Tag Archives: internet

Practical Ontologist 2.0

I’ve made a major update to my site, The Practical Ontologist. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Major site updates:

  • Topical Subsections: Metaphysics, Professional, Science, Traditions, Value, & Fun.

Incoming posts are classified via Naive Bayes Machine Learning. The categories, save Fun and Professional, are roughly modeled on [PhilPapers’ classifications](https://philpapers.org/browse/all). Fun is a stream of philosophical memes, mainly from Tumblr. Professional contains news about the profession and other meta-philosophical content.

  • RSS feeds for each subpage.
  • Now scanning over 200 text and media feeds.
  • Timestamps show the freshest content.
  • Screencaptures of the different blogs promote site recognition.
  • A “Top Blogs” section on the subpages listing blogs commonly posting content in that area.
Posted in internet, news, philosophy. Tagged with , , .

Calendar Fall 2016 Update

zolloc4

A few weeks into the semester and the calendar is packed with events (but no one seems to have told the admin of Rutgers Philosophy Dept. webpage). Traffic to the calendar has continued its slow and steadily rise, with a corresponding rise in repeat visitors, that is, people who come back to check for updates. So, hello to all you new and return users. Feedback is welcome, as are event submissions.

I finally got around to looking into the issue where every event had a button to buy tickets, whether or not the event actually required them. If any of you checked the website this afternoon (16 September) you would have noticed that the entire site was down. Only “Error connecting to database” when loading the site. Yep, clicked on the wrong thing in the database and ruined the entire site. Took me a few hours to restore everything, but, hey, no useless ticket buttons anymore. The loss of data do to this crash is also why there are minor changes to how the site looks. Backup your data, people.

I’ve also started relying on a program to check websites for changes. This has been very helpful as my list of different philosophy-related groups has grown. So thank you to urlwatch by Thomas Perl.

image credit: http://www.ossomagazine.com/ARTE-L-antropomorfismo-monocromatico-di-Zolloc

Posted in news, NYC. Tagged with , .

$1000 Philosophy Blogging Prize

3 Quarks Daily is putting up a grand for the best philosophy blog post of the last year; $300 and $200 for 2nd and 3rd places respectively.  If any of you out there have written something good, or there is something you read that you really like, nominate it! [philosophy of science needs a better representation people]

3 Quarks Daily Prize

Posted in internet, news, philosophy. Tagged with , , .

Climate Change

This is a post for Blog Action Day 09!

If the climate changes rapidly enough, the human race is finished.  If the climate does not change quite that rapidly, we’ve got other problems.

For the sake of argument, let us assume that we are not beings in some religious pantheon, but are merely biological organisms of this Earth.  If the climate changes, i.e. if nature as we know it no longer exists, then how are we to think of ourselves?

For our entire history we have lived within a climate that is amenable to us.  Living in a new climate would be like living on an alien planet, without hope of returning to Earth.  The problem is:  we are not aliens, we’re Earthlings.  If we are not Earthlings, what are we?  Hence the problem of climate change is more than a problem of our survival, it is an existential problem of our species.

We don’t need any more existential problems, and since this is one preventable, lets do something about it.

Posted in internet, philosophy. Tagged with .

the lowest desires of modern people

… Another alternative would have been to give you what’s called a popular scientific lecture, that is a lecture intended to make you believe that you understand a thing which actually you don’t understand, and to gratify what I believe to be one of the lowest desires of modern people, namely the superficial curiosity about the latest discoveries of science.

This quote is from the beginning of Wittgenstein’s “A Lecture on Ethics” or whatever the untitled transcript of the talk he gave to The Heretics Society is called.  I’ve seen this part of the lecture omitted; admittedly it has little to do with his later arguments.  However, I always felt that this barb was something interesting.

The quote has little force as an argument: it is merely his opinion that a superficial curiosity about the latest discoveries of science is bad.  No contradictions or other nonsense is pointed out, nor does it even evoke a parallel between those he is disparaging and some accepted foul thing.

But it is clear, concise and otherwise totally unlike everything else that Wittgenstein is known for, while touching upon the topics of belief, understanding, science, and desire.  Odd, no?

What the quote is, is a smear; it is an insult:  Calling something a lowest desire, without reason, is merely to insult it.  What’s going on here?

Say I have a superficial curiosity about the latest discoveries of science.  So what?  If the latest scientific research has little to do with my profession, say I’m a restaurateur, then what harm is there in having a passing interest in what other smart people do?  It might even be considered commendable that I make such an effort.

Now Wittgenstein is saying that my earnest effort is nowhere near commendable, but all the way at the bottom, the basest, of desire.  Since he accusing “modern people” it is not just ‘me’, but everyone.  This is insulting and unwarranted.

However, this isn’t exactly what Wittgenstein was after: he disliked superficial curiosity in scientific discoveries not because of the impulse of people to learn and take interest in others, but because it made people believe that they understood a thing which actually they didn’t understand.  Understanding difficult things is an accomplishment, and scientific research is difficult. In enjoying a superficial curiosity about the latest discoveries of science, he is accusing us of feeling a sense of accomplishment when we have done nothing to merit it: he is accusing us of mental masturbation.  Ouch.

We can also now understand why this criticism is “modern”.  Before  modern times, there was no way to have a “popular scientific lecture”: only in the last century or so have we had the communications technology and an available public which allows for such a thing.  You couldn’t expect feudal peasants to leave their farms or be educated enough to appreciate such a lecture.  But by November 1929, the date of this lecture, mass media was in full swing with the wide distribution of newspapers and books, and the start of national radio broadcasts.  Only with widespread media distribution did the danger of popular science becoming a narcotic exist.

Wittgenstein saw that with the modern increase in information distribution capability came a danger of intellectual drugging of the population.  It disgusted him that people would take pleasure from the feeling that they understood difficult theories with which they only had the most superficial engagement.  Unfortunately he had no argument or solution to prevent this, and so he resorted, as we all do when we are out of good arguments, to insults.

One can only think that the internet has made this an even more pervasive problem.  It blows our information distribution capability off the charts.  And we are, unsurprisingly, completely addicted to it.  It’s too bad dear Ludwig never really commented more on modernity, he seems to have been rather perceptive.

Posted in ethics, internet, philosophy, science, wittgenstein. Tagged with , , , , .

i’m wearing a hat

Animal of the Month: The French (no insult intended). Anyone who would even consider having this as their national tourism logo is deserving of praise:

france_logo_previous

I don’t normally post anything that I’ve seen on Digg or Reddit, but this turns jaw dropping at around 1:28  [3:45]: moogaloop.swf

Industrial design:

Orbita Mouse Is One Big Scroll Wheel | Technomix | Fast Company

“Over its forty year life the mouse has seen some interesting re-inventions, and the new Orbita mouse is one that’s eye-catching. Its designers have taken the idea of a scroll wheel and inverted it, making the entire top surface of the mouse into a scroll dial.”

FORA.tv – MythBusters Co-Host Adam Savage on Obsession[16:54]

MythBusters co-host Adam Savage presents a glimpse into the mind of the obsessed and the motivation that drives their obsessions.

Industrial version of the Angel of Death shreds much more than paper – Core77 [multiple videos]
What “Will it Blend?” wants to be when it grows up.

Art:

YouTube – larytta – souvenir de chine – video directed by koerner union[3:13]
Really cool, like a kaleidoscope of animals.
Varini’s Trompe L’oeil | Trend.Land
“I am totally fascinated by Swiss Trompe L’oeil artist Felice Varini whom I just discovered.Dont be fooled by your first percetion of this work. These are not photo rendered images, it is master craft! He has worked on many interior spaces and exterior spaces which are even harder to believe. Varini’s work is comes together in full in only one exact point where the entire geometric calculation is percieved. From anywhere else it looks like some graphic design made of lines, concentric circles, and triangles of color. Here a gallery of some of his works.”

————-

3183244622_b036c7cbd4

Graphical Art:

Weeping Willow: Mood-Driven Data Sculptures – information aesthetics
.
swissmiss: Typographic study of a-holes
.
Dark Roasted Blend: What Kids Wish For
… A hat that would make everyone fall in love with you

rodionov

Fun:

Human Wrecking Balls [via Core77]
“The stupidest show on TV.”

Welcome to 3EyedBear
I love these things: You print them, cut the piece of paper and glue, and you have a brand new toy in less that 10 minutes! I think this is one of the great successes of modern technology.

Best for last: I watched this thing over and over.[1m] via

I’m not sure if it is the gorgeous priest (this is the first time I’ve had that thought), the overall beauty of it, or the love on their faces. check out this live performance of the song and realize how amazing a singer she is.

Posted in fun, internet. Tagged with , , .

the internet in a destroyed economy

Animal of the Month: Fire Ant! [2:53]
A flood hits a fire ant colony in the Amazon jungle. An amazing chance to see footage on how the species has adapted to water to protect their queen.
Hints of Comeback for Nation’s First Superhighway – NYTimes.com
After decades of decline, commercial shipping has returned to the Erie Canal as high fuel prices have made barges an attractive alternative to trucks.
PingMag MAKE – Learning From a Young Master: Ceramic Artist : Ryota Aoki

Then, one of my teachers told me, “Make a suicide pact with ceramics.” So I took that advice to heart and made a “suicide pact with ceramics.”

That’s hardcore.

Election maps
Really cool visualization break down of the elections.
swissmiss: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
One of my favorite books from childhood.
Toyota IQ x SOMARTA II on Vimeo


.
Amazing geared paper heart kinetic sculpture – Core77
Cool video [1:35]
whatever martha – Google Search
I saw watching a TV show called “Whatever, Martha!”  Old ‘Martha Stewart Living’ shows are watched and commented upon Mystery Science Theater 3000 style by Martha Stewart’s daughter Alexis and her friend Jennifer.  It is freaking hilarious.
PingMag – Advanced Beauty: Processed Volatile Moments
Advanced Beauty is a wondrous new DVD compilation comprised of 18 visuals by 20 artists, or rather sound sculptures, as curator Matt Pyke of UK-based Universal Everything would say. These transient pieces made by processing are for us to see how far you can really push the aesthetics of software generated visualisations and play around […]
BibliOdyssey: Original Winnie The Pooh Drawings
Damn Straight.

….damn straight………………………….

Posted in fun, internet. Tagged with , , .

stupid month of september

animal of the month: Ninja Kitteh! [1:13]

This seriously reduced me to giggles for a full minute or two… though the elephant made a strong bid again this month.

art & design

Vincent van Gogh’s “Bedroom in Arles” Real Life and Digital Recreations
Staring Cats Light Sculpture is Fixating
1 Hour Design Challenge: Sick-Ass Car Rendering Winners!
Videos of the coolest cars designers could draw in an hour. Unbelievable skills and cars. (I think this would be a good idea for philosophy: 1 hour philosophy challenge.  You would have to write something on a philosophical topic in no more than 1 hour of actual write time.  Expect to see this in the future some time and contact me if you want to help setting one up.)
PingMag – Aya Kato: Mystic Realms

Tilt Shift + Stop motion VIDEO – Fubiz™
 
Paranoia mix [2:14] (MUST WATCH):

comedy

Demetri Martin funny chart presentation [8:57] – information aesthetics
A Softer World’s take on the financial problems
If you are in the mood for something different and hilarious, read Joey’s book, now free!
Salon Newsreal | A joke too bad to print?
How Sen. John McCain’s tasteless two-liner about Chelsea Clinton and Janet Reno was censored out of the nation’s leading newspapers

…. J. McCain: Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
……………………..Because her father is Janet Reno.

The Steakhouse Incident
Perhaps the first ‘essay’ that had me laughing since this Walt Whitman paper.

science

Large Hadron Rap [4:49]
If you are a physics or philosophy of science person, this is a must watch.
The Truth About the Spinning Dancer – NYTimes
An illusion I meant to post long ago in a different link roundup, but misfiled.
Ovablastic: Sound Waves [2:10]
In the spirit of ooblek dancing on a subwoofer, check out this video of salt acting strangely near a massive high quality speaker.

how to

Leadership/Not Leadership
StatCounter Blog »  SEO: Content 1
Another useful place to look for SEO information.
The Gentleman Grafter [4:14] [via]
Video of this man selling vegetable peelers: “By night, Joe Ades dines with his fourth wife at exclusive restaurants, sips Veuve Clicquot at the Pierre, and goes home to a three-bedroom Park Avenue apartment. By day, he is something else altogether. At 72, the “peeler guy” in the Turnbull & Asser shirts is a New York legend.” —– I can personally vouch for the impressiveness of his presentation.  If I wasn’t broke at the time, I would have bought a peeler.

other

Blog Action Day 08
For all my fellow bloggers, check this out.  Let’s do our part to make poverty extinct.

[59s]  via

Posted in fun, internet, SEO. Tagged with , , , .

links, cause even though

i’m at the end of the internet, you may not be.

Animal of the Month: NYC Pimp

“What sort of person subjects children as young as 12 to beatings and a life of prostitution? An evidence list submitted in the case of Corey Davis, a Queens man who billed himself as “Magnificent,” might provide some insight. Mr. Davis, 36, is facing a minimum of 23 years in prison after pleading guilty in March to a federal charge of sex trafficking involving a 12-year-old runaway.

Mindbending

“… But then things went dark, weird, and creepy: one girl laughed, but then so did another, and then another, and then another, and then another.

After exposure, the incubation period from nothing to hysteria was short, from a few hours to a couple of days. There was no fever, no physical symptoms, just laughter and occasional crying between short moments of exhausted recuperation. When victims were restrained they sometimes became violent…”

Science

“This map was constructed by sorting roughly 800,000 published papers into 776 different scientific paradigms based on how often the papers were cited together by authors of other papers.”

(they’re all out of free posters now, but the file is available so you can print one for yourself)

  • Dancing Non-Newtonian liquid (also via core77) [1:32]
  • InvenSense: Gyroscopes and Accelerometers Compared
  • Check out this video describing the technology that is going to be used in the new Nintendo Wii Motion Plus. General relativity needs to be accounted for to accurately measure motion in 3D space (true 6 degrees of freedom) by using both accelerometers and gyroscopes. But perhaps the most interesting part of the site is the disclaimer at the bottom (my emphasis):

    InvenSense sensors should not be used or sold in the development, storing, production and utilization of any conventional or mass-destructive weapons or any other weapons or life-threatening applications as well as in any other life-critical applications including but not limited to medical equipment, transportation, aerospace and nuclear instruments, undersea equipment, power plant equipment, disaster prevention and crime prevention equipment.”

Culture

  • Nadia Comaneci, Montreal 1976 TEN!!! [1:06] (via plump plum)
  • Michael Bluejay | Crazy World of Michael Bluejay
  • Last but not least this is what I consider to be a throwback to vintage internet. We are talking a space background repeating image here people; I don’t think I’ve seen that since ’97. Plus something for nearly everyone: lots of links, e.g. useful information like an up to date guide to SEO, and Women Chess Grandmasters.

Posted in art, fun, internet, science, SEO. Tagged with , , .

Links, lanks, lunks

Interaction Design, Etc.

Science, Etc.

Aesthetics, Etc.

I’ll be gone for a week visiting my bro in the Southwest… at least y’all will have something to do in my absence.

Posted in art, biology, design, evolution, fun, internet, science. Tagged with , , .