Plato’s reading suggestions, episode 116

no iPhoneHere it is, our regular Friday diet of suggested readings for the weekend:

Do you really believe X? If so, take the Truth-Demon test. (Or, better yet, tell me how much money you are willing to bet on the truth of X.)

P.K. Dick, not Orwell or Huxley, predicted the world we live in.

More reasons to think the multiverse hypothesis isn’t good science. (see also my recent post here).

Psychologists surveyed hundreds of alt-right supporters. The results are as scary as shit.

Why so many Americans think Buddhism is “just” a philosophy.

An argument for not buying a cellphone. Which I read on, and tweeted about, from my iPhone.

The new “Cosmos” and the debate about the historical and scientific role of Giordano Bruno.


Please notice that the duration of the comments window is three days (including publication day), and that comments are moderated for relevance (to the post one is allegedly commenting on), redundancy (not good), and tone (constructive is what we aim for). This applies to both the suggested readings and the regular posts. Also, keep ‘em short, this is a comments section, not your own blog. Thanks!


Categories: Plato's Suggestions

134 replies

  1. And Nixon and Henry Kaiser took a stab at health care but failed (due other #Repubs I think). It would have bee 1/2 baked like Obama Care, but something…



    Maybe Watergate scuttled it …this speech 3 years after he proposed it was in ’74…


  3. Winston Churchill created the modern welfare state in the United Kingdom.


  4. Socratic: You are being a bit generous to Nixon. Beyond Watergate there was Cambodia, as well as the systematic misuse of the FBI.


  5. And, of course, the wretched Southern Strategy, which gave us the toxic politics we have now.

    Liked by 1 person


    I don’t know if this is true as it comes from CATO, but I heard similar things years ago. That Hoover has Keynesian plans that he would implement if he won and that one reason Roosevelt got off to such a quite start is there were a lot of things ready for him to deploy.


  7. Socratic,

    The purpose of religion is to enforce some degree of social code on an emotional, conscious, continuously regenerating, but not always terribly modern or scientifically literate population. The nature and nurture feedback loop between individuals, relationships and environmental context. In that sense, it might be a lot more logical, than simply trying to understand the surface forms and projections that grow over the centuries.
    Bottom up processes, versus top down form.

    As with conservatism, its function isn’t to project out future oughts, but to clarify the is. Though the extreme is to look to an idealized past. It’s the function of liberalism to try new approaches.


  8. Can “mindless” partisanship be useful? Perhaps so: “We are rising above our independent predilections and behaving like dumb-ass partisans. It’s why we hope many smart people will do the same.” (“If conservatives want to save the GOP from itself, they need to vote mindlessly and mechanically against its nominees.”)


  9. Philip,
    As I’ve argued in free will debates, people are quite conscious when they are acting according to form and reenforcing their beliefs, from praying in church to teaching and learning in school.
    It’s only when it reaches the point of extreme negative feedback that minds tend to change.


  10. Robin Herbert, Churchil initiated the UK Welfare State like Cuvier initiated the modern theory of evolution. The 1942 Beveridge Report was commissioned by the wartime grand coalition government, and its recommendations led to the National Health Service and other welfate programmes by the post-war Labour Attlee government in the face of Conservative claims that they were unaffordable.


  11. German national health care was put in by Bismark.

    I think he was trying to get the Unions to buy into some war … (not sure) …


  12. Daniel: “And, of course, the wretched Southern Strategy, which gave us the toxic politics we have now.”

    I’m hoping that some sociologist (?) will make a thorough study of the post-Civil-War (up to the present) diaspora of Southern whites, which I believe to be a factor in the current prevalence of conservatism in the rural US (see any recent map of Presidential election results by county).

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Dan, No doubt Nixon was evil over-all. The question was, I think, about conservatives that had done some good stuff and Nixon did do some. “Only Nixon could go to China”, etc.

    But, he killed a lot people for nothing.


  14. Oh, sure, Dan. I was only looking at the good side!
    I could add Calvin Coolidge not talking much.

    Liked by 3 people

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