Reality Conditions

Monday, November 06, 2006


- What has contributed more to our basic comprehension of the universe, computer science or cosmology and particle physics? Scott Aaronson says the former; Sean Carroll (and surely most other people with him) the latter.

- While we are at it, the lecture notes on quantum computation Scott Aaronson is putting on the Web are an unmissable read. The title says it all: Quantum Computing since Democritus.

- If you just can't get enough of the Dawkins wars, go to Evolution Blog where Jason is reviewing the reviews of The God Delusion, and mostly defending Dawkins against them. I skimmed a bit through the book at the university bookshop a few days ago, and it seemed more substantial that I had been lead to expect. I may even buy it when it comes in paperback.

- A discussion at The Volokh Conspiracy on wether voting is rational according to rational choice theory. Ilya Somin says yes (also here and here); Jim Lindgren says no (also here), or at least no according to Ilya's arguments (which are inspired by philosopher Derek Parfit). Of course, if the answer turned out to be "no" we could say "so much the worse for rational choice theory" instead of deciding not to vote.

- A philosophy blog that will enter my blogroll soon (or in the next update, which may not be so soon): The Splintered Mind. Recent highlights are a thumbnail summary of positions in philosophy of mind and why all of them are "weird"; a discussion on what is metaphysics, and an intriguing puzzle about vision: when we have our eyes closed, do we see the interior of our eyelids?


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