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Ross Andersen – Humanity's deep future

Ross Andersen – Humanity's deep future
Sometimes, when you dig into the Earth, past its surface and into the crustal layers, omens appear. In 1676, Oxford professor Robert Plot was putting the final touches on his masterwork, The Natural History of Oxfordshire, when he received a strange gift from a friend. The gift was a fossil, a chipped-off section of bone dug from a local quarry of limestone. Plot recognised it as a femur at once, but he was puzzled by its extraordinary size. The fossil was only a fragment, the knobby end of the original thigh bone, but it weighed more than 20 lbs (nine kilos). It was so massive that Plot thought it belonged to a giant human, a victim of the Biblical flood. Last December I came face to face with a Megalosaurus at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Bostrom attracts an unusual amount of press attention for a professional philosopher, in part because he writes a great deal about human extinction. There are good reasons for any species to think darkly of its own extinction

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The 6 Weirdest Things We've Learned Since 9/11 Hey, guys -- I'm starting to think we overreacted to the terrorism thing. It hit me last year as I was standing in the naked airport scanner again, listening to the faint gasps and then applause from the monitoring booth, and realized that I wouldn't put up with that hassle to ward off the threat of, say, lightning. You know, like if scientists had figured out that you could reduce the already miniscule chance of being struck by merely standing outside and showing God your dick. Anyway, that made me look back at the lessons we've learned in the 12 years since the 9/11 attacks, and I've got to say, it's not encouraging. For instance, we found out that ...

Earth - Why is there something rather than nothing? People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. Pretty much every ancient culture came up with its own creation story - most of them leaving the matter in the hands of the gods - and philosophers have written reams on the subject. But science has had little to say about this ultimate question. What Does It Mean To Be Human? A Historical Perspective 1800-2011 by Maria Popova What Aristotle has to do with the women’s suffrage movement, Darwin, and M. C. Escher. Hollow Inside Image by Claire Pestaille As part of my ongoing interest in contemporary pop-sociological takes on the 1960s, I read historian Theodore Roszak’s The Making of a Counter Culture (1969). Its patronizing tone (“it is the young who have in their own amateurish, even grotesque way, gotten dissent off the adult drawing”>and platitudes about youth’s fundamental yearning for spiritual authenticity and not political change makes for tedious and pedantic reading, but it usefully illustrates how the social threats critics saw in technology have shifted. Like many critics of the period, Roszak was chiefly worried about the “technocracy,” the emergence of a totally administered society run by hyperrational engineers and bureaucrats, yielding a de facto planned economy that allows no one any genuine autonomy, impetus, or spontaneity.

Three Seconds: Poems, Cubes and the Brain A child drops a chocolate chip cookie on the floor, immediately picks it up, looks quizzically at a parental eye-witness and proceeds to munch on it after receiving an approving nod. This is one of the versions of the "three second rule", which suggests that food can be safely consumed if it has had less than three seconds contact with the floor. There is really no scientific basis for this legend, because noxious chemicals or microbial flora do not bide their time, counting "One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand,…" before they latch on to a chocolate chip cookie. Food will likely accumulate more bacteria, the longer it is in contact with the floor, but I am not aware of any rigorous scientific study that has measured the impact of food-floor intercourse on a second-to-second basis and identified three seconds as a critical temporal threshold. The central, unifying theme of the institute was time.

Philosophical Concepts Of Atheism Atheist Centre 50+ Golden Jubilee (1940-1990)International Conference on "Future of Atheism -- Humanism"Vijayawada, December 29-31, 1990[OCR, HTML, editing, Cliff Walker] Philosophical Concepts Of AtheismProf. Ernest Nagelfrom the essay "Philosophical Concepts of Atheism" The question is whether, apart from their polemics against theism, philosophical atheists have not shared a common set of positive views, a common set of philosophical convictions which set them off from other groups of thinkers. In one very clear sense of this query the answer is indubitably negative.

The Wisdom in the Dark Emotions By Miriam Greenspan Grief, fear and despair are part of the human condition. Each of these emotions is useful, says psychotherapist Miriam Greenspan, if we know how to listen to them. I was brought to the practice of mindfulness more than two decades ago by the death of my first child. Ants Swarm Like Brains Think - Issue 23: Dominoes Deborah Gordon spent the morning of August 27 watching a group of harvester ants foraging for seeds outside the dusty town of Rodeo, N.M. Long before the first rays of sun hit the desert floor, a group of patroller ants was already on the move. Their task was to find out whether the area near the nest was free from flash floods, high winds, and predators. If they didn’t return to the nest, departing foragers would know it wasn’t safe to go search for food. When the patrollers returned and the first foragers did leave, they scattered in all directions, hunting for the fat-laden, energy-rich seeds on which the colony depends. Other foragers waited in the entrance of the nest for the first wave to return.

The Blue Book Home > Ludwig Wittgenstein > The Blue Book Two years ago, or so, I promised to send you a manuscript of mine. Robert Lanza, M.D. – BIOCENTRISM » Is Death An Illusion? Evidence Suggests Death Isn’t the End After the death of his old friend, Albert Einstein said “Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us … know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” New evidence continues to suggest that Einstein was right – death is an illusion. Our classical way of thinking is based on the belief that the world has an objective observer-independent existence. But a long list of experiments shows just the opposite.