Philosophistry is now a book!

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Experimental Reboot of Philosophistry


Asking whether or not we're in a simulator is uninteresting because it's ultimately like asking whether or not God exists

It's like asking whether or not we're in a dream or we're in some other being's thoughts. The question starts in earnest as a physics inquiry, but it clearly becomes a metaphysical one, which presumes the existence of something beyond physics.

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If we can regularly solve the Trolley Problem, then so can robots.

We have a lot of issues with the Trolley Problem. One the one hand, we fret about having to figure out whether ten lives is worth one. On the other hand, we frequently solve the problem with a not-so-humble resignation and saying, "It's not our place to decide whether the lives of 100 adults are worth the life of one child." And yet, we solve Trolley Problems all the time. When an oncoming car swerves into your lane, and you have to make a choice of maybe hitting the bicyclist to get out of the way, you're rapidly weighing the cost-benefits of risking a life to save another.

Some professions are riddled with such problems, such as being a police officer or soldier. While some of the people in those positions are vexed by making those decisions, many do so with ease. Likewise, if we're not worried about entrusting ourselves with making those decisions, we shouldn't fret about robots making them. If anything, we'll perfect the ease with which we already make those decisions, now with better inputs, consistency, and the benefit of a level head.

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Love will always exist so long as we have a reason to not love

Love—specifically limerence—is a means, not an end. Its purpose is to fling us towards others, for better or for worse. That last part is crucial. The intensity of our reasoning skills is in direct proportion to the intensity of our emotions driving in the opposite direction. The existence of love is proof of the high stakes of the matter, where cold calculation and reckless abandon are both equally valid—and necessary—at times.

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The better looking you are, the worse everyone else looks

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The existence of billboards proves democracy doesn't work

We all have a neutral-to-negative opinion about billboards, and yet the apathy of our collective voice cannot overcome the motivated will of a tiny advertising lobby.