14 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 The 800th Lifetime

It has been observed that if the last 50,000 years of man's existence were divided into lifetimes of approximately 62 years each, there have been 800 such lifetimes. Of the 800, fully 650 were spent in caves. Only during the last seventy lifetimes has it become possible to communicate effectively from one lifetime to another- as writing made it possible to do. Only during the last six lifetimes did masses of men ever see a printed word. Only during the last four has it been possible to measu...
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13 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Thar

There is, in my view, a direct correlation between the poverty of many societies and their tendency toward the thar mentality. Italy is a striking example. There is a remarkable north-south gradient of attitude and wealth in Italy; the far north is wealthy, highly industrialized, participated vigorously in the Renaissance, and is fully in the European mainstream. Although machismo is everywhere in Italy, in the north it rarely leads to anything more than loud exchanges in traffic. As you trav...
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12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 The Capitalist-Consumerist Ethic

We are all good consumers. We buy countless products that we don’t really need, and that until yesterday we didn’t know existed. Manufacturers deliberately design short-term goods and invent new and unnecessary models of perfectly satisfactory products that we must purchase in order to stay ‘in’. Shopping has become a favourite pastime, and consumer goods have become essential mediators in relationships between family members, spouses and friends. Religious holidays such as Christmas ...
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02 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 Abuse of Science in Politics

North Carolina provides a recent example of science-based policy. The science itself was a study of voting habits among the population of the state. In 2013, North Carolina passed new voting restrictions. To inform those restrictions, the legislature commissioned a study on voting habits by race, and then wrote into law a series of restrictions that specifically targeted African Americans. (Last month, a Federal Court struck down these restrictions, claiming that “the new provisions target ...
Folksonomies: politics science
Folksonomies: politics science
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16 OCT 2014 by ideonexus

 Making Smart Matter Should be the Priority

Mars is just dumb mass at the bottom of a gravity well; there isn't even a biosphere there. They should be working on uploading and solving the nanoassembly conformational problem instead. Then we could turn all the available dumb matter into computronium and use it for processing our thoughts. Long-term, it's the only way to go. The solar system is a dead loss right now – dumb all over! Just measure the MIPS per milligram. If it isn't thinking, it isn't working. We need to start with the l...
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02 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 The Power of the Masses

The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history. "On Coalition Government" (April 24, 1945), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 257.* The masses are the real heroes, while we ourselves are often childish and ignorant, and without this understanding it is impossible to acquire even the most rudimentary knowledge. "Preface and Postscript to Rural Surveys" (March and April 1941), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 12.* The masses have boundless creative power. T...
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Mao on the power and heroism of the collective.

24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Gedankenexperiment

However, the subject need not be an esoteric one for a gedankenexperiment to be fruitful. My own favorite is Galileo’s proof that, contrary to Aristotle’s view, objects of different mass fall in a vacuum with the same acceleration. One might think that a real experiment needs to be conducted to test that hypothesis, but Galileo simply asked us to consider a large and a small stone tied together by a very light string. If Aristotle was right, the large stone should speed up the smaller one...
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Gino Segre on the importance and validity of "thought-experiments," using Galileo's disproof of objects falling at different rates as an example.

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.

09 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Elegant Description of Environmentalism

Man has generally been preoccupied with obtaining as much 'production' from the landscape as possible, by developing and maintaining early successional types of ecosystems, usually monocultures. But, of course, man does not live by food and fiber alone; he also needs a balanced CO2-O2 atmosphere, the climactic buffer provided by oceans and masses of vegetation, and clean (that is, unproductive) water for cultural and industrial uses. Many essential life-cycle resources, not to mention recreat...
Folksonomies: environmentalism
Folksonomies: environmentalism
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We need more than production from the land, we need a clean environment because we live in that same land.

27 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 The Unexplainable

Given the universe, even a universe devoide of matter as such but provided with the actual laws of nature, everything that exists could, and I firmly believe did, develop from and in this without outside, divine, supernatural interference. But that universe, with its laws! For one thing there is nothing inevitable about the laws. It is a fact that masses attract each other, that gravity exists, but a universe in which masses repelled each other is also conceivable, and in it nothing could pos...
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The Universe is ultimately unexplainable, and to call it "god" does nothing to counter this fact.