Science

Steve Paulson: Roger Penrose On Why Consciousness Does Not Compute – Nautilus

Like many others, Penrose struggled with the weirdness of quantum theory. “As Schrödinger clearly pointed out with his poor cat, which was dead and alive at the same time, he made this point deliberately to show why his own equation

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Philosophy, Science Tagged with: , ,

An Armada of Icebergs Has Just Invaded The North Atlantic – robertscribbler

This week an unprecedented 481 icebergs swarmed into the shipping lanes of a storm-tossed North Atlantic. Strong hurricane force winds had ripped these bergs from their sea ice moored haven of Baffin Bay and thrust them into the ocean waters

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NuSTAR Probes Puzzling Galaxy Merger – NASA

In several hundred million years, the black holes of the large and small galaxies will merge into one enormous beast. From: NuSTAR Probes Puzzling Galaxy Merger | NASA

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Brain ‘rewires’ itself to enhance other senses in blind people – Harvard Medical School

“Our results demonstrate that the structural and functional neuroplastic brain changes occurring as a result of early ocular blindness may be more widespread than initially thought,” said lead author Corinna Bauer, HMS instructor of ophthalmology and a scientist at Schepens

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Extended spider cognition – SpringerLink

To tease apart the central from the extended cognition, we apply the mutual manipulability criterion, testing the existence of reciprocal causal links between the putative elements of the system. We conclude that the web threads and configurations are integral parts

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Scientists Finally Observed Time Crystals, But What the Hell Are They? – Gizmodo

One group at the University of Maryland lined up ten trapped ytterbium ions (ytterbium is just a chemical element) and shined them with periodic laser pulses to mostly, but not completely, flip the ions’ spins. The particles’ spin values snapped

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NASA proposes building artificial magnetic field to restore Mars’ atmosphere – ExtremeTech

Green notes that advances coming out of plasma physics could allow for the future development of inflatable structures that can generate a magnetic dipole of 1 or 2 tesla. That could [be] enough to shield Mars against the solar wind,

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Science, Technology

Looking into the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way – The Guardian

[I]f Einstein’s equations break down anywhere, they are most likely to do so at the edge of a black hole, where the fabric of space-time is being stretched more severely than any other place in the cosmos. As Laing says:

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Stuff in Space – h/t @pbump

Stuff in Space is a realtime 3D map of objects in Earth orbit, visualized using WebGL. The website updates daily with orbit data from Space-Track.org and uses the excellent satellite.js Javascript library to calculate satellite positions. From: Stuff in Space

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Science, Technology

Vicious microbial warfare helps bacteria evolve cooperation – New Scientist

When Ratcliff and his team mixed two strains of Vibrio cholerae bacteria with different T6SS toxins on petri dishes, one strain or the other always killed off its opponent at any given place. The two strains gradually separated into patches

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Noted & Quoted

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The rise of the military, if coupled with the undermining of civilian aspects of national power, demonstrates a spiritual exhaustion and a descent into Caesarism. Named after Julius Caesar — who replaced the Roman Republic with a dictatorship — Caesarism is roughly characterized by a charismatic strongman, popular with the masses, whose rule culminates in an exaggerated role for the military. America is moving in this direction. It isn’t that some civilian agencies don’t deserve paring down or even elimination, nor is it that the military and other security forces don’t deserve a boost to their financial resources. Rather, it is in the very logic, ideology, and lack of proportionality of Trump’s budget that American decline, decadence, and Caesarism are so apparent.

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Foreigners often get Mrs Merkel all wrong. She is not the queen of Europe, nor has she any desire to be it. She is a domestic leader and politician whose mounting international stature is always a function of her ability to serve the interests and predilections of German voters. It is predominantly because Germans, for deep historical and cultural reasons, feel so “European” that that she talks and acts in a “European” way. Perhaps all the more for this, Mrs Merkel’s comments today illustrate how much Trumpandbrexit has hurt America and Britain in the past months. They have made it not just possible but also electorally beneficial for a friendly leader of a crucial partner to bash them in public. And more than that: to do it with sincerity.

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My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.

DONNIE TRUMPO HAS INVOKED A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS AND HE’S WIPING HIS ASS WITH OUR MOST SACRED DOCUMENT THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME I HAVE EXPLICITLY TOLD YOU THAT YOU HAD BETTER STEP UP

If you do that, you too will be sad when you leave, and the American people will be safer.

SORRY YOU’RE GOING TO BE FIRED AS WELL BY THIS CANCER ON THE AMERICAN STATE IT’S GOING TO BE WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER BUT THE COUNTRY’S FREEDOM IS ACTUALLY AT STAKE HERE DESTROY HIM LIKE A GREAT AVENGING EAGLE

Working with you has been one of the great joys of my life. Thank you for that gift.

IF I EVER MEANT ANYTHING TO YOU MY G-MEN AND G-WOMEN YOU WILL BURN THIS MOTHER DOWN

Jim Comey

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State of the Discussion

+ From early on, Trump gave his adversaries abundant excuses to declare him illegitimate, or illegitimate as far as their principles were concerned. To skip ahead [. . .]
Theodicy of Trump – a Tweet-Drizzle (OAG #11)
Wade McKenzie
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Only the retrospective knowledge that Trump, against every establishment anticipation, won the election lends the idea that Hillary Clinton ought to have refused to participate [. . .]
Theodicy of Trump – a Tweet-Drizzle (OAG #11)
+ I'd go much further than perhaps you might expect in supporting your criticism of the Democrats here, or crucial aspects of it. There's no reason [. . .]
Jennifer Rubin: Pro-Trump Republicans will get nothing, not even retention of a House majority – The Washington Post

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Tweets toward an Inquiry into Inquiry, in relation to Ideologies

There are progressive and liberal ideologies or ideological constructs, but the desirability of progress and its attainment via rational and open ("liberal") inquiry remain pre-conditions of any authentic (authentically "discursive") discussion.[...]

All the News that's Fit to Kill (OAG #8)

The Post appears to be promising to narrate the death of democracy - or, if unconsciously, to be revealing an intention to embody it.[...]

On Emulating the TP vs Trump's GOP

"Remember when everyone lectured Tea Party they should speak sweetly to woo liberals & so they toned down & then they won 2010? / Me neither."[...]

King of the World

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Commenter Ignore Button Plug-In Now Available from the WordPress Repo

Commenter Ignore Button (CIB) lets a user to put one or more commenters "on ignore." To have such an option enabled is a frequent request at blogs and other sites where comment threads are plagued by trolls or other problematic commenters, but where site operators prefer to err on the side of open discussion - or don't want to get involved unless they really have to. Once users become generally aware of the option, people just seeking attention may either be more polite or move somewhere else, while regular commenters - and lurkers - may become more willing to engage.[...]

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Postscript to future historians from Xmas 2016 (OAG #8)

We would be compelled to conclude that something must have been (and very likely remains) profoundly wrong with a political culture or political media - of which Matthew Yglesias and Vox are, of course, typical parts - that could be dominated by an issue to be judged intrinsically trivial, and dominated to the point of determining eventual collective decisions of undoubted significance.[...]

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Si Vis Bellum, Part 3: Always Again

If members of the present younger generation in particular seem unable to articulate or comprehend the basis of a still operative policy consensus, they can hardly be faulted if their elders, even those running for the highest office in the land, can no longer do so either. We seem to be preparing and in effect demanding - perhaps cannot help but to require - a repetition, or at least a reinforcement, of the very old lesson.[...]

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The Fall of Aleppo and the virtual Fall of Washington are linked not just by the lead sponsors or perpetrators of such unimaginable or until recently unimaginable crimes, but by a long and apparently far from finished history of bipartisan and cooperative failures and omissions that, removed from context, provide illimitable opportunity for internecine partisan assault, and therefore for intensification of the underlying conditions of political paralysis and strategic hypochondria that made them possible, and that made events like them, and new ones, virtually certain.[...]

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Operation American Greatness: Russiagate Links 12 Dec 2016

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Thesis on the Great Trumpian Victory (OAG #6)

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Patti Smith Sings "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" at Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Ceremony

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Comments on "Islam is the rock on which the liberal order broke?"

History may instead record that what broke this latest "liberal order" (a typical contradiction in terms), as before and likely again, as inevitably, was the latest liberal order itself. Yet historians may alternatively - or also - someday record that it was liberalism that finally broke Islam or the Islamic Order, and, perhaps, in so doing repaired one or both - though it may always be too early to say so.[...]