Newest Posts
  • Gregory Chaitin’s The Unknowable is billed as the companion volume to his Limits of Mathematics, though it also, in many ways stands on its own. In this work, Chaitin sets out to explain the way that his work follows from Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem and Turing’s Halting Problem. The story begins with the mathematician David Hilbert pioneering the field of metamathematics as a way to eliminate all doubts about the efficacy and power of mathematics. However, this process ultimately failed, instead revealing the fundamental uncertainty that underlies mathematics. However, the result of this failure was a large role in the development of the […]

    The Unknowable by Gregory Chaitin

    Gregory Chaitin’s The Unknowable is billed as the companion volume to his Limits of Mathematics, though it also, in many ways stands on its own. In this work, Chaitin sets out to explain the way that his work follows from Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem and Turing’s Halting Problem. The story begins with the mathematician David Hilbert pioneering the field of metamathematics as a way to eliminate all doubts about the efficacy and power of mathematics. However, this process ultimately failed, instead revealing the fundamental uncertainty that underlies mathematics. However, the result of this failure was a large role in the development of the […]

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  • Being a full-time Ph.D. student and dad has limited the amount of blogging I’ve been able to do recently. This spring, I finished my two years of class work in the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media Program, and am now moving into taking exams in the fall and then writing the dissertation. This summer I put together my committee and, with them, collaboratively constructed my exam reading list. This process was made somewhat challenging because my program is both interdisciplinary and usually focused on contemporary issues, which means it is difficult to base any list on past lists created by other scholars. […]

    My Exam Reading Lists for Ph.D. in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

    Being a full-time Ph.D. student and dad has limited the amount of blogging I’ve been able to do recently. This spring, I finished my two years of class work in the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media Program, and am now moving into taking exams in the fall and then writing the dissertation. This summer I put together my committee and, with them, collaboratively constructed my exam reading list. This process was made somewhat challenging because my program is both interdisciplinary and usually focused on contemporary issues, which means it is difficult to base any list on past lists created by other scholars. […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Teaching Portfolio

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  • When Teaching Works

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Book Reviews
  • Gregory Chaitin’s The Unknowable is billed as the companion volume to his Limits of Mathematics, though it also, in many ways stands on its own. In this work, Chaitin sets out to explain the way that his work follows from Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem and Turing’s Halting Problem. The story begins with the mathematician David Hilbert pioneering the field of metamathematics as a way to eliminate all doubts about the efficacy and power of mathematics. However, this process ultimately failed, instead revealing the fundamental uncertainty that underlies mathematics. However, the result of this failure was a large role in the development of the […]

    The Unknowable by Gregory Chaitin

    Gregory Chaitin’s The Unknowable is billed as the companion volume to his Limits of Mathematics, though it also, in many ways stands on its own. In this work, Chaitin sets out to explain the way that his work follows from Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem and Turing’s Halting Problem. The story begins with the mathematician David Hilbert pioneering the field of metamathematics as a way to eliminate all doubts about the efficacy and power of mathematics. However, this process ultimately failed, instead revealing the fundamental uncertainty that underlies mathematics. However, the result of this failure was a large role in the development of the […]

  • Chapter 5 In Chapter 5, Lanham attempts to highlight the two different ways of seeing once again, through an at or through form of attention. Focusing in one way tends to mean we don’t focus in the other way. For example, Lanham gives the research who specializes in a topic, and can even teach that topic well, but struggles to put it in context in a survey course of his or her field. Here he focuses on the joy available through play – of living life working at something rather than thinking about the success that comes through something. Interestingly, the example he gives of play is the geneticist Barbara […]

    Economics of Attention Ch 5-8

    Chapter 5 In Chapter 5, Lanham attempts to highlight the two different ways of seeing once again, through an at or through form of attention. Focusing in one way tends to mean we don’t focus in the other way. For example, Lanham gives the research who specializes in a topic, and can even teach that topic well, but struggles to put it in context in a survey course of his or her field. Here he focuses on the joy available through play – of living life working at something rather than thinking about the success that comes through something. Interestingly, the example he gives of play is the geneticist Barbara […]

  •   Back to Chapter 3.  I know you’re wondering about the image. I’ll get there! In this chapter, Lanham explains that ebooks have almost entirely attempted to simply reproduce print books. This is so much the case, that often the ebooks you find for sale are just PDF copies of the original book. Why would this be the case? Why wouldn’t ebooks instead try to leverage elements of their existence that make them unique? Why not draw more heavily on sounds and images, and movement, etc? He suggests a few possible reasons, including the early commercial failure of CD-ROMS that […]

    Economics of Attention Ch4: An Alphabet that Thinks

      Back to Chapter 3.  I know you’re wondering about the image. I’ll get there! In this chapter, Lanham explains that ebooks have almost entirely attempted to simply reproduce print books. This is so much the case, that often the ebooks you find for sale are just PDF copies of the original book. Why would this be the case? Why wouldn’t ebooks instead try to leverage elements of their existence that make them unique? Why not draw more heavily on sounds and images, and movement, etc? He suggests a few possible reasons, including the early commercial failure of CD-ROMS that […]

Film & Philosophy
  • Merry Moral Monday! Several of us—JustHeath included—here at Philosophy Matters are purveyors of the British science fiction series Doctor Who.  In fact, J J Sylvia, the founder of the website, has even written a very good chapter in a  centered on the philosophy of the television program.  This past Saturday night, I happened to catch an episode on MPB, the Mississippi affiliate of PBS that will serve as a starting point for today’s moral dilemma. So, come along [Ponds], and…Geronimo! “The Wedding of River Song” (2011) In the  finale, the show’s main protagonist, the Doctor, has to save the entire […]

    Moral Monday: The Wedding of River Song

    Merry Moral Monday! Several of us—JustHeath included—here at Philosophy Matters are purveyors of the British science fiction series Doctor Who.  In fact, J J Sylvia, the founder of the website, has even written a very good chapter in a  centered on the philosophy of the television program.  This past Saturday night, I happened to catch an episode on MPB, the Mississippi affiliate of PBS that will serve as a starting point for today’s moral dilemma. So, come along [Ponds], and…Geronimo! “The Wedding of River Song” (2011) In the  finale, the show’s main protagonist, the Doctor, has to save the entire […]

  • “There’s everything in this movie, / Everything that fits. / From the Meaning of Life in the universe, / To girls with great big tits. / We’ve got movie stars and foreign cars, / Explosions and the lot / Filmed as only we know how, / On the budget that we’ve got. / We spent a fortune on locations / And quite a bit on drink / And there’s even the odd philosophical joke, / Just to make you buggers think. / Yet some parts are as serious / And as deep as you could wish / But largely it’s […]

    Movie Monday: The Meaning of Life

    “There’s everything in this movie, / Everything that fits. / From the Meaning of Life in the universe, / To girls with great big tits. / We’ve got movie stars and foreign cars, / Explosions and the lot / Filmed as only we know how, / On the budget that we’ve got. / We spent a fortune on locations / And quite a bit on drink / And there’s even the odd philosophical joke, / Just to make you buggers think. / Yet some parts are as serious / And as deep as you could wish / But largely it’s […]

  • Bonjour, mes amis! Well, it’s been precipitating quite a bit here recently in the Golden Triangle region, so I’ve been catching up on the 1980’s reincarnation of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (TTZ).  Much like Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek, TTZ are often a mix of science fiction and morality tales.  We emphasize critical thinking and ethical decision-making a lot here at Philosophy Matters, and TTZ does not disappoint as a topical tool.  I think I’m going to be using more of TTZ episodes in postings because I have found them effective discussion pieces in my classes.  So, get ready […]

    Moral Monday: The Hellgramite Method

    Bonjour, mes amis! Well, it’s been precipitating quite a bit here recently in the Golden Triangle region, so I’ve been catching up on the 1980’s reincarnation of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone (TTZ).  Much like Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek, TTZ are often a mix of science fiction and morality tales.  We emphasize critical thinking and ethical decision-making a lot here at Philosophy Matters, and TTZ does not disappoint as a topical tool.  I think I’m going to be using more of TTZ episodes in postings because I have found them effective discussion pieces in my classes.  So, get ready […]