Socratic dialogue

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pages: 225 words: 61,814

The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Socratic dialogue, the market place, urban planning

(Ill. 22.28) Notes Acknowledgements Copyright Acknowledgements Picture Acknowledgements Notes Consolation for Unpopularity Aside from a mention of Aristophanes and quotations from Plato’s Phaedo, the portrait of Socrates is drawn from Plato’s early and middle dialogues (the so-called Socratic dialogues): Apology, Charmides, Crito, Euthydemus, Euthyphro, Gorgias, Hippias Major, Hippias Minor, Ion, Laches, Lysis, Menexenus, Meno, Protagoras and Republic, book I Quotations taken from: The Last Days of Socrates, Plato, translated by Hugh Tredennick, Penguin, 1987 Early Socratic Dialogues, Plato, translated by Iain Lane, Penguin, 1987 Protagoras and Meno, Plato, translated by W. K. C. Guthrie, Penguin, 1987 Gorgias, Plato, translated by Robin Waterfield, OUP, 1994. 1 So … deaths: Apology, 29d 2 Whenever … angle: Laches, 188a 3 Let’s … courageous: Laches, 190e–191a 4 At … battle: Laches, 191c 5 By … inescapable: Meno, 78c–79a 6 I … cities: Apology, 36b 7 I … well-being: Apology, 36d 8 I … fellow-citizen: Apology, 29d 9 I … narrow: Apology, 36a 10 If … choose: Gorgias, 472a-b 11 The … him: Gorgias, 471e–472a 12 When … public: Crito, 47b 13 Don’t … say: Crito, 47a–48a 14 I … time: Apology, 37a–b 15 If … sleeping: Apology, 30d–31a 16 In … off: Phaedo, 116c–d 17 When … himself: Phaedo, 117a-d 18 What … friends!

Duncan Large, 1988; Oxford University Press: extracts reprinted from Twilight of the Idols, Friedrich Nietzsche, trans. Duncan Large (Oxford World’s Classics, 1998), by permission of Oxford University Press; extracts reprinted from Parerga and Paralipomena, Arthur Schopenhauer, (volumes I and II, trans. E. F. Payne, 1974) by permission of Oxford University Press; Penguin Books: Early Socratic Dialogues, Plato, trans. Iain Lane, 1987; The Last Days of Socrates, Plato, trans. Hugh Tredennick, 1987; Protagoras and Meno, Plato, trans. W. K. C. Guthrie, 1987; Dialogues and Letters, Seneca, trans. C. D. N. Costa, 1997; Letters from a Stoic, Seneca, trans. Robin Campbell, 1969; The Complete Essays, Michel de Montaigne, trans.


pages: 280 words: 82,393

Conflicted: How Productive Disagreements Lead to Better Outcomes by Ian Leslie

Atul Gawande, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, call centre, different worldview, double helix, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mark Zuckerberg, medical malpractice, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, Paul Graham, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, zero-sum game

Enquiry isn’t a status competition, it’s about testing the quality of arguments. Spend time getting clear on your interlocutor’s view, and don’t worry about finding answers – we’re just trying to understand each other a little better. Arguing with someone is a sign of respecting them. From Hippias Minor (one of the accounts of Socrates’ dialogues made by his pupil Plato): ‘Hippias, I don’t dispute that you are wiser than I, but it is always my custom to pay attention when someone is saying something, especially when the speaker seems to me to be wise. And because I desire to learn what he means, I question him thoroughly . . . so I can learn.’

The arguments are then weighed against each other, before one or other answer is chosen, or a third one is found. Disputation was competitive; the goal was to convince each other, or an audience. But it was also believed that by examining a problem from different angles, new truths could emerge. The practice was essentially Socratic dialogue, formalised and scaled up. Historians of the period talk of the ‘institutionalisation of conflict’. Institutions have a habit of stagnating. In the sixteenth century, Renaissance thinkers criticised universities for indulging in arid intellectual debates instead of engaging with the real world.

The result is a much deeper and more rigorous thought process than any one of you could have carried out alone. That’s exactly how the Wikipedia editing process works, according to James Evans’s study. It’s how Warren Buffett designs the decision-making process for investment. It’s the principle that underlies Socratic dialogue. Looked at through the interactionist lens, confirmation bias isn’t something to eliminate; it’s something to harness. Under the right conditions, it raises the collective intelligence of a group. What are those conditions? First, the group must disagree openly, with each individual feeling genuinely compelled, and able, to put their best case forward.


pages: 205 words: 58,054

Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (And Why We Don't Talk About It) by Elizabeth S. Anderson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, declining real wages, deskilling, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, independent contractor, invisible hand, manufacturing employment, means of production, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, principal–agent problem, profit motive, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Socratic dialogue, spinning jenny, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics

FitzRoy and Kornelius Kraft, “Co-Determination, Efficiency, and Productivity,” IZA Discussion Paper Series, No. 1442 (2004), http://hdl.handle.net/10419/20741; Steffen Mueller, “The Productivity Effect of Non-Union Representation,” BGPE Discussion Paper No. 74 (2009), http://hdl.handle.net/10419/73422. 41. Brad Delong, “Hoisted from the Archives: A Non-Socratic Dialogue on Social Welfare Functions” (Brad DeLong’s Semi-Daily Journal, 2009), http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/04/hoisted-from-the-archives-a-non-socratic-dialogue-on-social-welfare-functions.html. Contributors Elizabeth Anderson is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan.


pages: 397 words: 109,631

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking by Richard E. Nisbett

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, big-box store, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive dissonance, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, endowment effect, experimental subject, feminist movement, fixed income, fundamental attribution error, Garrett Hardin, glass ceiling, Henri Poincaré, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Shai Danziger, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tragedy of the Commons, William of Occam, Zipcar

A very different kind of system of reasoning, also developed about twenty-six hundred years ago in Greece, and developed at the same time in India, is called dialectical reasoning. This form of reasoning doesn’t so much regulate reasoning as suggest ways to solve problems. Dialectical reasoning includes the Socratic dialogue, which is essentially a conversation or debate between two people trying to reach the truth by stimulating critical thinking, clarifying ideas, and discovering contradictions that may prompt the discussants to develop views that are more coherent and more likely to be correct or useful. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century versions of dialectical reasoning, owing primarily to the philosophers Hegel, Kant, and Fichte, center on the process of “thesis” followed by “antithesis” followed by “synthesis”—a proposition followed by a potential contradiction of that proposition, followed by a synthesis that resolves any contradiction.

There is a strong presumption that contradictions often are merely apparent, and an inclination to believe that “A is right but not A is not wrong.” This stance is captured by the Zen Buddhist dictum that “the opposite of a great truth is also true.” To many Westerners, these notions may seem reasonable and even familiar. The Socratic dialogue, often called dialectical, is similar in some ways. This is a conversation exchanging different viewpoints, with the goal of more closely approaching the truth. Jews borrowed that version of dialectical thinking from the Greeks, and Talmudic scholars developed it over the next two millennia and more.

Smith, Adam social conflict social desirability bias social facilitation effect social psychology; context in; experiments in; founding of; fundamental attribution error in; microeconomics and; in political campaigns; reality in; social influence in Social Security Social Text Socrates Socratic dialogue Sokal, Alan South Carolina Soviet Union Speed (movie) Spender, Stephen Sperber, Dan spreading activation standard deviation (SD); for IQs; for observations Standard & Poor’s Stanford University; Graduate School of Business statistical dependence statistical heuristics statistical independence status quo stereotypes Stich, Stephen stimuli; incidental Stoic philosophers Stoler, Ann Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The (Kuhn) Subaru subliminal perception and persuasion Summers, Lawrence sunk costs Sunstein, Cass Sweden syllogisms Talmudic scholars Tanzania Tao Tennessee Texas text, reality as Thaler, Richard theology Thorndike, Edward Time magazine Towers of Hanoi problem Toyota tragedy of the commons training, transfer of traits; behaviors related to; correlations for; role-related “Transgressing the Boundaries” (Sokal) Triplett, Norman Turkish language Tversky, Amos Twain, Mark uncertainty unconscious mind; rational Unitarians United States; academic performance in; allergies in; autism diagnosis in; crime prevention programs in; death penalty in; dialectical thinking in; health issues in; history teachers in; homicide versus suicide deaths in; incarceration rate in; income ranges in; life insurance coverage in; manufacturing in; minority advancement in armed forces of; national election polls in; oil reserves of; per capita GDP in; pragmatism in; product choice in; Social Security program in; subjectivist view in; vaccination in; values and beliefs in vaccination validity; of arguments; reliability and value: expected; of human life; monetary, in cost-benefit analysis; sentimental; of sunk costs and opportunity costs Van Buren, Abigail (Dear Abby) variables; continuous; control; correlation of; economic; outcome; predictor; regression to the mean of; see also dependent variables; independent variables Varnum, Michael Venn, John Venn diagrams Vermont Volkswagen von Neuman, John Wall Street Journal, The Washington, University of Washington State Institute for Public Policy Western culture, difference between Eastern culture and, see cultural differences West Germany What Works Clearinghouse Whitehead, Alfred North William of Occam Wilson, Timothy within designs World Economic Forum Zajonc, Robert Zen Buddhism Zeno Zhang, Yitang Zipcars A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR Richard E.


pages: 39 words: 9,543

Lying by Sam Harris

Mark Zuckerberg, mental accounting, Socratic dialogue

Many of us spend our lives marching with open eyes toward remorse, regret, guilt, and disappointment.And nowhere do our injuries seem more casually self-inflicted, or the suffering we create more disproportionate to the needs of the moment, than in the lies we tell to other human beings. Lying is the royal road to chaos. As an undergraduate at Stanford I took a seminar that profoundly changed my life. It was called “The Ethical Analyst,” and it was conducted in the form of a Socratic dialogue by an extraordinarily gifted professor, Ronald A. Howard.[1] Our discussion focused on a single question of practical ethics: Is it wrong to lie? At first glance, this may seem a scant foundation for an entire college course. After all, most people already believe that lying is generally wrong—and they also know that some situations seem to warrant it.


pages: 44 words: 12,675

Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great by Jim Collins

Amazon Web Services, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Socratic dialogue, Vanguard fund

But before you decide to toss out your flywheel, first make sure you understand its underlying architecture. Don’t abandon a great flywheel when it would be a superior strategy to sustain, renew, and extend. STEPS TO CAPTURING YOUR FLYWHEEL So, then, how might you go about capturing your own flywheel? At our management lab, we’ve developed a basic process, refined during Socratic-dialogue sessions with a wide range of organizations. Here are the essential steps: Create a list of significant replicable successes your enterprise has achieved. This should include new initiatives and offerings that have far exceeded expectations. Compile a list of failures and disappointments. This should include new initiatives and offerings by your enterprise that have failed outright or fell far below expectations.


pages: 139 words: 47,747

The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin

Socratic dialogue

I held my breath for silence, then slowly let it out without moving my chest. Eventually this technique caught up with me and I had to occasionally gasp for air. But no one killed me that night, no knife penetrated the blanket, no hand grabbed at my throat. Looking back, I can identify the cause of my panic. It was that my earlier Socratic dialogue with myself about the nature of love had no Socrates to keep me logical. There was just me, seesawing between the poles. There was no one to correct me and consequently no thought necessarily implied the next, in fact, a thought would often contradict its predecessor. I had tried to force clarity on my confused logic, and this disturbed my demanding sense of order.


pages: 429 words: 137,940

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement - 30th Anniversary Edition by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

air freight, business climate, industrial robot, means of production, six sigma, Socratic dialogue, the scientific method, transfer pricing

Wouldn’t such a technique be a powerful management tool?’’ "Without a doubt,’’ says Lou. "But what’s the point in daydreaming?’’ "And what happened to you today?’’ I ask Julie, after I’ve told her the day’s events in detail. "I spent some time in the library. Do you know that Socrates didn’t write anything? Socrates’ dialogues actually were written by his pupil, Plato. The librarian here is a very pleasant woman, I like her a lot. Anyhow, she recommended some of the dialogues and I’ve started to read them.’’ I can’t hold my surprise, "You read philosophy! What for, isn’t it boring?’’ She grins at me, "You were talking about the Socratic method as a method to persuade other people.

Things that we never thought were related start to be strongly connected to each other. One single common cause is the reason for a very large spectrum of different effects. You know Julie, it’s like order is built out of chaos. What can be more beautiful than that?’’ With glittering eyes she asks, "Do you know what you have just described? The Socratic dialogues. They’re done in exactly the same way, through exactly the same relationship, IF . . . THEN. Maybe the only difference is that the facts do not concern material but human behavior.’’ "Interesting, very interesting. Come to think about it,’’ I say, "my field, management, involves both material and people behavior.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Conference 1984, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

He establishes an underground digital communications network, based on chipped Xboxes loaded with free software, organising flash mobs of teenage protest and culture-jamming the DHS surveillance systems in an attempt to hold a mirror to the rights abuses of the DHS for long enough to pierce the adults’ assurance that the new regime is in their best interests. Marcus’s relationship with his father exists as a kind of Socratic dialogue on the ethical aspects of the surveillance society, woven through the book as Marcus becomes more and more embroiled with the Department of Homeland Security’s total surveillance of San Francisco’s citizens. Just like Cory’s father, Marcus’s dad was a radical in his youth. But by the time we get to the events of Little Brother, he’s earning his keep and saving up for Marcus’ college education by consulting to “third-wave dotcoms that are doing various things with archives” in Silicon Valley.


pages: 807 words: 154,435

Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making for an Unknowable Future by Mervyn King, John Kay

"Robert Solow", Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, algorithmic trading, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, battle of ideas, Bear Stearns, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, eat what you kill, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kōnosuke Matsushita, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Money creation, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monty Hall problem, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, popular electronics, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, sealed-bid auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Chicago School, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Up to a point; the primatologist Richard Wrangham has described how even among chimpanzees males are aggressive and selfish and only the sexually promiscuous bonobos display the degree of niceness which prompts humans to show strangers the way. 12 But the capacity of humans to communicate with each other through language is one of the factors – perhaps the most important factor – distinguishing us from other species. This emphasis on communication reinforces the notion that what may be ‘biases’ in individual problem-solving behaviour in well-defined puzzles are actually advantageous in the group resolution of the ill-defined problems posed by uncertainty. The Socratic dialogue is a long-established method of seeking truth by exposing the competing arguments of protagonists. The objective in all these processes is to find, through group interaction, a narrative to which all can subscribe – and to set a course of future action in the light of that narrative. The observations of participants contribute to that narrative, and the meaning of these observations is derived from the context in which they are made. 13 Evolution gave us a capacity to reason which, as a 2017 book by two French researchers in cognitive science, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber, explains, ‘is not geared to solitary use’. 14 Evolution has produced the collective intelligence and social norms and institutions which are ‘the secret of our success’; these social capabilities provide the reason that humans dominate the planet. 15 Multiple levels of evolutionary selection If social groups developed the division of labour and the mutualisation of risk-sharing, and subsequent millennia took these socio-economic innovations to unsurpassed levels, the outcome was equally unsurpassed levels of prosperity.

., 198 , 201 , 203–4 , 206 , 217 Singell, Larry, 74 , 78 Slaughter, Anne-Marie, 214 Sloan, Alfred, 286–7 , 412 small world models: Arrow–Debreu world, 343–5 ; and behavioural economics experiments, 116 , 141–7 ; and classical statistics, 247 ; and engineering, 352–6 ; and framing of problems, 261 , 362 , 398–400 ; and legal reasoning, 203 , 204 ; and machine intelligence, 173–7 , 185 , 263 ; of Malthus and Jevons, 358–62 ; maps as not the territory, 391–4 ; and narratives, 249–61 , 303–4 , 307–10 , 320–1 , 346 , 385 , 397 ; and non-human species, 274 ; as not ‘the world as it really is’, 96 , 100 , 252–5 , 261 , 309–10 , 320 , 342–5 , 346–51 , 352–5 , 376 , 399–400 ; and optimising behaviour, 112–13 , 116 , 129 – 30 , 155 , 166 , 170 , 334 , 382 , 399–400 ; and policy making, 346–9 ; and risk in finance theory, 421 ; and Savage’s analysis, 112–14 , 249 , 309–10 , 345 ; and styles of reasoning, 137–9 smartphones, 30–1 , 344 Smets, Philippe, 78–9 Smith, Adam, 163 , 254 , 343 , 382 , 387 ; The Wealth of Nations , 172 , 190 , 191 , 249 , 253 Smith, Ed, 263–4 Smith, John Maynard, 158 Snow, Dr John, 283 social choice theory, 440 social insurance, 161 , 192 , 427 social media, 351 social relationships: and altruism, 157 , 158 , 159–60 ; cooperation/collective intelligence, 155 , 162 , 176 , 231 , 272–7 , 279–82 , 343 , 412 , 413–17 , 432 ; economic advantages of cooperating, 159 , 160–1 ; and entrepreneurship, 431–2 ; and evolutionary science, 156–65 , 401 ; human capacity for communication/language, 159 , 161 , 162 , 172–3 , 216 , 272–7 , 408 ; mutualisation of risk, 160 , 162 , 192 , 325–6 ; networks of trust/cooperation/coordination, 17 , 155 , 272 , 274–6 , 432 ; process of forming expectations, 350–1 ; reciprocity in, 190–2 , 328 ; round of drinks phenomenon, 189–90 ; social class structure, 324 ; social kinship groups, 156 , 159–62 , 215–16 , 325 , 328–9 , 413–14 ; and trust, 162–3 , 165 social welfare, xiv–xv , 41 Socratic dialogue, 162 Solomon, King, 196 Solow, Robert, 42 Sony, 28 Soros, George, 36 , 319–20 , 336 South Korea, chaebol of, 276 South Sea bubble, 315 Soviet Union, 276 , 279 , 280 , 281 Spanish flu, 57 spectrum auctions, 257 Spence, Michael, 254 Spencer, Herbert, 157–8 Sperber, Dan, 162 , 272 , 415 St Athanasius, 99 St Francis, 116 , 127 , 130 , 167 Stalin, Joseph, 25 , 219 , 292 standard deviation, 234 Stanford, Leland, 48–9 , 427 Stanford University, 49 stationarity (mathematical/statistical term): as assumed in modelling, 333 , 339 , 340–1 , 349 , 350 , 366–7 , 371–2 , 382 ; and astronomical laws, 70 ; China and Japan’s turn inwards, 419–20 , 430 ; economics as ‘non-stationary’, 16 , 35–6 , 45–6 , 102 , 236 , 339–41 , 349 , 350 , 394–6 ; and the environment, 362 ; evolution as ‘non-stationary’, 407 , 428–9 , 430–1 ; financial sector as non-stationary, 16 , 202–3 , 268–9 , 320–1 , 331 , 333 , 339 , 366–8 , 402–3 , 406 ; and frequency distribution, 58 , 69–70 , 87 , 202 , 247 , 327 ; ‘Goodhart’s Law’, 36 ; and insurance underwriting, 327 ; and mortality tables, 57 , 69 ; and natural phenomena, 39 ; and opinion pollsters’ models, 242 ; and planetary motion, 18–19 , 35 , 373–4 , 392 , 394 ; and progress in science, 429–31 ; and reflexivity, 36 , 394 ; and resolvable uncertainties, 37 ; and risk-averse individuals, 306 ; and scientific reasoning, 18–19 , 35 , 236 , 373–4 , 388 , 392 , 429–31 ; and Value at risk models (VaR), 366–8 statistical discrimination, 207–9 , 415 statistics, xiii , xvi ; 25 standard deviation events, 6 , 68 , 235 , 331 , 366 ; bell-shaped ‘normal’ distribution, 57–8 , 233–5 , 237 ; classical statisticians, 58 , 247 ; false stories and bogus statistics, 242–6 ; frequency distribution, 38 , 40 , 57–8 , 69–70 , 72 , 86 , 87 , 202 , 247 ; lognormal distribution, 237 , 238 ; measures of central tendency , 237 ; models ignoring radical uncertainty, 15–16 ; opinion pollsters’ models, 240–2 , 390 ; power laws, 236–9 ; quota sampling, 240–1 ; random sampling, 234 , 239–41 ; ‘randomised controlled trials’ (RCTs), 243–5 ; regression analysis, 351 ; ‘scale invariance’, 238 ; standard deviation, 234 ; statistical distributions, 232–6 ; tails of ‘normal’ distribution, 14 , 40 , 166 , 233 , 234–5 , 401 ; see also probabilistic reasoning; subjective probabilities Stewkley church, 376 Stiglitz, Joseph, 254 Stockdale, Admiral James, 167–8 , 330 stomach ulcers, 284 Stoppard, Tom, Travesties , 89 strategy weekends, 180–3 , 194 , 296 , 407 string theory, 219 , 357 STS-119 space shuttle, 374 subjective probabilities: and 9 /11 terror attacks, 74–6 , 202 ; Appiah’s ‘cognitive angels’, 117–18 ; and belief in emerging scientific truth, 100 ; and Chicago School, 73–4 , 342–3 ; definition of term, 72 ; details of problem specification, 76–8 ; Ellsberg’s ‘ambiguity aversion’, 135 ; expected utility , 111–14 , 115–18 , 124–5 , 127 , 128–30 , 135 , 400 , 435–44 ; and extension of probabilistic reasoning, 71–2 ; Keynes and Knight, 72 ; and linguistic ambiguity, 98 , 100 ; and narrative complexity, 218–19 ; ‘pignistic probability’, 78–84 , 438 ; Ramsey describes, 73 ; ‘rational expectations theory, 342–5 , 346–50 ; small world-large world distinctions, 112–14 , 116 , 129–30 , 137–9 , 141–7 , 155 , 166 , 170 , 171 , 173–7 , 382 , 400 ; see also small world models; triumph over radical uncertainty, 15–16 , 20 , 72–84 , 110–14 ; two-child problem, 76–8 , 81 , 98 , 139 ; see also axiomatic rationality ‘sudden infant death syndrome’ (SIDS), 197–8 , 200–1 , 202 , 204 Suez crisis (1956), 174 Sumerians, 39 Survation, 242 Suter, Johann, 427 Sutter, John, 48–9 Swiss Re, 325–6 Switzerland, 418–19 , 426 , 428 Syrian conflict, 99 , 428 Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse (1940), 33 , 341 Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, 14 , 38–9 , 166 , 422 , 438–9 Tay Bridge disaster (1879), 33 , 341 technological advances, 161 , 258 , 275–6 , 315 , 329 , 362 , 373–4 ; America’s innovative hegemony in, 427–8 ; and evolutionary science, 429 , 430 , 431 Tehran embassy siege (1979), 8 terrorism, 7 , 74–6 , 202 , 220 , 230 , 296 Tetlock, Philip, 21–2 , 221–2 , 294–5 Thaler, Richard, 118 , 148 Thales of Miletus, 303–4 , 319 , 320 , 422 Thames embankments, London, 424–5 Thatcher, Margaret, 290–2 , 412 Theranos, 228–9 Thiel, Peter, 361–2 , 427 The Third Man (film, 1949), 418–19 Thompson, Warren, 359 Thorp, Edward, 38 , 83 Tinbergen, Jan, 134 , 341 , 346 Tolkien, J.


pages: 257 words: 77,030

A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian

Cass Sunstein, Filter Bubble, Henri Poincaré, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, Ray Kurzweil, selection bias, Socratic dialogue, stem cell, the scientific method

And you seem to think that you should be allowed to do something that harms you and not be allowed to do something that harms you. Does that make sense to you?” 10th Grader: “Not really” —Peter Boghossian, “The Socratic Method (or, Having a Right to Get Stoned)” “Often as a consequence of sustained Socratic dialogue, one realizes that one did not know something that one thought one knew.” —Peter Boghossian, “Socratic Pedagogy” The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate how to use the Socratic method as a conversational intervention to liberate people of their faith. The Socratic method may sound complicated, but essentially it’s asking questions and getting answers.


pages: 244 words: 76,192

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy

Albert Einstein, Bear Stearns, business process, complexity theory, Iridium satellite, Long Term Capital Management, NetJets, old-boy network, shareholder value, six sigma, social software, Socratic dialogue, supply-chain management

Making a personal connection has nothing to do with style. You don’t have to be charismatic or a salesperson. I don’t care what your personality is. But you need to show up with an open mind and a positive demeanor. Be informal, and have a sense of humor. A business review should take the form of a Socratic dialogue, not an interrogation. All you’ve got to prove is that you care for the people who are working for you. Whatever your respective personalities are, that’s the personal connection. The personal connection is especially critical when a leader starts something new. The business world is full of failed initiatives.


pages: 241 words: 75,417

The Last President of Europe: Emmanuel Macron's Race to Revive France and Save the World by William Drozdiak

Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, centre right, cloud computing, disinformation, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, UNCLOS, working poor

“I need you to help me carry this project forward,” Macron told the group, which included historians, philosophers, sociologists, and climate change experts. “You have a responsibility to help me structure this national debate. Not all opinions have the same value; intellectuals should know more things because they’ve read more books.”12 For nearly eight hours, Macron conducted a Socratic dialogue with the smartest minds in Europe over topics that included Algeria’s revolution, the separation of church and state, psychiatry, the rise of a carbon-neutral economy, the social impact of in-vitro fertilization, and the finer distinctions between narrative and coagulated identity. Well past midnight, Macron finally broached the subject of what to do with the Yellow Vest movement.


pages: 329 words: 88,954

Emergence by Steven Johnson

A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, edge city, epigenetics, game design, garden city movement, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, pez dispenser, phenotype, Potemkin village, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, slashdot, social intelligence, Socratic dialogue, stakhanovite, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush

By making one’s moderation powers expendable, he created the crucial property of scarcity. With only one or the other, the currency is valueless; combine the two, and you have a standard for pricing community participation that actually works. The connection between pricing and feedback is itself more than a metaphor. As a character in Jane Jacobs’s recent Socratic dialogue, The Nature of Economies, observes: “Adam Smith, back in 1775, identified prices of goods and rates of wages as feedback information, although of course he didn’t call it that because the word feedback was not in the vocabulary at the time. But he understood the idea. . . . In his sober way, Smith was clearly excited about the marvelous form of order he’d discovered, as well he should have been.


pages: 224 words: 12,941

From Gutenberg to Google: electronic representations of literary texts by Peter L. Shillingsburg

British Empire, computer age, disinformation, double helix, HyperCard, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of the telephone, means of production, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Saturday Night Live, Socratic dialogue

‘‘In Between the ‘Royal Way’ of Philology and ‘Occult Science’: Some Remarks About German Discussion on Text Constitution in the Last Ten Years.’’ TEXT 12 (1999), 31–47. ‘‘Teaching Editing–Learning Editing.’’ Problems of Editing biehefte zu editio, ed. Christa Jansohn (1999). Plato. ‘‘Ion,’’ Translated by. Trevor J. Saunders. in Plato: Early Socratic Dialogues. London: Penguin, 1987. Phaedras. Translated by R. Hackforth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952. Republic. Translated by Robin Waterfield. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Postal, Paul M. Skeptical Linguistic Essays. www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/lingu/people/ faculty/postal/papers/skeptical.pdf (downloaded 4 July 2003).


pages: 282 words: 89,266

Content Provider: Selected Short Prose Pieces, 2011–2016 by Stewart Lee

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Boris Johnson, call centre, centre right, David Attenborough, Etonian, James Dyson, Livingstone, I presume, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Socratic dialogue, trickle-down economics, wage slave, young professional

Clowns ranged through the village, making erotic overtures to elderly disabled women, showing disdain for the beautiful, throwing food in the faces of dining Anglo-American dignitaries, hurling Christian crosses from the roofs of buildings, and doing all this to force onlookers to consider what kind of a society they wanted to live in, and to assess the professed values of the society they already had. Mainstream media condemn Corbyn’s actions. On social media, free from editorial interference, those same actions receive almost blanket approval. The satirical counterweight of the Corbyn shaman clown has forced society to enact its own Socratic dialogue. Should we bow to queens? Should we sing songs that profess spiritual and political beliefs we do not have? Should we speak to Sky reporters? People on the right shake with fury at Corbyn, corbyning him mercilessly, while people on the old left tremble with anxiety over what further damage he may do to their already ruined party.


pages: 305 words: 97,214

Future Tense: Jews, Judaism, and Israel in the Twenty-First Century by Jonathan Sacks

Atahualpa, back-to-the-land, cognitive dissonance, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, long peace, Socratic dialogue, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, zero-sum game

And I speak of conversation, not ‘dialogue’, because dialogue today is associated with formal, staged encounters in which the various sides come with prepared positions. We have a surfeit of dialogues: between faiths, between religion and science, between cultures and between civilisations. Dialogues are rarely genuine encounters. Franz Rosenzweig once pointed out that Socrates’ dialogues—the greatest of their kind in philosophy—are boring, because you know in advance where they will end.2 Socrates will show that the person with whom he is talking does not really understand what he thinks he believes. The second person in the dialogue is essentially a foil for Socrates’ genius, as the only person, according to the Delphic oracle, who knew he didn’t know.


pages: 312 words: 92,131

Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning by Tom Vanderbilt

"side hustle", crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, Downton Abbey, functional fixedness, future of work, G4S, global supply chain, IKEA effect, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Maui Hawaii, meta-analysis, performance metric, personalized medicine, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, Steve Jobs, zero-sum game

THE DRAWING THAT DRAWS ITSELF: MY ADVENTURES IN ART SCHOOL Stepping from the busy sidewalks of Tribeca, with its upmarket boutiques and spin-class studios, into the New York Academy of Art, you felt as if you’d accidentally wandered into an ancient Greek agora. There were plaster columns, replicas of busts by classical sculptors, statues of muscular nudes. You half expected to stumble across a Socratic dialogue in the lobby. Housed in a five-story nineteenth-century warehouse once home to bookbinders and parasol makers, the academy was founded in 1982 by a group of people who were concerned that as art had become increasingly minimalist and conceptual, art schools were sending graduates into the world lacking many of the traditional skills of drawing and painting.


The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey

Eratosthenes, Index librorum prohibitorum, Socratic dialogue, the market place, trade route, wikimedia commons

Another scholar, during the reign of Julian the Apostate – who forbade anyone who didn’t believe in the old gods to teach works such as Homer that contained them – redrafted the entirety of biblical history in twenty-four books of Homeric hexameter and recast the Epistles and the Gospels into the form of Socratic dialogues. Fanciful intellectual genealogies were invented to defend Christianity’s favourite philosophers. Long-dead thinkers who happened to have any resemblances to Christianity in their writings found themselves adopted as unwitting ancestors in the tradition. The whiff of Christianity hung around Plato?


Calling Bullshit: The Art of Scepticism in a Data-Driven World by Jevin D. West, Carl T. Bergstrom

airport security, algorithmic bias, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bitcoin, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, disinformation, Dmitri Mendeleev, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, experimental economics, invention of the printing press, John Markoff, longitudinal study, Lyft, meta-analysis, new economy, p-value, Pluto: dwarf planet, publication bias, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Socratic dialogue, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, stem cell, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, When a measure becomes a target

It is a book about how we are inundated with it, about how we can learn to see through it, and about how we can fight back. First things first, though. We would like to understand what bullshit is, where it comes from, and why so much of it is produced. To answer these questions, it is helpful to look back into deep time at the origins of the phenomenon. Bullshit is not a modern invention. In one of his Socratic dialogues, Euthydemus, Plato complains that the philosophers known as the Sophists are indifferent to what is actually true and are interested only in winning arguments. In other words, they are bullshit artists. But if we want to trace bullshit back to its origins, we have to look a lot further back than any human civilization.


pages: 393 words: 102,801

Welcome to Britain: Fixing Our Broken Immigration System by Colin Yeo;

barriers to entry, Boris Johnson, British Empire, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, G4S, illegal immigration, immigration reform, low skilled workers, lump of labour, self-driving car, Skype, Socratic dialogue

We know that a client is unlikely to have perfect recall of the events about which they will be questioned, and we know that even if they can remember, they will be reluctant to disclose such horrible traumas, even to a sympathetic interviewer – which many are not. Good solicitors will spend many hours in multiple meetings with a client to try to piece together an account of what happened and when. The idea is that by answering questions, over time the client might, in a modern-day process of Socratic dialogue, eventually settle on what he or she considers, on reflection, to be a single version of the ‘truth’ of what happened. This will then be set out in black and white in a witness statement, at which point the ambiguity and uncertainty appears to the outside world to have fallen away. We lawyers know that this ends up producing an artificially certain, sanitised version of ‘the truth’, but we also know that failing to go through this process with a client is to consign that client to an inevitable refusal.


The Deep Learning Revolution (The MIT Press) by Terrence J. Sejnowski

AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Conway's Game of Life, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, discovery of DNA, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, Henri Poincaré, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Norbert Wiener, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, PageRank, pattern recognition, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Socratic dialogue, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize, Yogi Berra

Decades after his discovery, in 1977, Crick had moved to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla and shifted his research focus to neuroscience. He would invite researchers to visit him and have a long discussion on many topics in neuroscience, especially on vision, and David Marr was one of those visitors. At the end of Marr’s book, there is a revealing discussion in the form of a Socratic dialogue, a dialogue I later learned had arisen from Marr’s discussions with Crick. On moving to the Salk Institute in 1989, I, too, came to appreciate the value of having a dialogue with Crick. George Boole and Machine Learning In 1854, a self-taught British schoolteacher who had five daughters, some of whom were mathematically inclined, wrote a book entitled An Investigation of the Laws of Thought, which was the mathematical foundation for what is now called “Boolean logic.”


pages: 344 words: 103,532

The Big U by Neal Stephenson

anti-communist, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, invisible hand, Ronald Reagan, Socratic dialogue

All the Crotobaltislavonians had gone inside, and the professors, finding themselves in an empty lot with only the remains of a few dozen steers to keep them company, decided to re-deploy inside the Plex. There things were noisier. People who never engage in violence are quick to talk about it, especially when the people they are arguing with are elderly Greek professors unlikely to be carrying tire chains or knives. Of course, the Greek professors, who tried to engage the picketers in Socratic dialogue as they broke the picket lines, were not subject to much more than occasional pushing. Among younger academics there were genuine fights. A monetarist from Connecticut finally came to blows with an Algerian Maoist with whom he’d been trading scathing articles ever since they had shared an office as grad students.


pages: 350 words: 109,220

In FED We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic by David Wessel

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, break the buck, business cycle, central bank independence, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, debt deflation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, housing crisis, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, price stability, quantitative easing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Savings and loan crisis, savings glut, Socratic dialogue, too big to fail

Early in September, as the crises continued, the Fed made a deal with a nearby Subway to stock a refrigerator on the governors’ corridor with turkey and ham sandwiches — each with an individual expiration date. The emergency rations came in handy that night. Finally, the Fed officials conducted a Socratic dialogue — via telephone — with Bair and her staff to speed up the decision. “Has your staff told you what the [FDIC fund’s] expected loss is with Citi?” they asked. “We think it is zero,” said Bair. In other words, the most likely scenario wouldn’t require the FDIC to absorb any losses. And Wells?


pages: 335 words: 107,779

Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson

airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, British Empire, cable laying ship, call centre, cellular automata, edge city, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Kim Stanley Robinson, music of the spheres, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, packet switching, pirate software, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, trade route, Turing machine, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, X Prize

But they’re nervous that Emperor Xerxes of Persia, not the freedom-loving Leonidas, might be George Bush. Our so-called conservatives, who have cut all ties to their own intellectual moorings, now espouse policies and personalities that would get them laughed out of Periclean Athens. The few conservatives still able to hold up one end of a Socratic dialogue are those in the ostracized libertarian wing—interestingly enough, a group with a disproportionately high representation among fans of speculative fiction. The less politicized majority, who perhaps would like to draw inspiration from this story without glossing over the crazy and defective aspects of Spartan society, have turned, in droves, to a film from the alternative cultural universe of fantasy and science fiction.


pages: 414 words: 119,116

The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot

active measures, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Bonfire of the Vanities, Broken windows theory, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Doha Development Round, epigenetics, financial independence, future of work, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Kenneth Rogoff, Kibera, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, Mahbub ul Haq, meta-analysis, microcredit, New Urbanism, obamacare, paradox of thrift, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, twin studies, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor

I want to know, therefore, which approach to social justice helps provide the framework for understanding and the impetus for action on health inequities. My guide has been Professor Michael Sandel, although he doesn’t know it.4 He teaches a philosophy class at Harvard which apparently is regularly oversubscribed. Having seen him in action at my own university, I can see why. He uses everyday problems and controversies, examined in lucid Socratic dialogues with his audience, to draw out principles of political philosophy. He does not provide me with an answer to social justice and health but he provides a framework for thinking about it. Sandel distinguishes three approaches to social justice: •maximising welfare, •promoting freedom, and •rewarding virtue.


pages: 407 words: 116,726

Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe by Steven Strogatz

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Astronomia nova, Bernie Sanders, clockwork universe, complexity theory, cosmological principle, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, four colour theorem, fudge factor, Henri Poincaré, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Khan Academy, Laplace demon, lone genius, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Pierre-Simon Laplace, precision agriculture, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Socratic dialogue, Solar eclipse in 1919, Steve Jobs, the rule of 72, the scientific method

In his understandable reverence for his old master, Viviani was known to have embellished a tale or two when he wrote Galileo’s biography years after his death. But even if the story is apocryphal (and it may not be!), we do know for sure that Galileo performed careful experiments with pendulums as early as 1602 and that he wrote about them in 1638 in Two New Sciences. In that book, which is structured as a Socratic dialogue, one of the characters sounds like he was right there in the cathedral with the dreamy young student: “Thousands of times I have observed vibrations especially in churches where lamps, suspended by long cords, had been inadvertently set into motion.” The rest of the dialogue expounds on the claim that a pendulum takes the same amount of time to traverse an arc of any size.


pages: 397 words: 110,130

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Andy Carvin, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, compensation consultant, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Ian Bogost, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, superconnector, telepresence, telepresence robot, The future is already here, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, the strength of weak ties, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

“Questions are a really useful service for curing writer’s block,” as Charlie Cheever, the soft-spoken cofounder of Quora, tells me. “You might think you want to start a blog, but you wind up being afraid to write a blog post because there’s this sense of, who asked you?” Question answering provides a built-in, instant audience of at least one—the original asker. This is another legacy of Plato’s Socratic dialogues, in which Socrates asks questions of his debating partners (often faux-naive, concern-trolling ones, of course) and they pose questions of him in turn. Web authors long ago turned this into a literary form that has blossomed: the FAQ, a set of mock-Socratic questions authors pose to themselves as a way of organizing information.


pages: 384 words: 112,971

What’s Your Type? by Merve Emre

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, card file, correlation does not imply causation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Ida Tarbell, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, p-value, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Socratic dialogue, Stanford prison experiment, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

In writing “Meet Yourself,” Katharine had placed her finger on the nerve center of type’s appeal: the promise that, within each person, there lived a coherent individual who was master of her own life. This was by no means an original sentiment. Western philosophy had, for centuries, set forth a similar argument, from the Socratic dialogues to the writings of the Cynics, the Stoics, the Epicureans, and even the early Christians. In 1734, Alexander Pope had started his poem “An Essay on Man” with the command “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, / The proper study of mankind is Man.” In 1750, Benjamin Franklin, one of Katharine’s heroes, had quipped, “There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one’s self.”


pages: 459 words: 123,220

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam

assortative mating, business cycle, correlation does not imply causation, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, full employment, George Akerlof, helicopter parent, impulse control, income inequality, index card, jobless men, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, school choice, selection bias, Socratic dialogue, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the built environment, the strength of weak ties, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel, white flight, working poor

These class differences show up in parents’ actual behavior, not just their avowed priorities. Simone can’t recall ever punishing Desmond (not even “no TV for a week”). Carl likens a parent sometimes to a soccer referee (“That’s when you pull that parental card and say, ‘This is it’ ”), but as his kids got older, he preferred Socratic dialogue (“Explain to me why you are doing that. Have you thought of this?”). By contrast, Stephanie, whose parents “beat the hell” out of her, believes in very tough love (“You can’t be soft. You gotta be hard, really hard”). Despite the undoubted fact that she “love[s her] kids to death,” her first response to disobedience is a beating.


pages: 441 words: 135,176

The Edifice Complex: How the Rich and Powerful--And Their Architects--Shape the World by Deyan Sudjic

Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, colonial rule, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, megastructure, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, Peter Eisenman, Ronald Reagan, Socratic dialogue, urban planning, urban renewal, V2 rocket, Victor Gruen

The Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, known by its initials as TUHH, is one of Germany’s newest universities, established only in 1982. It has a suburban campus close to the River Elbe. It sits in a complex of mainly new buildings that have at their heart an agora stepped into semi-circular tiers for Socratic dialogue, a reflection of the belief of the town planning department’s dean, Professor Dittmar Machule, in the virtues of traditional urban forms. Machule received a grant from the German Vibrant Cities Foundation to conduct a research programme to determine what makes a city centre lively. But it was more likely that it was Machule’s work in Aleppo, the 5,000-year-old Syrian city, funded by the German Government’s technical assistance programme for conservation and rehabilitation, that attracted Atta to Hamburg in 1992.


Adam Smith: Father of Economics by Jesse Norman

"Robert Solow", active measures, Andrei Shleifer, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, Corn Laws, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, incomplete markets, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, lateral thinking, loss aversion, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, moral panic, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, scientific worldview, seigniorage, Socratic dialogue, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Veblen good, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working poor, zero-sum game

They discussed what had evidently become a rather ticklish issue for Smith. Hume had appointed him as his literary executor in January, and given him a legacy of £200 in his will. Yet it was Hume’s earnest desire that his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion should be published after his death. Framed in the style of Plato’s Socratic dialogues, the Dialogues explored—and in some cases exploded—a wide range of contemporary religious arguments, in particular as to whether belief in God was reliant on revelation or could be grounded in evidence from nature and the temporal world. They were brilliant, amusing and, Smith acknowledged, ‘finely written’.


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

index card, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, Socratic dialogue, telemarketer

The Gurugita does have an impressive spiritual lineage; it’s an excerpt from a holy ancient scripture of Yoga called the Skanda Purana, most of which has been lost, and little of which has been translated out of Sanskrit. Like much of Yogic scripture, it’s written in the form of a conversation, an almost Socratic dialogue. The conversation is between the goddess Parvati and the almighty, all-encompassing god Shiva. Parvati and Shiva are the divine embodiment of creativity (the feminine) and consciousness (the masculine). She is the generative energy of the universe; he is its formless wisdom. Whatever Shiva imagines, Parvati brings to life.


pages: 524 words: 143,596

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart

call centre, East Village, fear of failure, impulse control, land reform, Lao Tzu, Socratic dialogue, the medium is the message

Chapter Thirty-four I had only one session with Eric Cannon to try to introduce him to dice therapy, because he and his father had reached some kind of agreement whereby Eric was to be released three days later. He was naturally keyed up about leaving and didn't listen carefully as I began a Socratic dialogue to get him into dice therapy. Unfortunately, the Socratic method entails a second person at least willing to grunt periodically and since Eric remained absolutely mute I gave up and told him in a twenty-minute lecture what a dicelife was all about. He became quite alert. When I'd finished he shook his head from side to side slowly.


pages: 469 words: 145,094

Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - From America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Brady

anti-communist, Charles Lindbergh, El Camino Real, illegal immigration, index card, long peace, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Socratic dialogue

Home in his apartment in Brooklyn, Bobby went through what was becoming his routine: elimination of social engagements, long periods of solitary study, analysis of games, and a search for innovations in openings. He classified the lines he studied into stratifications of importance, always eliminating the not-quite-perfect continuation and seeking what he called the “true move,” that which could not be refuted. A Socratic dialogue raged within him: How unusual was the resulting position if he followed that particular line? Would his opponent feel at sea? Would he (Bobby) feel comfortable playing it? How would he ground himself if he had to continue to play that variation until the endgame? Grandmaster Pal Benko, a former Hungarian freedom fighter who became a U.S. citizen and, like many other chess players, an investment broker, entered Bobby’s room at the Hotel Intercontinental in Curaçao shortly after Arthur Bisguier, Bobby’s second, had arrived.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

Airbnb, airport security, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, drone strike, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, How many piano tuners are there in Chicago?, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, source of truth, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, undersea cable, urban renewal, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, éminence grise

.§ PG is the leading apostle, to not say messiah, of the startup gospel, and other than maybe Marc Andreeson, possesses the only prose style among techies that doesn’t trigger a literary gag reflex. His lucid essays dispense with any ego and pretense, and read like a how-to manual for the tech endeavor. Reflecting his background in philosophy and formal logic, his tightly argued disquisitions often read almost syllogistically, like a Socratic dialogue, as he dissects funding rounds, hiring, cash flow, and product development. Having forgotten the URL to his essay library, I entered “ycombinator.com” into my browser. The minimalist website carried a picture of a geek in a weird orange-walled room, some links to press coverage, and one link that was tantalizingly titled “Apply to get funded.


pages: 579 words: 160,351

Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now by Alan Rusbridger

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Andy Carvin, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Doomsday Book, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Filter Bubble, forensic accounting, Frank Gehry, future of journalism, G4S, high net worth, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pre–internet, ransomware, recommendation engine, Ruby on Rails, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Socratic dialogue, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler

How could they possibly do their research, read and talk to people – let alone write – if they had to spend half a day in not-very-fruitful conversations with readers? Some loved it. They found a new, easy tone of voice – the opposite of the conventional ‘columnar’ timbre – and would spend hours in their threads chatting away. Some were put off by the aggression, ignorance and spite they encountered in the threads. We might have wished for an elegant Socratic dialogue, but the responses could sometimes feel more like graffiti. ‘Think about your own tone of voice,’ Emily or George would sometimes tell disheartened or dismayed columnists. ‘Can you see how you yourself sound? Your own stridency or aggression is bound to provoke an equal and opposite response.’


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

They possessed structure, by analogy with buildings. They were made of plot and diction. Aristotle could now see the works of the bards as “representations of life,” born of the natural impulse toward imitation that begins in childhood. But he had also to account for other writing with other purposes—the Socratic dialogues, for example, and medical or scientific treatises—and this general type of work, including, presumably, his own, “happens, up to the present day, to have no name.”♦ Under construction was a whole realm of abstraction, forcibly divorced from the concrete. Havelock described it as cultural warfare, a new consciousness and a new language at war with the old consciousness and the old language: “Their conflict produced essential and permanent contributions to the vocabulary of all abstract thought.


pages: 446 words: 578

The end of history and the last man by Francis Fukuyama

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, centre right, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Herbert Marcuse, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Joan Didion, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, life extension, linear programming, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, nuclear winter, old-boy network, open economy, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Socratic dialogue, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, zero-sum game

Others have asserted that for Hegel, the dialectic was a metaphysical device that allowed one to deduce the whole of human history from a priori or logical first principles, independently of empirical data and knowledge of real historical events. This view of the dialectic is untenable; a reading of Hegel’s historical works will reveal that historical accident and contingency play a large role in them.19 The Hegelian dialectic is similar to its Platonic predecessor, the Socratic dialogue, that is, a conversation between two human beings on some important subject like the nature of the good or the meaning of justice. Such discussions are resolved on the basis of the principle of contradiction: that is, the less self-contradictory side wins, or, if both are found in the course of the conversation to be self-contradictory, then a third position emerges free of the contradictions of the initial two.


pages: 597 words: 172,130

The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire by Neil Irwin

"Robert Solow", Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, break the buck, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency peg, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Flash crash, foreign exchange controls, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Google Earth, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, Julian Assange, low cost airline, market bubble, market design, Money creation, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, Paul Samuelson, price stability, quantitative easing, rent control, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, savings glut, Socratic dialogue, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, WikiLeaks, yield curve, Yom Kippur War

When it wasn’t international central bankers pummeling the Fed, it was animated bunnies. In a seven-minute YouTube video created by Omid Malekan, then a thirty-year-old real estate manager, two animated animals with computer-generated voices—whether they were in fact rabbits or bears or pigs or dogs was hard to say—engaged in a Socratic dialogue about “the quantitative easing” that had been launched by “the Ben Bernank” to benefit “the Goldman Sachs.” The video went viral; by mid-December, it had been viewed 3.5 million times. That November, after two of Bernanke’s closest advisers at the Fed, Governor Kevin Warsh and communications chief Michelle Smith, had each been sent links to the video multiple times, they concluded that they needed to show it to the chairman.


pages: 735 words: 165,375

The Survival of the City: Human Flourishing in an Age of Isolation by Edward Glaeser, David Cutler

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, business cycle, buttonwood tree, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, discovery of penicillin, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Fellow of the Royal Society, future of work, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, global village, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, industrial cluster, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, job automation, jobless men, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Snow's cholera map, knowledge worker, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, means of production, megacity, meta-analysis, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, out of africa, place-making, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, remote working, Richard Florida, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Socratic dialogue, spinning jenny, superstar cities, Tax Reform Act of 1986, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, union organizing, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

Unions will need to get higher wages if they are to agree that their members will be punished and fired more for misbehavior. The Urban Opportunity Gap A police department’s DNA has roots in the regimented legions of ancient Rome, but a public school’s antecedents lie in the chaotic Socratic dialogues in the agora of Athens. Top-down reform comes far more naturally to one than the other. No school district superintendent has ever enjoyed the power that Ray Kelly wielded over the New York City Police Department. Reforming education is difficult because different people want different things from our schools, and because measuring school performance is even harder than measuring the decency of police departments.


pages: 611 words: 186,716

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

British Empire, clean water, dark matter, defense in depth, digital map, edge city, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, Mason jar, pattern recognition, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, the scientific method, Turing machine, wage slave

New Atlantis has many fine artists." "Oh, come now. Why do all of them come from outside the tribe, as you did? Really, Mr. Hollywood, would you have taken the Oath at all if your prominence as a theatrical producer had not made it advantageous for you to do so?" "I think I will choose to interpret your question as part of a Socratic dialogue for my edification," Carl Hollywood said carefully, "and not as an allegation of insincerity on my part. As a matter of fact, just before I encountered you, I was enjoying my cigar, and looking about at London, and thinking about just how well it all suits me." "It suits you well because you are of a certain age now.


pages: 716 words: 192,143

The Enlightened Capitalists by James O'Toole

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, collective bargaining, compensation consultant, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, desegregation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, end world poverty, equal pay for equal work, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, means of production, Menlo Park, North Sea oil, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Socratic dialogue, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, traveling salesman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, Vanguard fund, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

Because the risk-taking waterline is subjective in any company, and dependent on varying circumstances, Gore would enter into a dialogue with his people, analyzing the various real and hypothetical situations they would posit, engaging with them for as long as it took for a shared consensus to emerge on what constituted a waterline decision. Such discussions took a long time; in fact, they were ongoing at W. L. Gore & Associates. One purpose of those Socratic dialogues was to allow Gore to communicate and reinforce the company’s principles, purpose, and philosophy. In effect, it was through such continuing discussions that Gore’s associates came to understand fully why the company was structured as it was, and what they should do to make it succeed without the need of constant supervision or time-wasting approvals from higher-ups.


pages: 685 words: 203,431

The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant

George Santayana, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, long peace, mass immigration, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, music of the spheres, Plutocrats, plutocrats, science of happiness, Socratic dialogue, the market place, the scientific method

.) $2.50. Plato: Works of, edited by Prof. Irwin Edman. (Simon & Schuster.) $2.50. Plato: Republic. Translated by Jowett. (Oxford.) 2 volumes. $2.85. Plato: Republic. Translated by H. Spens. Everyman’s Library. (Dutton.) $.80. Plato: Dialogues. Everyman’s Library. (Dutton.) $.80. Plato: Four Socratic Dialogues. Translated by Jowett. (Oxford.) $1.70. Aristotle: Ethics. Translated by D. P. Chase. Everyman’s Library. (Dutton.) $.80. Aristotle: Ethics. Translated by Bishop Welldon. (Macmillan.) $2.75. Aristotle: Politics. Translated by Jowett. (Oxford.) $1.70. Aristotle: Politics. Translated by William Ellis.


pages: 773 words: 220,140

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

Berlin Wall, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, invisible hand, Kickstarter, moral panic, nuclear winter, Own Your Own Home, Socratic dialogue

Sometimes you'll be walking in the city late at night, and a woman walking in front of you will spin her head around and then cross the street simply because some members of your gender rape women and molest children!" Each class was equally bewildering, covering a diverse range of topics. He tried to encourage me to engage him in Socratic dialogues, but he wound up doing both parts himself. When there was a blackout during an electrical storm, Dad would light a candle and hold it under his chin to show me how the human face becomes a mask of evil with the right kind of lighting. He taught me that if I had to meet someone for an appointment, I must refuse to follow the "stupid human habit" of arbitrarily choosing a time based on fifteen-minute intervals.


The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease by Lanius, Ruth A.; Vermetten, Eric; Pain, Clare

conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, delayed gratification, epigenetics, false memory syndrome, impulse control, intermodal, longitudinal study, meta-analysis, Mount Scopus, Nelson Mandela, p-value, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, Socratic dialogue, theory of mind, twin studies, yellow journalism

Guided by the therapist, the patient identifies and challenges distortions created from the trauma in three cognition domains:€the self, others and the world. Patients learn to replace or change these cognitive distortions with more adaptive and healthy beliefs through the examination of beliefs using Socratic Dialogue and Challenging Beliefs worksheets. Disruptive or dysfunctional beliefs are often referred to as “stuck points,” making them more concrete and thus more challengeable. Common byproducts of traumatic experiences include feeling out of control or feeling hopeless. Therefore, CPT focuses on personal safety, trust, power/control, esteem and intimacy within each of the three domains.


pages: 767 words: 208,933

Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist by Alex Zevin

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, Columbine, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, desegregation, disinformation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, hiring and firing, imperial preference, income inequality, interest rate derivative, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Khartoum Gordon, land reform, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Journalism, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Norman Macrae, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Seymour Hersh, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, Steve Bannon, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War, young professional

He also penned lively books updating the Cobdenite trinity of peace, retrenchment and reform for a new era in Free Trade and Other Fundamental Doctrines of the Manchester School in 1902, Local Government in England (co-authored) in 1903, Adam Smith in 1904, Monopolies, Trusts, and Kartels in 1905. Arbiter in Council, written in 1906, was a Socratic dialogue on war from biblical times to the present. It made the case for international arbitration, and raised his profile with yet another strata of liberals: the legal scholar F. W. Maitland, the world’s richest man Andrew Carnegie and his Endowment for International Peace, and Sir Robert Reid, future Lord Chancellor, with whom Hirst worked on proposals to revise maritime law (for the free passage of merchant ships in wartime) at the second Hague Conference in 1907.31 Amidst all this he married Helena Cobden, Richard’s great-niece, in 1903 – and travelled widely.


The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, interchangeable parts, Plutocrats, plutocrats, rent control, Socratic dialogue, traveling salesman, yellow journalism, zero-coupon bond

I’ll give you an audit…right away. I’m gonna tell you something. I’m gonna tell you something about capitalism north of Ninety-sixth Street. Why do you people think you’re investing all this money, your $350,000, in a day-care center in Harlem? Why are you?” Fiske said nothing. Reverend Bacon’s Socratic dialogues made him feel childish and helpless. But Bacon insisted. “Now, you go ahead and tell me. I want to hear it from you. Like you say, we’re going to have an audit. An audit. I want to hear it from you in your own words. Why are you people investing all this money in a day-care center in Harlem?


pages: 970 words: 302,110

A Man in Full: A Novel by Tom Wolfe

Albert Einstein, Bonfire of the Vanities, edge city, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, global village, hiring and firing, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South of Market, San Francisco, walking around money

Smiley, Rudy Brauer... they had this end named Goodykoontz, I remember him .. "Unnh-hunnnh," said Fanon, "but what'd they be?" "Wha'ya mean, what?" said Charlie. Fanon said, "How many uv'em was African Americans?" Roger sagged back in his chair and closed his eyes. He knew exactly where this little Socratic dialogue of Fareek's was heading. Why had he, Roger Too White, been so foolish as to tell Fareek that all the records set by Southeastern Conference greats of long ago didn't mean but so much, because all black athletes were shut out of the competition by racial segregation? Why had he told Fareek that at the very least all the records in the record books of that time should have asterisks with a footnote reading "Black athletes"—or, rather, "African-American athletes"—Fareek had already picked up the new nomenclature on his own—"African-American athletes denied access to Conference schools"?


pages: 1,020 words: 339,564

The confusion by Neal Stephenson

correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, out of africa, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, spice trade, urban planning, web of trust

Has he recovered from that nasty rash?” “You have quite lost me, sir. I do not even know the name of the Duke of Parma, much less the medical condition of his youngest son.” “That was already obvious,” said Leibniz, “for he has no sons—two daughters only.” “I am beginning to feel like the Dim Interlocutor in a Socratic dialogue. What is your point?” “If you asked the Duke of Parma about Leibniz, he might recognize the name vaguely, but he would know nothing of Natural Philosophy, and of course it is absurd to think he would entrust a daughter to me, or you, on a journey. Almost all the nobility are like the Duke of Parma.


pages: 1,330 words: 372,940

Kissinger: A Biography by Walter Isaacson

Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Great Grain Robbery, haute couture, index card, Khyber Pass, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Norman Mailer, oil shock, out of africa, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, Socratic dialogue, Yom Kippur War

“There is nothing instructive in what I wrote.” “The Chairman’s writings moved a nation and changed the world,” said Nixon. “I’ve only been able to change a few places in the vicinity of Beijing,” Mao replied. Rather than discoursing on his worldview, Mao conveyed his thoughts through a bantering Socratic dialogue that guided his guests, with deceptive casualness, toward his conclusions. His elliptical comments seemed to Kissinger like the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave, in that they reflected reality but did not encompass it. For the rest of the week, Chinese officials would cite Mao’s phrases from the hour-long meeting as being concrete guidance verging on gospel.