Suggested readings, #10

Here are some interesting articles I’ve come across recently, for your consideration:

Remembering when bankers tried to overthrow FDR and install a fascist dictator. True Story. (Big Think)

Is knowledge a “Stone Age” concept that is best abandoned? A strange, misguided, and conceptually confused article by my colleague David Papineau. (Aeon)

A good argument against anti-natalism, if one where needed. But you’ll have to get over some entirely unnecessary comments on god and the virtues of conservatism.

Reading fiction has been said to increase people’s empathy and compassion. But does the research really bear that out? Yes, it turns out. (BBC)

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Massimo is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He blogs at and He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.

5 thoughts on “Suggested readings, #10”

  1. Small sidebar to your first link. This is why some people have originated the “George H.W. Bush did it” version of JFK conspiracy theories, daddy Prescott being p arty of the plot on FDR. And, yes, there is such a subdivision of the JFK conspiracy world.


  2. Massimo, I’m on Quora, which is fun at times and hair-pulling at others, between questions and comments by Trump Trainers and questions and comments by JFK conspiracy theorists. (I’ve been to Dealey Plaza many a time from my years living in Dallas itself, including on a Nov. 22, which does have the fun of seeing dedicatees of different conspiracy theories try to evangelize each other as well as the general public.)

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    1. Not here. I might write about it at some point. But the gist is that it makes no sense to think in terms of the world being “better off” without humans, since humans are the only ones that can think in terms of “better” or “worse.” The universe doesn’t care, it just is. Also, I think antinatalists are far too pessimistic about the quality of human life. At any rate, the choice should be up to the individual, including the antinatalists themselves (yes, they didn’t ask to be born, but as Epictetus says, the door is open…).


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