06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 The Case Against Reading Too Broadly

The real problem with telling young writers to fan out across genres and forms is that it doesn’t help them find a voice. If anything, it’s antivoice. Learning the craft of writing isn’t about hopping texts like hyperlinks. It’s about devotion and obsession. It’s about lingering too long in some beloved book’s language, about steeping yourself in someone else’s style until your consciousness changes colour. It’s Tolkien phases and Plath crushes. It’s going embarrassingly, un...
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06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 American Exceptionalism Prevents Americans from Recognizi...

Americans enjoy lower qualities of life on every single indicator that you can possibly think of. Life expectancy in France and Spain is 83 years, but in America it’s only 78 years — that’s half a decade of life, folks. The same is true for things like maternal mortality, stress, work and leisure, press freedom, quality of democracy — every single thing you can think of that impacts how well, happily, meaningfully, and sanely you live is worse in America, by a very long way. T...
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12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Formalized Thinking is Non-Intuitive for Humans

Ancient scribes learned not merely to read and write, but also to use catalogues, dictionaries, calendars, forms and tables. They studied and internalised techniques of cataloguing, retrieving and processing information very di
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23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 A Sonata as Teacher

Music makes things in our minds, but afterward most of them fade away. What remains? In one old story about Mozart, the wonder child hears a lengthy contrapuntal mass and then writes down the entire score. I do not believe such tales, for history documents so few of them that they seem to be mere legend, though by that argument Mozart also would seem to be legend. Most people do not even remember the themes of an evening's concert. Yet, when the tunes are played again, they are recognized. So...
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29 OCT 2014 by ideonexus

 So Many Objects in Space, Why isn't it Filled with Light?

So numerous are the objects which meet our view in the heavens, that we cannot imagine a point of space where some light would not strike the eye;—innumerable stars, thousands of double and multiple systems, clusters in one blaze with their tens of thousands of stars, and the nebulae amazing us by the strangeness of their forms and the incomprehensibility of their nature, till at last, from the limit of our senses, even these thin and airy phantoms vanish in the distance.
Folksonomies: astronomy
Folksonomies: astronomy
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19 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 If a Scientist Wrote the Book of Genesis

In the beginning was the singularity, and the singularity was infinitely dense and infinitely hot, And the singularity expanded and the singularity cooled and there was chaos, And of the primeval atom was born the Universe. And the Universe was matter and antimatter, and baryogenesis was violated and matter annihilated antimatter until only matter remained, And matter resolved into hydrogen, and after hydrogen came helium and deuterium and all elements, And with elements came mass and with ma...
Folksonomies: culture religion science
Folksonomies: culture religion science
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Opening chapter of genesis written in science.

11 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 Plato's Theory of Forms and Object Oriented Programming

In the theory of forms, Plato posits that there were these things called "forms," and a form is basically an abstract concept that represents some sort of object that exists. Then these objects were basically some sort of particular thing that has form-ness of some kind. So you can almost think of this as like a class and an instance basically, where you have the general definition and then the specific one. And then those objects also have attributes, which is some sort of quality. Whenever...
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Plato's idea of forms and objects with that formness is very similar to the concept in OOP, with classes and objects.

29 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Nature Uses the Same Materials and Forms in Life

We know that nature invariably uses the same materials in its operations. Its ingeniousness is displayed only in the variation of form. Indeed, as if nature had voluntarily confined itself to using only a few basic units, we observe that it generally causes the same elements to reappear, in the same number, in the same circumstances, and in the same relationships to one another. If an organ happens to grow in an unusual manner, it exerts a considerable influence on adjacent parts, which as a ...
Folksonomies: evolution biology
Folksonomies: evolution biology
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A brilliant early observation, crucial to understanding evolution.

23 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Leonardo da Vinci's Description of the Circle of Life

Nature being capricious and taking pleasure in creating and producing a continuous sucession of lives and forms because she knows that they serve to increase her terrestrial substance, is more ready and swift in her creating than time is in destroying, and therefore she has ordained that many animals shall serve as food one for the other; and as this does not satisfy her desire she sends forth frequently certain noisome and pestilential vapours and continual plagues upon the vast accumulation...
Folksonomies: evolution circle of life
Folksonomies: evolution circle of life
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He sees hints of evolution, but does not see how microscopic things feed on apex predators.

18 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 The Science of Reconstructing Fossils

In my work on Fossil Bones, I set myself the task of recognizing to which animals the fossilized remains which fill the surface strata of the earth belong. ... As a new sort of antiquarian, I had to learn to restore these memorials to past upheavals and, at the same time, to decipher their meaning. I had to collect and put together in their original order the fragments which made up these animals, to reconstruct the ancient creatures to which these fragments belonged, to create them once more...
Folksonomies: archaeology
Folksonomies: archaeology
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Cuvier describes an art that he pioneered(?)