Monday, December 26, 2005

What Looks Like Graffiti Could Really Be an Ad

Sony is co-opting graffiti art to promote their PSP! Read all about it! wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/25/AR2005122500589.html

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Urban Dictionary: snakes on a plane

Brian sent this over- it certainly is a word. And notice that the qualification for addition to the dictionary was being used on a blog!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Brown Discussed Wardrobe During Katrina - Yahoo! News

Oh this is just priceless - and note, as the author did, that Bush appeared with his sleeves rolled up!

Monday, October 31, 2005

___U B U W E B___ : ___Tristan Tzara___

We talked briefly about Dada in the Phil Art class: Jason Rosenberg found these audio recordings of Tristan Tzara - author of the Dada manifesto - reading Dad poetry!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Thoughts Arguments and Rants: Silly Talk about Philosophy

Some of the stories on this are hilarious - and just think: it's what you all have to look forward too in the next few years of answering that daunting question "What are you majoring in?"
Thoughts Arguments and Rants: Silly Talk about Philosophy

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Photo in the News: Ultra-Lifelike Robot Debuts in Japan

Aaron sent me this story: now all we need is either for her to become a prostitute, or go insane and try to take over the world. Or both, for that matter.
Photo in the News: Ultra-Lifelike Robot Debuts in Japan

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I just found this incredible site:
He's this flaming fundamentalist racist who has a book on intelligence and race, and why Adam's decendants are white, etc. It is all the bullshit that Steven Jay Gould debunked in his 1981 'The mismeasure of man'. In that introduction, Steven Jay said, when speaking of the 1992 publication of 'The Bell Curve', that it seems like this idea pops up every 10 years. Well, he was a little off about the timing: it seems more like 11-12 years.
I'd like to get a copy of this for use in my Crit Thinking class in the fall, but I think it would be unethical to actually give this guy money. What do I do?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Monday, June 20, 2005 : Sell Online : Introduction

OK, so I'm thinking ahead. But if we were to resurrect the idea of T-shirts, this might be handy: : Sell Online : Introduction

So, ideas. Here's a few to get the ball started:

  • You can't understand this if you're not a Philosophy major.

  • Philosophy: Why stupid people suck

  • Everything on this shirt is false.

  • My girlfriend (boyfriend) reads Plato and all I get is this lousy T-shirt

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Action Philosophers!

An old friend of mine sent me this link. I can't testify to its accuracy, but it looks damn entertaining:
Action Philosophers!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Grade Inflation

There was a fascinating article in the Washington Post today that I thought everyone might be interested in reading. It's located here:
The most recent data on grade inflation shows a continuing trend:
National Trends in Grade Inflation, American Colleges and Universities
The average grade given at private schools is now a 3.26 - more a B than a B. A full 50% of the grades given at Harvard this year were 'A's (according to the article)!
Aside from the obvious relevance to your lives - I would like to know what you think about the ethics of grade inflation. After all, many of my students at Wash U argued that they needed grade inflation in order to compete with students from other institutions for graduate school placement. On the other hand, doesn't grade inflation cheapen the achievement of those who actually earned an 'A'? What is to be done?

Monday, May 30, 2005

Brawny Paper Towels and Napkins - Everything you need in a paper towel - Products - Brawny Advertisements

Rachel mentioned this brawny ad one day in class - it's basically porn for the middle-aged housewife. I just found it online:
Brawny Paper Towels and Napkins - Everything you need in a paper towel - Products - Brawny Advertisements
To make things even better, there is an interactive element called 'Innocent Escapes', where the user can customize his seduction technique.

I drink coffee, therefore I am : Online Store :

There are also a number of rather entertaining T-shirts, mugs and the like for sale at This one is, I think, particularily appropriate.
I drink coffee, therefore I am : Online Store : For Philosophy Resources on the Internet

This site contains a wealth of information about philosophy- including graduate programs, other web sites, class lecture notes, discussions, etc. For Philosophy Resources on the Internet
Make sure to check out the 'humor' section - which includes a link to the always hilarious 'Philosophical Lexicon'.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Banksy: The Art Terrorist

Not a blindingly bad arguement but fun anyway. Two links about Banksy, an art terrorist from England. Interesting and could be tied into Bradley's What is Art class. First link is to a news article about Banksy, and the second leads to Banksy's website itself.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Philosophical Gourmet Report 2004 - 2006 :: Overall Rankings

If you haven't seen this before, this is a ranking of graduate programs in Philosophy. A few caveats: 1st, there is a HUGE difference between a program's reputation and the quality of instruction. In a perfect world, these rankings reflect ONLY the reputation. 2nd, this is not a perfect world. The rankings tend to value Analytic core (mind / language or Metaphysics & epistemology) over both value theory (ethics / aesthetics) and continental. Also, there have been a number of cases where a school is ranked highly because they have a famous semi-retired faculty member who, in fact, never actually interacts with students.
The Philosophical Gourmet Report 2004 - 2006 :: Overall Rankings

The rankings are also broken down by subject area - but the same caveats apply: for example, in my last year at Temple, it was ranked 10th in a 5-way tie with schools like UC Berkeley. UCB had one mind guy: a semi-retired part time John Searle. When my advisor announced he was leaving Temple, it dropped off the rankings - but the school he went to didn't replace it! (it's there now - in group 3)


All that having been said, reputation of a school is important. This information is interesting, and should help you when considering what grad school to apply to - BUT take it with a grain of salt.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Crossfire & Intelligent Design

This guy wins the award for the 'stupidest argument since Presidental election, 2004':

Not only is this a red herring, but even if we are charitable in our interpretation of his argument, why would anyone think that making one's theory of biology (a deeply complex and mysterious phenomenon) dependent on one's theory of cognition (a far more complex and vastly more mysterious phenomenon) is a good idea? Idiots all!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Discovery Institute - News - Darwinists Snub Kansas, Refuse to Answer Questions About Scientific Problems with Evolutionary Theory

Fresh from the Kansas school board debate: this one's just loaded with spin and abuses of language. If I had to categorize it, I'd say it's a combination of a 'loaded question' and 'shifting the burden of proof' (see the last para for the second fallacy).
Discovery Institute - News - Darwinists Snub Kansas, Refuse to Answer Questions About Scientific Problems with Evolutionary Theory
Discovery Institute - News - Darwinists Snub Kansas, Refuse to Answer Questions About Scientific Problems with Evolutionary Theory

Friday, May 06, 2005

All Squirrels Must Die!

OK, OK, so this site doesn't really qualify as an argument, at least in the strictest sense of the term, but the authors clearly have a definite proposition of which they seek to convince you, AND they have loads of evidence upon which they seek to change your mind. So, if we're charitable, we can call it an inductive argument to the conclusion:
All Squirrels Must Die!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Bad Arguments: A Couple of TalkOrigins Links

TalkOrigins was the first site to pop into my mind when I received Dr. Bradley's e-mail requesting terrible arguments. The site highlights (in many cases) fallacious creationist arguments and the problems with those arguments. Good browsing if one is ever faced with a creationist argument that one has a feeling is off-base and one can't quite articulate the problem with the argument on one's own.

Anyway, a couple of examples:
Debunking the "Young Earth" creationist arguments--for instance, "Young-earth "proof" #25: The current population of Earth (5.5 billion) could easily be generated from 8 people in less than 4000 years. If the earth were really billions of years old, the human population would have gone through the roof!"

Debunking Kent Hovind's offer and its silly requirements:

"I have a standing offer of $250,000 to anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution.* My $250,000 offer demonstrates that the hypothesis of evolution is nothing more than a religious belief.

* NOTE: When I use the word evolution, I am not referring to the minor variations found in all of the various life forms (microevolution). I am referring to the general theory of evolution which believes these five major events took place without God:
1. Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves.
2. Planets and stars formed from space dust.
3. Matter created life by itself.
4. Early life-forms learned to reproduce themselves.
5. Major changes occurred between these diverse life forms (i.e., fish changed to amphibians, amphibians changed to reptiles, and reptiles changed to birds or mammals)."

Enjoy :)

How to post:

There are a couple of ways. The interface for posting is at You'll need the username and password you created when you accepted the invitation.

From there, just click on the little green plus sign, and post away! (Incidentally, if you don't something that looks like this:!
you're not logged in. Log in (in the upper right) and you'll be OK.)

There are a couple of shortcuts to get to

  • Click on the little orange B in the left side of the navbar (to read more about the navbar, click here).
  • Click on 'I Power Blogger' on the right (below all the links).


You can do this all automatically with's 'Blog this' functionality. In short, it's a little button that you can add to your browser that will popup a little window with all the information you need to add an entry to the blog. The window looks like this:
And to add it to you're toolbar, drag this link:
BlogThis!   <-- drag this link to your browser's Links bar

to your toolbar.

If you want to read about the details, click here.

Monday, May 02, 2005


This is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. He illustrates the fundamentalist position (that we talked about in Ethics) perfectly.

This is his website:

You can even purchase his sermons online:! (I'm downloading some of these, and will post them later).


(1) his use of violent imagery (''s a war. It's a battle of world views').

(2) his absolute commitment to the text 'No apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record' - including his denial of interpretation.

(3) his complete lack of understanding of the basic idea of evolution (confusing evolution by natural selection with the big bang AND saying that evolution teaches that humans descend from chimps, when it actually teaches that humans and chimps descend from the same common ancestor AND bringing up the global flood).

The Blog...

OK, here are some of the cool things we can do with this:

(1) I've set it up so that registered users can email posts directly to the blog. I won't put the email address here, but will let you know via the philosophyclub mailing list.

(2) You can get the blog via an RSS / Atom feed at: If you don't know what that means, in short: you can get the blog as if it is email. I'm not sure how each email program works, but in thunderbird (mozilla), go to Tools -> Accounts. Click on 'Add Account'. And Select 'RSS News and Blogs'. Call it what you want, and put the URL above into the 'location' box.

(3) Output. We can, if we want, send posts to the blog to the list. This might be annoying. But we could set up a second mailing list for people who can't use the RSS feed, and they'll get the messages as they are posted as well.

Saturday, April 30, 2005


Greg (Alles) and I have been tossing around an idea about starting a tradition of 'forums' at McDaniel. The idea is fairly simple: at a time that is convient for students, we'd assemble 4-5 faculty, community members, etc to discuss a topic. Each person would get 5-10 min, strictly enforced, and then field questions from the audience. The idea would be to get some pretty good debates going, so the topics chosen should be of interest to you, and the panelist should be as broad in view point as possible.

For example:
Evolution and Intelligent Design
Panelists: Me, Greg, Wilbur Long, Someone from the Church of the Open Door.

Church and State:
Mark (Hadley), Herb Smith, others?

Video Games and Intelligence:
Me, Dr. Mazaroff, others?

Performance Enhancing Drugs


What do you think? Would we be able to attract people?


Check out this guy's blog. It's almost transcendent in it's Zen-like elegance:


Test Post

This is the first test post to the Phil Club blog.