Philosophy News in Brief – April 25th, 2017

The “Trump Doctrine” still has no consistent philosophy

The National Post reports that President Donald Trump has been increasingly ‘fed up’ with Kim Jong-Un. The North Korean dictator has been “poised” for another nuclear missile test in the earlier parts of April.

In the midst of the test, a false alarm was set out through sending the USS Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula near North Korea. Later reports showed this was a false alarm and the U.S. carrier was going in the opposite direction for a “pre-arranged exercise with the Australian navy.”

“…some saw it as a reflection of the new president’s foreign policy generally. Despite no-nonsense assertions on the campaign trail, his international forays so far have included surprises, flip-flops and contradictions. If at this early stage in the administration there is such thing as a Trump Doctrine, it has been difficult to make out.”


Silicon Valley hires philosophers to teach them

Quartz states that happiness is an obsession for Silicon Valley and its professionals. There is purportedly a pursuit of a “mythical good life,” which is fulfilment connected to achievement in Silicon Valley.

There is an attempt, and indeed a movement, devoted to the quantified self in the “quantified self movement.” Some aspects of this include polyphonic sleep and various “off-label pharmaceuticals.”

Andrew Taggart thinks most of this is nonsense. With a PhD in philosophy, Taggart practices the art of gadfly-for-hire. He disabuses founders, executives, and others in Silicon Valley of the notion that life is a problem to be solved, and happiness awaits those who do it. Indeed, Taggart argues that optimising one’s life and business is actually a formula for misery.”


Tech bros and Ancient Greek parallels

According to Quartz, the Silicon Valley mystique is definitely male. At the same time, this is not seen as a new phenomenon. This, and other current “tech bro” cultures could well be seen as being preceded by the Ancient Greek philosophers.

The “toga-clad men in Athens devising philosophical theories to shift our understanding of reality.” It was a cult devoted to the genius, and might be “toxic, even providing “excuses [for]bad behavior and allows prejudices to be cloaked in subjective assessments of intelligence and value.” Sound familiar?

One of the main problems in the tech world is the “white male homogeneity, rampant sexual harassment, and focus on catering to the concerns of the most privileged in society…Arianna…promised to wipe out ‘brilliant jerks.’”

About Scott Jacobsen 318 Articles
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere.

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