A Glass Darkly

By |2023-08-09T15:43:04-04:00March 15th, 2023|Categories: Featured Ourselves|Tags: , , |

Timing really may be everything, and I’m not too happy about it. Human life expectancy has been steadily increasing courtesy of medical science for many decades now. We’ve blown past the biblical three-score-and ten, and there are more than a few reasonably healthy centenarians around these days. If we don’t mess up the efficacy of antibiotics with promiscuous overuse, and if we keep progressing in the antiviral area, we will soon say goodbye to mankind's’ oldest and most ubiquitous killer -- infectious disease. (Do I think COVID is a hiccup in this evolution -- yes I do.) I’d like [...]

Why We Believe

By |2022-01-27T13:09:48-05:00January 27th, 2022|Categories: Ourselves|Tags: , , , , |

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.

Meditation on Happiness

By |2022-01-25T15:50:41-05:00February 23rd, 2021|Categories: Ourselves|Tags: , , |

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 the [...]

A Tale of Two Lawns

By |2020-05-07T07:53:18-04:00May 7th, 2020|Categories: Ourselves|Tags: , , |

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 off [...]

The Importance of Evidence

By |2020-05-05T14:25:30-04:00May 5th, 2020|Categories: Ourselves|Tags: , , , , , |

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 not [...]