Trolleyology

Matters of life and death.  David Edmonds’ excellent review of the runaway trolley and its many variations. “Interest in ‘trolleyology’—a way of studying moral quandaries—has taken off in recent years. Some philosophers say it sheds useful light on human behaviour, others see it as a pointless pursuit of the unknowable.”

Peter Singer’s utilitarianism in action

Join Wall Street to save the world.  “Jason Trigg went into finance because he is after money — as much as he can earn. [H]e goes to work each morning for a high-frequency trading firm. It’s a hedge fund on steroids. He writes software that turns a lot of money into even more money. For his labors, he reaps an uptown salary — and over time his earning potential is unbounded. It’s all part of the plan. Why this compulsion? It’s not for fast cars or fancy houses. Trigg makes money just to give it away. His logic is simple: The more he makes, the more good he can do.”

What is time?

Reviews of Lee Smolin’s Time Reborn. See especially TensersTime Regained!, and Resetting the Clocks, Smolin explains: “I used to believe in the essential unreality of time. Indeed, I went into physics because as an adolescent I yearned to exchange the time-bound, human world, which I saw as ugly and inhospitable, for a world of pure, timeless truth…. I no longer believe that time is unreal. In fact I have swung to the opposite view: Not only is time real, but nothing we know or experience gets closer to the heart of nature than the reality of time.” Even the laws of nature, Smolin says, are in time and change over time.