April 2011

Should Marriage Be Abolished?

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The Extended Mind

If you haven’t followed certain literature, you might be puzzled by today’s topic – especially if you just go on the meanings of the individual words involved. Most people are pretty clear what the mind is. It’s the seat of thought, consciousness, emotion… Stuff like that. And we know what it means to say something is extended – it’s stretched out through space or maybe over time. But I don’ think it is obvious what it means when we combine these two things, and say the mind is extended.

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What is an adult?

Suppose I say an adult is someone who's 18 years or older, unless the issue is drinking legally, in which case an adult is someone 21 years or older. That’s a start. But we’re not so much interested in legal definitions, as changing conceptions, of what an adult is. You could argue that unless we know what an adult is, we don’t really know what a person is or what a human being is.

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Social Networking

The basic idea is that the internet changes the shape of friendship. People with common interests, but little chance of seeing each other, can become good friends. The sorts of high-bandwdith communications, that used to be possible only with people close by, can now be conducted with people all around the world. How can this not be a good thing? But what kind of friendships are these? I like to eat lunch, have a beer, shoot pool with my friends. You can’t do that on the internet.

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