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ephemera

A variety of competing effects, including the moon’s tug on the oceans and the melting of glaciers, combines to slow Earth’s spin.  A day is now .002 second shorter than it was a century ago. Some 150 million years ago, dinosaurs had to jam a full day of foraging and killing into what is now only 22 hours.

Math is a product of human minds but not bendable to human will.

Everything is either impossible or trivial.

Mathematics underlies the world in a way that we normally don’t see. Zipfian distributions, the decay of radioactive atoms, the arrangement of sunflower seeds on a flowerhead – all these things and more are examples of how mathematics instruct the universe and everything in it on how to behave; how to become manifest.

A chemical famous as a constituent of red wine appears to boost the lifespans and increase the well-being of mice that haven’t followed the healthiest of lifestyles.  The compound known as  resveritrol can increase lifespans in yeast, worms, mice and fish. It works by activating the same genes that are turned on when an animal eats a severly limited number of calories.

In experiments of resveritrol‘s action, middle aged mice were fed an extremely hunhealthy diet, with fat comprising 60% of their caloric intake.  Fat rodents not fed resveritrol soon died from obesity-related diseases, while those fed the red wine compound became fat, but remained healthy. The resveritrol-supplemented fat mice had lifespans equal to those of slim, health control animals.

Merlot, anyone? The amount of reseritrol fed to the fat-healthy mice equates to about 300 classes of red wine per day for a human.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good an hard.

He had every quality that morons esteem in their heroes.

There will never be enough money in the world. Indeed, that seems to be the point of it.

Its funny the way your life is your life and you don’t know any other life. Its like trying to imagine what it would be like to be smarter than you are. It explains people who anger and annoy because they seem so thoroughly enmired in infantile rage: they are.  They have never moved beyond it, and have no way to imagine that life is life without it.

There were cases in split-brain patients (the corpus collosum, or the membrane that attaches the left hemisphere to the right, had been severed) when the patient had been reading a newspaper, and since it is only the left brain that processes language, the right brain gets bored as hell, and since the right brain controls the left arm, the person would find that his left hand would suddenly grab the newspaper and throw it to the ground!

In science a counter-intuitive result is prized more than an expected one, whereas in philosophy, if an argument runs counter to intuition, it may be rejected on that ground alone. Philosophy must produce or destroy belief. And belief, unlike utterance, should not be under the control of the will, however motivated. Belief should be involuntary.

Science is more interested in facts. A fact is nothing more than an agreed-upon observation made by qualified observers. Before Columbus, it was a fact that the Earth was flat.

If you can imagine a robot so sophisticated that it could do all the things we do – sit on park benches, play the flute and argue with its friends – then consciousness is not a physical thing.

It is not precisely true that I went for a walk this morning. What happened was that a walk was waiting to happen, and used me.

The meaning of any linguistic expression always depends on some other expression, and that other expression is also dependent on something else. Meaning is therefore always in flux and relative, part of a chain of reference that never ends.  What we think we understand right here and now also presupposes something else that is  not present.

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