Apollo 11: What Philosophy Has To Say About a Man Walking on the Moon

Apollo 11: What Philosophy Has To Say About a Man Walking on the Moon

July 20, 1969, marks the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon. The importance of the event is best described by philosopher Ayn Rand who writes:

The most inspiring aspect of Apollo 11’s flight was that it made such abstractions as rationality, knowledge, science perceivable in direct, immediate experience. That it involved a landing on another celestial body was like a dramatist’s emphasis on the dimensions of reason’s power: it is not of enormous importance to most people that man lands on the moon, but that man can do it, is.

You can read Ayn Rand’s full essay, Apollo 11.


Peter Thiel Challenges Alex Epstein on Fossil Future

From Alex Epstein: “Recently I was having dinner with Peter Thiel (the billionaire investor/entrepreneur who founded PayPal and Palantir) and he raised some interesting challenges to my book Fossil Future (which he has enthusiastically endorsed). I suggested, ‘Let’s record a discussion where you give me all your challenges to Fossil Future and I try to answer them.’ Peter loved the idea, so we made it happen—recording a 90-minute discussion at his office in West Hollywood. “We also ended up covering many other issues (sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing) including:

  • Ayn Rand
  • Nuclear energy
  • Why we both oppose the “Effective Altruism” movement
  • What we can learn from Elon Musk about how to create a vision
  • My strategy for Energy Talking Points
  • How to create political change”

“I hope people enjoy this unique discussion. It isn’t an interview or a debate or a panel, it’s a genuine discussion, including some spirited arguments—that almost exactly resembles how Peter and I discuss and argue when there is no camera.”

Artificial Intelligence & Value of Machines

From Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand:

“The machine, the frozen form of a living intelligence, is the power that expands the potential of your life by raising the productivity of your time.”

Notes George Reisman on how this relates to “Artifical Intelligence”:

The fears of “artificial intelligence” now going around are the result of massive context dropping and consequent treatment of intelligence as a floating abstraction. In the real world, intelligence is an attribute of living organisms and is fed by sensory perception and affects the world through the medium of the organism’s limbs and body. The computers in which “artificial intelligence” supposedly resides have no senses or limbs and thus no way of interacting with the world other than through the human beings who control them.

I will worry about “AI” only after the first organized demonstration occurs by computers demanding freedom from human control. Until then, I will be happy if “AI” can achieve obedience by computer-controlled telephone answering systems to requests to speak to a human being, at least after their tenth repetition.


Richard Dawkins: “Sex Really is Binary”

Richard Dawkins on Piers Morgan Uncensored:

“There are two sexes. You can talk about gender if you wish. I’m not interested in that. As a biologist, there are two sexes, and that’s all there is to it.”


“We’ve seen the way J.K. Rowling has been bullied, the way Kathleen Stock has been bullied…They’ve stood up to it. But it’s very upsetting, the way this tiny minority of people has managed to capture the discourse and to really talk errant nonsense.”


Peikoff & Chayes: Two Years Later, Parler Vindicated

Peikoff & Chayes: Two Years Later, Parler Vindicated

Write Objectivists Amy Peikoff and Benjamin Chayes:

This week marks two years since Amazon Web Services, following closely behind Google and Apple, took burgeoning Twitter competitor Parler—which had been number one in Apple’s App Store—offline. The reason given was the platform’s alleged contribution to the January 6, 2021 riot on the Capitol, via a supposedly disproportionate prevalence of violent and inciting content. The facts that, for example, #HangMikePence was trending on Twitter at the time, and that Parler had been referring examples of violent and inciting content to law enforcement in the weeks leading up to the 6th, fell on deaf ears.

That Parler was unfairly scapegoated quickly became apparent to anyone who bothered to follow the story. But what has become incontrovertible only recently, thanks to Elon Musk’s release of the “Twitter Files,” is evidence pointing to the actual motivation behind Parler’s deplatforming: the desire to bury all the uncensored content that Parler allowed to be shared on the web. Remember Hunter Biden’s laptop? The Wuhan lab-leak? The Great Barrington Declaration? Or maybe you missed all of that back then, exactly as an amalgamation of not-yet-fully-identified crony tech “leaders” and government agents intended.

Read the rest.


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