Category Archives: Journalism

You Can’t Fix Privacy

In the same way that fixing the oceans is not possible via individual consumer choices, e.g., choosing the “sustainable” fish at the supermarket, the problems of privacy are as large as capitalism, meaning a solution would require forces far beyond an individual’s choices. Joanna Stern gives some of the details surrounding the difficulties a person will encounter while trying to achieve technological privacy. Again, it’s about money and how your data can be converted into profit.

Screenshot of Wall Street Journal Video about Privacy


Prison for Life for Boris?

The penalty for misconduct in office, according to The Independent, is life in prison. (The penalty in the U.S. is re-election.) Alex Johnson, commonly known as Boris, uttered some whoppers as a Brexiteer, statements that ended up on the side of a bus, for example. Given Alex’s propensity for never having an unpublicized thought, his statements are well documented. It’s difficult to imagine how the trial could go in his favor. However, the old saying goes, “In law, nothing is certain except the expense.”

photo of Alex "Boris" Johnson

Follow-up to the Quotation of the Day

photo of Robert Parkin PetersWhile the present offers plenty of liars, buffoons, imposters, and the like, it can help to look back on historical examples. The Guardian offers up a gem in the category. One of the reasons that we might not be able to learn as much as we might like about this category of human being is that few want to come forward after the embarrassment of learning that they have been taken in by said liar, buffoon, imposter, etc.

Sisman could find no girlfriend or ex-wife able to explain what attracted them. Disappointing, too, as he complains, is that Lambeth Palace refused to show him the extensive file it has on Peters, once described as “the biggest crook on the Archbishop’s blacklist of misbehaving clergymen”. As Sisman says, the Church of England has no more cause to be embarrassed than all the other institutions and individuals who were taken in by Peters, whose talent for forging references for himself on the headed notepaper of whichever institution he’d currently sneaked into would, when the going got tough, smooth his passage to the next one.


Quotation of the Day

The Sydney Morning Herald has an article that attempts to explain why we are awash in blowhards, lies, deceptions, incompetence, and corruption.

It’s vital to remember that in most instances of what looks like bone-headed idiocy, poor or deceptive conduct or even, self-deception, someone somewhere is actually making money.

graphic of narcissism for beginners

A Thinking Person’s Country

graphic of library at university of leyden

At the moment, the headline’s referent is Ireland. Evidence? The President of Ireland is able to say in public that education isn’t about getting a job or supporting the economy, positions that are mostly unheard on this side of the Atlantic.

Too many policy lobbyists have, often unknowingly, unthinkingly perhaps, accepted a narrow and utilitarian view of… education — one that suggests we exist to be made useful — which leads to a great loss of the capacity to critically evaluate, question and challenge.

Rather than give all the attention to STEM disciplines, as is the trend in the U.S., Ireland started the philosophy awards as an alternative. The organizers also have devoted some energy to providing resources for teachers: “The website created by Daniel Mccrea contains 40 “ready to go” lessons for teachers whether or not they have had prior experience in philosophy.”


Who is Hans Blumenberg?

The editors of the Blog of the American Philosophical Association, particularly Nathan Oseroff, have been kind enough to publish my essay about Hans Blumenberg. The piece is intended for those unacquainted with the man and his works. The online publication of the essay serves also as an opportunity to thank the people working in the Interlibrary Loan department at the University of Texas at Arlington Library. They provide the treasures of research.

photo of Hans Blumenberg

Apply: Anti-Evil Operations Specialist

Wandering the interwebs sometimes turns up unexpected pleasures, such as a novel position title that looks to be a synonym for “superhero.” Thanks to the Irish Times for edifying its readers.

photo of Stan Against Evil