Book Review: The Genial Gene

The Genial Gene: Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness by Joan Roughgarden In The Genial Gene Joan Roughgarden seeks to replace the competitive understanding of evolution, known as sexual selection, with a cooperative one. The first sentence of her book reads, “This book is about whether selfishness and individuality, rather than kindness and cooperation, are basic to biological nature” (p. 1). So what is the argument? Taking this first line, she wants to conclude something about basic biological […]

Philosophy Carnival #2

Well, it’s the second philosophy carnival I’ve hosted.  So let’s get started. Counterfactuals and time traveling cold-blooded murderers!  Why is it we always want to see what happens when we kill ourselves (or others) when time traveling?  Does time travel make one murderous?  Anyway, besides  the weird questions that occur to me, the discussion over at Kadri Vihvelin’s philosophy blog does try to tackle Counterfactuals, Indicatives and What Time Travelers Can’t Do. If that isn’t your […]

The SEP on the Kindle

Reading on a computer screen is often not pleasant, especially when a lot of reading has to  be done. This is a general problem for philosophy since nearly everything is in PDF format and if you don’t want to print out a tree’s worth of paper you are stuck. I got a Kindle.  Kindles can handle PDFs, but what I just found out is that Kindles can do the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy quite well.  […]

Wittgenstein and Sun Tzu (on throwing the ladder away)

Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus #6.54 My Propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them — as steps — to climb beyond them.  (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.) He must overcome these propositions, and then he will see the world aright. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter XI #38 At the critical […]

Working Hard on Special Biological Relativity

I’ve been working hard on Special Biological Relativity and it is taking up most of my blogging energy.  However, I do have some fun results: Define Biological Energy as the ability to do work, the ability to change the environment.  Then Fitness can be related to Energy because the higher the fitness the greater the ability to change the environment. E ∝ f If we consider an organism that lives in a place with infinite resources […]

Occam’s Razor and Entropy

I was trying to understand Occam’s Razor, specifically I wanted to know its justification.  There are posts over at Wikipedia and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy worth looking at, but neither left me satisfied. Instead, I came up with “Death Implies Economy”.  What this means is that we are fundamentally limited in time and resources, and hence we cannot afford to waste what little we have on unnecessary complication.  DIE is a metaphysical justification of […]