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RS132 - Live From NECSS 2015

Release date: April 19, 2015

This live episode of Rationally Speaking, taped at the 2015 Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, is a special one: it's Massimo's last episode as co-host! He and Julia look back over their history together and discuss which topics they've changed their mind about since the podcast began.

NEW: Full Transcripts 

Reader Comments (5)

I kept waiting for Massimo to actually REFUTE the concept of mathematical platonism, but nope, apparently his own support for the concept all hinged upon the perceived ability of its chief proponent to defend it within a public forum. Is the name of your podcast 'Rationally Speaking' or 'Small Town Politics'?

I am neither a physicist, mathematician, nor philosopher, but I don't have to be any of these things to understand the simple logic behind mathematical platonism / Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH). Based on my naive understanding of mathematics as 'the realm of internally consistent, irreducible/irrefutable/immutable objective logic, whether known or unknown to mathematicians', it is a simple two part hypothesis:

1. Any logical and internally consistent system may be described mathematically (whether or not humans are capable of doing so).
2. Anything that may be described mathematically automatically exists.

The best argument in favor of the MUH is that the law of cause and effect precludes all other possible origins of the universe. There is no other conceivable explanation why there is something instead of nothing.
April 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbubba booey
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July 5, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterankush
You have to be rational. What other course of action do you have? Should you believe in nonsense? CAN you truly believe in nonsense?

So the entirety of our knowledge amounts to a web of empirical observations.

The Trolley Problems and Singer's suit versus charity problems do have definitive logical answers. Virtue Ethics lacks completeness and thus actually requires Utilitarian Ethics in order to inform a virtuous person HOW to live the (morally) good life.

Attending NECSS 2015 has utility in that it makes you a more rational, and thus also a more ethical person. The admission/transport/hotel stay cost of NECSS 2015 arguably has much more utility than giving that same amount to charity. Although obviously difficult to measure, learning and discussing rationality certainly has tremendous value to the world.

It definitely makes sense to have degrees of certainty rather than an absolutist approach where you either entirely change your mind about some idea, or else completely reject all contrary evidence.
December 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJameson
I really enjoyed watching the Rationally Speaking #132 - Live From NECSS 2015.
Because Julia shared the straw volcan theory and what it meant and how she was able to apply that in a stilmulatling debate with Massimo.
Thankyou for sharing Julia and Massimo

I stumbled onto this site because I googled, we are all afraid of the wrong things?
July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDavid McMurdo

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