Human machines & the nature of man

On Tuesday, Newsweek published an article relating how the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) allocated $65 million to develop brain implants “to link human brains with computers.” Neuro-technology has been a priority of the U.S. Continue Reading...

R.I.P. Hans Rosling: 4 memorable talks by the Swedish statistician

This week, we received the sad news that Professor Hans Rosling has passed away due to pancreatic cancer. A brilliant statistician and mesmerizing public speaker, Rosling was widely known for his dazzling data visualizations and compelling lectures on health, poverty, population, religion, inequality, and economic growth. Continue Reading...

Beware the post-election narratives

In his best-selling book The Black Swan, probabilist Nassim Nicholas Taleb warns against the need for easy narratives to explain the unexpected. Given how unexpected the result of this Tuesday’s election was, it is worth taking some time to review what Taleb calls “the narrative fallacy.” According to Taleb, The narrative fallacy addresses our limited ability to look at sequences of facts without weaving an explanation into them, or, equivalently, forcing a logical link, an arrow of relationship, upon them. Continue Reading...

Mars needs religion!

These Russian Orthodox cosmonauts get it. Click photo for source. … Or does religion need Mars? So argues social commentator James Poulos at Foreign Affairs: What’s clear is that Earth no longer invites us to contemplate, much less renew, our deepest spiritual needs. Continue Reading...

Man Is Not the Measure: Whittaker Chambers on Tyson’s ‘Rationalia’

“Men have never been so educated, but wisdom, even as an idea, has conspicuously vanished from the world.” –Whittaker Chambers The vain self-confidence of high-minded planners and politicians has caused great harm throughout human history, much of it done in the name of “reason” and “science” and “progress.” In an information age such as ours, the technocratic temptation is stronger than ever. Continue Reading...

How to Have a Great and Holy Council

There’s been a lot of discussion leading up to the planned Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete this month. As is typical of councils in the history of the Church, so far it’s a mess, and it hasn’t even happened yet. Continue Reading...