source materials and references of a global humanoid, shared for no purpose

Posts tagged “Evolution

[VIDEO] ‎”The topographical shape and the material constitution of the upper surface of the island of Manhattan, as it exists today, is much less a matter of geology than it is of economics and politics and human psychology. The effects of geological forces were trumped (you might say) by other forces — forces that proved themselves, in the fullness of time, physically stronger. Deutsch thinks the same thing must in the long run be true of the universe as a whole. Stuff like gravitation and dark energy are the sorts of things that determine the shape of the cosmos only in its earliest, and most parochial, and least interesting stages. The rest is going to be a matter of our own intentional doing..”

By @jason_silva and @notthisbody 

“The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.” – Steven Johnson


This video is inspired, in part, by the ideas explored in David Deutsch’s new book, THE BEGINNING OF INFINITY. We hope it moves you.  (more…)



The United Nations estimates that on October 31st, the world’s population will reach 7 billion.  Although the actual number is not certain, it does underlie the fact that our population is growing at an alarming rate.  It took until the early 1800′s to reach the 1 billion mark, but the last 50 years alone have seen the births of 4 of the total 7 billion  This rapid increase raises the question, how many more people can the earth sustain?  Or have we already surpassed the earth’s capacity?  Among the many people asking questions like this are Dr. Madeline Weld, President of the Ottawa-based Population Institute of Canada, and Robert Engelman, President of The Worldwatch Institute in Washington.  They discuss how various factors – including access to contraception, the empowerment of women, poverty, consumerism, and the environment – apply to our population growth, now and in the future.



“Be afraid, be very afraid…”  I love this–I have thought about so much of what they discuss in this two person interview.  Oil, a non-renewable resource has allowed us to “over-shoot” where we as humanity really oughtta be today.  The ‘stlen’ or ‘free’ energy boost since the 1850s. The unsustainable industrialized production of foods such as corn. The inefficient production of meat.  The fact that cultures have not changed, yet babies no longer die.  Cultures dictated that a “real man” or a “real woman” reproduce at a rate much higher than necessary for population replacement.  But this was so when if you had 8 children, 5 perhaps were not expected to reach reproductive age.  Today all 8 will make it, and in turn produce 8 of their own children due to cultural memes such as religion which dictate that this is the ONLY WAY.  

So many have disagreed with me.  So many have called me simplistic to point to the growth of population as the REAL problem and climate change as merely a symptom.  But it is in no way ‘Malthusian’ to ask, what is the POINT of ‘conservation’, ‘kyoto protocols’, ‘environmental awareness campaigns’ etc etc etc, if EVEN IF we maintain 1990 levels of pollution, carbon consumption, garbage, the number of showers a human takes, and how many times a toilet is flushed per day–thus water use…the food one eats and from whence it originates, IF?

There are 10 Billion, 20 Billion, or 100 Billion humans?

This is not an irrational observation, though I have been told it is.  This is not a simple minded, non-intellectual, comment.

This is about the Tragedy of the Commons.  This is about witnessing the growth of certain cities, such as Calcutta, Shanghai, Lagos, Mexico City, Tokyo etc and seeing that for a given level of infrastructure, from trains, buses, roads, all the way to the farming lands that feed and the water basins that provide potable water to these megalopoli–only a certain number of people can enjoy them before it all becomes a hellish experience of the scarcity of resources writ large, on a daily basis.  No room for your child in school, no electricity, no water, no fresh fruits and vegetables, no room on the road for your car, no sufficient public services of any kind.

I have been told that life and economics is not like this, as eventually all people reduce their fertility rates when they reach a standard level of income. I actually have a minor in Economics and have studied a variety of theories on developmental economics.  So I am not speaking from ignorance or ‘a little learning is a dangerous thing’.  Listen to what is stated as ‘the scientifically sustainable human population’ in the audio link above.

I’d also recommend listening to Robert Wright’s Massey lectures on his book (or reading the book itself) called ‘The Short History of Progress’–where he shows that human history is filled with groups of humans not paying heed to the natural feedback loops of nature.  We are a part of nature.  And it frustrates me to no end, when humans in 2011 deny the unity that is humanity.  There are no more ‘groups’–we are all one group, and are aware of this, in some respects yet not others.

We are all one.  It doesn’t MATTER if you live in Edmonton, Mexico City or Calcutta.  It doesn’t MATTER what your last name is, what religion you’ve been handed down or converted into and what this meme teaches you.  There are basic facts about the sustainability of the human earthling population.

If you add to the population, it affects the whole world.  But I don’t think humanity is yet ready to understand that we are indeed one.




TED’s mission is ideas worth spreading. The dream behind the Ads Worth Spreading initiative is to find companies that want to communicate ideas to their consumers in the same way that TED wants to communicate with its audience.

Revealing the way a company thinks tells consumers what that company is and what it stands for. 

“In our brave new interconnected world, the rules of marketing are changing fast,” says Anderson. “Ambush advertising is broken. We think there’s a better way, based on sharing powerful ideas. Most companies are teeming with amazing ideas that the rest of the world never gets to see. By letting some of those ideas out into the world in an authentic way, companies have a shot at transforming the way they are perceived. We’re looking forward to another fantastic round of entries from forward-thinking companies and people.”

We’re combining curation and crowdsourcing to find the best ads from every corner of the globe. 


The Age of Persuasion explores the countless ways marketers permeate your life, from media, art, and language, to politics, religion, and fashion.

[VIDEO] The Bottom of the Ocean is the ‘Holiest’ Place on Earth

Some of these things just look like DNA swimming around…disco ball? Huh?

I used to think what they uncovered in 1909 in the Burgess Shale was out there, but they’re all just super old fossils.  These beings are so similar structurally but actually living.

We can actually see life living down pure unadulterated, LIFE. In forms we could only dream of, or contemplate aliens as.

‘Aliens’ already share our space, we just never bothered to look.  And they’re not aliens, they’re Earthlings.

I agree with the concept of LIFE.

MUSIC: Dark Angel by Katie Jane Garside

“Squid Males “Bisexual”—Evolved Shot-in-the-Dark Mating Strategy Mating with anything with eight arms pays off in dim depths, study says.”

A female O. deletron squid carrying sperm packets—seen as white dots—in 2007. Photograph courtesy MBARI

Traci Watson

for National Geographic News

Published September 20, 2011

When it comes to mating, some male squid aren’t very picky: They copulate just as often with other males as with females, a new study says.

That’s because would-be suitors of the hand-size species Octopoteuthis deletron, which live in the murky depths of the eastern Pacific Ocean, can’t easily tell the males from the females, the research shows.

“They can see each other, but they are not able very well to distinguish between the sexes at the distance at which they decide, ‘I’m going to mate’ or ‘I’m not going to mate,’” said study leader Hendrik Hoving, of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California.

So “males mate with basically any member of the same species. … They just take a chance.”

It’s also hard to tell he from she: A female squid’s defining feature is a patch of wrinkled skin.

The result is a strategy that the study authors call “a shot in the dark”—it’s just not worth it to males to make sure their partner is the right gender. (more…)


The species turritopsis nutricula is able to transform itself from its mature state back into a polyp (immature jellyfish) and then back again – picture a gelatinous ‘Benjamin Button’ on repeat.

The species, which is only 4-5 mm in diameter, performs this miraculous feat using a process known as transdifferentiation, in which one type of cell transforms into another. While this sounds a lot like what happens in stem cells, the process is distinct.

Turritopsis nutricula isn’t the only species to use the technique; salamanders use the process to regrow limbs, while chickens utilize it to repair damaged eyes. Turritopsis nutricula, however, is the only species able to regenerate its entire body.

The entire transformation from adult to polyp takes place very rapidly, helping to explain why it has never been observed in the wild. The process, however, has been observed in the lab, and so far 100 per cent of specimens have been capable of the transformation.

Theoretically, the process can go on indefinitely, which may help to explain why scientists have noticed a spike in the number of these jellyfish in the oceans. “We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion,” said Dr Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute.

The jellyfish are believed to have originated in the Caribbean, but, due to the common shipping practice of emptying ballast water in foreign ports, is now found all over the globe.

While the jellyfish can potentially live forever, it’s unlikely that one ever will.

That’s because like other jellyfish, Turritopsis nutricula is often eaten by other animals and readily succumbs to disease.

Other larger long-lived species have a better chance at reaching impressive ages. Bowhead whales, tortoises and koi fish can all live to be more than 200 years old. Plant species can live even longer. The oldest known bristlecone pine is nearly 5,000 years old.

That isn’t stopping scientists around the globe from searching for the secret that allows this unique jellyfish from reversing the aging process. Mastering transdifferentiation could be the key to discovering a real fountain of youth.

–Michael Bolen, Yahoo! Canada News, June 17, 2010


Turritopsis nutricula, the potentially immortal jellyfish, is a hydrozoan whose medusa, or jellyfish, form can revert to the polyp stage after becoming sexually mature. It is the only known case of a metazoan capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary stage.[2][3] It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation. Cell transdifferentiation is when the jellyfish “alters the differentiated state of the cell and transforms it into a new cell”. In this process the medusa of the immortal jellyfish is transformed into the polyps of a new polyp colony. First, the umbrella reverts itself and then the tentacles and mesoglea get resorbed. The reverted medusa then attaches itself to the substrate by the end that had been at the opposite end of the umbrella and starts giving rise to new polyps to form the new colony. Theoretically, this process can go on indefinitely, effectively rendering the jellyfish biologically immortal,[3][4] although in nature, mostTurritopsis, like other medusae, are likely to succumb to predation or disease in the plankton stage, without reverting to the polyp form.[5] No single specimen has been observed for any extended period, so it is not currently possible to estimate the age of an individual, and so even if this species has the potential for immortality, there is no laboratory evidence of many generations surviving from any individual.



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One of our most innovative, popular thinkers takes on-in exhilarating style-one of our key questions: Where do good ideas come from?

With Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson pairs the insight of his bestselling Everything Bad Is Good for You and the dazzling erudition of The Ghost Map and The Invention of Air to address an urgent and universal question: What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using his fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson provides the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our society, and our culture forward.

Beginning with Charles Darwin’s first encounter with the teeming ecosystem of the coral reef and drawing connections to the intellectual hyperproductivity of modern megacities and to the instant success of YouTube, Johnson shows us that the question we need to ask is, What kind of environment fosters the development of good ideas? His answers are never less than revelatory, convincing, and inspiring as Johnson identifies the seven key principles to the genesis of such ideas, and traces them across time and disciplines.

Most exhilarating is Johnson’s conclusion that with today’s tools and environment, radical innovation is extraordinarily accessible to those who know how to cultivate it. Where Good Ideas Come From is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how to come up with tomorrow’s great ideas.


This guy experienced more global intrigue than James Bond.

Sunday , June 5 , 2011

Excerpted with the permission of Penguin Books India from His Majesty’s Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India’s Struggle Against Empire by Sugata Bose

To Emilie, with love
That Subhas Chandra Bose met and fell in love with Austrian Emilie Schenkl in Vienna in the 1930s is well documented. But in a new book on his granduncle, historian Sugata Bose explains why they chose to keep their relationship and marriage a closely guarded secret. Despite the ‘enormous, intense’ love that Bose felt for Schenkl, his ‘first love’ was his country. An extract

WIFE AND DAUGHTER: Emilie and Anita, November 1948. Courtesy: Netaji Research Bureau

From the second week of June 1934, [Subhas Chandra] Bose settled down in Vienna, since he had a contract from the publishing company Wishart to write a book on the Indian struggle since 1920. In the course of looking for clerical help with preparing the manuscript Subhas met a woman who would bring about a dramatic change in his personal life…

It was June 24, 1934. A petite and pretty young woman named Emilie Schenkl arrived to be interviewed for the clerical job. Born on December 26, 1910, to an Austrian Catholic family, she knew English, could take dictation in shorthand and had competent typing skills. Jobs were scarce during the Depression. Her father, a veterinarian, was initially somewhat reluctant to let his daughter work for a strange Indian man, but in time her whole family — father, mother and sister — developed a warm relationship with Subhas. Emilie had a gentle, cheerful, straightforward and unselfish nature, which Su-bhas found appealing. He came to respect her strength of will and affectionately called her “Baghini” meaning “Tigress” in Bengali. “He started it,” Emilie states categorically about the romantic turn in their relationship. Their intimacy grew as they spent time together in Austria and Czechoslovakia from mid-1934 to March 1936…

Subhas Chandra Bose, according to his close friend and political associate A.C.N. Nambiar, was a “one-idea man: singly for the independence of India.” “I think the only departure,” he adds, “if one might use the word ‘departure’, was his love for Miss Schenkl; otherwise he was completely absorbed. He was deeply in love with her, you see. In fact, it was an enormous, intense love.” … (more…)

IAN LESLIE – “Born Liars: Why We Can’t Live Without Deceit”


Ian Leslie’s interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC’s Q: [skip to  19:36]


Lying is an intrinsic part of our social fabric, but it is also a deeply problematic and misunderstood aspect of what makes us human. Author and journalist Ian Leslie takes us on a fascinating journey that makes us question not only our own relationship to the truth, but also virtually every daily encounter we have. On the way he dissects the history of the lie detector, how parents affect their children’s attitude to lying (and vice versa), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, the philosophical ambiguity of telling the truth, Bill Clinton’s presentational prowess, Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth, and why we should be wary of anyone with more than 150 Facebook friends.

Born Liars is thought-provoking, anecdotally driven narrative nonfiction at its best. Ian Leslie’s intoxicating blend of anthropology, biology, cultural history, philosophy, and popular psychology belies a serious central message: that humans have evolved and thrived in large part because of their ability to deceive.

[VIDEO] PAT CONDELL ROCKS! — “AGGRESSIVE ATHEISM” a unapologetic apologia on the thinking mind

[VIDEO] They never taught me about Tree Kangaroos in school. This just made life that much more worth experiencing. How cute.

The hard to reach “plush toys” on Papua New Guineau have been outfitted with “Crittercams” for the first time. The breathtaking treetop footage is already solving tree kangaroo mysteries, researchers say.

From ‘End of History’ Author, Francis Fukuyama, a Look at the Beginning and Middle


March 7, 2011

Human social behavior has an evolutionary basis. This was the thesis in Edward O. Wilson’s book “Sociobiology” that caused such a stir, even though most evolutionary biologists accept that at least some social behaviors, like altruism, could be favored by natural selection

In a book to be published in April, “The Origins of Political Order,”Francis Fukuyama of Stanford University presents a sweeping new overview of human social structures throughout history, taking over from where Dr. Wilson’s ambitious synthesis left off.

Dr. Fukuyama, a political scientist, is concerned mostly with the cultural, not biological, aspects of human society. But he explicitly assumes that human social nature is universal and is built around certain evolved behaviors like favoring relatives, reciprocal altruism, creating and following rules, and a propensity for warfare.

Because of this shared human nature, with its biological foundation, “human politics is subject to certain recurring patterns of behavior across time and across cultures,” he writes. It is these worldwide patterns he seeks to describe in an analysis that stretches from prehistoric times to the French Revolution. (more…)

[VIDEO] What it means to be a Human: Stealing meat from Lions

A great example of why language evolved in Man. (more…)

[VIDEO] Professor David Logan talks about the five kinds of tribes that humans naturally form — in schools, workplaces, even the driver’s license bureau. By understanding our shared tribal tendencies, we can help lead each other to become better individuals.

[VIDEO] THE ECONOMIST: The Seventh Billion: Facts about the world population

Why wine drinking and monogamy go together


Tuesday, Feb. 01, 2011

Among the many jabs temperance advocates like to take at alcohol is that it promotes promiscuity. One glass over the line and we all know what comes next. Loveless sex, lecherous men and “fallen women.”

But what if I told you that wine-drinking cultures throughout history have tended to be more monogamous than their abstinent counterparts? What if polygyny – the social doctrine sanctioning multiple female partners for a man – tended to prevail in societies that did not imbibe?

That paradox was uncovered recently (more…)

[VIDEO] Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see whats possible in the metropolitan landscape.

You are but a HOLON of HUMANITY

holon (Greek: ὅλον, holon neuter form of ὅλος, holos “whole”) is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part. (more…)

Why didn’t Indigenous N&S Americans develop technology at the same rates as Indigenous Europeans and Indigenous Asians did?


–written by Kanien:kaha’ka

“compare natives pre contact with europeans at the same period in history, the 15th century.

europeans got the wheel from the persian culture just as they got gunpowder from the chinese, glass from the sumerians and many other things. north america did not have these other cultures on the same land mass and so was more isolated. (more…)

Discovery opens door to possibility that a second line of earthly life has been found — a theorized “shadow biosphere” on Earth — life evolving from a different common ancestor from all we’ve known so far…

Bacteria stir debate about ‘shadow biosphere’


By Marc Kaufman

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 3, 2010; 9:12 PM


All life on Earth – from microbes to elephants and us – requires the element phosphorus as one of its six components.

But now researchers have discovered a bacterium that appears to have replaced that life-enabling phosphorus with its toxic cousin arsenic, raising new and provocative questions about the origins and nature of life.

News of the discovery caused a scientific commotion this week, including calls to NASA from the White House asking whether a second line of earthly life has been found. (more…)



(10 things I believe with 3 reasons each, demanded by A.Rorty)

I The Universe we live in is completely without point. reasons

II. Truth is absolute; truth telling, and truth hearing, relative. reasons

III. Knowledge is general; existence is particular. reasons

IV. We are animals, and everything worth knowing about us derives from biology. reasons

V. The madness of religion and the wisdom of science have the same source. reasons

VI. The root of the tree of knowledge is chance, and its sap the study of chemistry. reasons

VII. Civilization is built on accident, illusion, and mystery. reasons

VIII. Death is the mother of beauty. reasons

IX. Sex is only slightly more likely to be pure than love. reasons

X. Nothing is sacred. reasons


“Circular Argument” – because the conclusion essentially appears both at the beginning and the end of the argument, it creates an endless circle, never accomplishing anything of substance.

“hey, have you not heard that an anti-thesis of religion is in fact religion? When one hates a religion he in fact wants to create his own religion. So, he fucks himself too” – a response to rudhro’s ruminatoria

Begging the Question (Petitio Principii)

Fallacies of Presumption

By Austin Cline

Fallacy Name:
Begging the Question

Alternative Names:
Petitio Principii
Circular Argument
Circulus in Probando
Circulus in Demonstrando
Vicious Circle

Fallacy of Weak Induction > Fallacy of Presumption

This is the most basic and classic example of a Fallacy of Presumption, because it directly presumes the conclusion which is at question in the first place. This can also be known as a “Circular Argument” – because the conclusion essentially appears both at the beginning and the end of the argument, it creates an endless circle, never accomplishing anything of substance.

A good argument in support of a claim will offerindependent evidence or reasons to believe that claim. However, if you are assuming the truth of some portion of your conclusion, then your reasons are no longer independent: your reasons have become dependent upon the very point which is contested. The basic structure looks like this: (more…)

Two assessments of the philosophical impossibility of ‘multiculturalism’ | An Introduction to Stanley Fish’s piece on ‘Boutique Multiculturalism’

Enrolled as I am in a course of the Multicultural City, for my Urban Planning Masters degree, I’ve been experiencing a niggling cognitive dissonance with the political perspectives, let’s say ‘slant’, of much of our classroom readings and discussions of late. This dissonance, I found, I was not able to articulate to a fairly sophisticated, well-rounded argument until I came across the below piece by Stanley Fish, who I am more familiar with as an occasional contributor to the NYT.

I have noted that in (my humble opinion) our Blind, Knee-jerk Leftish Canadian discourse of the trials and tribulations of nurturing the Multicultural Mosaic that is Canada–Yesterday, Today as well as Tomorrow–we lack some indeed very fundamental aspects, and gloss over those that perhaps may be found to be too sensitive or easily categorized as ‘politically incorrect’ lenses of analysis.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a conservative; I am a socially conscious Canadian.  I am the proud, progeny of  immigrants to Canada.  What I am though, and perhaps arrogantly (?) I perceive others around me as not, is a nuanced thinker.  I like to ask questions; at times even meta-questions.  I do not merely toe dogmatic lines of handed-down interpretation. Even “post-modern” analysis can somehow be turned into a dogmatic protocol, it seems to me.

From my perspective, discussions of ‘Multiculturalism in Canada’ require depicting immigrants as zoo creatures, to be kept in captive enclosures of almost sacred respect and purity.  Do visualize this metaphor, I cannot merely refer to this as ‘treated as children’ (as has been requested of me by some) and it is key to see the zoo-like elements inherent in not involving a bi- if not multi- lateral interchange in that which is the “old” Canadian versus “new” Canadian interaction. (more…)

[VIDEO] Emily Campbell speaks to Anna Minton about how the economic landscape plays out on the built environment and the role of architects in developing a ‘common good’ vision of the city


Ground Control: Fear and happiness in the twenty-first-century city

Rafael Behr

The Observer, Sunday 5 July 2009

They sold our streets and nobody noticed

This timely and powerful study argues that a flawed urban-planning strategy has turned our cities into unfriendly, suspicious places, writes Rafael Behr (more…)


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