Street philosophy. No.1

Three philosophers were stationed on a New York street, prepared to take questions from the passers- by. A little girl, six years old, approached the group and asked, “How do I know I’m real?” Suddenly I was back in graduate school, reported one of the philosophers later. Should I talk about the French philosopher Rene …

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American inequality – this house may not stand for long

The widening of the racial wealth divide has coincided with the extreme concentration of U.S. wealth. The wealthiest 0.1 percent of households have grown richer while millions of families face poverty and deep-seated economic insecurity. The median American family saw their wealth drop 3 percent between 1983 and 2016, while the richest 0.1 percent have …

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Brexit: my most instant, heartfelt posting ever

Britain on Tuesday: May lost by over 400 votes! The rolling, roiling disaster gets worse by the day. Lack of forethought, bullying, and downright ignorance rule the day! Epicurus would advise me to calm down, to be philosophical, to assume all will eventually settle down and rationality will be restored. It is possible that he …

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Artificial intelligence – in the right hands?

The Guardian Weekly of 4 January 2019 carried an article by Vivienne Ming about Artificial Intelligence. In theory, she says, poverty, mental health, climate change, inequality – almost everything – could be addressed by AI. The problem, she says, is not the concept of AI, but the people behind it. She points out that AI …

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A take on committees

Some people love a good committee, And revel in its nitty-gritty: Arcane debates on last year’s failings, The contents of circulars and mailings; The annual dinner, drink and eats; Optimization of receipts. Chairpersons, regardless of their gender Like to set their own agenda. This, their most important role, Gives them what they want – control. …

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The rise of in-work poverty

An Oklahoma branch of Walmart once asked its employees to donate Thanksgiving food to hungry colleagues. “Hang on,” said incredulous staff, “these people can’t feed their families because you pay pitiful wages, yet it’s up to us to bail them out?” In the UK this Christmas there are Tory MPs doing Christmas photo ops with …

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