Our own Matthew Tedrow alerts us to an article in ScienceAlert that "[m]athematicians have finally figured out the three cubed numbers that add up to 42. This has settled a problem that has been pondered for 65 years: namely, can each of the natural numbers below 100 be expressed as the sum of three cubes?" Douglas Adams would be pleased.
An article in Aeon, "No absolute time: Two centuries before Einstein, Hume recognised that universal time, independent of an observer’s viewpoint, doesn’t exist" argues that Einstein's development of the Special Theory of Relativity was shaped in part by his studies of Hume's Treatise–particularly as it pertains to non-Newtonian conceptions of time.
From time to time we have students so enamored of philosophical inquiry that they seek to pursue it professionally as university or college professors of philosophy. Due to the ongoing scarcity of academic positions for philosophers, our usual response is to steer students towards law school or medical school. Watching extremely talented and productive colleagues desperately struggle to find even temporary positions no doubt shades our perceptions of the prospects of a building a career in philosophy.
To be sure, being steered one way or the other is not exactly the same as making fully informed decisions--particularly decisions which require extraordinary effort, self-determination, and self-discipline.
To that end, 80,000hours.org is carrying an impressively comprehensive discussion by William MacAskill (Oxford), further developed by Arden Koehler (NYU Philosophy Graduate Student) on careers in philosophy (not all of them academic!) and the pros and cons of its pursuit.
The Mellon Foundation is carrying an interview with investment fund manager Bill Miller (who made waves with a 75 million dollar donation to the philosophy program at Johns Hopkins University) on the practical--and not so practical--value of studying philosophy. From the interview,
I was recently giving a talk at a conference, and there was a speaker there who specialized in disruptive technologies and had a PhD in computer science. He described all the different technologies that would be changing significantly over the next 10 to 20 years and would upend the work force. During the audience Q and A, somebody asked, "If that's the case, what should we advise our children to do, because so many of the things that they would be trained for might become obsolete?”
This Monday, March 4th, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. in UC-317 (Marlin Room), it is our great pleasure to award the first McClellan Awards Ceremony. All are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided.
Please come help us celebrate the accomplishments of our students!