Suggested readings, #25

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

The purpose of life is not happiness: it’s usefulness. (Medium)

Robot priests can bless you, advise you, and even perform your funeral. AI religion is upon us. Welcome to the future. (Vox)

Mind the gap between science and religion. And don’t turn fundamental physics into an article of faith. (Nautilus)

Laziness does not exist. But unseen barriers do. (Medium)

Artificial Intelligence confronts a ‘reproducibility’ crisis. Machine-learning systems are black boxes even to the researchers that build them. That makes it hard for others to assess the results. (Wired)

How can I distinguish between my needs and wants? Unthinkable: economist and philosopher Adam Smith encourages us to reflect on ‘how much is enough.’ (Irish Times)

Philosophy as practice and philosophy as body of knowledge. (Medium)

Published by


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.

One thought on “Suggested readings, #25”

  1. As a good Camus follower … I don’t think life HAS a purpose. Oh, I “get” where the article comes from. I just reject it. I’ve also read enough Darius Foroux to see him as a turd-polished self-help guru.

    Read the religion robots several days ago. I’ve seen a couple of the medieval mechanical beasties in Germany. “Ex opere operato” as the early Lutherans said about such!

    How long before machine learning, like social psychology, has a full-blown replication crisis?

    The “laziness” article is interesting. I think it’s more true than false, but wouldn’t say it’s totally true. I don’t think procrastination is always what he says it is. It could even be a manifestation of passive-aggressive defiance. Or maybe it is on occasion just “laziness.” That said, what’s wrong with that? Maybe the author is still too bought into the Protestant work ethic?

    Adam Smith wasn’t a free-marketer on everything, he was a mercantilist from colonies, or a straight protectionist, on trade supplies that he regarded as national security related.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply