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Giving Game 2017 results

This past week I ran a 'Giving Game' for my Effective Altruism class, letting each student decide (after class discussion) how to allocate £100 of my charitable budget for the year. There was just one restriction: if they wanted to pick...Show More Summary

Channing on Fenelon

Comments on the Character and Works of Fenelon (Submitted by Dave Bagwill)... a very common error of exalted minds. He applied too rigorous and unvarying a standard to the multitude. He leaned to the error of expecting...


It would be desirable to be able to survey one's faults and limitations with an equanimity that does not give way to acceptance, but combines with both a gentle resolve to work at self-improvement, and a detachment from the outcome....

Saturday Night at the Oldies: Some 'Night' Songs

Them, Here Comes the Night. Still gives me shivers up and down the spine as it did in '65. A blend of the Dionysian and the tender. A similar blend in Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman. Bob Dylan, "Ain't it just...

A Little Road Trip . . .

... to Sedona, Arizona and back. Left early Friday, back at noon on Saturday. 338 miles round-trip from my place in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains by the leisurely and scenic route via Payson which avoids Phoenix...

A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment

David Bentley Hart reviews Edward Feser and Joseph M. Bessette, By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment, Ignatius Press, $24.95, 424 pp. (HT: Karl White) I will add my two cents later if time...

Mayor of Albany Lies on Tucker Carlson Show

Kathy Sheehan, mayor of Albany, New York, while defending sanctuary cities, told an egregious lie on Tucker Carlson's show tonight (11/16) when she said that 'undocumented' (her word) workers were not in the U. S. illegally. Although Carlson eventually called...

Getting Stoned

It means one thing in the decadent West, quite another in the fanatical Middle East. The more we become 'stoners,' the more readily do we become objects of 'stonings.'

Clinton Redux

Here: In the past few days a number of notable liberals have decided to take allegations of sexual assault against former president Bill Clinton seriously. Let’s just say that discarding the Clintons when they’re no longer politically useful to retroactively...


Like some other elderly sites, Conscious Entities is finally moving over to SSL. This is a more secure standard for websites which protects all the information exchanged while you’re visiting, reading, commenting etc.  It means the normal address now begins with ‘https’ instead of ‘http’. For a non-commercial, non-confidential site like this one, it is […]

Robot tax

This short note by Xavier Oberson suggests how we might tax robots; I think it raises a number of difficult issues about the idea. You can see him expound the same ideas in a video interview here. It’s not made altogether clear here why we should apply special taxes to robots at all. Broadly I’d […]

Mark Linville on an atheist retort to religious morality

A common atheist retort: "Would you rape, pillage, and plunder if you did not have the Bible to tell you not to?" The implication is that this would be a superficial morality. And it would indeed. Reply: Theists and atheists alike refrain from such acts because conscience tells them that it is wrong. Show More Summary

Atheistic Religiosity in Kantian Conservatism: Roger Scruton on Wagner's "Ring" Cycle

Tomorrow, I will see the new production of Richard Wagner's Die Walkure at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. This is the second of the four operas in Wagner's Ring cycle. In the spring of 2020, Lyric will have performances of all four of the...Show More Summary

Mrs Robb’s God Bot

So you believe in a Supreme Being, God Bot? “No, I wouldn’t say that. I know that God exists.” How do you know? “Well, now. Have you ever made a bot yourself? No? Well, it’s an interesting exercise. Not enough of us do it, I feel; we should get our hands dirty: implicate ourselves in […]

I May Have To Eat My Words

A repost from 5 November 2016, just three days before the historic Trump victory that still has lefties fuming and flailing. And I did have to eat my words. We sane conservatives who voted for Trump have been vindicated in...

The Consolations of Philosophy for the Middle-Aged

The Economist reviews Kieran Setiya, Mid-Life: A Philosophical Guide. Related: A Philosopher on the Midlife Crisis

What is Ed's Puzzle?

This just in from London: A man called ‘Socrates’ is running and Socrates is debating. Clearly if anyone verifies ‘a man called ‘Socrates’, and if ‘a man who is debating’ verifies that same person, then the conjunction appears to be...


If we were just animals, no problem. If we were pure spirits, no problem. Concupiscence is a problem because we are spiritual animals. Neither angels nor beasts, we 'enjoy' dual residency in opposing spheres. The problem is not that the...

Ray Monk on Frege

Excerpt: The single thing I can imagine Russell finding most shocking would be Frege’s endorsement of patriotism as an unreasoning prejudice. The absence of political insight characteristic of his times, Frege says, is due to “a complete lack of patriotism.”...

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