Suggested readings, #114

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

Why our “wandering brains” are wired to love art and nature. Humans have a built-in “fractal fluency,” probably because of our prehistoric ancestors’ upbringing. (Salon)

Our little life is rounded with possibility. Science expressed only in terms of what happens is getting in the way of progress. (Nautilus)

I created ‘The X-Files.’ Here’s why I’m skeptical of the new U.F.O. report. (New York Times)

Greed and the philosophy of wealth. When does a healthy desire for wealth morph into greed? And how can we stop it? (Big Think)

Brandolini’s law: the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it. (Ordre Spontané)

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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.

2 thoughts on “Suggested readings, #114”

  1. On “Brandolini’s law” there are separate issues of production and dissemination. The reason I think is it takes hard work to research and prove your claims, while a lot of the bullshit out there is really thin in effort (I picked up a copy of one of Ben Shapiro’s books, it’s amazing how thin in substance it is. If I sold out my morals, I could probably write something similar and make lots of money.) And by the time you’re done doing the research and becoming the person more knowledgeable about the subject than anyone else, you end up not having enough time to teach it to the public.

    When it comes to whether the public is more easily receptive to bullshit than substance, I think it can go both ways actually. The charismatic and seductive appeal of intelligent wit and powerful arguments are often underestimated.

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