Suggested readings, #98

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

The coup we are not talking about. We can have democracy, or we can have a surveillance society, but we cannot have both. (New York Times) And this one should very much worry us.

How the brain responds to beauty. Scientists search for the neural basis of an enigmatic experience. (Scientific American) As usual, a piece on neuroscience that promises far more than it delivers. Still, some interesting stuff.

What if selling out is the right thing to do? (Junkee) It isn’t, and this article does a decent job at critiquing the much popular Effective Altruism movement.

Metaphysics in free fall. How empty intuitions lead philosophy astray (IAI News) Along similar lines, see also this.

Pseudophilosophy encourages confused, self-indulgent thinking. (Aeon / Psyche) Along similar lines, see also this.

Where have all the lesbians gone? They’re coming out as nonbinary or as men. (The Weekly Dish) A rather controversial take on the relationship between lesbian and transgender identities.

The best science diction of 2020. Sci fi is booming, says Tom Hunter, the director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction, as he discusses their 2020 shortlist: six novels that embrace classic sci fi narratives, while subverting or reimagining them for a contemporary audience. (FiveBooks)

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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.

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