Saturday, March 18, 2017

Episode 8: The Will to Believe

Read the original essay here.

Download the mp3 here.

Part of this lecture serves as a partial response to The Ethics of Belief, the reading-fodder for the previous episode. James identifies some important psychological realities and subtle distinctions that Clifford glosses over. If you ask me to pit them against one another, then I'm with Clifford. I don't think James was quite fair. He totally ignored Clifford's Bastatian, proto-Hayekian point about the macroeffects, the subtle and distributed effects, the side effects, the unnoticed negative externalities, of promoting less than maximally true beliefs.

However. This essay's logic is, so far as I can tell, insecapable. I'm astonished that no one has ever adopted this essay's theses as a foundational epistemological principle, that I've never seen debates one way or the other on the matter. Having read the essay several times in the course of producing this episode, I must say that I agree with it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Episode 7: The Ethics of Belief

Read the original essay here.

Download the mp3 here.

I reckon William Kingdon Clifford would have been a much more eminent philosopher had he not died at 33.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Episode 6: The Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses

Read the original essay here (PDF warning) or here.

Download the mp3 here.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bonus Episode: You're Probably Wondering Why I Called You Here Today

Read the original essay here.

Download the mp3 here.

Since most of you are from Slate Star Codex now, I thought I'd release something I made a long time ago. I had the idea to turn SSC into a podcast, but in making the attempt, realize that was far, far too daunting an undertaking. Thus this bonus episode is a reading of the first SSC article, with the same microphone I used for Keep Your Identity Small.

Episode 5: The Reversal Test: Eliminating Status Quo Bias in Applied Ethics

Read the original essay here (PDF warning).

Download the mp3 here.

Not the best choice of essays to read, owing to the abominably boring, repetitive, academic (but I repeat myself) writing style. Still a useful thing to have in your cognitive arsenal, a fairly powerful debiasing technique as well as an argument for one of my pet causes.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Episode 4: In Praise of Passivity

Download the mp3 here.

Read the original essay here (PDF warning) or here.

This essay is incredibly important. If I could suggest one short thing for everyone in the world to read, it might be this. I'm not proud of the job I did reading it. Boring and listless and full of minor mistakes. Nevertheless I do hope you listen. Once again I must entreat that reading along while listening may prove helpful.