Suggested readings, #124

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

Computer models of civilization offer routes to ending global warming. But of course they demand too much of us, so we will not actually act on it. (NPR)

Living with uncertainty. As opposed to pretend a certainty that doesn’t exist. (Skeptical Inquirer)

On the lost “Lenny Bruce of Athens.” In defense of the ancient comedian who went after Aristotle. (LitHub)

Diomedes: the Iliad’s second Achilles. Diomedes functions as a second Achilles in the Iliad (as if one were not enough!). When he takes center stage, he is completely dominant and can take on seemingly any opponent, even the gods. (The Collector)

The Stoic obsession with figs. How a philosophy of life came from a snack. (Medium)

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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.

3 thoughts on “Suggested readings, #124”

  1. Liked the essay on uncertainty. Most of us could try to become more comfortable with it, and most of us could be better at expressing it (not just belief-based medical practitioners). I think that if real medical practitioners were more open about nuance and the inherent uncertainty in novel situations, rather than thinking that the dumb public will only respond to confidence from the authorities, there would be a lot less pushback.

    But it does put said authority figures in a tough spot. If you think it is necessary to take away civil rights, restrict freedoms, and mandate/ban more and more things, then you better be sure about the dangers and the solutions. I guess if you aren’t sure, then you better act like you are.

    Buon weekend a tutti!

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  2. Re the Ariphanes? Mark Haskell Smith had me until the end, when he decided to go off on a weird tangent, tout “The Swerve,” then claim it was all Xns attacking Greenblatt and their attacks proved he was right.

    As I just tweeted him, in part: This secular leftist found plenty not to like, incl. stuff Greenblatt got wrong. I was even harsher about his Adam and Eve book


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