Nice Article on Basics of Topology

The American Mathematical Society has printed a nice, non-technical discussion of some basics of modern topology, necessarily intermingled with a discussion of modern geometry. It’s in the form of a tribute to a highly regarded mathematician who was one of the pioneers of modern topology, William Thurston. The article is found at: Remembering Bill Thurston … [Read more…]

Updated Collection of Weblog Writings Now Available

I’ve uploaded an update to the collection of my weblog writings: Acts of Being: Selected Weblog Writings From 2006 to 2016. Here is the text from the Preface for this new edition: I’ve added another 40 or so chapters to this Seventh Edition. All but this chapter are reformatted essays from my writings during 2016 … [Read more…]

Do We Need Conflict to “Drive the Rise of Ultrasociality”?

Please accept my apologies for any confusion or incoherence. This is a line of thought in the early stages of development. Razib Khan, a geneticist, published an article in his blog which I’ve discussed before—see Mathematical Models of Human History: Are They Plausible?. Khan’s article, Modeling World History in Math Is Possible, is a commentary … [Read more…]

Protecting Minds and Souls by Petrification

Jesus tells of a master going on a journey and entrusting a part of his treasure to some servants (3 or 10, there are multiple recorded versions). On his return, some had invested the portion entrusted to them and had made a profit. In each version, one servant had merely hidden away his share of … [Read more…]

What is Mind?: More on Pragmatism and Thomistic Existentialism

[How Brains Make Up Their Minds, Walter J. Freeman, Columbia University Press, 2000] Intentionality in the doctrine of Aquinas does not require consciousness, but it does require acting to create meaning instead of just thinking. This view is shared by the philosophers Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, J.J. Gibson, and the pragmatists. We sniff, move our … [Read more…]