Plato’s reading suggestions, episode 115

Jews and jokesHere it is, our regular Friday diet of suggested readings for the weekend:

Jews and their jokes, a natural history.

The problem with self-help, philosophically speaking.

Does philosophy make progress? Yes. No. (And a different answer here.)

An Ancient Greek idea could have foiled Brexit’s democratic tragedy. And maybe even Trumpism.

Welcome to the democracy-poisoning golden age of free speech.


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31 thoughts on “Plato’s reading suggestions, episode 115

  1. couvent2104

    Robin Herbert,

    Completely off topic, but …
    There’s nothing wrong with the mathematics.
    It’s a fact that the differential equation

    s’’ = C sqrt (s) (with C some positive constant)

    has a weird solution.

    Formally, it looks like a Newtonian equation and thus can be interpreted like one.
    It’s relatively easy to construct a dome-shaped surface that – after a few idealizations – gives you this equation for a point sliding under the influence of gravitational forces.

    If there’s something wrong, it’s with the idealizations.

    The physicist in me wants idealizations to be stable. Small deviations from the idealization should give you solutions that are close to the “idealized” solution.

    This is not the case with the dome in the neighborhood of the top: a small deviation makes the controversial solution go away. (disclosure: I haven’t done this particular calculation myself, I’m repeating what I’ve read.)


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