10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 The Other Men

This planet, being essentially of the terrestrial type, had produced a race that was essentially human, though, so to speak, human in a different key from the terrestrial. These continents were as variegated as ours, and inhabited by a race as diversified as Homo sapiens. All the modes and facets of the spirit manifested in our history had their equivalents in the history of the Other Men. As with us, there had been dark ages and ages of brilliance, phases of advancement and of retreat, cultu...
Folksonomies: otherness alien other
Folksonomies: otherness alien other
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18 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Using Feedback to Control Weight

Recent research has shown that exhaust from lungs (part of excretion) is a major factor in weight loss. Burning 10 kg human fat requires inhalation of 29 kg oxygen. This produces 28 kg carbon dioxide and 11 kg water. As food and drinks are temporarily stored in the human stomach and bowels, the body weight is instantaneously increased with the weight of any food or drink consumed. Metabolism is usually divided into catabolism and anabolism, where catabolism is the process of breaking down ...
Folksonomies: health diet weight loss
Folksonomies: health diet weight loss
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19 JAN 2016 by ideonexus

 The Tragedy of Never Understanding Our Children

You must face the fact that yours is the last generation of homo sapiens. As to the nature of that change, we can tell you very little. All we have discovered is that it starts with a single individual—always a child—and then spreads explosively, like the formation of crystals around the first nucleus in a saturated solution. Adults will not be affected, for their minds are already set in an unalterable mould. In a few years it will all be over, and the human race will have divided in tw...
Folksonomies: parenting generations
Folksonomies: parenting generations
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Pessimism in Predictions and the False Sense of Insecurity

You would think that the disappearance of the gravest threat in the history of humanity would bring a sigh of relief among commentators on world affairs. Contrary to expert predictions, there was no invasion of Western Europe by Soviet tanks, no escalation of a crisis in Cuba or Berlin or the Middle East to a nuclear holocaust.1 The cities of the world were not vaporized; the atmosphere was not poisoned by radioactive fallout or choked with debris that blacked out the sun and sent Homo sapien...
Folksonomies: perspective pessimism
Folksonomies: perspective pessimism
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Human Biology and Monarchy

Luard calls the first of his ages, which ran from 1400 to 1559, the Age of Dynasties. In this epoch, royal “houses,” or extended coalitions based on kinship, vied for control of European turfs. A little biology shows why the idea of basing leadership on inheritance is a recipe for endless wars of succession. Rulers always face the dilemma of how to reconcile their thirst for everlasting power with an awareness of their own mortality. A natural solution is to designate an offspring, usual...
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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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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Tyranny of the Gene Tempered by Junk DNA

The analogies between the genetic evolution of biological species and the cultural evolution of human societies have been brilliantly explored by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene. The book is mainly concerned with biological evolution; the cultural analogies are only pursued in the last chapter. Dawkins's main theme is the tyranny which the rigid demands of the replication apparatus have imposed upon all biological species throughout evolutionary history. Every species is the pris...
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20 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 IDIC - Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

IDIC basically states that we should delight in the differences amongst people, not hate people because they are different. It seems that the human race has found a large number of ways to hate (different sex, color, religion, nationality, political party, social class, etc) and has emphasized hate over co-operation, caring, and compassion. The result has been a world torn by big and small wars, religious and philosophical differences, and alienation of one person from another. This has take...
Folksonomies: diversity tolerance
Folksonomies: diversity tolerance
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A good overview of the Vulcan philosophy from Star Trek.

27 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Post WWI vs Post WWII Human Civilization

After the horrific agonies of World War One, the progressive worldview was rejected both in America and abroad, partly due to narrow minded self-interest, but also because humanity was otherwise preoccupied. Like careening drunks, we commenced a long and horrible infatuation with ideologies — from communism and fascism to nationalist jingoism and every other "ism" imaginable. Hitler and Stalin were no more than particularly gruesome manifestations of this fever — a passion for simplistic ...
Folksonomies: civilization history war peace
Folksonomies: civilization history war peace
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Dr. Brin describes one world-society obsessed with "isms" against one vowing to rebuild civilization, even those of our enemies.

24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Sensory Desktop

We must take our sensory experiences seriously but not literally. This is one place where the concept of a sensory desktop is helpful. We take the icons on a graphical desktop seriously; we won’t, for instance, carelessly drag an icon to the trash, for fear of losing a valuable file. But we don’t take the colors, shapes, or locations of the icons literally. They are not there to resemble the truth. They are there to facilitate useful behaviors. Sensory desktops differ across species. A ...
Folksonomies: metaphor perception
Folksonomies: metaphor perception
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Donald Hoffman on how our sensory perception of the world is like a computer desktop, a representation of things, not how things actually are. We must remember the difference.