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.

25 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Laura Betzig: Culture

What if the 100,000-odd year-old evidence of human social life—from the arrowheads in South Africa, to the Venus figurines at Dordogne—is the effect of nothing, more or less, but our efforts to become parents? What if the 10,000-odd year-old record of civilization—from the tax accounts at temples in the Near East, to the inscription on a bronze statue in New York Harbor—is the product of nothing, more or less, but our struggle for genetic representation in future generations? [...] ...
Folksonomies: atheism secularism cuture
Folksonomies: atheism secularism cuture
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Manchester and the Birth of the Industrial Revolution

What was so exciting about Manchester? Disraeli with his acute political and historical instinct understood that Manchester had done something unique and revolutionary. Only he was wrong to call it science. What Manchester had done was to invent the Industrial Revolution, a new style of life and work which began in that little country town about two hundred years ago and inexorably grew and spread out from there until it had turned the whole world upside down. Disraeli was the first politicia...
Folksonomies: academia revolution
Folksonomies: academia revolution
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23 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 Embryonic Recapitulation

By considering the embryological structure of man - the homologies which he presents with the lower animals - the rudiments which he retains - and the reversions to which he is liable, we can partly recall in imagination the former condition of our early progenitors; and we can approximately place them in their proper position in the zoological series. We thus learnt that man is descended from a hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed ears, probably arboreal in its habit, and an in...
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Darwin seems to hint at it in this passage.

03 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Revolutions That Break with the Past Fail

Starting anew with a clean slate has been one of the most harmful ideas in history. It treats previous knowledge as an impediment and imagines that only present knowledge deployed in theoretical purity can make real the wondrous new vision. Thus the French Revolution of 1789, the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949 each made brave new worlds that catastrophically failed. By cutting off continuity with the slower parts of their cultures they had no fallback...
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Erasing the past is a crippling thing to do. The Founders of America built on the past in their revolution and Evolution succeeds by building on the past.

15 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Comparing European and American Mammals and Livestock

    Europe. America.   lb. lb.     Mammoth Buffalo. Bison   *1800 White bear. Ours blanc     Caribou. Renne     Bear. Ours 153.7 *410 Elk. Elan. Orignal, palmated     Red deer. Cerf 288.8 *273 Fallow deer. Daim 167.8   Wolf. Loup 69.8   Roe. Chevreuil 56.7   Glutton. Glouton. Carcajou     Wild cat. Chat sauvage   30 Lynx. Loup cervier 25.   Beaver. Castor 18.5 *45 Badger. Blaireau 13.6   Red Fox. Renard 13.5   Grey Fox. Isatis     Otter. Loutre 8.9 12 Monax. Marmotte ...
Folksonomies: nature naturalism data classic
Folksonomies: nature naturalism data classic
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Jefferson cataloges the sizes of animals in the two continents in order to refute the European idea that animals are larger and more advanced in the old world.

09 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Invasive Species Between the Old and New World

Many plants new to North America first sprouted up alongside wharves and shipyards. From there they made their way inland along new roads hacked out of the wilderness, and later along canals and railroad embankments, taking up residence in any sort of disturbed soil. Native plants adapted to quiet precolonial forests and meadows gave little competition to the aggressive intruders. As Pilgrims and Puritans leveled the ancient New England forests, their floral co-colonists thrived in a landscap...
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How plants came across the sea in both directions to colonize North American and, to a lesser degree, Europe.

01 JAN 2010 by ideonexus

 Oulipo - "workshop of potential literature"

Finally elaborated, this definition remains the Oulipo's rule. In his conversations with Charbonnier, Queneau returns to it nearly word for word: The word "potential" concerns the very nature of literature; that is, fundamentally it's less a question of literature strictly speaking than of supplying forms for the good use one can make of literature. We call potential literature the search for new forms and structures that may be used by writers in any way they see fit. Finally, and more recen...
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Example: a book of poems, with each line of the poem given its own cut on the page, so that you can flip individual lines and create new poems. An early form of mashup.