An irregular episode barely touching upon "The Beginning of Infinity". Somewhat self-indulgently, and purely for my own fun, I take a lesser-known Popper paper - found here http://www.bretthall.org/the-nature-of-philosophical-problems.html and provide lengthy commentary upon it with some remarks about its significance for some contemporary issues.
In this, the final episode covering Chapter 9 Optimism, we explore optimism as applied to politics and institutions. A pessimistic view of people, as animals that sometimes cannot be reasoned with, would imply the initiation of force is required. But understanding people as beings of compassion and reason means we should initiate kindness and use force only ever in response to violence. Pessimism about problems - problem avoidance is something we should not only take seriously but personally as David argues in this chapter. Because if optimism was not repeatedly stamped out or required the intellectual energy to constantly defend, we would be immortal already and living among the stars.
In part 2 on Optimism, we explore the implications of David Deutsch's philosophy for individuals and institutiuons. Given people are the agents that create knowledge - the solutions to problems - what moral stance should we take with respect to them? How will this affect our future and what threats to optimism still exist in the contemporary zeitgeist?
This is the first of a 3 part series on chapter 9 of David Deutsch's "The Beginning of Infinity". Chapter 9 is titled "Optimism" and the week this is published marks the 50th anniversary of the first steps taken by humans on the moon. If we choose to continue to pursue solutions in an open ended way - if we choose to embrace what might be called "Deutschian Optimism" then next it can be Mars...and after that the stars.
Note that this one is not primarily about a chapter from "The Beginning of Infinity". Some remarks on Sam Harris position on "Free Will" as articulated in his book of the same name. I do mention BoI and FoR of course and borrow heavily from David's work in constructing the arguments herein. Most especially the "Copper Atom at the tip of the nose of the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square" argument. An argument that I think deserves a label shorter than that because it deserves to be remembered.
Unlucky 13: The microphone failed for this one, so the backup audio has been used. It's a little sub par but still "listenable". The next one sounds better. Note to audio-only people: some visuals are in this one - so you can find that on Youtube.