The Course of Reason

Seth Kurtenbach

Seth Kurtenbach's photo

Seth Kurtenbach is pursuing his PhD in computer science at the University of Missouri. His current research focuses on the application of formal logic to questions about knowledge and rationality. He has his Master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Missouri, and is growing an epic beard in order to maintain his philosophical powers. You can email Seth at or follow him on Twitter: @SJKur.


Justin Bieber

December 30, 2013

Justin Bieber is...

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The Brain: A User’s Manual

December 24, 2013

If you are reading this, then you have a brain. Thus far you've achieved great things with your brain, and you should be proud! Right now you are decoding a system of arbitrary symbols that represent phonemes of words in the English language, and that is no trivial task. What else can you do with your brain? It is a good idea to try and figure that out. We don't know for sure the limits of the brain, but through lots of hard work, we've made some progress.

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October 1, 2013

Every once in a while, it is good to say, "hey, we appreciate you," to someone. Hemant, we at CFI On Campus appreciate you. To show our appreciation, we give you this.

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How to Solve a Problem

September 24, 2013

"Algorithm" is a scary word. You probably just threw up a little bit, a little fear puke, from reading it just now. Also, it is hard to look at. The first part is easy: "Algo." That is easy to look at. But then your eyes hit that second part and just sort of get lost in a tangled mess of letters that have no business hanging out together. To what black magic does this dark word refer? The goal of this post is to kind of answer that question, and to make algorithms less scary for you.

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NASA’s bureaucratic struggle

September 17, 2013

NASA is in trouble, and we're told the culprit is directional drift. Directional drift is the lack of a clear consensus on NASA's overall mission. Ever since NASA accomplished its last clear objective, beating the Soviets to the moon, it has adopted a splintered one-shot mission approach to procuring funding and establishing purpose. This strategy is a failed one, because specific, clearly defined objectives are death for government agencies. In order to survive, a government agency needs a broad, general objective that is just barely defined enough to have its success measurable.

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