To be honest, I have no idea why I have a blog. I’ve only told a handful of people about it, really, and don’t seem to have much of a theme in terms of what I write. I’m not even putting much of my own thought into the posts. I mostly just post links to things that I think are important or of interest. But if I’m not publicizing the blog, who do I think will be interested in these links and such? One thought that I do like, is that this blog acts as a time capsule, and archive, of things that I’m interested in at this point in my life. In the future I can go back and see how my thoughts or interests may have changed. I think that is enough to give this blog a sense of purpose. So I’ll run with it.
The following is an unsorted, unexpanded list of ideas that I think of often enough, and would like to post about in the future. Note, I am nowhere near an expert on any of these subjects, and will never claim to be:
– Kan’ts idea that space and time are inherent ideas of ours, which our minds (insert word I can not, for the life of me, think of right now) it upon the world; how this is related to our current understanding of general relativity and evolutionary psychology.
– Infinite: does calculus (when applied to the world) really use infinity to account for ratios (I’m talking specifically about limits)? If not, does calculus really solve Zeno’s paradox? What would this mean for the universe: is time and space discreet, i.e. digital (see loop quantum gravity). This would certainly pose a problem for black holes and the singularity…
– Interpretations of quantum mechanics, specifically the difference between the Copenhagen vs. a hidden variable one, like Bohmian mechanics; also the EPR paradox and the Bell experiments.
– Dark matter, how it is defined as unobservable, how this relates the the philosophy of science (Popper, and logical positivism), and that other theories like modified gravity may be more scientific, and therefore ‘correct’. I guess I would also want to talk about string theory, Lee Smolin‘s criticism of string theory, and the LHC. And what would a post about the philosophy of science be without Kuhn and pragmatism. Oh, then I’d also have to talk about Hume and his views on cause and effect, and the problem of induction.
– Determinism, free will, psychology and Dennett’s idea of ‘elbow room’. Pinker’s treatment in ‘The Blank Slate’.
– Consciousness, specifically Hofstradter’s strange loop, and Dennett’s multiple drafts. Maybe Penrose a bit, but I haven’t read ‘The Emeror’s New Mind’, so that might have to wait.
– Common errors of human psychology, and how knowing them and being aware of them can profoundly change the way we think about how we think. This might be the first post I make, since all I have to do really is look in my first year psych textbook and write out the list. Oh, also I should touch on change blindness, split brain experiments, and confabulations. Then maybe relate this back to consciousness and free will…
– Evolutionary psychology and the various theories that have been put forth towards explaining religious and superstitious beliefs (specifically Boyer’s treatment).
– Nietzsche’s idea of a God shaped hole, and how it relates to meanings of our lives, and ethics. Thus I would talk about: Sartre’s ‘existence precedes essence‘; Singer; Rorty; Rawls’ ‘Theory of Justice‘; and perhaps Sen (thanks Mike), but I haven’t read much on Capabilities Approach.
– That would transition into my vegetarianism, and how it’s is probably the thing I’m most proud of in my life (what good is learning if it doesn’t change me in a meaningful way?).
– Certainty, rhetoric, sophistry, Socrates…
– Religion, some of the philosophical ideas in favor of it (which, admittedly, will be very secularly weighted, like Tillich or Kierkegaard), the historical perspective of Jesus (Michael Grant), and the history of Christian thought (Saul; the jewish revolt; Platonism; Catholicism; Europe, Luther, and the plague; and eventually Darwin).
– Madness, mental health, and Richard Bentall.
And that’s all I can think of right now, in the middle of a café.