Hello. It's been a while.
I got caught up with other projects and, while I was working on them, did not have much time to come here and post. I would like to continue this blog, but it's going to have to continue on a somewhat different style as before – a style that will take a bit less time but hopefully still provide something of value.
So, let me get you caught up.
I have been working on a podcast with Luke Muehlhauser on Morality in the Real World. What happened there is that we came to a subject that we both felt we needed to do some studying up on - the question “What is a desire?”
We started to do some reading, which lead to some more reading (and writing). We are producing 10 episodes on the subject – a set of episodes we are calling "Season 2".
I suspect (but do not promise) that you'll start seeing them in late or early in February over at Common Sense Atheism.
At the same time, I have been pursuing another interest of mine – an interest in history and economics.
Unfortunately, we cannot randomly assign people to "cultures" – including study cultures and control cultures and carefully control for variables to gather data on which culture works best. Such a practice would not only be unethical, it’s actually impossible. The rigid controls put on each culture would itself have an impact on the culture. The best we can do is to study history and economics and try to come up with a set of theories that best explains those past events and uses those theories to predict the future results of our current policies.
It is . . . an imprecise way of proceeding.
Well, I’ve been listening to two podcasts related to these interests.
And, of course, I continue to follow current events. It's interesting to do so as I go through the podcast episodes concerning the fall of Rome. It is interesting to study, and to try to figure out, the conditions that are required for a peaceful and prospering society, and the ways in which whole societies interest who have an interest in peace and prosperity can choose a course that leads them to oppression and violence.
It is interesting to note that America itself could disintegrate into warring factions. We could, ourselves, become a terror-ridden states in which social groups spend more time destroying and blowing up with other factions "accomplish" than we do building a secure life for ourselves and our children – and their children.