Practical Ethics 2019, and invite you to the final presentation and reception. The 5th Annual Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics Final Presentation and Reception HT19 Week 8, Wednesday 6th March, 4:30 – 5:45 pm. The Presentation will be held […]

    Written by Ben Davies There’s a story that’s often told about the evolution of the doctor-patient relationship. Here’s how it goes: back in the bad old days, doctors were paternalists. They knew what was best, and the job of the patient was simply to do as they were told and hopefully get better. Then, in […]

    Written by Stephen Rainey If ‘neurotechnology’ isn’t a glamour area for researchers yet, it’s not far off. Technologies centred upon reading the brain are rapidly being developed. Among the claims made of such neurotechnologies are that some can provide special access to normally hidden representations of consciousness. Through recording, processing, and making operational brain signals we […]

    by Dominic Wilkinson @Neonatalethics On the BBC News website this week, there is a feature on a pair of conjoined twins from Senegal who are currently living in Wales. They have an extremely rare condition – fused at the lower abdomen they have separate brains, hearts and lungs, but shared liver, bladder and digestive system. […]

    The response  to reckless human experimentation has to go way beyond Dr He’s dismissal. This is not merely a failure of compliance, Dr He failed to grasp the ethical principles and concepts he was vigorously espousing.  There will undoubtedly be more guidelines and laws on gene editing but we also need basic education of the […]

    Written by César Palacios-González It has been recently reported (link in Spanish) that a 32 year old Greek woman is 27 weeks pregnant with a child who was conceived after a mitochondrial replacement technique (MRT) – in this case Maternal Spindle Transfer (MST). If true this is really big news in terms of reproductive medicine and […]

    Written by Dr Tom Douglas Our lives are increasingly affected by algorithms. People may be denied loans, jobs, insurance policies, or even parole on the basis of risk scores that they produce. Yet algorithms are notoriously prone to biases. For example, algorithms used to assess the risk of criminal recidivism often have higher error rates in […]

    Written by Dr Rebecca Brown In the mid-1990s, Joseph Overton, a researcher at the US think tank the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, proposed the idea of a ‘window’ of socially acceptable policies within any given domain. This came to be known as the Overton window of political possibilities. The job of think tanks, Overton […]

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      Sea Through Glass

      Hunger looks through glass, through empty-handed, shivering branches, to an ebb and flow, to a sea.   Flag poles planted in morass pledge allegiance to our fledgling fleet’s mother, who dies unknowingly. (Dec. 5, 2007)
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    • That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket

      From George Anders 2015 column in Forbes magazine.

      Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s 42-year-old cofounder and CEO, whose estimated double-digit stake in the company could be worth $300 million or more. He’s the proud holder of an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Canada’s University of Victoria and a master’s degree from Cambridge in philosophy and the history of science.

      “Studying philosophy taught me two things,” says Butterfield, sitting in his office in San Francisco’s South of Market district, a neighborhood almost entirely dedicated to the cult of coding. “I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings. And when I studied the history of science, I learned about the ways that everyone believes something is true–like the old notion of some kind of ether in the air propagating gravitational forces–until they realized that it wasn’t true.”

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