The Prisoner’s Dilemma and Climate Change

Global temperature anomalies for 2015 compared to the 1951–1980 baseline. 2015 was the warmest year in the NASA/NOAA temperature record, which starts in 1880. It has since been superseded by 2016.

The Science

To understand climate change you just need basic physics and mathematics. The physics works like this. The earth’s surface temperature is governed by the absorption and emission of thermal radiation, and greenhouse gases (GHG) like CO2 and CH4 (methane) trap thermal radiation making the earth’s surface warmer. The mathematics is even simpler. Continue reading The Prisoner’s Dilemma and Climate Change

A Reader Reflects on Nearing the End of Their Life

What follows is the postscript from an essay by Sylvia Jane Wojcik. (She specifically asked to publish it and use her name. However, I am not advocating or endorsing any particular position she takes here.) I have also included her full essay “What’s It All About” below. Continue reading A Reader Reflects on Nearing the End of Their Life

Bertrand Russell on Thinking

Bertrand Russell 1957.jpg

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Continue reading Bertrand Russell on Thinking

Martin Hägglund’s, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom


Martin Hägglund’s, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, is one of the most sublime books I’ve ever read—and I’ve devoured thousands of books in my life. It is a work of great erudition and originality; it is carefully and conscientiously crafted; it overflows with thoughtful insights, poetic passages, and sparkling prose. It is, quite simply, a masterpiece. Continue reading Martin Hägglund’s, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom

Summary of “the pig that wants to be eaten”


My friend Ed Gibney has written on each and every one of the thought experiments in  Julian Baggini’s, The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher. Gibney has also summarized his own 100 blog posts on Baggini’s 100 thought experiments in “What I learned from 100 Philosophy Thought Experiments.” (Here is his summary of, and my brief commentary on, Baggini’s thought experiments.) Continue reading Summary of “the pig that wants to be eaten”