Monday, 22 August 2011

Anonymous Blogging

There's been a lot of fuss on twitter recently about @Lord_Credo (account now deleted). A blogger recently announced that he was "fake" and had run an account based on a lot of lies. This got me thinking more broadly about anonymous and pseudonymous blogging. I like blogs under pseudonyms, that's why I have one. I want to argue that some of the greatest works of public discourse were pseudonymous blogs, and that, all things being equal, I dont want the people who run them to be outed.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Confucius say:

One day a disciple asked Confucius `If a king were to entrust you with a territory which you could govern according to your ideas, what would you do first?' Confucius replied, `My first task would would certainly be to rectify the names.' The puzzled disciple asked, `Rectify the names? And that would be your first priority? Is this a joke?' Confucius was required to explain what he meant: `If the names are not correct, if they do not match realities, language has no object. If the language is without an object, action becomes impossible - and therefore, all human affairs disintegrate and their management becomes impossible. Hence, the very first task of a true statesman is to rectify the names.'
From The Analects of Confucius, Book 13, Verse 3
I've never heard the task of philosophy explained so clearly and precisely. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Science for religious fundamentalists

"It is clear that blasphemy, which is a sin committed directly against God, is more grave than murder, which is a sin against one's neighbor. … it is called the most grievous sin, for as much as it makes every sin more grievous.” ~ Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica
For this essay I will assume the existence of a god. For simplicity I will use the names and forms of address reserved to the Christian god (ie referring to this being by the name God or with a capitalised He), but as we will see I wont assume much more than that He created the universe.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

No reflection on the majority of people

One line that's been annoying me throughout the riots. "This violence is no reflection on the law-abiding majority of people" or  "the people of Hakney are appalled by the violence they see on the streets". This is wrong-headed on several levels.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The point.

Why blog? Why think about ethics? Why practice science? What ultimately is the point of all of it? What are we worrying about? And importantly, is it clear this goal is attainable? Is it clear we can work towards it successfully? It's not clear I've ever answered this question. So, here we go.