Sunday, February 18, 2018

China plowing ahead of the US in A.I. (as per section 2.3, this is your chance students to change the future)

Read this article in the NYTimes.
For decades, artificial intelligence was more fiction than science. In the past few years, however, dramatic improvements have prompted some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley and Detroit — and China — to invest billions on everything from self-driving cars to home appliances that can have a conversation with a human. A.I. has also become a significant part of national defense policy as military leaders and ethicists debate how much autonomy we should give to weapons that can think for themselves.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

List of student assistants HONORS

MWF 10am

Emily Gil
Thalia Iturriaga
Madheline Almanzar

MWF 11am

Matheus Decamargo
Alban Allajbegu
Lucas Rengifo-Keller
Guoda Terleckaite


Ernesto Garcia
Maria Paula Guerra-Chavez
Jonathan Jimenez
Keyshla Negron

Monday, February 12, 2018

Why being a woman is more than being a woman

I wrote this post in my personal blog m.bourbaki thinking of you guys. You're more than welcome to leave a comment, in agreement or disagreement (leave your comment at the  m.bourbaki site).

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Topics for Exam #1 Miniterm

Find the topics for review for quiz 1 here.

In addition, here is the Website to your textbook Doing Philosophy. It contains quizzes, flash cards, etc. Play with it and grade yourself.

Remember to bring your own scantron #888-P or #882-E 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

one more note about Spinoza (honors wolfson 11am)

something about proving the most perfect being, this is Anselm's proof. pretty good REDUCTIO.* here it goes:

a) G is a being such that none greater can be imagined,
b) G exists as an idea in the mind (Gm),
c) if G exists as an idea in the mind and in reality, then ceteris paribus this union is greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind. we have,

GmUGr >Gm   (U means union) do you agree? now comes a conditional:

d) if G existed only in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than God (that is, a greatest possible being that does exist),

given Gm (alone) then we can imagine a Gk > G 

But we cannot imagine something that is greater than God because of (a)
Therefore, God exists.
*Reductio is a great tool to prove axioms.

Is this question ambiguous?

Alice decides to invest in a mutual fund recommended by her best friend Nancy... 

my answer here:

trigonometry is more than 3,700 years old!

babylonians were pretty smart, not to mention they produced amazing architecture and gardens. you have to love babylonians.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

LNIC (law of non-intended consequences) or we're condemned to mess up our future

I brought up the issue of LNIC with Modernity & global warming. It seems we warmed the planet. we didn't intend it. We had different ideas. The conclusion is that some of our technological wonders become problems of the future. With sea level rise we have another mounting problem. The sinking of our cities. Read this wonderful NYTimes article about New Orleans. Then extrapolate what you read to nearby Key West.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

BEST CONSENSUS (why wine matters here) interamerican honors class

this is a great site for wine lovers (sponsored by the NYTimes)

clearly you shouldn't drink wine if you're not of age.

I upload the post only to make clear how complicated is the issue of BEST CONSENSUS, after our discussion. Yes, it's your fault, Mariantonieta (just kidding).

My point was that reflective knowledge needs skill, which is something we constantly build. We have to start somewhere. First, you learn the consensus.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Topics for Exam #1 (all Phi 2010 classes)

Find the topics here.

Also here's a link to your Doing Philosophy textbook.  
Click the different chapters, then on the left hand side click the corresponding sections. There are True/False and Multiple Choice Questions. Test yourself.

You should bring your own scantrons: #888-P or #882-E

Monday, January 29, 2018

phi 2010 honors, 11am

this is the piece of news from tne NYTimes I discussed this morning,
Two women recently told The New York Times that Mr. Close had asked them to model naked for him, requests that made them feel exploited and uncomfortable. And on Tuesday, HuffPost published similar accounts from women, including one who described stripping in front of Mr. Close. HuffPost reported he then moved toward her in his wheelchair “so that his head was inches away from her vagina,” and said it “looks delicious.”
this is Close's side of the story:
“I’m inviting them to my studio to audition. I don’t have a camera there, so I have to see their bodies —it’s a very expensive process. I’ve never had a complaint in 50 years, not one.” “Last time I looked, discomfort was not a major offense (...) I never reduced anyone to tears, no one ever ran out of the place.
my response to this development is here. 

also, found this interesting piece of news. 

what is it like to be a bee? (now that we're talking about animal knowledge)

what a handsome face!

we put all the pieces together and yet, it's quite difficult,

Triff's office hours (My office# is 3604-28)

M,W,F, 8-9:50am, F 12-1pm
T,R 7:50-8:10am
T 3:30-5:30pm

Thursday, January 25, 2018

a brief history of epistemology

click here.

why is 7+5 =12 synthetic apriori (as per Thalia's question)

in our MWF, H, 10am class, I made the point that Kant considers Math synthetic apriori and Thalia asked why.

find the answer here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

your education impasse (for all my classes)

dear student: you want to be educated. i know that. now, what's the your best education?

clearly not what you consider it to be right now. the reason is you're young & don't necessarily know what you may need in the future. & since this is your time to be educated take advantage of it!

i say your best education is the whole basic education you deserve for your future. & what's that? a minimum knowledge of the world, which includes theoretical and practical knowledge.

yes, there is theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge. i know many of you go for service-related professions (keep in mind that some of these professions may not be as well-paid as more technical ones, and they are less prestigious), but that's OK.

you want to be a mechanic? that's practical knowledge, god bless u! but don't neglect math or physics or chem or BIO, you actually need them for your mechanics! OR you want to be a lawyer and you are told lawyers don't need physics, or BIO, or chemistry? it turns you're not only a lawyer, you'll be a father, telling your daughter about physics or BIO chemistry or an brother, stimulating your young sister to go for BioChem.

imagine the following pathetic exchange:

"dad, what is physics?" "don't know bb. daddy is a lawyer. he doesn't need physics for his profession."


Phi 2010 Syllabus (T, 5:40pm class MINITERM)

Click here for the syllabus.

Monday, January 22, 2018

a little example of axiology in action (for my interamerican honors class)

let's examine 4 possibilities:

A study and fail the test. Duty-bounded, we learn what's needed to pass the test) 1- because it's good to pass it (definitely better than failing) 2- because it proves something about oneself, i.e., resilience (a character trait).

B not study and pass the test. This is chancy, but the problem is that the world being neutral, hold unknown chances for and against you (more against oneself than for oneself, since we all die)

C not study and fail the test. Duty-bounded, we learn the importance of studying for passing a test (more expected than not in the world of probabilities), if not failing at least getting a low grade, otherwise 3.7gpa would be a breeze. 

D study and pass the test. Duty-fulfilled, one reaffirms a deontological lemma, i.e., "I must pass the test"). One learns from A2 that it's better to study and fail than to not study and fail. On learns a valuable lesson:

duty is independent of gain or loss.