Let’s See What’s in the News Today: 10/16/2011


  • Nice!  Camus’ The Fall has been turned into a 5-minute animation.  Note: this will only make sense if you’ve read the book.  Otherwise, you might be lost: 


  • Alcohol does not cause violence, promiscuity, or anti-social behavior.  Rather, it’s your cultural expectation of imbibing alcohol. As the article puts it:

    The effects of alcohol on behaviour are determined by cultural rules and norms, not by the chemical actions of ethanol.There is enormous cross-cultural variation in the way people behave when they drink alcohol. There are some societies (such as the UK, the US, Australia and parts of Scandinavia) that anthropologists call “ambivalent” drinking-cultures, where drinking is associated with disinhibition, aggression, promiscuity, violence and anti-social behaviour.

    There are other societies (such as Latin and Mediterranean cultures in particular, but in fact the vast majority of cultures), where drinking is not associated with these undesirable behaviours – cultures where alcohol is just a morally neutral, normal, integral part of ordinary, everyday life – about on a par with, say, coffee or tea. These are known as “integrated” drinking cultures.

  • Seriously?  Wow!  Topeka, Kansas decriminalized domestic battery!  Reason: they need to cut budgets.
  • Chart of Life Expectancy of the entire world.


  • 10 Essential Fiscal Charts.  Or you can go here to see each individual chart.
  • There is a U-shaped relationship between a woman’s education and how much children she will produce: “The women having the least number of children are those that started college but did not finish (1.79 on average). The next lowest group is women who have a college degree (1.93). And among women with education greater than high school, the ones with the most children are those with advanced college degrees (1.98).”  So having more education correlates with having a larger family.  This goes against the conventional idea that the more education a woman has, the less children she will have.  However, the downfall is that the study has made the father’s work hours fixed in order to look closer at women’s work habits.


  • Ha! Ryan Gosling + Feminism = Awesome.  Below is my favorite one:

Global Warming


  • If someone doesn’t come to the rational conclusion based on argumentation, should you be dick about it?  In other words, how offensive should you be when you argue with someone?  It’s not a simple answer.



  • It’s been a while since I’ve seen the film The Tree of Life, but this is a nice review claiming that it’s a way to explain troubled faith.


  • Oh boy.  I just found out that Schopenhauer is being offered as a class at my university.  I’m excited and to get you excited, here’s an interview with one of the biographers of Schopenhauer.  By the way, the biography is an excellent read.
  • Alvin Plantinga has an air conditioning problem: 



  • Amazing.  Scientists have a skin cell gun where it replaces burned skin within days, not weeks or months like the traditional method.    Seriously, this guy doesn’t even look like he got burned.
  • If you present a study to a group of people, they won’t be impressed.  If, however, you present the study with neuroscience–even if the neuroscience is irrelevant (!)–then the group of people are wowed by it.
  • How to get something from nothing.  Book will come out on the subject as well: 


About shaunmiller

I have just completed a visiting position as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
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