Author Archives: Huenemann

About Huenemann

Curious about the ways humans use their minds and hearts to distract themselves from the meaninglessness of life.

Artificial Einstein

There is a set of interesting discussions posted on Scott Aaronson’s blog among Aaronson, Steven Pinker, and others on whether recent text generators like GPT-3 indicate that artificial intelligence is upon us. The discussion is informed, sensible, and well-mannered: these … Continue reading

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3QD: Is The Internet What I Think It Is?

Justin E. H. Smith’s recent book, The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is: A History, A Philosophy, A Warning (Princeton UP 2022) has received plenty of notice here on 3 Quarks Daily, and for good reason. Smith’s books and essays always … Continue reading

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A Thousand Brains

[Reading Jeff Hawkins, A Thousand Brains, Basic Books, 2021] Rene Descartes had an uneasy relationship to academics. He was very well educated, but he never held any academic positions and spent much of his life arguing with professors and theologians. … Continue reading

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3QD: Swarms in the brain

Today is July 4th, a day when Americans reflect on the value of freedom and the costs and sacrifices required for it. So it is an appropriate day to reflect on America’s deepest political aspirations. Nah. Let’s talk about our brains. The … Continue reading

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3QD: CAPTCHAs, Kant, and Culture

…But clearly we do end up with causal knowledge, as Hume himself never doubted, and we manage to navigate our ways through a steady world of enduring objects. We somehow end up with knowledge of an objective world. And we … Continue reading

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The face at the bottom of the well

The most important thing is this: what you experience, what you think, what you believe has no deep connection to what is real. Kant had this single truth exactly right: everything we think we know about the world is mostly … Continue reading

Posted in Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff, Metaphysical musings | 2 Comments

Knowing in a society

Some people think that knowledge is something in the head. I have a belief, and it has appropriate connections to other ideas and beliefs, all in my head. These connections ensure that my belief has good grounding or justification: I … Continue reading

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3QD: No, Let’s Not Give Up On Liberalism Just Yet

Liberalism has been so successful in promoting a wide range of different ideas that its own name has gotten pretty murky. Many people think it means supporting a welfare state, championing the voices of people usually pushed to the side, … Continue reading

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3QD: More complications, please

It is entirely possible that we cannot handle the ever rising tide of knowledge. Yes, I am going to presume that it is knowledge — that we are not barking up the wrong axis mundi, that we are not ten days away from … Continue reading

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3QD: The Many Things That Don’t Exist

Lots of things don’t exist. Bigfoot, a planet between Uranus and Neptune, yummy gravel, plays written by Immanuel Kant, the pile of hiking shoes stacked on your head — so many things, all of them not existing. Maybe there are … Continue reading

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3QD: Is It Enough to Abide?

SOCRATES: Dear sir! You seem to be an happy fellow, able to enjoy the mixed bitter and sweet fortunes of life! DUDE: Oh, hey, man! Nice toga thing you got going on there. Let it hang, right? SOCRATES: You are … Continue reading

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3QD: Life in the garden of forking paths

We primates of the homo sapiens variety are very clever when it comes to making maps and plotting courses over dodgy terrain, so it comes as no surprise that we are prone to think of possible actions over time as akin to … Continue reading

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3QD: Riding an Empty Suit

A man rides an empty suit. The suit tells others what to think of the man, though it would not fit him. The man does not control the suit, but merely takes a ride upon it, come what may. In … Continue reading

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3QD: It’s not easy to live in a Mystery

Over years of teaching philosophy, I have observed that people fall into two groups with regard to the Biggest Question. The Biggest Question is one that is so big it is hard to fit into words, but here goes: When everything … Continue reading

Posted in 3QD essays | 4 Comments

Justin E. H. Smith, “Garbage, Human Beings”

“Social media have gutted institutions: journalism, education, and increasingly the halls of government too. When Marjorie Taylor Greene displays some dumb-as-hell anti-communist Scooby-Doo meme before congress, blown up on poster-board and held by some hapless staffer, and declares “This meme … Continue reading

Posted in Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff | 4 Comments