15:23 03/12/2016

The Anti-Puritan:

The normie brain says, “how can I use this to impress my friends?” Knowledge has no value in its own right to these people. It is currency for looking good, and if it cannot be used to posture it is forgettable. They will never learn. They can never learn anything they cannot use. All other knowledge is memorized only for the test. Let that sink in. Normies don’t ever learn information purely for the sake of knowing it beyond Trivial Pursuit levels of factoid memorization for small talk. Their heads actually don’t store complex, rich, and detailed knowledge. Everything they know must have a purpose; to impress friends, to have a career, to make small talk, to virtue signal. It is never for its own sake. They don’t do that. They forget everything they cannot use for personal gain. And they only believe what they are told. Arguments that make the normie look good by agreeing with them will be accepted over those that don’t. Arguments that sound good will be accepted over other, better ones. Arguments that feel good will be accepted over reality. In a way they are all children / Gnostics who believe whatever they want. What them to agree?


10:53 01/12/2016
Sobre los profesores de filosofía en listas negras en EEUU (via NYT)

To be “philosophically adjusted” is to belie what I see as one major aim of philosophy — to speak to the multiple ways in which we suffer, to be a voice through which suffering might speak and be heard, and to offer a gift to my students that will leave them maladjusted and profoundly unhappy with the world as it is. Bringing them to that state is what I call doing “high stakes philosophy.” It is a form of practicing philosophy that refuses to ignore the horrible realities of people who suffer and that rejects ideal theory, which functions to obfuscate such realities. It is a form of philosophizing that refuses to be seduced by what Friedrich Nietzsche called “conceptual mummies.” Nietzsche notes that for many philosophers, “nothing actual has escaped from their hands alive.”
In my courses, which the watchlist would like to flag as “un-American” and as “leftist propaganda,” I refuse to entertain my students with mummified ideas and abstract forms of philosophical self-stimulation. What leaves their hands is always philosophically alive, vibrant and filled with urgency. I want them to engage in the process of freeing ideas, freeing their philosophical imaginations. I want them to lose sleep over the pain and suffering of so many lives that many of us deem disposable. I want them to become conceptually unhinged, to leave my classes discontented and maladjusted.

I also recall the words Plato attributed to Socrates during his trial: “As long as I draw breath and am able, I shall not cease to practice philosophy.” By that Socrates meant that he would not cease to exhort Athenians to care more for justice than they did for wealth or reputation.

UNA FILOSOFÍA QUE CAUSE EL MALESTAR, QUE NOS RECUERDE EL VALOR DE LAS COSAS QUE DESTRUIMOS. Se parece a la figura del “santo” como aquel que informa afectivamente, el que cambia los valores.

Peer review

23:38 18/11/2016
El ‘peer review’ y los viejos modos de validar una teoría:

From the Restoration in 1660, to the end of World War II, the Royal society enforced the scientific method. If you wanted respect and esteem as a scientist, you had to tell us new and interesting things, and you had to show everyone how you knew these new and interesting things from what you saw with your eyes and touched with your hands. […] After World War II, Harvard got the upper hand over the Royal Society, and you no longer have to show your work. Instead, your work must be approved by the most holy synod of mother church – in other words, must pass peer review behind closed doors. Peer Review is new. Attempts to root it in the past of science before World War II are artificial and contrived. Somehow we obtained almost all of science that matters before we had peer review, and since we have had peer review, things have started to go terribly wrong with science. Peer Review is science by social consensus, and Galileo told us that that does not work.