I recently engaged in the following conversation about the nature of stories and truth. Others' comments in quotes, mine unquoted. All have been edited for readability and style. "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story" I strongly dislike this idea. Reality is enchanting and amazing. Things happen in history and … Continue reading Stories and Truth – a Rivalry?
What are Deepfakes? Fake videos that are too good for most people to tell apart from the real thing. These have long been used for entertainment, but it is clear the dangers that these can pose to the political and informational system. Unfortunately, we have to start treating videos with as much skepticism as we … Continue reading The Challenge of Deepfakes and the Need for Institutions
Ask yourself this question: which survived longer, China, or Rome? The conventional answer is China, of course. By why is that the conventional answer? Is that not just a story we tell ourselves? Why do we say that China is 2000 years old, but that the Roman Empire fell 1500 years ago? China was conquered … Continue reading On the Relative Longevity of Chinese and Roman Civilization
There are few political issues more intractable than abortion. Far too many partisans view abortion as a black and white issue: either a fetus is not a human being and the woman’s right to her body is supreme, or a fetus is a human being and no right to bodily integrity should be allowed to … Continue reading Black and White
Nevada is probably about to pass the National Popular Vote Compact, meaning that it will give its electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote for president. This reform is a necessary one for the benefit of democracy. A snide retort that I saw to this news is "Tyranny of the Majority...". This … Continue reading Electoral College Reform
In the 2018 compendium "Encountering China", renowned philosopher Michael Sandel makes the following observation about learning from Chinese philosophy: Engaging with responses to my work by scholars of Chinese philosophy is for me a learning opportunity on several levels. It requires me to consider challenges to my views from unfamiliar directions, it brings to light … Continue reading Michael Sandel on East-West Philosophical Encounters
Individually, the US and Europe comprise only about 5-10% of the world's population. China and India are civilization-states - Each one of them encompasses a full 5th of the world's population. To remain relevant in the 21st century and beyond, as incomes around the world converge and the average Chinese and Indian reaches a level … Continue reading Why America and Europe Need Each Other