Let’s See What’s in the News Today: 10/23/2011




  • Read or listen to an interview of Wapshott, who wrote a book about Keynes and Hayek, the two economists who have transformed modern economics.
  • Occupy George gives you infographics: 
  • Do you need a loan but the bank won’t give you one?  Perhaps you should look at Starbucks as being the middleman.  “Starbucks is going to create a mechanism that will allow us citizens to do what the government and the banks won’t: lend money to small businesses. “
  • “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes…You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election”: 
  • Chris Hedges is eloquent in this interview about Occupy Wall Street, the banks, and bailouts, and the problems of the economic crisis: 
  • Attractive people make more money than their ugly counterparts.  Labor economist Daniel Hamermesh wants to make the ugly people a disabled minority.





  • Sternberg’s triangle of love:


  • Need a good Halloween flick but can’t tell which genre to go for?  Go here.


  • The Atheist Scholar is an academic resource for those who want to have a serious study of atheism.
  • Do you need to know what the philosophers say in a strict premise-conclusion argumentative format?  Go here.



  • “We try to be monogamous, but we’re not very good at it.”



  • Now you see the positive and negative sentiments in the bible.  The black is the positive, the red is the negative.  See the details here.  


  • So do you remember how the scientific community was surprised at finding neutrinos faster than the speed of light?  Well, it could turn out to be false.  Why so?  The neutrinos only seemed to be going faster than the speed of light, but that’s because they forgot to add one small calculation, which is…relativity.  To be more specific, clocks closer on earth go faster because of the gravitational pull, and so traveling from France to Italy will definitely have different times based the altitude of the clock.  From the article: “If it stands up, this episode will be laden with irony. Far from breaking Einstein’s theory of relatively, the faster-than-light measurement will turn out to be another confirmation of it.”
  • Fun stuff with superconductivity: 
  • Robot solves the Rubik’s Cube in five seconds: 


  • Men may be more likely to find more sex partners in times of economic crisis.  Of course, there are many questions that need to be asked.  For example, sexual response does not mean sexual behavior, and the study only focuses on heterosexual men.
  • As mentioned before, the FBI was considering of changing the federal definition of rape.  Now, it has changed it.  Before, the definition was “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.”  This excluded statutory rape, same-sex rape, forced anal or oral sex, rape with an object and victims who are male or transgender or have disabilities, not to mention those who have taken drugs or alcohol and therefore had their ability to consent  “diminished”.  The changed definition is now: “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
  • The more power one has, the more likely one will have infidelities.  It doesn’t even matter what the gender is.
  • Turns out that younger women are viewing porn more than men, according to one study: 
  • Speaking of porn, here is a book review of an anti-porn book.  The review basically says that the book is lacking evidence.
  • A lot of internet searches peak on Mondays searching for STI information.  Why so?  Many speculate that after a weekend of fun, they become concerned about possible infections they may have contracted.

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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4 Responses to Let’s See What’s in the News Today: 10/23/2011

  1. John says:

    I wonder about anitinatalism. Interesting view, but can it be universalized? And are there any pragmatic problems?

    The biggest things that worries me about this view is it seems very self-defeating if taken to an extreme, it also seems “pessimistically psychotic”: I mean, the whole glass is half-empty argument seems to be what is being bet on. I just don’t see the whole “population solution” from this view as satisfying (the argument is way too weak); I don’t think the Bednar hedonistically justified argument of: coming into existence entails harm. I mean, he makes the tacit assumption that the egg always comes before the chicken -that a subjective experience always maps over the set of all individuals, that is logically false and, worse so, bad form. We cannot make such assumptions; if people feel that way personally for some valid reasons, then great, but to make a moral argument that justifies or argues for the permisibility of depriving human capital, innovation, art, joy, pleasure, etc. and all the possible goods because of the co-factual of harm is like wearing blinders while walking down the street and arguing that there only exist half a street because you percive it -sometimes, I worry philosopher’s are accelerating in compounding and creating more and more pointless issues, problems, or theories so as to get attention or stubbornly highlight a personal justification as a applicable principle (we have so many unsoloved and seriously applicable issues why waste our time with these views, unless there is some serious -I mean serious- problem with childbirths and the creation of life…I would point out that if you lower births, you actually harm more people over the long run….over population is a distribution problem that is solved better by having more people!)

  2. shaunmiller says:

    It depends on what you mean by being universalized. If you mean the totalization from Kant’s perspective, then probably not, but Benatar is not a Kantian. If, however, you mean universalize in the way that gives it an all-encompassing view, a sub specie aeternitatis point of view, then I think it can be universalized, and so does Benatar.

    I don’t agree with your assessment. He’s not talking about a personal subjective experience and then maps it onto everyone. He appeals to what everyone experiences: pain is bad, pleasure is good. From there, he fleshes that out. I also don’t see your argument against having pleasures is like having blinders on the street. Benatar talks about the absence of pleasures is not bad, and so he sets up his asymmetry in that the pain is the main focus of the life.

    I don’t see him as presenting a pointless or trivial pursuit. He takes this issue seriously and he believes that the best way to end human suffering (or any suffering, actually) is by not having anymore beings that can suffer.

    I understand your point about having more people would eventually solve this problem. However, I think it’s also missing the point. I take Benatar to be presenting sort of a secular problem of evil. I think he would reply with this thought experiment: imagine God producing people and the first generation suffers tremendously, while the next generation still suffers, but not as bad as the first, and the third generation suffers but not as the second, and so on. That seems odd because we are using a previous generation as a mean to fix the future generations. Indeed, it seems impossible to virtually get rid of suffering so in the end, the asymmetry still points to anti-natalism. Having no beings is easier than constantly producing beings in the hopes that there will be no suffering in the future, says Benatar. If you want an in depth analysis of this, I’ve reviewed each chapter in his book. You can go here: https://shaunmiller.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/benatar-part-six-concluding-remarks/

    It’s basically his last chapter, but there are links to where you can start from the beginning.

  3. John says:

    It seems that for the conclusion to follow a logical assumption must be made: that actively preventing the creation of beings that feel both pain and pleasure is justified because the duty to end pleasure is not as great as that of pain. To actively cease the actualization of pain, you necessarily end pleasure and the recoil holds: that antinatalism does not obtain as permissible.

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