This weekend we had a pretty exciting philosophy of physics conference here in the big red R. Sean Carroll was there.  Oh, you don’t know who Sean Carroll is?  Well, he’s famous, he has a blog, and he just wrote a book, which I will read as soon as a friendly man in a brown uniform drops it at my door.   [Warning: this post may be long]

Carroll’s project is very similar to David Albert’s in Time and Chance: he’s trying to locate the arrow of time in thermodynamics, claiming that t1 is in the future of t­0 just in case t1 has higher entropy than t0 and there is a steady entropy increase between the two.  Entropy, roughly, measures chaos—a box in which particles are all spread out has more entropy than one where particles are all bunched up in a corner, my office has more entropy than Meghan’s, and  Jackson Pollock’s paintings have more entropy than Piet Mondrian’s.
I’ve been saying for a while that we (grad students in philosophy at Rutgers) should have a blog. So here it is. You should all by now have had an email giving you the username and password (ask me if not) so you can start posting at once!

Here’s what I think the blog might be used for:

  • People might want to blog about half-formed philosophical ideas, which they want comments on.
  • People giving grad talks might want to post abstracts in advance, to get everyone interested.
  • We could use the blog to have follow-up discussions on grad talks, colloquia etc..
  • People could post questions (“Which logic textbook is best?”, “Where can I find this paper?” and so on).
  • Social events could be announced on the blog, as well as details of the successes of the departmental sports teams.
  • People who run reading groups could post reminders and links to readings on the blog.