Summarize "The Age of the Essay"
Quantum Mechanics. What happens if we take the quantum view of the world literally?
Consider the dual-slit experiment as a start state, two intermediate states, and a final state?
The system is static. What does it look like? What about other states? Why don't the probabilities of going via them mean that probabilities can't be conserved or stable?
What if we put a classical clock in the system? What does time even mean in a static phase-diagram type universe? What does a phase diagram look like if we look at it as a map for moving classical probabilities around?
What about a system with a single particle on a finite ring of states? What does momentum mean for it?
If that's a basis of position states, what does the corresponding basis of momentum states look like?
What happens if you make a random blog post inviting people to the pictures (I'm going to see either An Education or Fantastic Mr Fox at the Arts Cinema tonight at 21:00 if anyone wants to come.)
Condense the very boring ubuntu installation blog into something readable. Is this even possible?
How to solve the Workout in the Times? It's easy by hand, but what are we doing when solving it? How would a computer do it? How do we define hard? Is there a computer method which finds the same things hard as I do? What should the recursion be for generating all possible divisions of a square into rectangles? If we can do that we can generate puzzles with unique answers.
Another useful tool is "Try to explain it to a foreigner". Example is the controversy over parents cheating to get their children into better schools. Why are they doing anything wrong? They've both paid the same for their education. How can they be stealing off the people rich enough to live near the good schools? If we can think about it like that, why can't we say that rich people who live near good schools but are sending their kids to private schools are doing a public service and should be compensated?
Disabled baby case. Mother wants it to live, Father wants it to die. Needs judgement of Solomon. Remember two mothers fighting for baby. Not necessarily correct, but right. If we had a consciousness-swapper, how would we organise a literal contest between the two, using the prize of swapping their consciousness with the baby's? Would Solomon want to kill half the baby? What about killing half the baby's brain?
Lymington's secret dentist. Try to explain that to a foreigner. Perhaps a foreign dentist.
The life of Mohammed. Can't make a film because not allowed to depict prophet. What about making a first-person shooter? Can we do the voice of the prophet? What about God? A burning bush? If you can't record the voice of God, isn't the Koran blasphemous of itself? If it isn't, could the burning bush (possibly off camera) speak literal verses of the Koran? Could we do a life of Mo computer game? Should it be an FPS or should it be real-time strategy? What do we have to preach for the religion to spread. Other players could represent competing desert religions. The climax could be a battle for Mecca with all the followers so far recruited.
Blogging software should allow readers to highlight the boring/unconvincing/funny bits. If we want continuously variable colourings then do we have to pick three primary attributes?
What's wrong with revenge? Revenge is the foundation of civilized society. The first duty of the state is to prevent the blood feud, and it does this by nationalizing the duty of revenge.