The Specter of Machine Intelligence

1 Machines are coming to resemble human beings more each day. At a concrete level, this is true because human beings are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to produce machines that increasingly resemble human beings. But more abstractly, this is true in principle: machines exist in the first place because they resemble human beings. Karl Marx,… Continue reading The Specter of Machine Intelligence

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The Coming Oppression

What makes racism wrong? Sexism? Speciesism? Each have their own complexities, but at the most general level, all three share a common error. They involve attributing moral significance to something that isn’t morally significant. A racist assumes that the division of people into various races allows you ascribe different moral worth to people. A sexist… Continue reading The Coming Oppression

What Philosophy Owes Society IV: Better Teachers

Political discourse is a swamp of poor arguments and miseducation. Dialogue between those who disagree is becoming impossible. A particular segment of the political world is actively undermining the concept of truth. The Republican party knows that it can lie repeatedly to the country with impunity. More and more issues are being folded into the… Continue reading What Philosophy Owes Society IV: Better Teachers

What is Wrong with Inclusive Language

One has to make adjustments in one’s writing if one wants to avoid sexist language. Such a sentence is an example of the clunkiness that often comes about with the adjustment. I have heard numerous philosophers (and people in other fields) complain about the awkwardness of the ‘inclusive language’ convention—instead of ‘he’, saying 'one', ‘he/she’… Continue reading What is Wrong with Inclusive Language

If I’m Killed in a Mass Shooting

Mass shootings have a way of shaking the political convictions of those directly affected. A guitarist who was playing during the Las Vegas shooting says he changed his views. Sandy Hook Promise is a group formed by people affected by the 2012 school shooting. Americans for Responsible Solutions is the group formed by Gabby Giffords,… Continue reading If I’m Killed in a Mass Shooting

The Batman Principle

One of the few consistent features of Trump’s worldview is that countries are taking advantage of the United States. They are laughing at us. So much is unfair. Trump said he wants to negotiate the Paris accord “on terms that are fair to the United States.” “NATO members must finally contribute their fair share.” At… Continue reading The Batman Principle