Phishing, Free Will, Putin, Transwomen, Artificial Intelligence

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What Cyber-War Will Look Like

Tanner Greer | Scholar's Stage | 6th July 2018

No need to hack into weapons systems. An enemy could paralyse the US army by draining soldiers’ bank accounts and poisoning their Twitter feeds. “Marines suddenly owe thousands of dollars on credit lines they never opened; sailors receive death threats on their Twitter feeds; female service members see private pictures of themselves plastered across the Internet; older service members receive notifications about cancerous conditions discovered in their latest physical” (1,600 words)

The Limits Of Reductionism

Sabine Hossenfelder | Backreaction | 5th July 2018

A reductionist view of free will. If the Universe has universal laws, then those laws dictate the behaviour of every particle in the Universe. All behaviour is already determined, even if it cannot in practice be computed. There is no room for free will. With one loophole: What if all science is fundamentally wrong, and the Universe does not in fact, have universal laws? “It will take more than this to convince me that free will isn’t an illusion, but this gives you an excuse to continue believing in free will” (870 words)

Putin: The One Man Show

Fiona Hill | Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists | 13th April 2016

Perceptive psychological profile exploring the strengths of Vladimir Putin. “For Putin, to plan strategically means planning for contingencies. This is something all operatives learned in the KGB: Operations inevitably go wrong; events throw off the best-laid plans. You have to have backup plans. Putin’s next steps always depend on how everyone else reacts. His ability to translate quick thinking into action and change course at the last minute gives him a significant advantage” (4,200 words)

Transwomen And Adoptive Parents: An Analogy

Sophie Grace Chappell | Conscience And Consciousness | 11th July 2018

“Maybe we should think of it like this: Transwomen are to women as adoptive parents are to parents. An adoptive parent wants to be a parent but can’t be one in the normal biological sense. Society has found a way for her to live the role of a parent, and to be recognised socially and legally as a parent. Nobody thinks that the existence of adoptive parents undermines our understanding of what it is to be a parent. Nobody thinks that adoptive parents are a threat to other parents” (1,350 words)

Artificial Intelligence

A new entry in the Stanford Encyclopaedia Of Philosophy: What is Artificial Intelligence, and what might it become? “Artificial intelligence is the field devoted to building artificial creatures that – in suitable contexts – appear to be animals or persons. Such goals ensure that AI is a discipline of considerable interest to many philosophers, confirmed by the energetic attempt on the part of numerous philosophers to show that these goals are in fact attainable or unattainable” (29,850 words)

Video of the day Once Upon A Time In Cappadocia

What to expect:

Gorgeous fairy-tale journey through the Turkish region of Cappadocia, by Tom Whitworth

Thought for the day

I don’t believe anything, but I have many suspicions
Robert Anton Wilson

Podcast Alcoholic Hollywood | On The Media

Gabrielle Glaser talks about the portrayal of heavy drinking in American films
(13m 04s)

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