Recent links…

  1. Did Gödel mislead Von Neumann into thinking he already had a proof for his second theorem in order to steal Von Neumann’s ideas? — intrigue and incompleteness
  2. “Academic treatments of speech, and public discourse about, speech in the classroom tend to focus on the obligations… of instructors. But one of the central questions we want students to think about is what obligations they themselves have if they are in this situation” — a teaching guide on how students can foster a good classroom speech environment
  3. “When you say I am contradicting myself, you fail to recognize I am in a Platonic dialogue with myself, and both sides of myself are winning” — also: “When you react to me with criticism, or by deciding not to associate with me, you are driving a stake through the heart of free speech culture”
  4. “To assess [an AI’s] sentience, we will need markers that are not susceptible to gaming [i.e., non-sentient systems using human-generated training data to mimic humans]” — So we need to “uncover as many independently evolved instances of sentience as we possibly can,” and that means looking at nonhuman animals, argue Kristin Andrews (York) and Jonathan Birch (LSE)
  5. “Rethink Priorities” is a think tank that aims to “support organizations, researchers, and changemakers in efforts to generate the most significant possible charitable impact for others” — and their “Worldview Investigations Team,” headed up by philosopher Bob Fischer, is hiring
  6. “It will be a filter. Not all faculty will thrive in this environment” — John Symons (Kansas) is interviewed large language models and AI, and the changes (not necessarily negative) they will bring to education, to personal lives, and to society
  7. “It turned out that was more difficult than I expected” — after a four-decade hiatus, Nick Axten, now 76, has earned his PhD in philosophy

Discussion welcome.

Mini-Heap posts usually appear when 7 or so new items accumulate in the Heap of Links, a collection of items from around the web that may be of interest to philosophers.

The Heap of Links consists partly of suggestions from readers; if you find something online that you think would be of interest to the philosophical community, please send it in for consideration for the Heap. Thanks!

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1 year ago

The Nick Axten story was nice to hear. It is a reminder to university administrators that there is value in the humanities. Also, it is a reminder to philosophers that there is more to what we do than what advances our careers.