Suggested readings, #55

Here it is, your weekly rundown of interesting articles I’ve come across recently, to consider for your weekend readings:

How to practice ‘Hansei,’ the Japanese art of self-criticism. After living in Japan, I realized there may be danger in the American tendency to over-celebrate every victory. (Medium)

What students gain from learning ethics in school. (KQED)

Ancient trolling — The paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise. How Zeno of Elea played Aristotle, and then the rest of the world. (Medium)

Making sense of the science and philosophy of ‘Devs’. The Hulu show poses questions related to quantum physics and existentialism. How good of a job does it do? And what kind of closure will next week’s finale bring? (The Ringer)

Does the pandemic have a purpose? Only if we give it one. The coronavirus is neither good nor bad. It wants only to reproduce. [Somewhat obvious premise here, but interesting discussion nevertheless.] (New York Times)

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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.

6 thoughts on “Suggested readings, #55”

  1. On Zeno, though it’s claimed not to be an allowable refutal, I’ve always refuted him based on the idea of the convergence of arithmetic series.

    On the idea of no infinite nows? Well, per quantum mechanics, it IS true you can’t go smaller than Planck time!


    As per last week, on the last link? Yep, the pandemic just “is.” Can’t people read Camus? I mean, he DID write a book about this.

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  2. And, I didn’t look before I clicked the NYT link. Massimo, for as much as both of us have commented negatively about him, with your added insights from inside the academy, you referenced an ASMA piece?


    1. I try to reference people I disagree with, from time to time. Wait until next week, there is a Nassim Talib article in the cue…

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  3. Third —

    Per my second comment, his tagline explains all:
    Stephen Asma is a professor of philosophy at Columbia College Chicago and a member of the Public Theologies of Technology and Presence program at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. He is a co-author of “The Emotional Mind: The Affective Roots of Culture and Cognition.”
    So, he’s Robert Wright, in other words?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Taleb, eh? So, this is a “black swan” for you to include him? ;) Will he be talking about how Lebanese is not really Arabic? How no white people are in the ancestors of current Lebanese?

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