But even if we accept this role for philosophy, which ideas, theories, and perspectives should philosophers be designing? The answers will have to do with this particular time in human history. Philosophical “upgrading” moments are rare, and they are usually prompted by important transformations in the surrounding reality. Since the Nineties, I have been arguing that we have reached one of those moments — a turning point in our history. The epochal transition from an analogue to a digital world and the rapid development of information technologies are changing every aspect of our lives: education, work, and entertainment; communication, business, and commerce; love, hate, and anything in between; politics, conflicts, and peace; culture, health, and even how we remember the dead.Yes, that's the big picture. What does Floridi recommend as areas where philosophy could help?
The reason for this unhappy event was that for a particular software file, the Lockheed Martin engineering team had used English (imperial) units of measurement instead of the metric units specified by the agency, whose trajectory modelers assumed the data they were looking at was provided in metric. This incident illustrates a simple lesson: successful cooperation depends on an agreement between all parties that the information being exchanged is fixed at a specified level.No. That's WAY BELOW philosophy. Using correct units is just part of the job for scientists and carpenters and cooks and car mechanics and butchers and bakers and candlestickmakers. It's METROLOGY, not philosophy. NASA wasn't making a 'level of abstraction' error, it just got sloppy. You don't need a philosopher to tell you to PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS. Floridi goes on to list some stuff about Turing tests. Wrong in the other direction. Turing's actual WORK with cryptography was useful and helpful, but his theories and speculations have been totally useless. We figured out that the Turing Test doesn't work a long time ago, well before any modern developments in 'artificial intelligence'. Simple phrase-echoing programs like Eliza (vintage 1966) were already able to fool most people. The most important question that a real philosopher COULD ask right now is: Do we need theories? The answer is NO. We desperately need to ELIMINATE THEORIES from all of our thinking. We need to OBSERVE REALITY CAREFULLY AND QUANTITATIVELY, and STOP THERE. Since the only possible philosophical question has been answered, we don't need philosophers at all. Did we ever need philosophers? I doubt it.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.