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Moral Responsibility

Responsibility, in the moral sense, is not a property of actors, but merely a confabulation on our part designed for one and only one purpose: to justify the suffering we inflict upon others. This holds equally well in regard to matters of retributive and distributive justice: responsibility is a mere holdover from an antiquated conception […]

Theoretical Neuroscience Rising

Equations force a model to be precise, complete, and self-consistent, and they allow its full implications to be worked out. It is not difficult to find word models in the conclusions sections of older neuroscience papers that sound reasonable but, when expressed as mathematical models, turn out to be inconsistent and unworkable. Mathematical formulation of […]

Objective Standards

When two people disagree about the objectivity of a standard, you can be certain that at least of them is wrong.

Social Scientism

I find extraordinary the readiness with which members of certain branches of the social sciences latch onto obscure and irrelevant findings in the natural sciences as means of buttressing their views. This habit convinces me that their work is, as Hayek would say, merely scientistic — that their life’s work is the application of a […]

The Unknowable and the Unknown

One commits a grievous crime against science every time that one presumes, without a rigorous, logical proof, that something is unknowable simply because it is currently unknown. But how common this crime is today in certain quarters!

Under the Consequences of Their Actions

El político práctico perece bajo las consecuencias de las teorías que desdeña.1 Considering the state of our economy in light of the scorn that politicians show for the opinions of economists, Gomez Davila’s claim could not seem more true these days. Nicolás Gómez Dávila : Escolios a un texto implícito : Tomo I↩

Strange Weather Changes and Global Warming

Strange Weather Changes and Global Warming

Today it snowed in Princeton. This alone strikes me as odd, because I can remember very few Octobers in which it has snowed in New Jersey. What strikes me as far more bizarre is that it snowed today and yet it was nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit only two days ago. In general, I often wonder […]

What's the Matter with Sweden?

What’s the Matter with Sweden?

I was quite amazed by this graph, which I saw on Swivel today. The graph implies that there has been a very considerable increase in the number of crimes over the last sixty years of Swedish history. The increase was so great that I was skeptical at first. “The population of Sweden,” I thought, “must […]

Fear is Your Only God

Are you unsure if depressions are at least partly caused by a self-propagating group fear response? Maybe this piece of spam I just got will help to change your mind: WACHOVIA CORPORATION NOTICE. Citigroup announced a buyout of Wachovia brokered by the FDIC. All Wachovia bank locations will be in the Citigroup merger to prevent […]

I Want to Be in a White Minority

Steven Pinker has given us all yet another reason to think highly of him: he’s one of ten people who’ve put their entire genome online in an attempt to push science forward amid growing fears about personal privacy and genetic discrimination. I, for one, am tempted to join the cause — whatever the risks may […]