Thursday, November 23, 2017

(Re-)Gendering Utopia: Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer


Ada Palmer's Seven Surrenders is the sequel to her first book, Too Like the Lightning, which was my favorite novel of 2016.

The "new world smell" has worn off by the second volume and I could never really follow all the levels of intrigue, but there are still plenty of ideas about utopia, gender, sex, politics, philosophy, history, religion, etc. to keep you thinking in this second book.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Conference on Buddhism and Skepticism




I am excited to be taking part in the following workshop next week in Hamburg, Germany.  If I have time, maybe I'll write a blog post about how it goes, so stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, here is the information, which I have also cross-posted at the Indian Philosophy Blog.


Buddhism and Scepticism: Historical, Philosophical, and Comparative Approaches
Date
November 14-16, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fall TV Round Up, Part One: The Orville and Star Trek: Discovery



There has been a lot of new science fiction/fantasy TV this fall.  Some of my favorites from last year, like The Good Place and Stranger Things, are back, and I'll get to those in Part Two.  One unique thing about fall 2017 is that we've been graced with not one, but two new space opera shows.  It's a good year for space ships on TV, I guess.  So without further ado, here are some thoughts on The Orville and Star Trek: Discovery!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Newsletter: "B. K. Matilal: The Past and Future of the Study of Indian Philosophy”



Although this blog is mainly an excuse for me to geek out about science fiction (philosophically, of course), occasionally I like to post about my professional academic philosophy endeavors (although I would like to think the study of Indian philosophy will continue far into the future!).  Here's something I've been working on over the past several months that I'm excited to announce!
I have co-edited, along with Prasanta Bandyopadhyay, the Fall 2017 edition of the APA Newsletter on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies.  The theme of the issue is “B. K. Matilal: The Past and Future of the Study of Indian Philosophy.”  I am happy to announce that the issue is now available!

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Contingencies of Histories: Ultima by Stephen Baxter



Stephen Baxter is one of my favorite practitioners of so-called "hard science fiction" (a sub-genre generally longer on scientific speculation and Big Ideas than things like characterization and plot).  Hard SF is not everyone's cup of tea, but Baxter brews some of the best hard SF tea there is.  With Ultima, I particularly enjoyed thinking about the contingency of history in addition to Baxter's usual Arthur C. Clarke-style cosmic scale business.

Friday, October 20, 2017

I Believe You

Last weekend the hashtag #metoo was shared by millions of people on social media.  This hashtag was mostly – but not exclusively – posted by women, often accompanied by stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault.  You can read more about the origin of the idea here

I have yet to comment on #metoo.  I don’t think at the speed of the internet, and besides, the last thing I want to do is make this about me.

I do want to say this: to everyone who posted #metoo and to those who could not, I believe you. Of course, there’s a hashtag for that, too - #ibelieveyou.  But I want to dig a bit beneath the hashtag, something that can be helped by a stubborn tendency to think more slowly than the internet.