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Assorted Links (March 2022)

The Varieties of BullshitMatthew Walker’s “Why We Sleep” Is Riddled with Scientific and Factual ErrorsImpeachment: American Crime Story (from my sister Marisa Hirschfield)The Eros MonsterThe Courage to Be AloneIs “Anna Karenina” a Love Story? (from Jeff Zymeri)

Guest Post: Does Physics still have room for Philosophy? (Jordan D. Cohen)

By the turn of the seventeenth century, early modern Europe had laid out the groundwork for calculus, deciphered the basic principles of electromagnetism, engineered the telescope and microscope, and devised mathematical laws for the motion of physical bodies. The Scientific Revolution that marked the century ushered in profound advancements among the prevailing intelligentsia and broader…

Airtime Problems

An airtime problem is when someone spends too much time talking about a serious but minor issue relative to the time spent talking about a serious and major issue.  This is the problem with a lot of discussions about rape: they end up turning into discussions of false accusations. False accusations are real and serious.…

I’ve gone viral, or Scattered Thoughts on Workism

Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 4:6) I’ve gone viral …on TikTok. So I spend a lot of time on TikTok, for, um, research purposes. This is supposed to be embarrassing. Our cultural obsession with work, or workism, as Derek Thompson calls it, means all…

Life Update and Poem

Life update: I’ve moved to Cambridge to do an MPhil in Philosophy. More on that in another post. I’m at Trinity College, hence the picture. No philosophy to share, yet. But here’s a poem I wrote at the Sidgwick Site: Plant one flower. After, don’t look down at your feet. Stumble, stumble your way, head…

Finger in the Dike

The CFA and Holes As some of you know, I spent the last two months cramming for the Chartered Financial Analyst Level I exam, which I took last week. The test covers over 3,000 pages of material across ten topics, ranging from Ethical and Professional Standards to Economics to Derivatives.  The expression that best captures…

What I’m reading (June 2021)

Entrepreneur/VC blogs A lot of good stuff here. Even if you’re not interested in tech/start-ups/investing, these blogs are worth checking out for general wisdom. Plus they humanize the people behind some very impressive and influential companies. (1) Paul Graham’s blog Graham is a successful founder, but you probably know him because he started Y-Combinator. Check…

You only have two types of problems

I’ve recently become convinced that there are only two types of problems you can have: belief problems and agency problems. Belief problems are problems that arise from having not enough information or incorrect information. Examples include: You think you’re very likely to be mugged in your neighborhood, so you either avoid going outside at night…

What I’m reading (May 2021)

This is a new column where I share ideas by way of links. Here’s what I’m reading this week: Philosophy (1) This article by Jeremy Fischer in Ethics: “Racism as Civic Vice”. He argues that racism is a (bad) civic character trait. The first section is a standalone lesson in ways to think about racism:…

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