Is Rock Dead? Or is it just today's Jazz? There is a great deal of online comment on music sites about the “ death of rock/metal music.” (Google “Is rock dead”, [...]
Truth in Fantasy The Bard Would Applaud Buffy Some people have trouble with fantasy as great drama. I've never understood why. Realism in art does not necessarily mean a [...]
I recently wrote a piece on changes in the music industry brought on by the migration of virtually everything from creation, through promotion to distribution and consumption online. I used the rise of Gen [...]
In our journey upriver to wisdom, we are confronted with the shoals and shallows of bias, authority, emotion, fallacy and conventional wisdom. To navigate these potential perils and credibly argue our positions, it is important to understand four pillars upon which our beliefs are built -- authority, intuition, results, reason.
Argument is important, but most of us do not argue well. Worse still, we tend to think we are better at arguing than we actually are. Too often we dominate the discussion, we make no attempt to see the other person's side of things and we can't back up our positions.
A Meditation on Happiness Vital Powers. Excellence. Scope. I have always believed that happiness will elude you if you seek it too directly, too face-on. It seems to me that ‘happiness’ is a by-product of meaningful activity, acquired the way the British acquired their Empire - in a fit of absence of mind. Let’s go through the side door and define ‘meaningful activity,’ a somewhat less slippery concept than happiness. My favorite words on this subject come from those ancient Greeks, and they loosely translate as follows, “The Good Life requires [...]
A Tale of Two Lawns Aristotle Made Me Not Do It On my morning walk today I found myself stopping and staring at two lawns, and it made me think of Aristotle. (Please stifle your barbed witticisms, I already know I’m odd.) The two lawns were side-by-side -- one was your conventional, vigorously clipped piece of grass, its neighbour had been allowed to go completely wild, and was a tangle of dandelions, grasses gone to seed, various healthy weeds and the occasional wild flower and leftover random tulip. The wild lawn was rather [...]
The Importance of Evidence And Bayesian Inference I continue to be preoccupied with the question of evidence -- what constitutes evidence that actually supports the many, oh so many, opinions we throw out into the world either digitally or over a glass of wine with friends. This link will take you to one of the more useful TED talks I have watched in some time. It touches on bayesian inference; but before you run screaming from your computer,the concepts explained here require no great statistical fluency and are remarkably useful. Why are anecdotes [...]