Friday, June 24, 2016

the Brexit vote is not legally binding


updated June 25, then at the very end July 2.

Britain has a chance to undo its self-defeating Brexit decision. All of this does not have to actually lead to Britain leaving the EU.

Everything I’ve read about the chaos now of the Brexit vote pertains to coping with the result. I’ve seen nothing in the leading press that indicates that anyone has good reason to believe that the Brexit vote is good for Britain. The Remain vote prevailed in major cities, among highly educated voters, and younger voters—along with all of Scotland. The Leave vote prevailed in English provinces, among the underemployed in metro suburbs, among lower educated voters, and among older voters.

The Bexit vote is not legally binding. If Parliament decided against invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, they would not be ignoring populist will, if such a decision is part of leadership that realistically addresses public needs. To decide differently is not the same as deciding against the populist will. Not invoking Article 50 would be contrary to only 3.6% more of the British population than voted to Remain (and would be congruent with the more-astute plurality of the public).

Saturday, June 18, 2016

What makes one argument better than another?



For a given decision (whether or not I vote for issue “I”), one looks at the arguments for each case and may argue for choosing acceptance (“Yes”) or rejection. I’ll say I do that, but this is not about a choice I have to make. One says or thinks “I look at the arguments...”

If I make an argument for a choice, then that presentation is based in the way I “look at” the arguments for each—how I regard each argument—such that the argument for one option is better than the other (judged better, but maybe as my deliberative recognition that one is better—“simply” is better: more appealing, more compelling, even though I haven’t reconstructed my deliberative process for the sake of self-reassurance or persuasive efficacy).

Sunday, August 16, 2015

exobiology and the work of humanity



My interest in all things S.E.T.I. and extraterrestrial are philosophical and literary. I have good reason to want to give serious attention to related topics. But I’m kidding about contact with anyone who’s had contact with any beings. This is so needless-to-say! Part of my interest in exobiology and S.E.T.I. is why lack of local ET presence is clearly the case.

But a recent tabloid interview with an Apollo 14 astronaut is being picked up by non-tabloid sources, claiming that NASA has long known about an Earthly presence of ETs. I’m amazed to see my improvisational mind being “corroborated.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

intelligence of Earth



Relative to exoplanetary research, it’s appropriate to regard a life-bearing planet as a singularity. Our only example shows how intelligent life evolves into singularly caring for planetarity—Ours and Others, just as caring for other persons exemplifies the best of our humanity, which is always admired.

Relative to Our Anthropocenic condition, evolutionary engineering (in highly ethical senses) is how extinction level events are avoided, yet relative to designing how we are to flourish in Our evolving.

Relative to transnational Good (for the sake of Our evolving), global human development is a paramount value of economic health.

Monday, August 10, 2015

beings there?: ETs and the Silence



Last January, I had an exchange with science columnist Dennis Overbye at the NYTimes about his light-hearted Christmastime article on prospects for ETs to be found.

He responded graciously, saying that he wanted to follow up someday by writing about the Fermi Paradox. He did so, last week, in light of Stephen Hawking’s call for accelerated searching, and Yuri Milner’s pledge of $100 million to the cause. Overbye focused on pessimism toward SETI that is argued in detail by philosopher Nick Bostrom.

So, I wrote back today, after studying Bostrom’s case.



Saturday, February 28, 2015

being a spirited democrat


March 8 update

Here I’m just moving some spontaneous notes from my home page, preliminary to a page that gives credence and elaboration to the spontaneity below. That page is now done. Getting beyond the Feb. 8, 10, and 15 meditations below included important kinds of issues, worthy of elaboration—at book length, which I won’t make time to do. But I usefully got beyond the spontaneity. This posting is just a record of a week-earlier inspiration.


February 23

Whatever one’s critical insight (e.g., Critical Theoretical, deconstructive, Analytical), traditional terms may remain highly important, deserving to be advanced in new ways.

Monday, January 12, 2015

On not treating cultural resources as capital



The PBS News Hour today had an interesting video story titled “Investing in America’s cultural capital,” which was an interview of the chairpersons of the National Endowment for the Arts (Julia Chu) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (William Adams—who has a PhD in philosophy).

Below, Part 1, I extract the passages from the interview which most interest me; then, Part 2 is a copy of my extended “Comment” online at the transcript, which is the motivation for this posting. Part 1 provides context.

My very short Part 3, “progressive pragmatism as grounded idealism,” links to Adams’ NEH policy speech, Nov. 2014 (whose mid-parts I recommend), which I discuss briefly. And I link to the new NEH “Common Good” project, which I want to discuss later.