An interview on philosophy, trust, and skepticism

This interview with Onora O'Neill was a rather interesting I thought. My favourite excerpt:

As a scholarly discipline, do you think philosophy still commands respect and importance within the global academy?

I think philosophy gets the respect it deserves. Of course, where purported philosophical argument is replaced by dogmatic, trivial or ideological claims, respect is rapidly lost – as it should be.

Over your career, you’ve written extensively about trust; what is its role and function in society?

When we manage to place trust intelligently in trustworthy institutions and persons, life can be easier, pleasanter and less risky. So it is trustworthiness and judging trustworthiness well that matter to us. Misdirected trust is not valuable to anyone – except to the untrustworthy recipient.

Do you think we’re living in an age of heightened scepticism, where trust and belief in people are hard to come by?

I sometimes think we are living in an age of heightened credulity rather than of heightened scepticism. Many people worry about appearing gullible, but are fairly relaxed about appearing cynical.

Random links

AI-Powered Drone Will Follow You Around and Take Pictures
Could get annoying if a lot of tourists start using these. Selfie sticks can be annoying, but I'd worry a bit more about a fleet of drones flying overhead.
Must We Have a ‘Melting Pot’?
"What’s happening in America and Europe is in many ways a return to form, a return to a premodern pattern where everyone in a society doesn’t eat or live or marry in the same way. In countries such as Israel and India, which inherit some of their traditions from precursor states (the Ottoman and Mughal Empires respectively) that allowed communities some autonomous self-organization, this type of multiculturalism is still the norm today. In those countries, family law—marriage, divorce, and so on—is particular to various religious sects. As long as different groups can peaceably get along with each other, assimilation and homogenization need not be the end goal of policy."
Science and Politics: Do People Support the Conduct and Dissemination of Politicized Research?
"liberals and conservatives reported that it is less unethical to withhold the publication of research findings that challenge vs. support their views and stronger support for research aligned with their ideology. Politically active participants were especially likely to demonstrate partisan support for science" (Another related study)

What Nietzsche thought the future might look like

From an English translation of a collection of Nietzsche's aphorisms - here's #425:

In the three or four civilized countries of Europe it is possible; by several centuries of education, to make out of women anything that we like, - even men, not in a sexual sense, of course, but certainly in every other sense. At some point, under such an influence, they will have taken on all male virtues and strengths, and of course they will also have to take male weaknesses and vices into the bargain. This much, as I said, one can bring about by force. But how will we endure the intermediate stage it brings with it, which itself can last a few centuries, during which female follies and injustices, their ancient birthright, still claim predominance over everything they will have learned or achieved? This will be the time when anger will constitute the real male emotion, anger over the fact that all the arts and sciences will be overrun and clugged up by shocking dilettantism; bewildering chatter will talk philosophy to death; politics will be more fantastic and partisan than ever; society will be in complete dissolution because women, the preservers of the old custom, will have become ludicrous in their own eyes, and will be intent on standing outside custom in every way. For if women had their greatest power in custom, where will they not have to reach a similar abundance of power again, after they have given up custom?

Remarkably prescient considering this was originally published in 1878.

What's with all the time-travel TV shows lately?

There's Timeless:

Making History:

and Time after Time:

Somehow I doubt they'll all survive. If anyone of them do, which one(s) do you think are the likely candidate(s)?


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