Theories of myth – Templo Do Conhecimento Thu, 23 Jun 2022 19:54:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Theories of myth – Templo Do Conhecimento 32 32 Aside from Doctor Strange, is the multiverse good for anything? Thu, 23 Jun 2022 16:01:00 +0000

There’s no good reason to believe the multiverse exists. Marcelo and I have consistently addressed this theme here at 13.8. Marcelo is a theoretical particle physicist, and I am a theoretical astrophysicist, and we have both argued that the idea of ​​infinite, parallel universes has no experimental or observational support. Indeed, even the theoretical basis of the multiverse is tenuous. This turns out to be more of a bug than a useful feature in theories. So what is the multiverse for?

A lot, it turns out.

The Wonderful Multiverse

This weekend I took advantage of Father’s Day to force my son to attend Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with me. While I raised my son on Marvel comics and he was a big fan of the Marvel Comics universe for the first few years, he doesn’t feel much affinity for it anymore. I’m still a big fan and luckily we both liked the movie.

Since I was the science advisor to the first Doctor Strange movie, I was really looking forward to seeing where they were going with this episode. I was also interested to see how they handled the idea of ​​the multiverse, which is a big part of the story in the actual comics. Marvel Comics product.

But why, if I’m not a fan of the Multiverse in science, would I be so interested in it as fiction?

This question leads to a simple but important point. The idea of ​​a multiverse—of parallel versions of ourselves, our lives, and our world—predates all of its modern incarnations in science. Earlier examples of the idea proliferate through fiction and mythology. Makes sense. As a device, the multiverse allows us to explore a central question of being human: the stubborn power of chance.

How many examples can you think of in your life where a small detail could have changed your destiny? If you hadn’t missed that flight, you would never have met the love of your life. If you had gotten off the sidewalk a second earlier, you would have been hit by that bus. Some examples are less straightforward: If you had attended this university instead of that one, how would your life trajectory have changed?

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Push this line of questioning on the scale of history and we end up with worlds where Hitler was killed in one of many plans for murder him, or worlds where Kennedy’s assassin missed his shot. Turn it up again, and the fate of the entire planet changes as the comet that would wipe out the dinosaurs is pulled just a millimeter to the left near Jupiter, diverting its course and sparing Earth. No dino apocalypse, no humans.

A deeply human concern

Every day, all of our lives hover over a long menu of possibilities. We can never understand why we only end up experiencing those who show up for us. Standing helpless before the ruthless gods of chance, we turn to stories of how “it was meant to be so” or “that’s how God (or the gods) intended it to be.” But somewhere, deep inside me, those answers are never fully satisfying. Why did the gods choose this path, and not the others? Did they know all the others?

Hence the multiverse. Hence the fictional dream, the narrative exploration of all these paths not taken and their consequences. Some versions of the multiverse have been with us in myth or fiction for a long time because we need them. We need it not as a reality, but as a story to explore – a story that helps us make sense of the real story we are living.

Hindu cosmology gives us Indra’s net, a cosmic web of possibilities with a jewel at the intersection of each thread and a universe nestled within each jewel. Science fiction is modern literature’s main vehicle for exploring the possibilities of other universes and parallel universes. The idea has germinated since the origin of the genre more than a century ago. HG Wells explored versions of it, as did Fredrik Pohl, Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein. These authors explored their multiverses long before the modern version of the multiverse began to appear in science, and particularly in cosmology. Versions of the parallel universe idea have also appeared outside the genre, in films such as Sliding doors (1998), About time (2013), or the remarkable groundhog day (1993).

The point to consider here is that there is a deep emotional appeal to thinking about all these other versions of us. That’s why the multiverse is like catnip for novelists and screenwriters. As crazy as the idea may seem, it is rooted in a deeply human concern. It’s worth noting that in Marvel’s Multiverse, each of these other versions are given labels. (We live on Earth #616, in case you’re interested.)

So, yes, the multiverse is an important idea – for fiction. We need it. It helps us explore and understand the intersections of fate and chance in our lives. If a story needs the multiverse and wants to pretend there’s science to back it up, I’m okay with that. The idea of ​​the “multiverse as science”, used for fictional purposes, is a good one. But when that fiction is embraced by science as if it were real, that’s a problem.

14 Books, TV Shows, and Podcasts for Dinosaur Lovers Fri, 17 Jun 2022 15:10:31 +0000

These 14 dinosaur resources celebrate the unique traits of these creatures and share ever-changing discoveries and theories about them and their prehistoric habitats.

Humans still use the word dinosaur to mean archaic, when the opposite is true – dinosaurs were an extremely diverse and successful life form.

The best dinosaur resources today celebrate the unique traits of these creatures and share ever-changing discoveries and theories about them and their prehistoric habitats. Recent dinosaur discoveries are enhanced by new technologies, such as drones and MRI, as well as communication between scientific fields, for example, paleontologists and oncologists discuss cancer in dinosaurs.

And not all new discoveries involve digging up bones. Dinosaurs left footprints and prints of their skin and feathers. Paleontologists are reassessing ancient fossils that are often stored in museums and forgotten. Human oral tradition is reexamined for its record of prehistoric life, and credibility is given to the findings of women and Indigenous peoples in their efforts to reverse the racism and sexism of the past.

Consider adding new titles regularly, especially books that cite recent findings rather than repeat old ones. Look for variety in how books share information; for example, some group creatures by time period, others sort them alphabetically. These top-notch dino titles are a great place to start.

ARLON, Penny. My First Dinosaur Atlas: Roar around the world with the most powerful beasts of all time! illus. by Paul Davis. Earth Conscious Editions. Apr. 2022. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781681887999.
PreS-Gr 4 –This compendium stands out by grouping dinosaurs, prehistoric creatures and plants by era as well as by continent, land and sea. It is ideal for young readers and very interesting navigation for quick facts, but less effective for research , as only very brief information is given about the individual dinosaurs and the brightly colored illustrations are somewhat stylized. Includes an explanation of the fossils and an index.

ARONSON, Marc & Adrienne Maire. The griffin and the dinosaur: how Adrienne Mayor discovered a fascinating link between myth and science. National Geographic. 2014. TR$18.99. ISBN 9781426311086.
5-8 grams –As a young student, the mayor wondered: Is the mythical griffin based on ancient interpretations of dinosaur bones? This biography shares his fascinating efforts to prove his theory correct and also reveals other connections between science and human myth. The Mayor’s adult book, The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times, has more information.

BLACKFORD, Cheryl. Fossil Hunter: How Mary Anning Changed the Science of Prehistoric Life. Bugle. January 2022. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780358396055.
5-8 grams –At age 13, Mary Anning collected fossils that became seminal international discoveries. In the early 1800s, when geology was in its infancy, women were excluded from science; but now Anning’s work is getting the attention it deserves. This gripping biography shares the excitement of Anning’s fossil discoveries and the complexity of the changing worldviews that surround them.

BRUSATTE, Steve. The Age of Dinosaurs: The Rise and Fall of the World’s Most Remarkable Animals. HarperCollins/Quill Tree. 2021. TR $16.99. ISBN 9780062930170.
3-7 gr. –Paleontologist Brusatte walks readers through the profiles and evolution of the dinosaurs, super salamanders and crocodiles that preceded them, and the birds and mammals that survived them. Through his fieldwork, Brusatte shares cutting-edge research and insights into the discovery and history of dinosaurs on many continents. The black-and-white images are instructive, but it’s Brusatte’s enthusiastic account that will captivate readers eager to hunt for the fossils themselves.

CHINSAMY-TURAN, Anusuya. Dinosaurs and other prehistoric life forms. illus. by Angela Rizza and Daniel Long. DK. 2021. TR $19.99. ISBN 9780744039436.
4-7 Gr –This book is packed with fascinating facts and life forms, from the Cambrian Hallucigenia to the Quaternary Glyptodon. Fossil photos shine, but illustrations often lack detail. The lack of an alphabetical index and random cross-references make navigation the best approach. For example, the “tree of life,” a diagram showing how life forms evolve from one another, and the glossary include trilobites, but nothing connects readers to the entry for Erbenochile, a type of trilobite.

JENKINS, Steve. Dinosaurs: in figures. illus. by Steve Jenkins. Bugle. 2019. TR $14.99. ISBN 9781328850959.
1-4 gr. –Infographics help kids visualize stats and compare things like length, skull size, and height of dinosaurs versus humans. Although lacking in realistic detail, the collage illustrations are informative in this format. This book includes general information about some species of dinosaurs; an explanation of their extinction; and an index, glossary, pronunciation guide, and bibliography for kids doing general research.

JENKINS, Steve. Dinosaurs roar. artwork by Steve Jenkins. Bugle. 2020. Board $8.99. ISBN 9780358040552.
Baby-Meadows – A not-too-scary introduction for toddlers learning about dinosaurs. Each page shares a dinosaur action, such as running, hatching, or roaring. Opening the folded page reveals brief information about when the dino lived and what it did: for example, a T. rex was a huge, terrifying hunter from 66 million years ago . The collage art shows the creatures in environments that support their actions.

LOMAX, Dean R. My book on dinosaurs and prehistoric life: animals and plants to amaze, amaze and amaze! DK. 2021. TR $12.99. ISBN 9780744026535.
2nd-6th grade –An engaging insight into prehistoric life, including plants, early life forms, dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals. The focus is on life forms that intrigue and fascinate. Clear illustrations, facts on every page, and an index add to the usefulness of this book for easy research, and explanations of fossils, evolution, and extinction also make it an excellent basic resource.

MAYOR, Adrienne. Fossil legends of the first Americans. Princeton University. 2007. pap. $37.50. ISBN 9780691130491.
Adult/High School – The Mayor examines North America’s Indigenous history, science and legends, finding evidence that links the human experience to prehistoric mammals, fossils and dinosaur bones. From the Paiutes who recognized trilobites as “little water bugs in stone” to the credit of forgotten Native guides, the paleontological record is more inclusive, sharing the connections and conflicts that exist in dinosaur science and North American Native culture. American.

NOLAN, Dennis. Dinosaur feathers. illus. by Dennis Nolan. Vacation Home/Neal Porter. 2019. TR $18.99. ISBN 9780823443307.
1-4 gr. –Pronunciation guides provide readers with the skills to engage with dinosaur name rhyming text that celebrates the evolutionary connection of dinosaurs to birds. Illustrations scroll colorful dinos to their asteroid demise and evolution into an array of diverse Earth birds. Notes and a “tree of life” contribute to the dates of the creatures’ lifespans and their relationships to one another.

OWEN, Ruth. My first great dinosaur fact book. Ruby Tuesday. January 2022. Tr $31.99. ISBN 9781788562461.
K-Gr 3 – Using a question-and-answer format, this engaging story guides readers through the basics of paleontology. The question “What sounds did the dinosaurs make?” is answered with brief facts and helpful illustrations of the dino’s fossilized crest and a pipe organ capable of similar sounds. Better for reading than for research, the information is not very well cross-checked. Includes a table of contents, a brief glossary, and a dinosaur quiz.

RAINEY, Merrill. Roar! I am a dinosaur. illustration by Merrill Rainey. Harper Festival. June 2022. Board $8.99. ISBN 9780063092075.
Baby-Meadows -Even babies can participate in the dinosaur theatrics, looking through the dinosaur eyes this fun board book provides on every page. Simple rhymes connect dinosaur names with dinosaur actions: for a stegosaurus stomps, a T. rex cracks, a pterodactyl soars. The colorful art is bold yet friendly.

Cathy Camper is a librarian and author of Lowriders to the Rescue and Arabic Arabic all year round!

Sri Lanka: heroes to save the nation Wed, 15 Jun 2022 22:12:52 +0000

We raise our hands to salute the young people who are tirelessly agitating to bring about the change that the country and its people deserve.

by Helasingha Bandara

Editorial Commentary

Except for a small minority of the population, the majority are not heard or seen to celebrate the arrival of the new rescue team made up of the elements of the old group popularly known as the crooks.

Is the symbolic outcry “all 225 must go” literal or metaphorical? It’s metaphorical in the sense that the outcry is an overwhelming clamor for system change. Although not about individuals, a change of individuals in a complete overhaul of a system is inevitable. The outcry is literal because no politician who grew up in the existing corrupt and inefficient governance system can think outside the box. Some argue that not all 225s are bad. As good as some of them are, they are forced to find solutions within the existing system, unable to see, hear or think beyond it. In a system change, which Sri Lanka needs, these people become superfluous. The best example is the NPP which should be progressive, wasted over an hour lighting the traditional coconut oil lamp by over a hundred people before the start of their inaugural Uva executive committee meeting . They too know nothing beyond hackneyed and deceptive traditions.

We need an overhaul of the system, and it must be foolproof, because no one in the current political system or any future leader who grew up in Sri Lanka can be trusted. The system must be changed to be stable and tight, to prevent anyone with the potential to change for the worse from doing so. Take the case of Sarath Fonseka. Many people do not doubt his sincerity. However, this writer noticed three occasions in which SF hinted that he couldn’t think outside the box either. At a rally, he said Ranil failed to get a vote because his doctrine of equal treatment of people, regardless of party affiliation, lost votes for the party. He meant that if their party was to win, they should treat their party’s supporters favorably. This means his thinking is no different from the usual political suspects who are constantly devising strategies to mislead voters. On the incident where four pairs of motorcyclists in army uniforms ransacked protesters near parliament, he said he strongly condemned any harassment of people in uniform. His loyalty to the military and the idea that the military should come first made him realize that he could not understand the fact that any thug could be sent in a military uniform to commit murder and a chaos. On the third occasion, he said he was not against paying compensation to MPs who lost their property following the May 9 attack on unarmed, non-violent civilians. The author’s intention here is not to say that SF is unfit to be given any responsibility in the governance of the country, but to emphasize the need for a tight system with no loopholes so that whatever it either goes wrong. Simply, in the new system, parliamentarians should be limited to legislating. Policy implementation should be decentralized. Constitutional amendment is not the alpha and omega of system change


Most people ignorantly raised their hopes that Ranil would get the country out of the trap it fell into. The simple logic could have been this, a person who has not developed the country while in office five times before, will he deliver the sixth time? A senior doctor in the health sector said, “Ranil will feed the people even at the expense of the country.” An engineer said “there is no one else who can do something. He’s going to do something.” A retired director of education said she was not interested in politics. At a press conference, a lawyer whose name I forget but would like to call Maha Kalu Singhalaya said that Gotabhaya invited Ranil to take the post because he is the only leader in the country highly regarded by the leaders. international. This is a sample of comments from the so-called educated elite. Maha Kaluwa has no idea about international leaders and what they consider to be a quality leader.

Ranil was part of ‘The Dirty Dozen’ published in October 2021 by Sri Lanka Guardian.

6. Ranil the Shameless

The forward-thinking majority of Sri Lankans expelled Mahinda in 2015 for his complicity in embezzling public funds and escalating corruption and nepotism despite his claims that he, and he alone, had won the war and launched all major development projects. Ranil’s four-and-a-half-year coalition rule yielded nothing tangible other than feuds between him and Sirisena. Less than a year after his administration, the Mahinda Sulanga began to blow without any obstruction because Ranil and Sirisena were committed to their personal agendas and disregarded people’s expectations. Ranil should be ashamed to come back preaching new economic theories and suggesting better governance.

He has been identified with the most defeats in Sri Lanka’s electoral history which peaked in 2020, being denied his own seat. Then and many times before, a humiliated Ranil announced that he would rescind his leadership and let the youth carry the party forward. Characteristically, he then found himself in parliament as a petty MP. He is the embodiment of shamelessness in Sri Lankan politics. Are the people complacent enough to bring him back to power?

He was ‘the Shameless’ then and even more so now. Unfortunately, Sri Lankans believe in myths. Whether it’s the country or its people, the spread of a myth ignites instantly. Ranil is such a myth. Ranil is believed to be highly educated, an economic expert, an internationally recognized leader and speaks English better than anyone. The educated and intelligent Sri Lankan diaspora would know that none of these answers are exactly true, but are exaggerations to inflate their image in the same way Gotabhaya’s image was amplified.

His education was restricted to the University of Colombo which ranks 1001+ in the World University Rankings. Economics was not his subject at the university level. None of Sri Lanka’s past or present politicians has received international recognition except Sirima Bandaranaike for her involvement in the Non-Aligned Movement and her role in ending the Indochina War. Ranil has accomplished nothing recognizable to be internationally recognized other than being charged with murder, deception, mismanagement and being an accomplice to financial embezzlement. He speaks English but his proficiency is not at the level that people assume. For example, in one of his speeches in Sinhalese, he kept repeating the Western Minister pattern. It is possible for someone to claim that English is not their native language. Being six times Prime Minister and having inherited the British system of governance, he must know that it is Westminster and not the Minister for the West, if he is to live up to the reputation that people have falsely attributed to him.

He returned to serve as Prime Minister with a goal that burned forever in his heart. It is to occupy the big chair with full force. People disgust him for regularly pointing out that the country is currently in a sorry state, a well-known fact. Has he ever said how it happened, who is responsible for it, who should be held responsible for the disaster or his strategy to rectify the situation in the short and long term?

Ranil’s skill in twisting facts is remarkable. Unfortunately for the country, there is no one in the opposition to see through his stealth instantly and challenge him on the spot.

When asked if Prasanna Ranathunga could no longer function as a minister after being sentenced to prison, his response was that he was not guilty as he had appealed the decision. The real fact eluded most of those present. The truth is that after a court verdict found him guilty, he was a guilty criminal until proven guilty by a higher court. In the meantime, he should be suspended from his parliamentary duties. He twisted Rasamanikkam’s speech with bad intentions. Rasamanikkam attempted to explain what caused the death and destruction in the aftermath of the May 9 attacks. While the whole country was burning with anger for the unimaginable hardships they had had to go through, all that was left for them to do was get agitated. When they decided to protest democratically and peacefully, Mahinda Rajapaksha, being an unintelligent person, let go of his goons to attack the peaceful protesters. In the dry season, even a half-burnt cigarette is enough to cause a forest fire. Rasamanikkam tried to educate members of parliament not to repeat the same mistake. Ranil being the biggest distorter in the country gave an entirely different interpretation.

The only time the Sri Lankan masses have come remarkably close to establishing a pro-people government was in the current “struggle” that has bent Mahinda. Ranil will go down in the annals of Sri Lankan history as the greatest traitor to the Sri Lankan people. Ranil lies like a Trojan or rather like a Sinhalese, in the words of Robert Knox (“I never saw anyone better lying than a Sinhalese”), is a champion of deception, is cunning as a jackal, unethical like a slave master and a person devoid of dignity, self-respect or self-esteem.

Wijedasa Rajapaksha

Although it was not included in my initial dirty dozen, the date of its inclusion is not far off. He’s a two-tongued monster no different from Ranil. It’s still fresh in people’s minds how he waved his tongue against the 20th Amendment and ultimately voted in favor of it. His goal is very similar to Ranil’s, that he wanted the position of Minister of Justice at all costs when justice is a foreign concept to him. His staging of the verbal fight between Gotabhaya and himself was just one shameless episode in his signature rise. He is another humble and unworthy person whom Sri Lankan politics can afford to get rid of.

Harin and Manusha

Did they accept ministerial positions to save the country? I ask people. Harin once said that he was involved in a political game. A person who considers politics as a game is only a gambler and not a sincere person who works for the people. Manusha has no knowledge that could be applied to tourism development. He does not know the value of $100,000 when he asked people to send such a sum in twelve months. How about appointing “Loke Wate Sudanthaka” who has traveled to more than 150 countries in the world and who has lived in a developed country for more than 30 years, as Minister of Tourism? He would know better than a humble person like Manusha how to develop the tourism industry. Many others who are from Pohottuwa and few other parties who have betrayed the “struggle” deserve to suffer under popular government. We raise our hands to salute the young people who are tirelessly agitating to bring about the change that the country and its people deserve.

Long live the “Fight”!!

Scientism and the health crisis in the modern world Tue, 14 Jun 2022 04:21:09 +0000

Of Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine“For some time, freedom of thought has been under siege within the medical profession. More often than not, the war on new ideas is justified in the name of science. When a discipline like science becomes so sure of itself that it believes it can dispense with periodic re-examination of its basic principles, it begins to resemble a doctrine. The more doctrinaire he is, the less receptive he becomes to external input and the more reluctant he is to challenge his authority. In the final analysis, medical science justifies its claims simply by asserting that it is science. As a result, medicine has become intolerant of free thought and is rapidly falling behind the curve of new paradigm medical theory and practice.

. . . The modern myth of scientific progress posits that science inevitably evolves toward greater precision, certainty, and understanding. We take it for granted that contemporary science provides a more accurate representation of reality than does the science of bygone eras. But this is a very debatable point that philosophers of science have argued over for decades. It is true only in the sense that it applies in a specific and limited way to the material dimension of existence. Science focuses its attention on the material but says nothing about the immaterial – that aspect of our life which involves purpose, meaning, spirit and soul. He treats emotion, intuition, imagination and even psychology as secondary subjects. As far as neuroscience is concerned, consciousness only exists as a by-product of the anatomy and functioning of the brain.

Modern science has become increasingly imperialistic, overstepping its bounds and claiming fundamental truths that historically have been the exclusive domain of religion, theology and metaphysics. The message is clear: the only reality is the hard, cold reality of material existence. Everything else is unscientific, insignificant and of little relevance to human health.

Modern life is defined in large part by the tangible, quantifiable reality that science has mapped out for our convenience, stripped of all symbolic, synchronic, and spiritual significance. Our form of medicine also reflects this same influence. Human disease has become a strictly physical event. There is no purpose to suffering; it is simply an inconvenience, a problem in the biological program which must be circumvented. By separating consciousness from disease, science believes it has purged the program of superstition.

When we open our eyes to compare our personal health-related experiences with what medicine teaches us, we begin to realize that something is wrong. Physical medicine is unable to adequately address the root causes of disease and the needs of the psyche. We collectively buy legitimacy from the external authority of science and medicine, no longer believing our own personal experiences. Medical science is quick to point out that subjective experience cannot be trusted. Rational theories of medicine take precedence over the experiential truths of patients.

I believe that this conflict between scientific knowledge and personal experience is the crisis of our time. The alleged unreliability of subjective experience is one of the main tenets of the scientific method. Science has waged a war on subjective experience for a very long time, and it has wreaked havoc on Western culture. In the same way that organized religion makes us reluctant to trust personal spiritual truths, medical science has undermined our confidence to make health care choices that are in our own best interests.

. . . Western culture has strayed dangerously far from its own spiritual roots. In this void enters science, functioning as a substitute for religion for many, providing a sense of hope and meaning in an otherwise impersonal and materially impermanent universe. However, when science meets this need, it risks becoming another competing dogma. When science becomes an ideology, it is no longer science; it is scientism.

The fringe theories of maverick conservatives persist today Sat, 11 Jun 2022 07:00:08 +0000

President Dwight Eisenhower was a communist agent. President Kennedy plotted to bring the United States military under United Nations control as a step toward incorporating the United States into the Soviet Union and establishing a world socialist dictatorship. The civil rights movement, women’s liberation, sex education and abortion are communist plots. Communism itself is the creation of the members of a two hundred year old secret society called the Illuminati.

If you believe it, you won’t like this book. On the other hand, if you don’t live in fantasy land, you’ll find Edward H. Miller’s book helpful in understanding how we’ve become a culture of “alternate facts.”

Miller, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston, uses the life of Robert Welch to explain how the Republican Party moved to the far right and beyond.

Born in 1899 in North Carolina, Robert Welch grew up in a wealthy family that revered the religion and myth of the Old South. He was very smart. At age 12, he became the youngest student to enroll at the University of North Carolina. He excelled in English, German, French literature and, above all, in mathematics.

Determined to achieve the financial freedom that would allow him to lead a life of intellectual pursuit, he founded a candy-making company that went bankrupt but eventually prospered, thanks in large part to a lollipop called the Sugar Daddy. is not an “alternative fact”).

Roosevelt’s New Deal, with its government-subsidized projects, labor support, and social safety net, horrified American business leaders. They fought back with waves of propaganda touting the free market, low taxes, and savage frontier individualism as the foundations of American greatness.

Welch was one such business leader. Miller tries to explain, not quite satisfactorily, how, of all those righties, Welch came to believe his outlandish conspiracy theories. He suggests that his addiction to mathematics may have driven him to seek out pure logical sequences as explanations for world events.

Nevertheless, Welch developed his theories and, according to Miller, genuinely believed in them. All he had to do to save Western civilization was to reveal the truth to the American people.

For decades, Welch spread his message through radio, books, newspapers, and support for organizations such as the America First Committee and authoritarians such as Charles Lindbergh and Joe McCarthy. Eventually, in 1958, he decided that more focused grassroots organization was needed and founded the John Birch Society. Named after an American missionary killed by Chinese Communists, the Society opened branches across the country to spread Welch’s message and elect supporters to school boards and state and federal governments.

Although Miller goes to great lengths to excuse Welch for being anti-Semitic or anti-African American, the company has attracted many notorious racists. Welch’s own denials of bigotry cannot hide his views that a Zionist conspiracy contributed to the origins of communism, or that black Americans would have been content with their lot had it not been for communist agitators.

Initially popular, the society began to lose general Republican support when Welch attacked Eisenhower as a volunteer agent of the Soviet Union. However, Welch’s views took on new life in the 1970s with revelations about government lies about Vietnam, Watergate, the Equal Rights Amendment campaign (for women), acceptance of homosexuality and the legalization of abortion.

Market-economy industrialists and ultra-evangelical religious groups have made common cause in opposing the emergence of a more tolerant and socially responsible country. Welch died in 1985, just before digital media managed to trap the public in toxic echo chambers that continually reinforced their prejudices. Far from repudiating conspiracy theories, today’s Republican Party embraces them. It seems that Welch’s version of the truth continues to hold.

Every evening, the Winnipegger John K. Collins forgets a glass of whiskey to please the fairies from the bottom of his garden.

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]]> Experimental Archaeology: Walking an Elephant on the Alps Sun, 05 Jun 2022 15:00:00 +0000

There are various “scientific” methods to assess the accuracy of the story. One of these ways is to look for statistical correlations in the data, but this can lead a person astray – like the Russian mathematician Anatoly Fomenko, who concluded that a Russia-Horde built the Great Pyramids. Surely there must be a better way to analyze history as scientifically as possible.

Experimental archeology

Experimental archeology is a niche activity in which modern researchers, often amateurs, attempt to recreate events, structures, tasks or journeys from the past. They accomplish these feats with the tools, methods and knowledge available at the time.

The Kon-Tiki expedition is a famous example. Six men built a rudderless balsa wood raft and floated more than 4,000 miles across the South Pacific in 1947. The purpose of this trip was to experimentally test whether primitive peoples could have traveled from South America. South and reach Polynesia. The modern expedition departed from Peru and landed 101 days later on a Polynesian atoll. Anthropologists still debate whether actual human migration happened this way. However, the Kon-Tiki trip suggested it was possible.

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Another classic example of experimental archeology is the Hannibal British Alpine Expedition. Hannibal was a general of Carthage (located in modern Tunisia), an ancient Mediterranean civilization that rivaled Rome for several centuries before the birth of Christ. Hannibal’s reputation as one of history’s greatest generals was built on his command of an army that spent 15 years dominating large parts of the Italian peninsula, overwhelming the Roman armies sent for the Stop.

Hannibal recruited or coerced men from various localities and paid mercenaries, but a central part of his army was a corps of terrifying war elephants. These creatures, or their ancestors, originated from the North African farms of Carthage. Hannibal first formed his army and corps of elephants in southern Spain, and marched on land through southern France. The Romans hoped to stop it by placing troops along the healthy coastal route to Italy. Hannibal deceived them instead embarking on a crazy journey through the Alps.

How did Hannibal lead his elephants through the high mountains? The towering creatures had to take a narrow route through the 7,000 foot high passes. Such a feat could be considered a myth if there was no well-documented sequel. trampling of the Romans by war elephants. Roman historians had various theories. Carthaginian histories were largely lost or destroyed when Rome later wiped out their civilization. Twentieth-century scholars have debated the issue in books and newspaper articles.

elephant walk

Inspired by these debates and his own love of mountaineering, a young engineering student John Hoyte personally proposed and explored a particular route. After graduating, Hoyte wrote to British consuls in Europe seeking an elephant to cross the Alps to test his route. To his surprise, the long-winded request found a zookeeper with a newly acquired healthy young circus elephant named Jumbo, who was trained to work with humans. Turin Zoo, as well as Life magazine, agreed to sponsor the trip. The team got elephant insurance. Despite all the support, it still wasn’t easy.

The original route through a mountain pass called Col de Clapier was threatened by falling rocks, so the expedition was forced to retreat and try another pass, the Col du Mont-Cenis at proximity. The human members of the expedition constructed a set of high leather boots to protect the elephant’s feet and draped a makeshift jumper over its back. Jumbo ate about 250 pounds of food a day. Still, she lost nearly 500 pounds during the 10-day walk.

A series of photographs capture the atmosphere of the expedition. Jumbo plows mountain meadows and carefully crosses bridges and narrow paths. Crowds gather in the streets of Alpine towns to serenade the passing beast and its feast. Jumbo snatches the Italy-France border crossing barrier from its trunk and lifts it. The party camps and sups in the evening with the beast. At high altitude, makeshift clothing protects her from the cold. The Italian city of Susa holds a victory celebration in the streets as Jumbo arrives, successfully completing its journey.

Journey of the War Elephants

And the real war elephants? Historians believe that many animals died during the crossing. The war elephant corps may have been resupplied during the only time in the 15-year campaign when the army received reinforcements from Carthage.

While Hannibal was never decisively defeated in Europe, a Roman general of similar greatness eventually found a way to get rid of him. Scipio, later given the epithet Africanus, attacked the Carthaginian homeland. This forced Hannibal’s recall to Africa to defend him. Hannibal’s long and interesting story continued, with more war elephants, on this continent. Scipio perfected the tactic to blunt the attacks of the Elephant Corps and eventually defeated Hannibal at the Battle of Zama.

The Alpine Hannibal expedition had a happier ending: the elephant had champagne and cake in Italy. The expedition succeeded in demonstrating that the route through the Col du Mont-Cenis could were crossed by a former platoon of war elephants, but this does not prove it. So, is re-creation in experimental archeology an effective method of testing history? It looks like we need more trials to test the hypothesis.

Barbara Kay: Jordan Peterson steps into troubled waters in Sports Illustrated swimsuit controversy Fri, 03 Jun 2022 16:17:08 +0000

It’s not fair to force people to claim that they see beauty in what they find off-putting.

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Canada’s most notorious cultural gadfly, Jordan Peterson, is a brave man. He glanced at bodied swimsuit model Yumi Nu on the cover of last month’s Sports Illustrated (SI) swimsuit issue, and without hesitation, review on twitter“Sorry. Not beautiful. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance will change that.

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The reaction was so quick and so harsh that Peterson announced he would be leaving the social network. Society’s concern for “fatphobia”, it seems, is back. In its original incarnation, fatphobia was linked by feminists to patriarchy. Their theories produced a field of investigation called “fat studies”, which took for premise the idea that fat being unhealthy is “part of an oppressive and patriarchal beauty myth that has caused women to be conventionally attractive and delicate and not take up much space”.

Women, it seems, are resisting such alleged patriarchal pressures in large numbers. A study from Johns Hopkins University found that more than half of college-age Americans are overweight or “obese,” a word considered so triggering for anti-fatphobia activists, the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health says it should be banned and replaced by “larger bodies”.

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Peterson has announced that he will be leaving the social network

Alas, manipulating vocabulary cannot change material reality. It is an established science that weight and health deficits are intimately linked. For a poignant example, an American study revealed that nearly 80% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were overweight or the O word.

I have “lived experience” in this issue, as larger bodies ran in my mother’s family. The desire for slenderness has tormented me all my life. I sympathize with all the losers of the genetic lottery which plays a big role in weight gain. I agree that obesity is an outdated vehicle for humor. I understand that the obsession with losing weight is a class thing or a culture thing. I know some guys are attracted to bigger girls.

But I have a healthy respect for reality. While we can all agree that our culture is wrongly obsessed with bodily (not just female) perfection, our understanding won’t automatically translate into an admiration for amplitude.

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Body size trends may change from time to time and from place to place. Kings and queens could be fat until the Edwardian age, but thin Royals are de rigueur today. A 16th-century painter depicting lush female bodies might have found the average SI model unpleasantly angular. What is considered beautiful in Samoa is not so in France.

Popular fashion catalogs began featuring older women a few years ago as their baby boomer clientele grew older. But their silver-haired models are still slim and lovely for their age. It’s a marketing decision. Now they feature plus size models due to the increasing weight trends across all demographics. It is also a marketing decision. (But their plus-size models wear modesty-themed concealed swimsuits.)

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Unlike a company like Lands’ End, however, SI does not sell swimwear. It sells feminine beauty (at least its annual swimsuit issue does). The cover of Yumi Nu magazine aggressively states: Women can be beach beauties at any weight, and we dare you to say otherwise (Peterson took up the challenge). If the editors of SI really believed that, they would get used to such covers. The chances of that happening are slim (pardon the expression).

As an extension of this complaint about a virtue magazine, it is also unfair to push the boundaries of plausibility in the name of diversity in the entertainment industry. Sometimes implausibility is unavoidable. There isn’t a huge recruitment pool for high-end opera talent, so opera audiences had to get used to suspending belief when, for example, in the German opera “Elektra”, the plaintive cry of Orestes, “What have they done to you? Did they starve you? both male and female opera singers are much thinner than they used to be.)

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But in other forms of entertainment – ​​stage, screen, television – the pool of actors is huge, and it’s a buyer’s market for quality acting across all racial, gender, ethnic and ethnic lines. linguistics. Diversity and plausibility can easily coexist in harmony. If the acting is superb, I forget that it is a woman playing Cassius in “Julius Caesar”. Black, white or brown makes no difference. But she has to be thin, because “yon Cassius has a lean, hungry look”.

Why shouldn’t a great woman play the romantic lead?

It’s good that great actors are no longer automatically relegated to the role of comedic foil. Why shouldn’t a great woman play the romantic lead? No reason at all. But make it plausible. In the charming Netflix film “Falling for Figaro”, the protagonist, Millie, is portrayed by a very handsome but obese actor. Her character is intelligent, graceful, efficient and sympathetic. His weight is never mentioned, as befits the purpose of the film. Everything is fine.

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But in real life, she wouldn’t be paired with her movie boyfriend Charlie, played by an actor so tall, fit and gorgeous, with gleaming black eyes and a dazzling smile, you can’t leave him for a while. eyes. Why couldn’t her boyfriend be more average?

If they truly believed weight made no difference, Millie wouldn’t come out from under the covers after a tastefully choreographed love scene that was entirely covered up. It was an exercise in gaslighting, just like the SI blanket.

We should strive to remove judgment from our discourse on obesity. But it’s not fair to compel people to assert that they see beauty in what they find off-putting, or to deny that weight is irrelevant in the mating market. We must recognize and respect the cultural hand that we have received.

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How the Multiverse Could Break the Scientific Method Wed, 01 Jun 2022 16:00:00 +0000

Today, let’s take a walk on the wild side and assume, for the sake of argument, that our universe isn’t the only one out there. Consider that there are many other universes, possibly an infinite one. All of these universes, including our own, are what cosmologists call the Multiverse. It sounds more like a myth than a scientific hypothesis, and this conceptual killjoy inspires some while it outrages others.

How far can we push the theories of physics?

The controversy began in the 1980s. Two physicists, Andrei Linde of Stanford University and Alex Vilenkin of Tufts University, independently proposed that if the Universe was expanding very rapidly at the start of its existence – we call it an inflationary expansion – then our Universe wouldn’t be alone.

This inflationary phase of growth likely occurred a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after time began. That is about 10-36 seconds after the “bang” when the clock that describes the expansion of our universe began to tick. You may ask, “How come these scientists feel comfortable talking about such ridiculously small times?” Wasn’t the Universe so ridiculously dense back then?

Well, the truth is that we don’t yet have a theory describing physics under these conditions. What we have are extrapolations based on what we know today. It’s not ideal, but given our lack of experimental data, it’s the only place to start. Without data, we have to push our theories as far as we see fit. Of course, what is reasonable for some theorists will not be for others. And this is where things get interesting.

The assumption here is that we can apply essentially the same physics to energies that are about a thousand trillion times greater than we can probe at Large Hadron Collider, the giant accelerator hosted by the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. And even if you can’t quite apply the same physics, you can at least apply the physics with similar actors.

Rough waters, quantum fields

In high energy physics, all characters are fields. Fields here mean disturbances that fill space and may or may not change over time. A coarse image of a field is that of water filling a pond. Water is everywhere in the basin, with certain properties that take on values ​​at every point: temperature, pressure, salinity, for example. Fields have excitations which we call particles. The electronic field has the electron as its excitation. The Higgs field contains the Higgs boson. In this simple image, we could visualize the particles as ripples of water propagating along the surface of the pond. It’s not a perfect picture, but it helps the imagination.

The most popular protagonist behind inflationary expansion is a scalar field – an entity with properties inspired by the Higgs boson, which was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider in July 2012.

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We don’t know if there were scalar fields in cosmic childhood, but it’s reasonable to assume that there were. Without them, we’d be horribly stuck trying to figure out what happened. As mentioned above, when we don’t have data, the best we can do is build reasonable hypotheses that hopefully future experiments will test.

To see how we use a scalar field to model inflation, imagine a ball rolling downhill. As long as the ball is at a height above the bottom of the hill, it rolls down. It has stored energy. At the bottom, you put your energy at zero. We do the same with the scalar field. As long as it is moved from its minimum, it will fill the Universe with its energy. In large enough regions, this energy causes the rapid expansion of space which is the signature of inflation.

Linde and Vilenkin added quantum physics to this picture. In the quantum world, everything is nervous; everything vibrates endlessly. This is the basis of quantum uncertainty, a notion that defies common sense. So as the field descends, it also undergoes these quantum leaps, which can propel it lower or higher. It is as if the waves in the pond are erratically creating ridges and valleys. Troubled waters, these quantum fields.

Here’s the twist: When a large enough region of space is filled with the field of a certain energy, it will expand at a rate related to that energy. Consider the water temperature in the pond. Different regions of space will have the field at different heights, just as different regions of the pond might have water at different temperatures. The result for cosmology is a plethora of wildly inflating regions of space, each expanding at its own pace. Very soon, the Universe would be made up of a myriad of swelling regions that grow, ignoring their environment. The universe is turning into a multiverse. Even within each region, quantum fluctuations can cause a subregion to bloat. The picture, then, is of an eternally reproducing cosmos, filled with bubbles within bubbles. Ours would be just one of them – a single bubble in a seething multiverse.

Is the multiverse testable?

It’s wildly inspiring. But is it scientific? To be scientific, a hypothesis must be verifiable. Can you test the multiverse? The answer, strictly speaking, is no. Each of these regions that swell — or contract, because there could also be failing universes — is outside our cosmic horizon, the region that delimits the distance traveled by light since the dawn of time. As such, we cannot see these cosmoids, nor receive signals from them. The best we can hope for is to find some sign that one of our neighboring universes has bruised our own space in the past. If that had happened, we would see specific patterns in the sky – more specifically, in the radiation left over after the hydrogen atoms formed some 400,000 years after the Big Bang. So far, no such signal has been found. The odds of finding one are, quite frankly, slim.

So we’re stuck with a plausible scientific idea that seems unverifiable. Even if we were to find evidence of inflation, that wouldn’t necessarily support the inflationary multiverse. What do we have to do?

Different types of different in the multiverse

The multiverse suggests another ingredient – the possibility that physics is different in different universes. Things get pretty nebulous here, as there are two “different” types to describe. The first is different values ​​for the constants of nature (such as electronic charge or the force of gravity), while the second raises the possibility that there are different laws of nature.

In order to support life as we know it, our Universe must obey a series of very strict requirements. Small deviations are not tolerated in the values ​​of the constants of nature. But the multiverse raises the question of naturalness, or how common our universe and its laws are among the myriad universes that belong to the multiverse. Are we the exception or do we follow the rule?

The problem is that we have no way of knowing. To know if we are common, we need to know something about other universes and the types of physics they have. But we don’t. We also don’t know how many universes there are, which makes it very difficult to estimate how common we are. To make matters worse, if there are an infinity of cosmoids, nothing can be said at all. Inductive thinking is useless here. The infinite entangles us in knots. When everything is possible, nothing stands out and nothing is learned.

This is why some physicists worry about the Multiverse to the point of hating it. There is nothing more important to science than its ability to prove ideas wrong. If we lose that, we undermine the very structure of the scientific method.

Children as young as three months can face racial bias, council says Sat, 21 May 2022 16:00:00 +0000

Parents have been sounding the alarm in the latest revelation after The Telegraph recently reported how at least four Labour-run councils recruited ‘Maoist’ diversity consultants to ‘decolonise the mindsets’ of childcare staff working with toddlers.

Nottingham City Council, Welsh Government, Islington Council and Early Years Bristol have worked with The Black Nursery Manager, a diversity consultancy which has criticized ‘whiteness violence’ and claimed the government is a “agent of white supremacy”.

MPs told the Telegraph the training should be investigated as ‘the most toxic and divisive type of dogma’, prompting the Early Years Alliance to hit back and say the critics were “incredibly myopic”, while the National Day Nurseries Association said such training “should be encouraged and not criticized”.

But activists say the angry backlash from early bodies shows how deeply rooted radical racial theories have become in nurseries, with many rejecting the ‘colorblind’ idea of ​​meritocracy because it refuses to focus on the differences between the breeds.

Complaints “cannot be taken at face value”

Lashing out at ‘educator activists’, parent Adrian Hart, of campaign group Don’t Divide Us, said: ‘Basically a lot of the studies presented in support of these sorts of ideas about children and race simply confuse acceptance of one group with rejection of the other.”

“Children’s choices about things like preference for dolls or toys, under artificial experimental conditions, do not indicate whether the child takes race into account in everyday social interactions,” added the author. author of The Myth of Anti-Racist Kids.

“Parents, educators and policy makers in local and central governments cannot take such demands at face value,” he said. “Anything that is presented as data supporting a radical reassessment of our whole approach to anti-racism and inclusion needs to be scrutinized by people other than a minority of ‘race experts’ self-proclaimed individuals who generally benefit from the same approaches they advocate for.”

The compulsory curriculum for nursery staff makes no mention of racism or particular races.

The government’s non-statutory guidelines on development issues are designed to support impartial teaching of diversity, but early years sectors released their own separate version last year which endorsed the controversial idea of ​​’white privilege’. “.

A spokesperson for Islington Council said: “As we work to create a more equal Islington, we will continue to challenge the subtle and complex ways in which people are held back and opportunities are denied.

“Structural inequalities prevent too many people in our borough from reaching their potential, and we will continue to fight inequalities so that all of our children, youth, families and communities can thrive.

Automakers promised the technology would make the roads safer. This is not the case. Thu, 19 May 2022 15:10:26 +0000

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Moveable explores the future of transport, infrastructure, energy and cities.

Earlier this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published the latest statistics on road accidents. It is a “sinister reading”, the latter being a phrasing that regularly appears in news articles about death statistics on American roads over the past half-century. 42,915 people died trying to get where they needed to go on American roads last year. That’s 117 people on average every day, which is about the number of people you can fit on a large regional jet. A plane that falls every day for an entire year.

And there is no identifiable and isolated trend that can explain this. More and more people of all ages and genders in all parts of the country are dying on all types of roads, at all times of the day and night, in all driving conditions and in all types of vehicles. .

When road deaths in the United States rose sharply in 2020 at the start of the pandemic, experts offered various theories as to why that might be. The disappearance of traffic allowing faster speeds was the first and most popular theory, followed by a strange claim of general antisociability and people basically act like assholes because of the lasting effects of pandemic life, of which aggressive driving was only a symptom. What these explanations never took into account was that, at least with respect to road deaths, the trend was almost completely isolated from the United States. While virtually every other OECD country – mostly higher-income “developed” countries in economics jargon – has been able to sustain or even accelerate decades-long trends to make roads safer during the pandemic, the United States continued its years of retreat by making its roads more dangerous for everyone. People in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Australia are about four times less likely to die in a traffic accident than US residents, according to OECD estimates. People in the UK and Japan are five times less likely to die on their roads. Canadians are about 2.5 times less likely to die on their roads. These trends predate COVID.

While security advocates reacted to the news with concern and rightly called it a preventable public health crisis, some took the opportunity to tout the technology’s potential to turn the tide. Ariel Wolf, a former Trump administration Department of Transportation lawyer who now represents the Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association, was widely quoted in press reports this week by repeating the myth that “risky driving behaviors” are at the root of this public health crisis and that the 42,915 deaths “are a reminder of why the autonomous vehicle industry is dedicated to the development and deployment of technologies that save lives. Audio-visual vehicles — ones that don’t speed up, become impaired, or get distracted — can help radically improve safety on American roads.

It’s ridiculous to point to unproven technology as the cure for a public health crisis that other countries have made huge strides in solving, like flagging down firefighters pulling up in front of your burning house with hoses. water because someone is supposed to be on the way with an innovative method of extinguishing fires. It’s also very much in line with how U.S. officials and automakers have historically reacted to such a “sinister reading.” Autonomous vehicles and semi-autonomous safety technology have been touted as the next big innovation in safety for years. Like the Reuters Automotive Bulletin underline, deaths have risen even as cars are fitted with more safety technologies than ever before, such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection and lane-keeping assist. Even if car manufacturers refrain from promising safety improvements for legal reasons, they clearly imply that in marketing, with ads showing cars braking automatically to avoid hitting someone then a happy family that continues to live its life. The problem with technologies such as automatic braking is they work best at low speeds when people are unlikely to be seriously injured in an accident anyway.

Automakers, safety officials and transportation departments locally and nationally have touted these technologies as solutions to the road fatality crisis. Ten years ago, few vehicles on the road had them. Now many more do, although we don’t know for sure how many, because automakers won’t share this data and the government won’t track it. But many of these safety features, like automatic braking, are increasingly available, even on lower-end car models. If they actually made a statistically significant difference in preventing people from dying, the roads should be safer now. They are not.

But none of this is likely to stop us from starting the cycle again, with new technologies promising to make roads safer and government officials pulling out all the stops. The lure of magical technology that will solve everything is too strong. This is strong for government officials who have nothing to do but keep promising a better future and waiting for the technology to take effect. It’s even stronger for automakers and their suppliers who can sell ever larger and more dangerous vehicles laden with expensive electronics for more profit without being subject to effective but potentially unwanted safety regulations. And it’s strongest for the American public, the vast majority of whom rely on these dangerous machines to live their daily lives, because we can continue to blame accidents on individual error, on the nut behind the wheel, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Road deaths are the product of systemic problems in road design, traffic laws and the lack of safe alternatives. It’s much easier to live our lives imagining that all 42,915 people did something wrong to deserve their fate. It is much less comforting to recognize that it was no coincidence.

Proven ways to reduce road deaths – building and maintaining robust public transit systems that work well, lowering speed limits and redesigning roads to make speeds seem scarier so people slow down naturally, expanding cycling infrastructure and countless other useful measures – are hard work that pisses a lot of people off at first. None of us want to think that we or someone we love will be one of the approximately 42,915 people who will die this year doing the same thing. But it will happen, because it does every year, and it will continue, because technology will not save us, no matter how much we hope for it.