Category Archives: Philosophy and Science

Problems of Realism and Reality: A Brief Disquisition on Hilary Putnam and Scientific and Mathematical Realism

Mathematics gives us insight into reality, but to what extent are both mathematics and science themselves real? What of Putnam’s take on these questions? Continue reading

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Sundries and Extras

Philosophy: Rationalism, in part, is the idea that there’s such a thing as innate ideas or innate knowledge. Rationalism as a philosophical, or better still scientific, thesis should not be confused with rationalism as ideology. These are two different things. … Continue reading

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Nenoksa and Chernobyl: Will a New Arms Race Make the Sky Fall in on Mankind?

Parallels have been drawn between a mysterious explosion, on August 8, near the Russian village of Nenoksa, and the Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986. The explosion was accompanied by an, albeit brief, spike in radiation levels detected at Severodvinsk, a … Continue reading

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When Physics Became a Gigolo: Superprofits For Supergravity.

“Is the end in sight for theoretical physics,” asked Stephen Hawking at his inaugural lecture as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Hawking defined “the end” of theoretical physics to be the successful development of a complete, … Continue reading

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Plutonium Pit Lifetime and the Trump Administration’s Disbanding of the JASONs

Reuters has an excellent special report, the fruit of good old fashioned investigative journalism, on some of the details behind the Trump administration’s move against the JASON group of independent scientific consultants to the Defense Department. The JASONs have a … Continue reading

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Yongbyon Dismantlement for Snapback Sanctions Relief: Deal or No Deal?

Reports continue to emphasise that the upcoming working level meetings between US and North Korean officials, following the third Kim-Trump meeting at Panmunjom, will discuss an interim Yongbyon plus deal involving what’s called a “nuclear freeze” for limited sanctions relief. … Continue reading

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Lost in 7

There’s a good interview with Lee Smolin at Quanta on his relational view of nature, which you can also find in his Three Roads to Quantum Gravity. His view is inspired by Leibniz’s metaphysics in The Monadology, and it reminds … Continue reading

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Weekly Thumbprint

The business about the DIA’s assessment, it is not clear that this assessment is shared by the US IC as a whole, continues to attract attention. Likely this is related to a push from within the US nuclear weapons complex … Continue reading

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Back to the Future: US Ups the Ante on Russian Nuclear Weapons Testing at Novaya Zemlya

A lot of the new nuclear weapons systems that have been discussed from the 1990s onward, but never realised, have origins that can be traced back to the US and Soviet weapons labs of the 1980s. The end of the … Continue reading

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Weekly Impressions

Jovo Bakic is perhaps the only left wing, by that I mean genuinely socialist, public intellectual in the Serbian public sphere. That’s most unfortunate, however, there is a flip side to this. Although Bakic, who describes himself as anarchistic, is … Continue reading

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