Philosophy is what you study if you want to be unpopular.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. Socrates, perhaps the first great public philosopher, annoyed the great and good of ancient Athens to such a degree, they had him executed. It turns out that people rarely appreciate it when you break apart their foundational beliefs and point to the inconsistencies. Who knew?
I’m cool with it, though. My students laugh when I talk to them about this. They understand that philosophy is training them to take an instinctive critical attitude towards new ideas, to look for flaws in arguments first and…
Communities tell us what they really believe through how they dispose of their dead.
When my cousin died a few years ago, we marked the occasion by singing Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon in the chapel of a local crematorium. It was perhaps the strangest and sweetest thing I’ve experienced at a funeral. The vicar played the song at the end of the service, using a cheap, tinny-sounding portable CD player. Out of nowhere, someone started singing along and within seconds, everyone had joined in. It was a joyous rendition, filled with love for a life lost too soon.
In January 2019, a family in southern Spain was subject to a nightmare scenario. During a family walk near Malaga, two-year-old Julen Rosseló fell 71 meters down a 25cm-wide borehole. He didn’t survive, and it took thirteen days for rescuers to recover his body. Later it was revealed the borehole had been dug illegally.
At the time, my own daughter was the same age, which led me to follow the story with a growing sense of horror and disbelief that such things could be allowed to happen. It seems absurd that something so truly awful could happen to anyone, let…
I remember sitting in my grandfather’s car a few years ago in a gray car park. I was in the second year of my undergraduate philosophy degree, and we were discussing careers. As an engineer and a thoroughly practical man, he wasn’t convinced of the merits of my degree choice.
“But what can you do with philosophy, Gem?” he asked me. “What has philosophy ever achieved?”
I doubt meeting Professor Markus Gabriel would do much to change his impression of the subject.
What do you say to people whose beliefs fly the face of overwhelming evidence? Last week, Washington D.C erupted into violence as mobs of violent Trump supporters stormed the seat of the American government.
Ostensibly they did this because they believe the 2020 Presidential election was stolen.
On January 2nd, Ted Cruz and a number of other Republican Senators released a joint statement challenging the election result on the basis of ‘allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities’.
Clowns to the left, jokers to the right…
Apparently, Elon Musk isn’t such a great guy. Such is the conclusion reached by hacking face-mask enthusiasts, Anonymous, who posted a threatening, anti-Musk diatribe on YouTube.
Or have they? A number of Anonymous-affiliated Twitter accounts quickly disassociated themselves from the video (see here, and here), while other sources appear to confirm it. I guess PR is a pretty tough when you don’t have a ‘blue check’ on your Twitter account. I think Banksy has the same issues.
Either way, it’s not hard to understand why a group of anti-establishment hackers might take…
5 Reasons it might.
Blockchain has a power-consumption problem and the crypto community is scrambling to find answers. While Bitcoin and Ethereum offer their own solutions, a radically different approach is presented by the self-professed ‘green’ Chia Networks. Is this $500 million company worth taking seriously — and can it follow through on its big claims?
To say that blockchain has a power problem isn’t exactly new. Yet there’s a very good reason it's being taken so seriously — cryptocurrency is all about the long game.
If crypto can’t resolve its dependence on fossil fuels, investors can kiss goodbye to…
Craig Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto is about to go before the British High Court in a landmark case that could seriously affect Bitcoin’s future
Craig Wright’s claim to be Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto is not new, but in taking the matter to court, he is putting at stake not only his reputation, but potentially the security of Bitcoin itself.
Today (May 12th) Craig Wright has launched a legal action against 16 software developers to secure access to $5.7 billion worth of Bitcoin. …
A teaching colleague I once worked with was known to turn up to lessons hungover. He didn’t do a great job of hiding it. Student’s essays would be unmarked for months on end, resources were minimal, and the course jumped around erratically.
The weird thing was, it didn’t seem to matter. I knew about it because I worked closely with him, teaching the same subject. Around college, he had a great reputation and his students were fiercely loyal to him because in the classroom, he was a great teacher.
It turns out, if you’re great at something, you can get…
In ten years of teaching philosophy and watching the internet grow exponentially, I’ve come to believe that finding good, accessible philosophy online is tough.
The basic reason why is because philosophy can mean two things. On the one hand, it refers to the academic discipline concerned with the fundamentals of reality, existence, and life. On the other hand, it refers to any general theory or attitude people use as a guide in life.
Writer and educator in law and philosophy. Also wrote a book.