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I don’t believe what any man tells me
about life and death
even if he wears a black dress,
or a white one with gold trim,
or one of those cool orange
off the shoulder numbers.

I don’t believe what anyone tells me
about God
in sonorous tones, through incense smoke,
or cool debate, on a pedagogical mountain top,
or framed as science, without the need of method.

Each is a man with the ways of men:
Culture, comfort, and confirmation bias.
Each is given the common volume of freedom,
die-cast the same width and height as mine.

I don’t believe what anyone tells me about God.
But if God talks
I’ll listen
with an open mind.

 

 

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Knowing Things We Never Learned:

Nearly all of us must struggle diligently to acquire even modest talent in Mathematics, Music, and Art. We encounter genius as a rare group of people who display an amazing gift that seems to come to them easily compared to our sweaty, grinding, display. People with this kind of talent are sometimes called savants. Below them are random individuals of great talent and below them, the rest of us in a bell curve spread from mediocre to hopeless. Yet effortless, genius-level mastery of these areas appears to be latent in our brains, modularized in you and me, right now. How to back up such a claim? We learn much about ourselves through the exceptions of pathology and extreme variation. A break in the pattern reveals the pattern.

There are three kinds of savants that reveal these “genius modules”. Continue reading

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Marcus Tullius Cicero writing 2000 years ago on our hollowed-out foundations in the age of Trump. 

  1. Laws are silent in time of war.
  2. The enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend.
  3. Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak.
  4. When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.
  5. Nothing is more unreliable than the populace, nothing more obscure than human intentions, nothing more deceptive than the whole electoral system.
  6. It might be pardonable to refuse to defend some men, but to defend them negligently is nothing short of criminal.
  7. The false is nothing but an imitation of the true.
  8. The sinews of war are infinite money.
  9. It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.
  10. The higher we are placed, the more humbly we should walk.
  11. A liar is not believed even though he tells the truth.

 

 

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Accuracy is the ability to hit a target,

Precision is the ability to achieve the same results over and over.

You can be accurate without being precise, and precise without being accurate.

 

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In every field of inquiry, it is true that all things should be made as simple as possible – but no simpler. (And for every problem that is muddled by over-complexity, a dozen are muddled by over-simplifying.)” –Sydney J. Harris

I have filled many “pages” (Okay, too many) describing the problems that go with reductionism when it isn’t used as an experimental approach, but as a pseudo-philosophy of life appropriate for non-scientists. Most people don’t have a perpetual burr under their saddle about this sort of thing: Understandably. It’s sort of the philosophical version of being irked by someone consistently misusing a word and spreading that misunderstanding to others.

Surprisingly, the best argument against the cement mattress of reductionism might not involve me complaining at all, but simply sharing the details of some complex systems and letting the observer grasp the mind-blowing nettle for themselves.

These are very well done walkthroughs of our molecular machinery; skip around if you like, there will not be a quiz later. I challenge you to watch even a little  of this without being shocked into a new open-mindedness concerning the genius underlying life. *


“These animations show cellular biology on the molecular scale. The structure of chromatin, the processes of transcription, translation, DNA replication, and cell division are shown. All animations are scientifically accurate and derived from molecular biology and crystallography research. I have composed this video from multiple animations under fair use for non-profit, educational purposes. I do not claim copyright on this video or its contents, with the exception of the cell image. Most credit goes to Drew Berry and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI TV) for the animations. Full credits are at the end of the video.” James Tyrwhitt-Drake

DNA animations by wehi.tv for science-art exhibition

-* Usual disclaimer: No religious ax being ground. Not a creationist.

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These are brilliantly pure and warm. Some of these came very close to home for me, hopefully you will find something valuable too! Here’s her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/guadascribbles/?hl=en 

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