In addition to Remember the Milk (which I love), I came across some keen new web applications:
So next time you’re late in filing your tax return and the tax department sends a reminder, just send them a polite letter vouching for your velleity. The taxman will think the check (or cheque, as our Canadian grammar guru Carolanne Reynolds would write) is coming soon and you’ve been completely forthright.
“[Pnin] unfolded, for he actually seemed to forehear the babe’s vagitus, and its first word in the near future.” Vladimir Nabokov; Pnin; 1957.
Came across a link posted on semantics etc. to a rather long, but useful online document: Networking on the Network: A Guide to Professional Skills for PhD Students, which includes a nice section on job hunting.
On The Garden of Forking Paths, Niel Levy, in response to Coffman’s and Warfield’s paper, ‘Deliberation and Meatphysical Freedom’ presents a counterexample to the Belief in Ability Thesis (BAT), which states the following: “If S tries to decide which of (mutually excluding actions A1 …An to perform, then S dispositionally believes of each of A1 …An that he is metaphysically free to perform it.” The counterexample is as follows:
Suppose that Sally finds herself in a room with two doors. She knows that one of the doors is locked and the other unlocked, but she doesn’t know which is which. She also knows that the unlocked door is the door that an alien superscientist, who has a perfect record at predicting the decisions of human beings, has predicted that Sally will choose.
He claims that BAT is false, since, although Sally knows that she is not metaphysically free to open either door, “she seems free to deliberate about which door to pass through”.
Perhaps I can be faulted for not feeling the force of this counterexample, but I simply don’t share this intuition. Even if Sally knows that she will choose the open door, since Sally knows that one door will remain locked, whichever she chooses, then any act of deliberation is causally inefficacious (i.e., it won’t have any effect on what door she eventually walks through). If Sally genuinely understands that thinking about which door to choose is futile, then it doesn’t seem that she could rationally deliberate about her action. Perhaps I am missing something here, but this just doesn’t seem to be a genuine counterexample to BAT.
From the website: “This pilot site for Philosophy Compass is the prototype for a new online resource from Blackwell Publishing that combines an extensive online reference library with original, peer-reviewed articles from across the entire discipline, plus a range of other useful information.”
“You know you have reached perfection of design not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing more to take away. ” –Antoine de Saint Exupér
I’m on a strange foods roll, I suppose. I stumbled upon weasel coffee: Coffee beans that are eaten and then vomited up by weasels. “Due to the fact the cherries have been in the weasels gastric juices, it seems to dramatically alter the taste of the coffee once brewed.” Yum.