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Showing posts from December, 2020

A Lifestyle Brand

Has anyone written a good essay about the whole "I believe in science and trust the scientists" phenomenon which is more a lifestyle brand than an actual belief in the scientific method, which is a process, not a set of facts handed down like the Bible? Like the way science actually operates, you're constantly trying to disprove the things we think we know. It's not like there's an authority and you listen to them because they've been handed religious truth. Scientists know this but I think at least a portion of them have enjoyed the politicization of the field and won't point this out to the followers of the lifestyle brand version. – The development of science relies on an open-ended orientation towards experimentation and the testing of ideas. Science is an inherently skeptical enterprise and its findings are provisional, open to reinterpretation. That's the theory. But in public con

The Lebenswelt

Cognitive dualism is puzzling, for it seems to be both affirming and denying the unity of reality, both affirming and denying that we human being are part of the natural order. Yet we can without contradiction accept  it, provided we recognize the explanatory priority of science. To describe the "order of nature" in terms of some complete and unified science is to give a systematic answer to the question "what exists?" But the world can be known in another way. The world known in this other way will be an "emergent" world, represented in the cognitive apparatus of the perceiver, but emerging from the physical reality, as the face emerges from the pigments on the canvas, or the melody from the sequence of pitched sounds. The relation of emergence is nonsymmetrical. The order of nature does not emerge from the Lebenswelt; its existence is presupposed by the Lebenswelt, but not vice versa. Someone who wished to design a machine capable of delivering a Beeth

The Cambrian Explosion

The Cambrian Explosion refers to the sudden appearance in the fossil record of complex animals with mineralized skeletal remains. It may represent the most important evolutionary event in the history of life on Earth. The beginning of the explosion is generally placed about 542 million years ago, during the Cambrian Period at the start of the Palaeozoic Era. While the explosion was rapid in geological terms, it took place over millions of years – the Burgess Shale, at 505 million years old, records the tail end of the event. The explosion is particularly remarkable because all major animal body plans  appeared during this time, changing the biosphere forever. The rapid appearance of a wide variety of animals led to the development of radical new ecological interactions such as predation. Consequently, ecosystems became much more complex. The fundamental ecological structure of modern marine communities was firmly established during the Cambrian. By the end of the Period, some an

Seeds of Genocide

With the coronavirus pandemic surging and initial vaccine supplies limited, the United States faces a hard choice. An independent committee of medical experts that advises the C.D.C. on immunization practices will soon vote on whom to recommend for the second phase of vaccination. Historically, the committee relied on scientific evidence to inform its decisions. But now the members are weighing social justice concerns as well. Marc Lipsitch, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, argued that teachers should not be included as essential workers, if a central goal of the committee is to reduce health inequities. “Teachers have middle-class salaries, are very often white, and they have college degrees,” he said. Harald Schmidt, an expert in ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said that it is reasonable to put essential workers ahead of older adults, given their risks, and that they are disproportionately minorities. “O

Fermi Paradox

In a Nutshell – KURZGESAGT

The Man Who Sold The World

Lyndon B. Johnson . Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908 - 1973), served as the 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1969. A Democrat from Texas, he assumed the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In 1964, he announced his plans for what he called “the Great Society,” a sweeping set of programs that marked the biggest expansion of the federal government ever, but his most impactful legislative act was the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It changed the face of the US forever. At the time, immigration was based on the national-origins quota system in place since the 1920s, under which each nationality was assigned a quota based on its representation in past U.S. census figures. The civil rights movement’s focus on equal treatment regardless of race or nationality led many to view the quota system as backward and discriminatory. During Congressional debates, a number of experts testified that little would effectively c