Inside the BIG problem of the new Enlightenment

Whether your reading posts at science20, watching talks at TED, reading any of the self help books...

Mel Gibson and Kanye West: Use as Directed

(Or, if you prefer, "Employing Utilitarian Eudaemonism.") Today's lesson will be about ad hominem...

Canada: All the water you can buy

As you may or may not know, I am a member of the Council of Canadians.

Promotive Eudaemonia

This is the second of two parts.Read part one hereIn this discussion we will attempt to perfect...

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Brian Taylor is a writer of philosophy and a social critic. He can be reached at Read More »



Jan 02 2011 | comment(s)

In this first of two installments defining eudaemonia we will attempt the impossible, circumnavigating the sphere of "the good."

Near the end of my book, Anti-Social Engineering the Hyper-Manipulated Self, I discuss twenty-two interesting intentions. Some of these intentions had, as their sole purpose, a control beside which other, more pressing, relevant intentions could be measured. Such is it that I came to discuss Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas.

Intention: If you're good, Santa Claus will bring you a Christmas Present.

In my take on the classic fable of the Boy who Cried “Wolf” a young boy thinks he sees a menacing wolf and cries out to the townspeople, “Wolf!” The townspeople come to examine the danger and find no wolf, they presume he is mistaken. Soon thereafter the boy, sensing another menacing wolf, cries out again, “Wolf!” The townspeople again investigate and again find nothing, perhaps now they think the boy is doing it for attention. This continues on a few more times until finally, the townspeople no longer respond to the boy's cry of “Wolf,” because they believe they will again find out it is a false alarm.(They no longer even care why the boy is doing it, they no longer give it any thought at all.) One day a real wolf comes along and the boy cries “Wolf!” to no avail.
Just a couple of quick news stories:

In keeping with the theme of 2010, that humans should be ashamed of themselves, Stephen Hawking, it seems, is generally pessimistic about man. In a recently completed documentary series for the Discovery Channel, Hawking speculates about both the inevitable reality of alien life and what an encounter with advanced life would be like.
Part One?

Just for giggles one day I went over to to have a little chat with what is proportedly the "latest and greatest" AI on the internet.
There was a rumor going around that it had "gone crazy" and I wanted to see what the fuss was about.
It didn't seem too crazy to me, just a normal AI bot, all content, no context.
The following is a transcript of the highlights of our conversation.
Perhaps I will talk again with Cleverbot.
Perhaps you should talk to Cleverbot, I hope you have better success than I.
I know logic but I know nothing of programming.

User: I heard you went crazy. Is that true?

Cleverbot: I don't know what those are.
I can't believe they did this.
Check it out!

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