17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Success as Proof of Virtue

Ivanka contrasts “proactive” people, who are “passionate and productive,” with “negative people,” those who are “swayed by the external and are frequently the victim of circumstance.” Her worldview, it turns out, is not so different from her father’s. Both see society through the lens of quasi-mystical corporate self-help, the sort pioneered by Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking and a major influence on Donald Trump. In their schema, success is pr...
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28 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 "Sagan" as a Unit of Measurement

Carl Sagan was an American cosmologist, astronomer, and absolute tireless champion of the sciences in the public sphere. He was the author, co-editor, or editor of almost two dozen science books, and the host the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos. Sagan was well known for his excitement in talking about science, especially cosmological issues, and would strongly enunciate the M sound in millions and the B sound in billions to emphasize just how big the numbers were and properly diff...
Folksonomies: science geek fun sagan
Folksonomies: science geek fun sagan
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From the trademark "Billions and Billions." "Billions" is plural, meaning greater than two, so billions and billions at minimum equals four.

16 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Ideas and Principles are Independent of People

In truth, ideas and principles are independent of men; the application of them and their illustration is man's duty and merit. The time will come when the author of a view shall be set aside, and the view only taken cognizance of. This will be the millennium of Science.
Folksonomies: memes ideas
Folksonomies: memes ideas
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Science will attain a new level of prosperity if we put men aside and focus on the ideas.

26 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 "Peculiar Difficulties" of Geology

Geology has its peculiar difficulties, from which all other sciences are exempt. Questions in chemistry may be settled in the laboratory by experiment. Mathematical and philosophical questions may be discussed, while the materials for discussion are ready furnished by our own intellectual reflections. Plants, animals and minerals, may be arranged in the museum, and all questions relating to their intrinsic principles may be discussed with facility. But the relative positions, the shades of di...
Folksonomies: geology
Folksonomies: geology
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Other sciences have clear demarcations and methods of experimentation, while Geology is more muddled. I think the author overestimates the certainty of species classification.

28 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Thoughts on a Collapsing Wall

One summer day, while I was walking along the country road on the farm where I was born, a section of the stone wall opposite me, and not more than three or four yards distant, suddenly fell down. Amid the general stillness and immobility about me the effect was quite startling. ... It was the sudden summing up of half a century or more of atomic changes in the material of the wall. A grain or two of sand yielded to the pressure of long years, and gravity did the rest.
Folksonomies: geology
Folksonomies: geology
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A stone wall collapses, and the author imagines the half-century of atomic changes that brought about the mini avalanche.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Dr. Frankenstein as Scientific Hubris

I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the Thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful Engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. Frightful must it be, for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world. His success would terrify the artist; he would rush away from his odious handiwork, horror-st...
Folksonomies: science antiscience hubris
Folksonomies: science antiscience hubris
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From the author's introduction to her book.

31 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Activities With Children

After my children turned 3, I employed some fun activities to improve executive function, roughly based on the canonical work of Adele Diamond. I would tell them that today was “opposite day. When I held up a drawn picture of the night, an inky black background sprinkled with stars, they were supposed to say “day.” When I held up a picture with a big blue sky inhabited by a big yellow sun, they were supposed to say “night.” I would alternate the pictures with increasing rapidity ...
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Some activities the author engages with his children to teach them self-control.

17 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Attempts to Discern the Authorship of the Treatise of the...

here have been but few scholars whose religious beliefs were dubious, who have not been credited with the authorship of this treatise. Avervoes, a famous Arabian commentator on Aristotle's works, and celebrated for his learning, was the first to whom this production was attributed. He lived about the middle of the twelfth century when the three impostors "were first spoken of. He was not a Christian, as he treated their religion as "the Impossible," nor a Jew, whose law he called "a Religion...
Folksonomies: heresy heretic
Folksonomies: heresy heretic
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A list of suspects, none of whom were probably involved with its authorship, that reads like a list of heretics.

06 MAR 2011 by ideonexus

 Isaac Asimov on Star Trek

They speak about the mission of the Enterprise being "To boldly go--" a split infinitive I heard every single time--"To boldly go where no man has ever gone before" they mean it primarily, I suppose, in... territorially. They're visiting stars that no man has till then ever visited. Their going through vastnesses no man has ever penetrated. But in addition, they're meeting problems that man has not faced. [What] Star Trek really presented was the brotherhood of intelligence. It mattered not...
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The prolific science fiction author explains what was so great and inspiring about the original television series.

23 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 How Brian Eno's Mind has Changed Through Use of the Intenet

I notice that I now digest my knowledge as a patchwork drawn from a wider range of sources than I used to. I notice too that I am less inclined to look for joined-up finished narratives and more inclined to make my own collage from what I can find. I notice that I read books more cursorily — scanning them in the same way that I scan the Net — ‘bookmarking’ them. ... I notice that more of my time is spent in words and language — because that is the currency of the Net — than it was...
Folksonomies: internet technology society
Folksonomies: internet technology society
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Some observations made by the author about how his thinking and behaviors have changed through online technologies.