background preloader


Facebook Twitter

Putting Philosophy to Work. How Timeless Wisdom Can Bring Meaning… | by Steven Gambardella | Aug, 2020 | Medium. Many of us feel disconnected from our work. We feel locked in dreary, uninspiring jobs for companies that lack purpose. We are living with a crisis of purpose as we devote ever more time and ever more effort into making ends meet, let alone finding success. Prosperity needn’t come at the cost of our collective sanity. The best business leaders understand the need to inspire and motivate their workforces, but traditional business theory is inadequate for doing so. The solution can come from an unlikely source: philosophy. Yes, you read it right. Philosophy is not exactly a subject you’d associate with business. The reason why philosophy has such a dire reputation, is that it’s seen as a body of knowledge rather than what it really is – a practice. Thinking of philosophy as knowledge immediately creates a barrier, it makes the subject seem opaque and even arcane.

But the yawning gap between these poles is where philosophy is most useful to ourselves and society. Philosophy at work. Forget About Coding, The Job Of The Future Is Philosophy. Artificial Intelligence will bring four major problems in the near future. Only philosophy can come to the rescue. If you are worried that your children won’t find a stable job in the future, you may want to suggest them to become philosophers. Yes, the least practical profession ever is destined to find a role in the job market for the first time in history. And it will even be the most important one. The future is extremely uncertain. Nobody can say what the job market will look like in 5, 20, or 50 years. But there is one trend that most of us agree on: AI is becoming better than humans in more and more jobs. This puts your profession too at risk. Your profession has a deadline You may think that your profession is safe because it’s very creative or requires a substantial amount of general intelligence.

Maybe you are a teacher. Think again. First, it was the turn of manual jobs. This led every generation to become more educated and specialized than the previous one. Or should we? Artificial Intelligence Makes Bad Medicine Even Worse. The adversarial culture in philosophy does not serve the truth. Philosophical discussions, whether in a professional setting or at the bar, frequently consist of calling out mistakes in whatever has been proposed: ‘This is all very well, but …’ This adversarial style is often celebrated as truth-conducive. Eliminating false assumptions seems to leave us with truth in the marketplace of ideas. Although this is a fairly pervasive practice (even I am practising it right now), I doubt that it is a particularly good approach to philosophical discussions. The lack of progress in adversarial philosophical exchange might rest on a simple but problematic division of labour: in professional settings such as talks, seminars and papers, we standardly criticise others’, rather than our own, views.

At the same time, we clearly risk our reputation much more when proposing an idea rather than criticising it. This systematically disadvantages proponents of (new) ideas. Adversarial criticism is commonly driven by a binary understanding of ideas. Donald Trump and postmodernism. I was watching CNN’s Reliable Sources a couple of weeks ago and was struck by an exchange between host Brian Stelter and Andrew Marantz, author of Antisocial, a new book about online extremism. They were discussing the false narratives surrounding President Trump and why they’re so difficult to cut through.

As long as Trump has a right-wing media ecosystem to spin and protect and lie for him, the argument went, it’s just not clear that the “facts” matter all that much. “People focus on the underlying facts,” Marantz told Stelter, “but the underlying facts are not the things that matter in terms of narrative-shaping ... narrative-shaping happens on Fox News, in Congress, on the internet.” That facts don’t seem to matter anymore is hardly a new observation. But it’s all the more urgent now, as we trudge into an impeachment process that will almost certainly lead to an unsatisfying conclusion in which no one version of the truth is likely to come out and be held by the public.

Honesty, Humility, Courage, & Strength: Later Wittgenstein on the Difficulties of Philosophy and the Philosophical Virtues. Einstein got it – philosophy and science do go hand in hand | Kenan Malik. Last week it was revealed that Edinburgh University’s David Purdie had discovered a letter from Albert Einstein in which the great scientist notes the importance of 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume in developing his theory of special relativity.

Without having reading Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature, Einstein wrote: “I cannot say that the solution would have come.” Historians have, in fact, long known about Einstein’s debt to Hume, and indeed about that letter. They’ve known, too, about the influence on Einstein of many other philosophers, from Ernst Mach to Arthur Schopenhauer. Part of what many find intriguing about the story is the idea that scientific theories should be shaped by philosophical ideas. It has become common for scientists to dismiss philosophy as irrelevant to their work. The “insights of philosophers”, the physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg suggests, are “murky and inconsequential compared with the dazzling successes of physics and mathematics”. Beyond social networks: How cultural beliefs really spread. Francis Fukuyama’s Shrinking Idea. At a time of populist unrest, bitter political polarization, and rampantly spreading authoritarianism, Fukuyama’s book now appears to have been written for another planet.

Far from avowing the triumph of liberal democracy, in 2019 many believe we will be lucky to hold on to the dwindling number of liberal democracies we have. And the force that may do us in appears to be the very opposite of Hegel’s universality: the obsessive particularism of ethnic identification. Perhaps understanding the possibility of obsolescence, Fukuyama has worked hard to keep his idea alive.

He published other books, none of them so intensely discussed, in which he adjusted his thesis to account for new events and in particular to place a greater emphasis on culture at the expense of economics. In the preface to his new book, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, he returns once again to the controversy he started and tries to defend himself against (unnamed) critics. “Finding Meaning in a Post-Work World”

In 1930, the eminent Economist John Maynard Keynes suggested that within 100 years the working week would be cut to around 15 hours, as a result of technological advancements and automation. Though the trend over the last 80 or so years has appeared not to bear out this prediction, there is some growing evidence to suggest we are finally approaching an epoch where Keynes’ forecasts could ring true. In 2015, Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, predicted that roughly half of all jobs in the UK (around 15million) would be automated in the coming decades. A year later, President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, made an announcement that certain emerging economies could see over 80% of jobs automated. What this all points to is a world where one day, work, if not entirely eradicated, will certainly no longer be the key focus of a large percentage of the world’s population.

Now of course, this throws up plenty of new issues. How do we ensure wages remain stable? Work as meaning. #MeToo: what do you do when the art you love was created by a monster? For a few years when I was a teenager, my favorite movie was Edward Scissorhands. I loved its spiky early-’90s Tim Burton aesthetics; I loved the sweetness of its story, hiding under so much self-conscious weirdness; and I loved Johnny Depp’s wounded, vulnerable performance as the titular scissor-handed boy, who couldn’t get close to anyone without hurting them. I laughed when Edward accidentally punctured a waterbed in a wordless, humiliated frenzy. I cried when he accidentally injured his girlfriend. I cried more for Edward than for the bleeding girlfriend, actually, because I could see that it hurt him to hurt her, and I was more interested in his pain than in hers. Edward Scissorhands eventually stopped being my favorite movie, but I continued to love it in that part-embarrassed, part-sentimental, part-genuine way you love the art you imprint on as a teenager.

I loved this movie. But the idea of separating the artist from the art is not a self-evident truth. Meaning and metrics for innovation – Censemaking. Metrics are at the heart of evaluation of impact and value in products and services although they are rarely straightforward. What makes a good metric requires some thinking about what the meaning of a metric is, first. I recently read a story on what makes a good metric from Chris Moran, Editor of Strategic Projects at The Guardian. Chris’s work is about building, engaging, and retaining audiences online so he spends a lot of time thinking about metrics and what they mean. Chris – with support from many others — outlines the five characteristics of a good metric as being: RelevantMeasurableActionableReliableReadable (less likely to be misunderstood) (What I liked was that he also pointed to additional criteria that didn’t quite make the cut but, as he suggests, could).

This list was developed in the context of communications initiatives, which is exactly the point we need to consider: context matters when it comes to metrics. Sensemaking and metrics Metrics are useful. Choose wisely. More Than 100 Fantastic Articles From 2017. FIRST THINGS / American Carnage by Christopher Caldwell “If you take too much heroin, your breathing slows until you die. Unfortunately, the drug sets an addictive trap that is sinister and subtle. It provides a euphoria—a feeling of contentment, simplification, and release—which users swear has no equal. Users quickly develop a tolerance, requiring higher and higher amounts to get the same effect. The dosage required to attain the feeling the user originally experienced rises until it is higher than the dosage that will kill him.” NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO / The Meth Lunches by Kim Foster “He keeps going, his plans, his dreams, how he will rent a house for the three of them, how he will get the other boys back, even though they have long been adopted, how this baby is a gift from God, a sign to him that everything will be okay.

THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE / A Small Town Police Officer’s War on Drugs by Benjamin Rachlin THE INTERCEPT / The Crimes of Seal Team 6 by Matthew Cole. October 2018 Issue. The laws of other countries have a bearing on America’s own, writes Stephen Breyer—and the highest court in the land needs to take heed. It is often said that the world is becoming more international in nature. What does this mean for those of us who live in such a world? When I hear words such as globalization, interdependence, and multinational, I sometimes feel like Stendhal’s hero Fabrice del Dongo at the beginning of The Charterhouse of Parma. He is a soldier at the Battle of Waterloo. He is lost in the fog of war. He hears bullets whizzing past. It is hard not to have this reaction to the rhetoric of globalization. This is how power affects the brain. Experiencing power changes the way you think, perceive, and relate. “[It] creates psychological distance between the powerful person and everything else,” says Batia Wiesenfeld, a management professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

You’ll see this instance in many forms. Influential people think (and speak) more abstractly than their less powerful peers. They’re also more optimistic and less sensitive to risk, because when they think about something at a distance, they tend to consider it in terms of desirability rather than feasibility. This means that at times, they place too much emphasis on the outcome, rather than what they need to do to get there. They are more likely to develop a shortcut mentality that can lead to many problems down the line. Power and the two types of thinking Scientific literature defines power as an “asymmetric control of resources.” Psychologists divide our way of thinking into two categories: “high construal” and “low construal.” Blockchain Explained: The Layman's Non-Technical Primer on Blockchain. Was Wittgenstein a Mystic? Why Donald Trump's Lies Can't Kill the Truth. How many times have I been asked: Is truth dead? Or at least, if truth as a concept has been hopelessly compromised?

Many, many times. (Including by this very publication.) But truth is still with us and hasn’t been compromised — no matter how many people might insist that it doesn’t exist or is subject to endlessly diverse interpretations. There is one truth. Untruth, on the other hand… The Washington Post recorded 3,001 false or misleading claims made by President Donald Trump in his first 466 days in office. Consider Trump’s April 28 campaign rally in Washington, Michigan.

It was a dizzying array of mistakes, lies and misrepresentations. Questions about alternative facts and relative truths have been nettling me for decades. You might ask, What in hell is that? Taken at face value, if Kuhn’s theories were correct, we could never adequately understand the past at all, since it is cloaked from our view by changes in meaning, paradigm shifts and the like. Truth is all around us. Salon. 9 Stoic Practices That Will Help You Thrive In The Madness Of Modernity. When Zeno of Cyprus was shipwrecked and stranded on Athens, he wasn’t expecting any good to happen. Having lost everything and with not much else to do, Zeno wandered into a bookshop and was quickly absorbed by the teachings of Socrates. After studying with the great philosophers of his time, he decided to impart his wisdom to anyone who would care to listen. Thus the philosophy of Stoicism was born. Zeno’s teachings would quickly spread and would be adopted by both slaves and kings alike.

As he would later joke: “I made a prosperous voyage when I suffered shipwreck.” But that’s not where the story of Stoicism ends. Centuries later, the philosophy remains as relevant — if not more so — in modern society. 1. “Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them.” — Epictetus Much of what happens in life is not within our control. Born a slave, it would seem that Epictetus had no reason to believe he could control anything. But that wasn’t what Epictetus thought. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Letter to an Aspiring Intellectual by Paul J. Griffiths. Why philosophy is taking its time to answer the big questions. Philosophers periodically fret about the apparent lack of progress in their discipline. The fact that science – always the comparator in these discussions – has been humming along so nicely doesn’t exactly help. By discovering its methods and unifying a lot of us around them, science has figured out how to get human behaviours connected to the larger physical environment in ways that yield information about it, information that we can use to rocket off to the Moon or just bring pleasure to our ever-curious prefrontal cortex.

Philosophy, by comparison, seems to have little to brag about. A number of attempts have recently been made to dispel the fretting. David Papineau, writing in The Times Literary Supplement in June 2017, suggests that philosophy’s problems involve paradoxes so difficult for us to unravel that we should expect its progress to be far less rapid than progress in science. Such solutions to the problem of philosophy’s progress are well worth considering. The Puzzle Of Patriotism | Issue 124. The World Might Not Be As Disastrous As We Think It Is. Study assesses the strengths of research synthesis over 40 years. Is Truth an Outdated Concept? Science, Religion, and Secularism, Part XX: What is Science? (Part B) | The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast | A Philosophy Podcast and Blog. In praise of fallibility: why science needs philosophy.

Quantum Epistemology for Business. Why society needs a more scientific understanding of human values. Why Philosophy Is so Important in Science Education. Is it too late to save the world? Jonathan Franzen on one year of Trump's America | Books. Let Us Think Together. Truth? It’s not just about the facts – TheTLS. The hard problem of consciousness is a distraction from the real one | Aeon Essays. How to Talk About Empiricism - 3:AM Magazine. Authenticity from Heidegger to Fanon | The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast | A Philosophy Podcast and Blog.

Is philosophy simply harder than science? – TheTLS. Did Thomas Kuhn Help Elect Donald Trump? - Scientific American Blog Network. The primacy of doubt in an age of illusory certainty. Berkeley author George Lakoff says, 'Don't underestimate Trump' — Berkeleyside. The complexity of social problems is outsmarting the human brain | Aeon Essays. Philosopher Andrew Taggart is helping Silicon Valley executives define success — Quartz.

Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools? - Anti-intellectualism poses a great danger to democracy. Donald Trump and the rise of tribal epistemology. Are Liberals on the Wrong Side of History? Sociology's Stagnation. "Shut up and Calculate" (Galileo, Kepler and Schrödinger's Cat) The nature of pragmatism and its possible future pt. 1. If-we-are-not-just-animals-what-are-we. America last: The case for moral disengagement from politics in the age of Trump. Tragedy and Philosophy - 3:AM Magazine. The Owl of Minerva Problem. Reality Check: Wine, Subjectivism and the Fate of Civilization. The man of the hour. Humans-in-dark-times. Is Donald Trump evil? Modern philosophy shows that most atrocities are committed by normal people—not evil ones — Quartz.

Why Musicians Need Philosophy | Future Symphony Institute. When Philosophy Lost Its Way. Foolish Logic. Artificially Flavored Intelligence. Madness, Music and Modernity: Studying Structural Oppression Through Musicology | J Nelson Aviance. The Conversationalist | The Weekly Standard. How to design a metaphor. Me and My Brain: What the "Double-Subject Fallacy" reveals about contemporary conceptions of the Self. The dangerous idea that life is a story – Galen Strawson.