Suggestion List

Some partial backups of posts from the past (Feb, 2004)

Re: Suggestion List

Postby Carl G » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:56 am

Thanks. Looking forward.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Imadrongo » Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:28 pm

The nature of truth.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Dan Rowden » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:13 pm

All our shows are about that!
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Jamesh » Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:37 pm

Because I've been around so long, I didn't really find many of the Podcasts that stimulating. They mostly just gave me a "Been There Done That" feeling, as a result of having covered everything on the forum (or the Ponderers Guild).

I was however impressed with the speed the show was up and running, and that you did get some well known guests.

I think you should provide more information about yourselves, and would recommend the next set to be a separate lecture from each of you about your beliefs. Talking about what led you to live a philosophical life, why you value it, where it leads you. Or a whole session on the nature of the ego. Or sessions on where the philosophies or certain well respected philosophers fall down.

Other than that I like to see a full on drunken verbal brawl between you three about where you each differ from the views of each other.

For myself, most here still believe that personal happiness is the only thing worth striving for (or if you a sensitive person that suffers in the modern world, then a lack of sadness/discontentment will suffice instead of happiness). So you might try and get someone from this group
http://www.thehappinessinstitute.com/

Or you could attempt to get folks whose documentaries you may have seen - like Alain De Botton's and his doco on "Status Anxiety"
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:26 am

Jamesh wrote:Other than that I like to see a full on drunken verbal brawl between you three about where you each differ from the views of each other.


A sober version of this could be interesting.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Carl G » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:55 am

I'd like to hear one drunken verbal session, one non-drunken, and a third non-drunken brawl also non-verbal, a debate with sticks.

Seriously, I think pretty much all of Jamesh's suggestions were good ones.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Cory Duchesne » Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:07 am

Cory Duchesne wrote:And then there is the controversial Phillip Rushton


How about a podcast discussing 'The Problem with Academia' with a guy like Rushton?

Consider Rushton's recollection of his being lynched after he published his book on race, evolution and behavior:

Behind the scenes, however, I became the target of a witch hunt by some of the administrators. Dismayingly, my dean, a physical anthropologist, publicly declared that I had lost my scientific credibility and spearheaded an attack on me in the newspapers. She issued a series of preemptive statements making plain her negative opinion of me and my work. "What evidence is there for this ranked ordering of the evolution of the human races?" she wrote. "None." Claiming that her views represented only her academic opinion she emphasized that she was not speaking in any administrative capacity. Her letter was nonetheless widely interpreted in the media as a refutation by my "boss." Henceforth, in order to support me, a person would now have to go up against the dean in addition to prevailing opinion. Next, the chair of my department gave me an annual performance rating of "unsatisfactory" citing my "insensitivity." This was a remarkable turnaround because it occurred for the same year in which I had been made a Fellow of the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. My previous twelve years of annual ratings had been "good" or "excellent." Indeed, my earlier non-controversial work had made me on of the most cited scholars in my university.

Because unsatisfactory ratings can lead to dismissal, even for a tenured professor like me, I contested the rating through various levels of grievance, wasting an enormous amount of time and emotional energy. The proceedings that followed were Kafkaesque, terrifying when they weren't simply funny. For example, the grievance procedures required that I first appeal the Chairman's negative assessment to the Dean. The Dean had already spoken out against me, so I asked the Dean to recuse herself from hearing the case. She refused. So I had to appear before her.

At my hearing, the Dean's folded arms and glowers of fury made her decision obvious, and six weeks later, she upheld the Department Chair's decision. In a seven-page letter justifying her decision, she cast aspersions at my "sensitivity," and my sense of "responsibility," and questioned whether ther were, in fact, "any" papers that had ever been published that had supported my perspective other than those I had written myself.

I decided on a more drastic defense. I wrote to colleagues around the world and received over 50 strong letters of support, many endorsing the evidence I had presented. When the Dean found out about this she went absolutely ballistic, on one occasion screaming and spitting at me in fury.

I eventually won my appeal against the Dean and the Chair and two separate grievance committeess chastised them for their actions against me. My annual performance ratings are back to receiving grades of "good" and "excellent."

Some radical and Black students mobilized and held rallies, even bringing in a member of the African National Congress to denounce me. In one demonstration, a mob of 40 people stormed through the psychology department, banging on walls and doors, bellowing slogans through bull horns, drawing swastikas on the walls, and writing on my door "Racist Pig Live Here."


Read the whole thing here.
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Re: Suggestion

Postby autism » Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:47 am

Howard Schwartz (http://www.sba.oakland.edu/faculty/schwartz/) is a professor of philosophy and expert on political correctness who I'm sure knows all about it's effects on the academy. Also Christina Hoff Sommers ("Who Stole Feminism") has documented how it operates in the academy.

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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Shahrazad » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:29 am

Dan said on Aug. 24:

Dennett declined on the basis that he wasn't doing any "media" for a few months. Chalmers would be a possibility I suppose.
Did Chalmers ever respond? Or has he not been emailed yet?
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Dan Rowden » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:49 am

No, I haven't written to Chalmers yet. I'm not sure what sort of show synopsis to offer him. What specific topics do you think I should suggest to him?
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Shahrazad » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:39 am

I'm not sure, Dan. Chalmers' expertise field is consciousness, but you are not interested in consciousness in the same sense he is. He's trying to determine what consciousness is and how it fits (or doesn't) into the physical world. You're interested in increasing people's degree of consciousness.

Dennett would have been even a worse choice for you, as he doesn't even believe that human beings are conscious.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Kevin Solway » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:02 pm

Shahrazad wrote:Dennett would have been even a worse choice for you, as he doesn't even believe that human beings are conscious.

I don't think that's right. It's just that Dennett believes that consciousness is a purely mechanical thing, not essentially different to a computer, though with a very different design and running different software.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Shahrazad » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:04 pm

Sure Kevin, and he also said that we are all zombies. As you yourself implied, according to Dennett we are no more conscious than a computer. But the way you and Dan define consciousness, a zombie would not qualify, and neither would a computer.

You're really disagreeing with me on a technicality.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Kevin Solway » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:06 pm

Shahrazad wrote:to Dennett we are no more conscious than a computer.

Actually, he doesn't believe current-day computers are conscious, but they may be conscious in the future.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Shahrazad » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:20 pm

Right, just as in the future women could become conscious, and who knows, some day even men could become conscious, if they find a way to stop thinking with their genitals.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Nick Treklis » Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:26 am

James Hughes would be a good guest for discussions on the non-existence of the self. So far there hasn't been a show focused on this topic yet.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Dan Rowden » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:51 am

He does look quite interesting, and he appears to be quite conducive to speaking to the "media". Thanks.

[edit: ah, he's on Skype too! Handy.]
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Matt Gregory » Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:48 am

How about Paul Graham? He's a computer programmer, but he's quite philosophic minded. I'm enjoying his book "Hackers and Painters" very much. It's mostly about creative thinking, and he recommends nonconformity and thinking about taboo ideas and stuff. As for topic ideas, maybe you could talk to him about this essay he recently wrote:

http://www.paulgraham.com/philosophy.html

I think there are a few good points of departure in there.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby tooyi » Sat Oct 13, 2007 1:21 am

Doris Lessing

Wikipedia: "Her novel The Golden Notebook is considered a feminist classic by some scholars, but notably not by the author herself, who later wrote that its theme of mental breakdowns as a means of healing and freeing one's self from illusions had been overlooked by critics."

How about her?
Let him who has ears hear.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Shardrol » Sat Oct 13, 2007 1:29 am

How about Pye? She is knowledgeable & eloquent & if she talks as well as she writes, she would make an interesting guest.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby brad walker » Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:42 am

Ray Kurzweil

Incredibly busy person, though.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Dan Rowden » Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:25 am

Shardrol,

How about Pye? She is knowledgeable & eloquent & if she talks as well as she writes, she would make an interesting guest.


I agree Pye is interesting and knowledgeable, however I don't agree that if she speaks like she writes that she would be interesting. I often find her writing style painful. What would you suggest the show theme ought be if we did?

Brad,

Ray Kurzweil


We are currently post editing a show we just did with Dr James Hughes, a Buddhist Transhumanist, so Kurzweil would be somewhat redundant.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Sun Oct 14, 2007 2:32 am

Dan Rowden wrote:Shardrol,

How about Pye? She is knowledgeable & eloquent & if she talks as well as she writes, she would make an interesting guest.


I agree Pye is interesting and knowledgeable, however I don't agree that if she speaks like she writes that she would be interesting. I often find her writing style painful. What would you suggest the show theme ought be if we did?


Actually, I think that Shardrol would be a more interesting guest than Pye. The topic could be "Buddhism from the Perspective of a Female."
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Shardrol » Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:32 am

Thank you for the thought, Elizabeth, but I don't think I'd be a good guest. I'm not very well-educated, especially in philosophy. For example, I've never read Nietzsche.

'Buddhism from the perspective of a female' is a non-starter as far as I'm concerned. I would say that gender is irrelevant to Buddhist practice, & that identifying too strongly with one's gender would just be an impediment, same as identifying too strongly with one's country of origin, family, or local football team. The idea is to learn to give up identifying oneself through those sorts of reference points.
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Re: Suggestion List

Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:51 am

Shardrol wrote:I'm not very well-educated, especially in philosophy.


I thought you were a Buddhist nun or something like that. I would think that you would be very well educated in Buddhist philosophy.

Shardrol wrote:I would say that gender is irrelevant to Buddhist practice, & that identifying too strongly with one's gender would just be an impediment


That's exactly why I think you would be a great person to debate the guys who think that you must be a man to understand philosophy - and the hosts do seem to have a rather Buddhist slant.
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