Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
astronomical clock
Rachel Carson

Category: Natural Science

We’re excited that you’ve joined the conversation! At HMU, we want to continue the great authors’ conversations in a contemporary context, and this blog will help us do that. We look back to Aristotle and the early philosophers who used reason and discourse to gain wisdom and now we endeavor to do the same every day.

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February 16, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Every January, our Quarterly Discussion centers around Natural Science. Since I was recently reading Carlo Rovelli’s book Anaximander and the Birth of Science, I decided to focus this discussion on the rift between science and philosophy. This is a subject which Rovelli writes about extensively. Honestly, I don’t fully understand the discord, so I used this discussion to better comprehend the places where science and philosophy meet as well as the places which cause the most debate.

 » Read more about: January Quarterly Discussion Review  »

July 14, 2023

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Following our discussion series “What the Greeks Can Teach Us About AI,” I have become increasingly interested in understanding the uses and reasons for using artificial intelligence (AI). Throughout the series, participants repeated the notion that AI was simply a tool. While I believe this is true, I keep returning to the question: what is AI a tool for?

 » Read more about: A Different Sort of Tool  »

February 10, 2023

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Before reading the ideas in this blog, I invite you to view a piece by artist M.C. Escher and listen to the “Endlessly Rising Canon” by Bach.

In his book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter paraphrases Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem as follows: “All consistent axiomatic formulations of number theory include undecidable propositions.” Although this is not where January’s Quarterly Discussion started,

 » Read more about: Aristotle and Hofstadter  »

August 26, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

From Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

“I wonder whether what I see and seem to understand about nature is merely one of the accidents of freedom, repeated by chance before my eyes, or whether it has any counterpart in the worlds beyond Tinker Creek. I find in quantum mechanics a world symbolically similar to my world at the creek.

 » Read more about: A Peek at Knowledge  »

August 12, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

At HMU, we place a great deal of importance on asking vital questions. I continuously work towards finding helpful, insightful, deep questions which enables me to better understand an author’s perspective. Thinking in this way opens pathways to asking insightful questions of our world. Two authors help to elaborate this notion: Annie Dillard in her investigation of nature;

 » Read more about: Annie Dillard and the Science of Can and Can’t  »

July 8, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Happiness is of such importance that the Declaration of Independence uses it as a foundational principle. Considering its importance in my own society, one would think that I thoroughly understand the term. However, it is as slippery today as it has always been. Sometimes I believe that my own personal happiness is necessary because it will assist me to support those around me.

 » Read more about: Where is Happiness  »

April 22, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Today is Earth Day, which celebrates earth’s wonderful variety. It is startling to think how small we are in the scope of things. That thought alone helps me attend to the beauty of this planet. From my window I can see a number of different types of grasses, wild flowers, trees and birds. I cannot imagine the number of insects and other living organisms that surround me.

 » Read more about: Sofa in the Arroyo  »

April 15, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

A few random discussions inspired these thoughts about the way that scholarship has changed throughout the years. Additionally, I have been reading three very different books, which brings up questions of classification. I do not really care to categorize them. They simply demonstrate the fact that works that cross borders and incorporate multiple disciplines speak to me. So, for the next few paragraphs,

 » Read more about: Lazy Scholarship  »

April 8, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

I spent the past few months investigating Artificial Intelligence (AI). Though it resides far outside of my educational background, AI actually affects nearly every field. More importantly, however, is how little understood it is. I have asked numerous people to define it, but in response I get a handful of vague answers. Encyclopedia Britannica says that it is “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” It often includes thought processes such as reasoning,

 » Read more about: Artificial Intelligence  »

January 14, 2022

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Though I do not excel at problem solving, I always like to know that someone has a plan. I like the security of emergency plans in hotels, for example. In the outdoors, I have first-aid supplies for all sorts of possibilities. And I never leave home without water and gear to change a tire. So while recently reading Bill Gates’s book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and The Breakthroughs We Need,

 » Read more about: Book Review: How to Avoid a Climate Disaster  »

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