What is Geoengineering?

September 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know. According to a recent poll by the Yale Project on Climate Change, less than one percent of Americans know what geoengineering is. So, lets ask an expert. Chris Mooney has written a Syndicated Column on Geoengineering .

Geoengineering our Climate Future – at the Philadelphia Tribune

More links about geoengineering:

Now that you know what Geoengineering is, spread the word.

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Why is gravity an illusion?

August 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Erik Verlinde, Theoretical Physicist at Amsterdam

Image via Wikipedia

Erik Verlinde The theoretical physicist believes that gravity is an emergent phenomenon, not the elemental “force” that Newton and Einstein theorized it to be. He thinks it is the result of patterns of complex, microscopic phenomena.

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Why I hate labels or Guilt by association.

August 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Almost every social networking site on the internet requires your to fill out a personal bio section. That “Tell us a little about yourself” box always makes me cringe. It took me weeks to put an “About me” page on this blog. Part of the reason is I find it hard to talk about myself. (I am getting over that.) The main reason though is people are judgmental bastards.

In my real life I don’t socialize with people anymore. It takes way too much energy that I simply do not have. However, in the real world you get to know a person with small talk over time. You don’t walk up to a stranger and ask are you married? how many kids do you have? What religion are you? What political party do you belong to? What medical conditions you have? Oh, well we don’t agree, I guess I won’t talk to you. That would just be …OK that would be funnier than hell, but it would not work.

The labels I use on these sites usually end up not telling the whole story. How could they, they are only a label you have to open the folder to read whats inside. Unfortunately most people are too lazy to look beyond the surface. Why not judge a book by its cover when there are so many books to choose from?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care if people think I am wrong or that my Ideas are nuts. Most of the time I admit that I have no idea what the right answer is and I am pretty sure I am nuts. I just don’t want to be misjudged by the label is choose to associate myself with.

For example, I am an atheist. To me that simply means I do not believe in a creator or higher power.  Since I have been hanging around the twitterverse and blogospher I have learned that to many people atheists are angry, hedonistic, unethical, Satan worshipers. I am not even sure how that last one would work. But, I can assure you I am none of those things. Well, maybe a little hedonistic. ;-}

I am also a Non-Dualist. Now this one is a little tougher because people don’t always understand what that means so they dismiss it as  woo or new age bullshit. It is not. Nondualism simply means that the mind and the body are not two separate entities. In other words, there is no “soul” to live on after the body dies.

Through much reading it seems that I am also something called a Pantheist. Pantheism is the belief that our entire universe and everything and every one in it are one and are connected. However most of the definitions and blogs on the internet do not represent my beliefs at all. So I am reluctant to label my self as such.

One of my favorite misjudged and misused labels is skeptic. My definition of a skeptic is a person who uses critical thinking and a reason based on scientific evidence.  I have seen the world skeptic used in place of cynic. I have seen it used by people who have no idea what the word means at all. The so-called “Skeptic Movement”, while a great idea, really needs a PR campaign educating the public on what skepticism means.

My point is this, I don’t care if you think I am a nut job because I probably am. I just don’t want to be lumped in with the other nut jobs that I have nothing in common with just because of a label I chose. Oh well, I am sure most people stopped reading this post when I wrote the word atheist…Judgmental bastards.  If you are still reading this what is wrong with you? See, I do it too. Thank you for taking the time to read beyond the labels.

Should we stop chasing the myths of Freedom, Justice and Progress?

August 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Matthew Taylor explores the meaning of 21st century enlightenment, how the idea might help us meet the challenges we face today, and the role that can be played by organizations such as the RSA.

Whos hand is that?

August 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Mo Costandi posted a fun article one could use to trick friends but, the science behind it is what is intriguing to me.

“DO you think that you perceive your body and the world around you as they really are? If your answer to that question is “yes”, then think again. Our perceptions are little more than the brain’s best guess of the nature of reality, constructed from fragments of information it receives through the senses. “Read the full post (it has video)

via Illusions of bodily awareness adapted for the pub : Neurophilosophy.

You Fall in Love Because Your Brain is a Jellyfish, Lizard, and Mouse Ice Cream Cone | Science Not Fiction | Discover Magazine

August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

Check out this wonderfully creative article on human evolution by Kyle Munkittrick. I love the picture.

“Human beings are the peak of evolution, right? Our advanced brains allow us to poke one another on Facebook, send rockets to the moon, and order complex drinks at Starbucks. We can even fall in love. How are we able to do all of that? NPR’s Science Podcast has been doing a running series “The Human Edge” in which they discuss various things about humans that make us, well, human. NPR’s John Hamilton tackled brain evolution and how we humans still carry parts of other animal brains within us. Feel that pebble in your shoe? Thank a jellyfish. Ever duck before a rogue Frisbee collides with your noggin? Thank a lizard. Remember where you left your keys? Thank a mouse.”… Read the full story

via You Fall in Love Because Your Brain is a Jellyfish, Lizard, and Mouse Ice Cream Cone | Science Not Fiction | Discover Magazine.

Finding My Mind

August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

While drinking my morning coffee, I watched a documentary I had waiting on TiVo for a few days called Finding My Mind.  In it, Oxford University professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Marcus du Sautoy, takes a journey deep into his own brain; a willing guinea pig for some of the most extraordinary experiments known to neuroscience.

What stood out most for me were his interviews with Christof Koch and John-Dylan Haynes.

Koch states that individual nerve cells and single neurons can process information. He has written a text-book on the subject. These cells networking together produce the  Neuronal correlates of consciousness (NCC).

Haynes work on Unconscious decisions in the brain is very exciting. In the documentary, Haynes showed Sautory that his subconscious brain was making decisions up to six seconds before his conscience brain. Haynes seemed quite disturbed by this fact. As if this somehow nullified the idea of free will. I think once he realized that his unconscious was simply him, he was OK.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.
Buddha

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