29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 It’s Okay to “Forget” What You Read

What we get from books is not just a collection of names, dates and events stored in our minds like files in a computer. Books also change, via our mental models, the very reality that we perceive. You can think of mental models as psychological lenses that color and shape what we see. Some of this is genetic or cultural (Americans focus on very different parts of a picture than the Japanese do), but much of our perception is also shaped by experience — and experience includes the book...
Folksonomies: experience memory reading
Folksonomies: experience memory reading
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Information Fertilizes Moral Growth

...a flow of information can fertilize moral growth. Scholars who have puzzled over the trajectory of material progress in different parts of the world, such as the economist Thomas Sowell in his Culture trilogy and the physiologist Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, have concluded that the key to material success is being situated in a large catchment area of innovations.306 No one is smart enough to invent anything in isolation that anyone else would want to use. Successful innovators...
Folksonomies: information morality
Folksonomies: information morality
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30 MAY 2012 by RadioGuy

 Humans share 98.5% of our genes with chimpanzees

The genome is not a blueprint for constructing a body; it is a recipe for baking a body. As the hox story illustrates, DNA promoters express themselves in the fourth dimension; their timing is all. A chimp has a different head from a human being not because it has a different blueprint for the head, but because it grows the jaws for longer and the cranium for less long than a human being. The difference is all timing. The startling new truth that has emerged from the human genome - that...
Folksonomies: genetics
Folksonomies: genetics
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Even the difference between human and mouse blueprints are minor. Our variation comes from the schedules that manage the expression of genes, and these are controlled by the chemicals and enzymes in our environments.

23 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Natural Science Consists of Facts

Natural science is founded on minute critical views of the general order of events taking place upon our globe, corrected, enlarged, or exalted by experiments, in which the agents concerned are placed under new circumstances, and their diversified properties separately examined. The body of natural science, then, consists of facts; is analogy,—the relation of resemblance of facts by which its different parts are connected, arranged, and employed, either for popular use, or for new speculati...
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Sir Humphry Davy describes the scientific method.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Consciousness of the Fallibility of Our Senses is a Resul...

A consciousness of the fallacy of our senses is one of the most important consequences of the study of nature. This study teaches us that no object is seen by us in its true place, owing to aberration; that the colours of substances are solely the effects of the action of matter upon light; and that light itself, as well as heat and sound, are not real beings, but modes of action communicated to our perceptions by the nerves. The human frame may therefore be regarded as an elastic system, the...
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When you understand the underlying reality of what we see in the world around us, you understand that our perceptions deceive us. Sounds vaguely post-modern.

13 DEC 2011 by ideonexus

 M-Theory Describes a Universe That Creates Itself

If the total energy of the universe must always remain zero, and it costs energy to create a body, how can a whole universe be created from nothing. That is why there must be a law like gravity. Because gravity is attractive, gravitational energy is negative: One has to do work to separate a gravitationally bound system. such as the earth and moon. This negative energy can balance the positive energy needed to create matter, but it's not quite that simple. The negative gravitational energy of...
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How it does this, I don't fully understand from this passage.

20 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Speciesization in a Test Tube

We can even see the origin of new, ecologically diverse bacterial species, all within a single laboratory flask. Paul Rainey and his colleagues at Oxford University placed a strain of the bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens in a small vessel containing nutrient broth, and simply watched it. (It’s surprising but true that such a vessel actually contains diverse environments. Oxygen concentration, for example, is highest on the top and lowest on the bottom.) Within ten days—no more than a few ...
Folksonomies: evolution experiment
Folksonomies: evolution experiment
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Bacteria evolve into different species in order to adapt to the different environments at the bottom and top of a test tube.

16 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 The Watch Implies a Watchmaker

When we come to inspect the watch, we perceive . . . that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose, e.g. that they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to point out the hour of the day; that, if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, if a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner, or in any other order than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been...
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The original quote that inspired the argument still in use by creationists today.

12 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 The Art of Preserving Health

The blood, the fountain whence the spirits flow, The generous stream that waters every part, And motion, vigour, and warm life conveys To every Particle that moves or lives; This vital fluid, thro' unnumber'd tubes Pour'd by the heart, and to the heart again Refunded; scourg'd forever round and round; Enrag'd with heat and toil, at last forgets Its balmy nature; virulent and thin It grows; and now, but that a thousand gates Are open to its flight, it would destroy The parts it cherish' d and ...
Folksonomies: todo poetry medicine medical
Folksonomies: todo poetry medicine medical
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A poem by John Armstrong.

23 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 The Monarchy Paradox

There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required. The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, by unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless.
Folksonomies: politics monarchy
Folksonomies: politics monarchy
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The King must be cut off and distanced from the governed, the very thing he is supposed to be most knowledgeable about.