I want to read scholarly work about why doing things with "digital" tools (like word processors or MIDI music keyboards) is experienced differently from doing things with "analog" tools (like typewriters or pianos). [more inside]
I enjoy the Rationally Speaking podcast. Are there any similar podcasts, not necessarily featuring "special guests," which feature discussions on philosophy, science, and ethics?
I am interested in articles that try to analyze and explain the conflict between the hard and soft sciences. In my casual web surfing I have come across e.g. highly-trained scientists who yet express a deep disdain for fields as open-ended and far-ranging as sociology, feminism, queer theory, postmodernism, and so on, sometimes even economics, psychology. I find such attitudes hard to comprehend, and even disturbing since my educational background is in the applied sciences. Which are the important works that have been done to better understand this ongoing social/intellectual gap, and that are presented in a readable manner for a non-expert?
Most machines are very predictable when in motion- their movement can be graphed in terms of speed, acceleration and jerk quite easily. Generally, the graph flattens out when you get to jerk. Can the same be done with humans? Or are our movements chaotic at a fundamental level? I know that ultimately we exert motion through force (=ma) but is it possible for us to increase the rate at which we increase the rate of force, and even increase the rate of that? Would we be able to register anything on the graph of m/s5? [more inside]
I am a scientifically-minded person who is trying to sort out my religious beliefs. I think it would be helpful to read some debates between deism, atheism, pantheism (Spinozism), and/or a scientifically-grounded theism. Can anyone recommend me books or essays that discuss these topics in ways that are engaging, well-thought-out, and thorough? [more inside]
I want to learn more about the philosophy of science, the validation of its methods, its relation to faith and our core existence, its weaknesses, its controversies, its fundamental warps and wefts into the fabric of our society. [more inside]
Please recommend me a light reading scientific philosophy book. [more inside]
What does the word "abstract" mean? [more inside]
I am interested in hearing some historical and educational audiobooks/audiocasts. Anyone have any suggestions? [more inside]
I am researching term "human condition". Can the members suggest any good books or research on the subject? [more inside]
I'm struggling to understand the empirical content of probability theory. I understand the mathematical theory, and I understand how we get from empirical observations to a mathematical model. I do not understand how we get from the mathematical model back to the real world, e.g., what is the "empirical content" of a statement like "event x will occur with probability p"? [more inside]
Can someone recommend me some science philosophy please.. [more inside]
Can you help me understand a little more about Buddhism so I can enjoy both sides of the discussion in a particular book? [more inside]
I'm looking for some good, meaty non-fiction to read over Christmas break while I'm home from grad school. Something with difficult ideas, yet readable and contemporary, and taking a fairly "big picture" view of a particular field. Any suggestions? Examples below. [more inside]
They say that science takes care of the "how", and religion takes care of the "why"... What I want to know is, do "how" and "why" have equal philosophical footing? [more inside]
What is the advantage of scientific thinking? What practical difference does it make to live in a culture that believes in using evidence to explain the world? [more inside]
A lively discussion has come to a screeching halt, but I don't want it to. Help me continue the debate! [more inside]
What are the best academic journals in each field? [more inside]
Can you ID these short stories and help me find them? I think there were at least two, they were written by Keith Laumer, and they appeared in a paperback IF anthology that I can't find. They are about the right of revolution (one may be titled something like that) and take place on a mining colony on another planet. I think the first is about the miners who revolt and are led by an Ayn-Rand-character-like person (his name is John Ralt or something). The second is about the 'ARcl' person who is now in charge and must deal with dissenters who contest his moral and political authority. And were there any more stories in this vein, or just two?
What are some simple experiments that help explain complicated phenomena? [more inside]
What are some easy, relatively quick ways to learn to write better, think clearer, and express myself better? [more inside]
What scientific studies should you believe? [more inside]
I don´t have a brilliant academic career or anything. I live in Brazil, I just turned 24, and just recently majored in communication/journalism. For the past few years my main interest has been political philosophy and political science. I would like to study abroad, preferably in the United States or United Kingdom. [more inside]
20-something INTP, bored to death in his corporate gig, asks: What should I do with my life? [more inside]
I love podcasts, but it very difficult to find new, quality programs. I am looking for broadcasted material on a range of topics - including philosophy, the mind, avantgarde arts and lectures by creative, original thinkers (see my list of current podcasts for detail)... Can you help? [more inside]
Is science a philosophy? Is philosophy a science?
Deceptively unchatfilter =P I am looking for good discussions on Occam's Razor -- which I think is obscenely absurd. Looking for links to discussions, not necessarily petitioning comments (although welcome). [more inside]
How is my belief that the world is round any more scientific than someone else's belief that a benevolent deity listens to her prayers? (I know this may seem chatty or open-ended, but I have a feeling that there is a neat argument out there that would wrap up this question for me, and meanwhile I'm in a bit of philosophical crisis about it.) [more inside]
Science and Metaphysics from the inside of virtual worlds? [more inside]
Help me find an obscure R.A. Lafferty quote. [more inside]
I'm looking for book or movie characters and/or plots that follow this particular scenario: A prisoner or potential rescue victim are told that salvation (being broken out, being rescued) can come only if the person agrees to have all prior memories and events that make up their personalities wiped out, leaving only a blank, but functioning, 'consciousness.' Any ideas? Specific quotes?
I am looking for a quote from an article. The quote discussed how the current state of the art in technology usually became the metaphor for how we understand and describe the universe. The article is probably 5-6 years old, but was posted on the web (I probably accessed it through Arts and Letters Daily). [more inside]