Category Philosophy

detail of Michelangelo's creation fresco in the Sistine Chapel

An Apology: Christian Politics and Knowledge Denial

Victories in the Mississippi and Alabama primaries on Tuesday night triggered another round of discussions about Rick Santorum’s religious and political positions and how he’s overcoming unlikely odds despite them. One in particular, written by Randall J. Stephens and Karl Giberson and published at Religious Dispatches, does an excellent job of explaining how a Catholic Senator from Pennsylvania managed to win over a […]

Raphael's depiction of Plato

The Partially Examined Life

I’d like to point visitors to a blog/podcast I found last week called The Partially Examined Life. On a semi-regular basis, four former philosophy students and graduates get together on Skype and discuss a predetermined topic from philosophy, usually with a little bit of humor to keep things from getting too like a lecture hall. […]

Silence and the Wandelweiser Group

Since buying 2 Seconds / B Minor / Wave by Michael Pisaro and Taku Sugimoto, I’ve searched out information about the Wandelweiser Group to which Pisaro belongs and read a few essays written by Pisaro himself. Today, I stumbled on this Wandelwesier feature by Dan Warburton, which was originally published in Signal to Noise in 2001. […]

photo of Feldman writing

Let the Sounds Alone 01

I’m reading Give My Regards to Eighth Street right now and running head first into Morton Feldman’s philosophy, which somehow reminds me a little of Kierkegaard. Feldman is a very funny person, and very direct; sometimes I find what he has to say hard to swallow, but his conviction and passion are totally convincing, so […]

blurry photo of Pisaro

Think the Note: Michael Pisaro on Challenging the Ear

This past week I read Bill Meyer’s review of the latest Michael Pisaro releases on Gravity Wave and ended up reading the small essay referenced in that article, as well. Besides my interest in music theory in general, I was intrigued by Meyer’s description of Pisaro’s strategy, which draws connections between baseball, The Temptations, John Cage, […]

The IBM Watson Logo

IBM’s Watson Computer and the Difference between Thinking and Executing

Watson is to Jeopardy! what Deep Blue was to Chess, but the differences between those two games make Watson a much more impressive machine. On Valentine’s Day, Watson competed against two well-known Jeopardy! champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, with the aim of besting both of them. The easiest way to familiarize yourself with Watson […]

Screenshot from Terminator Salvation

Robots, RoboEarth, and Meno’s Paradox

Caught this story on BBC’s Technology site: Robots to get their own Internet By Mark Ward European scientists have embarked on a project to let robots share and store what they discover about the world. Called RoboEarth it will be a place that robots can upload data to when they master a task, and ask […]

Image of George Orwell with BBC microphone

George Orwell Has a Few Words for President Obama

A year or two ago, my friend Andrew sent me a digital copy of George Orwell’s essay, “Politics and the English Language.” It was written in 1946 and connects poor writing with insincerity and political ideology. Generally, the text can be followed as an instruction manual for writers; it offers some basic advice that both […]