Category Archives: Philosophy

Life Among The Wokescolds

A frightening dispatch from the educational apocalypse. One note, though.

Jeff Bezos

An interesting space-related profile from Princeton, his alma mater.

I did an interview a few months ago for the upcoming documentary, even though I didn’t really know O’Neill (I met him once). He had a large indirect influence on my life. The last question I was asked was what single word came to mind when I thought about him. My answer: “Hope.”

[Afternoon update]

It’s important to understand that The High Frontier came out in the mid-70s, a time of doom and gloom. Paul Ehrlich and the Club of Rome were always banging on about overpopulation and running out of resources, and instead of global warming, we were supposed to be worried about a return of the glaciers. In addition to O’Neill’s book, Peter Vajk (himself inspired by O’Neill) came out with a book meant to be a palliative, titled Doomsday Has Been Canceled. Anyway, that’s the context in which I said that he brought hope.

Human Extinction

Would it be a tragedy?

Note that he doesn’t consider the possibility of homes for both humanity and other terrestrial life off planet.

FWIW, if I had to choose between saving a few lives and all of the art in the Louvre, it’s not at all obvious that the lives have higher value. I can certainly imagine some people willing to sacrifice themselves for it, but that issue isn’t in his question.

Social Psychologists

Are they impeded in their work by their refusal to accept evolutionary psychology?

In short, yes. It’s part of the Left’s war on science, and its war on human nature. If people aren’t tabula rasas, how are we to create the New Soviet Man?

[Update a few minutes later]

This is interesting:

On an optimistic note, Buss and von Hippel point out that their survey found that a substantial minority of social psychologists did endorse findings rooted in evolutionary biology. But still there is a long way to go until the schism in psychological and theoretical perspectives is bridged – a situation they believe is likely made worse by the lack of proper training in evolutionary sciences in psychology*. “Not a single degree-granting institution in the United States, to our knowledge, requires even a single course in evolutionary biology as part of a degree in psychology,” they write, adding that this is “an astonishing educational gap that disconnects psychology from the rest of the life sciences.”

I hadn’t been aware of this, but it’s one more reason to not take the field seriously.