Showing posts tagged as: rationality

Guest blogs for The Splintered Mind

I’ve recently been doing some guest blogging for Eric Schwitzgebel’s fantastic blog┬áThe Splintered Mind. Here are links to the six posts I wrote this summer. (1) Why was sci-fi so slow to discover time travel?┬áMost themes in contemporary science fiction have precursors in earlier mythology and folklore, but time travel doesn’t appear in fiction until

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fermi playground

Ballparking with Enrico Fermi

We’re all familiar with ‘ballparking’ – making rough estimates or vague guesses. Today I want to talk about a particular kind of ballparking, namely how we solve a type of mental puzzle called “Fermi questions”. They were employed by physicist Enrico Fermi during the Manhattan project as fun puzzles to keep up morale (at least

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