Nerd Nite Baltimore!

I’ll be speaking at Nerd Nite Baltimore 8 on April 18th. My talk, “The Needs of the Many and the Needs of the Few,” will explore ethics in Star Trek and how they apply in the real world: In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (WOK) and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (SFS), an ethical dilemma was posed. In WOK, Spock sacrificed his own life to save the ship and his shipmates, explaining to Kirk, that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. But in SFS, Kirk sacrifices his ship to save Spock,

A Mathematician, a Different Kind of Mathematician, and a Statistician

So I am in a meeting recently, and someone says he needs a mathematician. A second person points at me and says, “He’s not just a mathematician. He’s a mathematician, a different kind of mathematician, and a statistician.” Then I had to explain it. See, the phrase, on the top of this blog, on my Twitter bio, and many other places, is also on the top of my resume. And the second person had interviewed me. And he asked me about it. It’s not all that clever. I stole it from an episode of The Simpsons.1 In season 5, in

And Behind Door #3…

I am in Atlanta right now and tomorrow morning I am giving a talk on the SMBC cartoon, “An Ethical Trilemma”: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – An Ethical Trilemma No Description Despite the punchline, “So far, no ethicists are impressed with the Monty Hall Trolley Problem,” I am impressed with the problem. It represents a much more interesting problem than the comic gives it credit for. You can check out my slides here: This is an embedded Microsoft Office presentation, powered by Office Online. Also, as an aside, this is my first presentation since going to work for the Johns

Read My Response to What Parents Need to Know about Pokémon GO

There’s been a lot of talk about the Pokémon-based robberies, the Pokémon stabbing, and even a guy who quit his job to play Pokémon full time. There’s often a reaction when something new and different comes out, and we are used to it. Every generation complains the next is going to hell. Today’s edition brings a game that has swept the English-speaking world and will soon take the rest. Amanda Yates of Highya asks what parents need to know about Pokémon GO. While there’s a focus on risks, I told the story of how my children and I play the

Listen to My Interview About “the Purge” on KPHX

On Saturday, I discussed the ethics of The Purge on Breakthrough Entertainment on KPHX in Phoenix. While The Purge is a bad horror movie, some of the underlying ethical ideas exposed raise some interesting questions. In addition, I discussed how some of the ideas in The Purge reflect the current political environment and oter historical parallels. I also talked about some antecedent media that addressed these ideas including “The Return of the Archons”, “The Lottery”, and The Hunger Games.