This is the first post in what I hope to be an important new part of my creative life. I thought I would begin by saying a bit about where this site has come from and where it is headed.
A chapter in my life came to a close in June 2014 when I completed my PhD in philosophy at UC San Diego. Since then, I have been working, perhaps fumbling, to put together my post-PhD career. Currently, I teach Philosophy of Science courses at Rowan University and spend some time as a guest in the Princeton Philosophy Department. I also plan to do some additional teaching at Rowan College of Burlington County.
Teaching is wonderful, but let’s talk about that another time. As an academic philosopher, I am also expected to write. I wrote my dissertation on the 17th century philosopher Francis Bacon and what he might be able to teach us about the possibility of certainty in science. For years now I have been writing somewhat technical analyses of Bacon’s ideas for an audience that I can count on the fingers of one or two hands.
For a couple of years, I have also been working, in fits and starts, on another project, a sci-fi novel about a secret society that has uncovered the key to medical immortality. Because death is always possible—even the most advanced medicine won’t save you from a supernova—many of these immortals have developed an unhealthy aversion to risk-taking. The novel has a number of deeply philosophical themes, but it also aims to be a page-turner.
For a while now, I have been wrestling with the question of how to do more of the creative work that I enjoy and less of the creative work that I dread—and how to make a career of it. That last bit is the difficult part.
That is where this website and blog come in. I have stories to tell and ideas to share, and in keeping with trends elsewhere in the marketplace, I think I can cut out the middleman of academia by taking some of my work straight to you.
A mission statement is one of the hardest things to write, but I offer the following tentative attempt at one: Ever since Aristophanes, in his Clouds, ridiculed Socrates for supposedly making the weaker argument seem sound, the clouds have been a metaphor for ideas that are divorced from the real world. As a philosopher and thinker concerned with life here on earth, I hope to reclaim that metaphor by offering a big picture perspective on ideas that matter. I am especially interested in the role of science and technology in human life and in what we can do to accelerate their progress. Hang around for a while and read my notes from the clouds.