07 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Fall of Atlantis

"But the divine revenge overtook not long after those proud enterprises. For within less than the space of one hundred years, the great Atlantis was utterly lost and destroyed: not by a great earthquake, as your man saith; (for that whole tract is little subject to earthquakes;) but by a particular' deluge or inundation; those countries having, at this day, far greater rivers and far higher mountains to pour down waters, than any part of the old world. But it is true that the same inundation ...
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Memed for the speculation of flood in America.

30 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Specialization is for Insects

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
Folksonomies: communism socialism
Folksonomies: communism socialism
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Writing Homogenizes Us

We do not, we writers, represent mankind adequately. We do not think well of ourselves. We do not think amply about what we are. Essay after essay, book after book, maintain the usual thing about mass society, dehumanization, and the rest. How weary we are of them. How poorly they represent us. The pictures they offer no more resemble us than we resemble the reconstructed reptiles and other monsters in a museum of paleontology. We are much more limber, versatile, better articulated; there is ...
Folksonomies: writing representation
Folksonomies: writing representation
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Scientific Reasoning Explains Increases in IQ

The bombshell is that the Flynn Effect is almost certainly environmental. Natural selection has a speed limit measured in generations, but the Flynn Effect is measurable on the scale of decades and years. Flynn was also able to rule out increases in nutrition, overall health, and outbreeding (marrying outside one’s local community) as explanations for his eponymous effect.241 Whatever propels the Flynn Effect, then, is likely to be in people’s cognitive environments, not in their genes, d...
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23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Engineering Away Extinction, Ecological Functioning

Or might the threatened animal be just one of several subspecies that all perform approximately the same ecological function? In that case its extinction might be inconsequential. That was the reality when the Galapagos giant tortoise ‘Lonesome George’ died in June 2012 and was mourned worldwide. Dubbed ‘the rarest living creature’, he was (probably) the last of his subspecies. Ecologists shrugged. Taxonomists shrugged. There are 10 more subspecies of Galapagos tortoise. Their populat...
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The American Chestnut is an example of engineering life to thrive and refill its function in the ecosystem. Tortoises are other examples.

09 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Humans are Like Deer in the Anthropocene

I asked Rooney about the remarkable ability of deer to thrive in their home range—most of the U.S.—while producing ecosystem simplification and a biodiversity crash. In his own studies of deer habitats in Wisconsin, Rooney found that only a few types of grass thrive under a deer-dominant regime. The rest, amounting to around 80 percent of native Wisconsin plant species, had been eradicated. “The 80 percent represent the disappearance of 300 million years of evolutionary history,” he s...
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19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Make It a Treat

"Make It a Treat" is similar in spirit to "everything in moderation," but still very distinct. "Moderation" suggests a regular, low-level intake of something. MIAT asks for more austerity; it encourages you to keep the special things in life special. I apply this rule in a variety of ways. For instance, I wear makeup and high heels on special occasions. But if I dressed up all the time, it would become ordinary, and I would receive fewer compliments. If makeup and heels was my everyday look, ...
Folksonomies: humor moderation
Folksonomies: humor moderation
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31 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Fallacy of the Insect Age

To end on a more cheerful note, I think I have found a fallacy or two in some of the more spectacular arguments used by the Insect Age enthusiasts when they are hardest pressed. For one thing, the fact that insects as a class are 300,000,000 years old, if it is a fact, while we have been here only about 1,000,000 years, or 3,000,000 at the outside, does not prove to me that the insects are bound to win. It takes more than mere old age to get along these days. I think it quite likely that the ...
Folksonomies: humor logical fallacy
Folksonomies: humor logical fallacy
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31 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Aristotle Was About Quantity, Not Quality, of Thought

I don't doubt that Aristotle thought more in actual footage during his life than any other person ever thought in the same elapsed time of sixty-two years. I do say, however, that any prize he deserves for so doing should be for quantity, not quality, as a great deal of it was spinach. He would sit around and think like one possessed, or he would walk around and think, since he was a Peripatetic, as they called it in those days. And then he would announce that Swallows spend the winter under ...
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