I am Physicalist
I'm a philosopher in New England. I like to think I know a thing or two about science, especially physics (less about biology). I'm particularly interested in physicalism -- in figuring out the relationship between physics and all other descriptions of our world.
- Evolving Thoughts, Wilkins.
Category Archives: Uncategorized
In the last post I talked about time travel to the past. What about time travel to the future?
There’s a boring sense in which we’re all moving into the future at the rate of one second per second. But that’s not what we mean. What about farther into the future than it takes from our point of view? What about Marty McFly traveling from 1985 to today (October 21, 2015) while remaining young. Is that possible?
Yes, it is.
In fact, I’ve been in a time machine that takes its passengers into the future. It cost me several hundred dollars, and it wasn’t very far into the future, but still — I did it.
And in all likelihood, so have you. This marvelous time traveling device is — … — (wait for it) — Continue reading
Today is Back to the Future Day, the day that Marty arrives in the future according to the 1989 movie. So it’s a fine day to discuss time travel.
Is time travel possible?
Well, to answer this, we first need to clarify what variety of time travel we’re considering.
What we usually have in mind is time travel to the past. But here there are distinct pictures that we have in mind. Continue reading
Well, only on a blog, to be honest.
And it’s only two dozen words long.
And my name isn’t mentioned.
But still, them’s my words there in James Fallow’s post (click “read on”):
I think we need a simple t-shirt slogan: “The NRA is immoral.”
The fact that everyone will understand the message is all that really needs to be said.
I’ve discussed before the fact that the Iraqi government has spent over $85 million for these dowsing rods that are supposed to detect bombs.
I suppose once you’ve sunk that sort of money in, you might as well use them.
And, to be fair, security theater might have its uses. If the bad guys don’t know that the wands are useless hocus pocus, they might be more wary of trying to sneak through checkpoints — and the the apparent triggering of a dowsing rod might trigger a real psychological reaction that a security agent could recognize.
The problem, of course, would be if the wand wavers thinks they’re actually able to detect explosives and that leads them to let up on other reasonable security measures.
Wondering how common the dowsing rods are, I did a quick Google image search for “Iraq Checkpoint.” Looks like they’re common. A few more pics after the jump.
Here’s a TED talk by David Chalmers.
I don’t have time right now to watch it, but I’ll probably assign it to my students this fall, and I imagine I’ll offer some comments at some point.
First reaction: “Whoa! Chalmers shaved and got a haircut!”
I guess he hit the 20-years-out-of-Santa-Cruz mark. That’s about the same point I cut my hair off too.
Not everyone is excited about Pi Day: