Sunday, December 30, 2012

And if you're too chill about everything, you might have nonpolar disorder

Giving people bear hugs and yelling at them that they're doing everything in a way that's totally fine is a classic example of aggressive-passive behavior.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

If the Ghost of Christmas Past had let Scrooge convince his younger self to be more generous, and the ghosts hadn't bothered to visit the newly generous older Scrooge as a result, it'd be a paradox of Christmastime travel.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A volume of sausage

I believe the German term for a collection of papers written by men to honor an old famous man is "Wurstfestschrift". 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Promising Researcher

I just won a Promising Researcher award from my university, and it comes with $5000 SGD which I'll be spending on the upcoming trip. I'm not a Kantian, so I would've considered making false promises to get the money, but my department head helpfully explained to me that the award didn't work that way.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

The problem of other minds is that they get there first

I was excited when I thought up this refutation of external-world skepticism: if there's no external world, there's not enough stuff to realize belief, so there's no danger of false belief. So skepticism doesn't save you from error in any world.

Wrote it up, sent it out, discovered that Daniel Greco had made the same argument way more thoroughly in the July issue of Philosophical Review, canned the paper. It's given me more of an appreciation of skepticism about other minds -- it allows you to have beliefs, and as far as you know, they're all original.