Notes from the Library

Mon, 29 Sep 2014

My late philosophy tutor Bob Hargrave ran a sect of supporters of the radical philosophical views of the grammarian V.H. Dudman. One of the surviving members has indicated it might well prove useful for me to present some evidence from Korean in favour of one of Dudman's key theses. That thesis is that natural languages have no future tense. He claims that purported future tense sentences are statements of the conclusions of inductive inferences.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014

Noam Chomsky: Why Americans Know So Much About Sports But So Little About World Affairs

Lately I've been spending time on reddit reading ideas in the comments about how we should think about and respond to the Snowden revealations, and similar leaks relating to the behaviour of well-financed branches of government.

We've no good reason to believe in conspiracy theories so I'm not sure how we ought to think claims that the system is actively working against citizens to maintain its power. In particular, it's often claimed that the media is used to distract people from real issues. No one individual is behind that, so should we think of the government as constituting an agent, that manipulates the population through the media, as the macro-level effect of the various actions its employees make? Do we then need to think of the government as pre-meditating these things, or might something akin to evolutionary theory better explain what happens? Or is the lack of demand for real news throughly the fault of the non-government? I'd like to read some political scientists writing about ths.

Relevant song: John Mayer – Waiting on the World to Change

The Running Novelist

No one likes the Dalai Lama anymore: Here's why governments around the world are unfriending the Tibetan leader

Wed, 17 Sep 2014

Life seems somewhat like a party that I was dropped into. At first I was shy and awkward and didn't know what the rules were. I was afraid of doing the wrong thing. It turned out that I was there to enjoy myself and I didn't know how to do that. Someone kind talked to me and made me laugh. I began to understand that actually I had to make up my own rules and then live by them. —Gillian Bennett

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