Editor's Note: Epilepsy is not a Mental Illness
This past week Big Think published a post by Mark Roeder that compared the financial system to epilepsy. After reviewing reader comments, Mr. Roeder has published a corrected version, which can be viewed here. The corrected version has also been re-posted to Facebook here. In addition, Mr. Roeder has issued this comment:
I apologize if this article has caused offense, which was certainly not my intention. All references to mental illness have been removed from the post. However, I stand by the accuracy and usefulness of the analogy because it is clear that there are some remarkable similarities between the epileptic brain and the modern financial system. It would be unfortunate if these similarities could not be explored for fear of upsetting people. Otherwise we would be confined to analyzing the financial system solely through the prism of economics, which has not served us well recently.
Big Think has also decided to issue the following editor's note.
While the original headline in Mr. Roeder's article identified epilepsy as a mental illness, that was in error. As Mr. Roeder noted, the headline has now been changed, along with additional corrections throughout the article.
We would also like to point out that the subject of Mr. Roeder's article is about financial trading, not mental illness. He erred in conflating epilepsy with mental illness, and Big Think erred in publishing the article with that headline.
However, we stand by Mr. Roeder's article, which we consider an interesting and legitimate way of rethinking the financial system. We also recognize the pitfalls that are inherent in cross-disciplinary thinking. Not everyone is an expert in every field.
It is our hope and belief that the Web as a whole and this site in particular can serve as a platform for advancing knowledge, that is to say, a place where people can synthesize feedback and correct and amend mistakes.
We certainly hope that is what happens in this case.
The Russian-built FEDOR was launched on a mission to help ISS astronauts.
Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Picking up where we left off a year ago, a conversation about the homeostatic imperative as it plays out in everything from bacteria to pharmaceutical companies—and how the marvelous apparatus of the human mind also gets us into all kinds of trouble.
- "Prior to nervous systems: no mind, no consciousness, no intention in the full sense of the term. After nervous systems, gradually we ascend to this possibility of having to this possibility of having minds, having consciousness, and having reasoning that allows us to arrive at some of these very interesting decisions."
- "We are fragile culturally and socially…but life is fragile to begin with. All that it takes is a little bit of bad luck in the management of those supports, and you're cooked…you can actually be cooked—with global warming!"