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Chinahand's Random Stuff


Chinahand
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  • 1 month later...

I'm fascinated by our discoveries on sex and gender and think this TED talk is really quite important in breaking down cliches about gender stereotypes:

 

 

I regularly read William M Briggs, mainly for his insights into logical probability and Bayesian statistics, but partly to try to understand the mindset of the religious right-wing from a Catholic point of view [a part of me really shivers when thinking about this mindset, it can be genuinely scary!].

 

Prof Briggs is REALLY unhappy about gay marriage and all things metro-sexual and recently highlighted this image:

 

 

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Trans-sexuality is one complicated area. I very much disagree with gender-essentialism which Prof Briggs seems to espouse, but the reality of the surgical efforts people feel they have to undergo to express their gender seems to fall into this trap too - a particular gender has to have certain physical traits and cannot have others, hence the need to go under the knife.

 

I think that the image is a provocative piece of art which looks at this issue from a right-wing point of view, it pulls in lots of right-wing anxieties about gender and sexual issues.

 

Prof Briggs likes this use of art. While really disliking this one:

 

r-POPE-CONDOM-PORTRAIT-large570.jpg

 

Go and read this twitter post he puts up about this piece of art.

 

Art is there to be interesting and to provoke a better appreciation of our world and our place within it.

 

I think both the pictures here do this.

 

Though for me the Condom Pope wins hands down as a fantastic piece of art.

 

I cannot comprehend a mind set which would aspire to a world where such art is not created.

 

And that is why I have concerns about the right-wing and its links into Catholicism.

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I cannot comprehend a mind set which would aspire to a world where such art is not created.

 

And that is why I have concerns about the right-wing and its links into Catholicism.

 

Look around you, the destruction of archaeolgical sites and other treasures show this mind-set in action.

 

Your concerns about catholicism and the aspirations of the Right are correct.

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Oh totally agree with you Quilp - Islamo-fascism is one of, if not the world's worst manifestations of extreme right wing attitudes.

That is partly my point at Prof Briggs' post about Condom Pope - he's suffering from Fatwah envy: "if we Catholics reacted like Muslims to this blasphemy it wouldn't be displayed." Frightening.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is a really good, long article discussing the science of earthquakes and its implications for the Pacific Northwest of the US.

I personally know what it is like to be in that beautiful area of the world and feel the juddery short frequency compression waves and then a few seconds later the longer more rocking surface waves. That time the earthquake didn't last too long - magnitude 6.8 - but it is highly likely that at some point the swaying will go on and on for much longer, with truly tragic results.

 

The science of how we know that is fascinating. It is typical of so much science - patiently building up disparate records - counting tree rings, looking at marine sediments, examining Japanese Tsunami records - into a more coherent picture where we can start to understand the movements of our Earth on scales and time periods we can scarcely comprehend.

 

Science is about consilience - patiently building knowledge over decades.

 

So many disparagers of this patient work are ignorant of its huge breadth and over certain that they know what is what without going into the real detail needed. I think this article does a pretty good job of explaining the real detail and gives a flavour of just what good science is all about.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Saw this graphic in the FT comparing the reigns of Victoria with Elizabeth II.

 

I was really surprised. The UK, in a time when it is meant to be in its decline, actually grew its economy on a per capita basis far more between 1952 and now than it grew between the 1838 and 1901.

 

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As ever the reality of our decline is hugely overblown with our society creating wealth at levels far above those of Victorian times.

 

There's no doubt there are still many many problems within society, but patient efforts to find solutions have resulted in real progress, and that progress over the last 60 years has been greater than a time nostalgically seen as a golden age.

 

That isn't the image of society so many doom mongers try to put out.

 

I love it when data bursts their defeatist bubble.

 

Let's create some wealth, and provide people with opportunity.

 

 

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Something I found interesting was that atoms and subatomic particles were not solid and even more fascinating was that according to Quantum Mechanics, that mental events affect the physical world.

 

Need to study this more, but so damn interesting!

 

Any thoughts on this CH?

 

It's not really true that observation by conscious observers is what effects the outcome of physical (quantum) events. The thing that appears to matter is the measurement of the event by any device that can register it. This is what, in one interpretation, causes the wave function of a particle to collapse.

 

I've seen this 'conscious observer' thing bandied around as though our human minds have some special influence over the physical world. The slant on this often seems to border on the spiritual or mystical. It's nothing of the sort, although it is bloody amazing.

Edited by Vulgarian
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Something I found interesting was that atoms and subatomic particles were not solid and even more fascinating was that according to Quantum Mechanics, that mental events affect the physical world.

 

Need to study this more, but so damn interesting!

 

Any thoughts on this CH?

 

It's not really true that observation by conscious observers is what effects the outcome of physical (quantum) events. The thing that appears to matter is the measurement of the event by any device that can register it. This is what, in one interpretation, causes the waveform of a particle to collapse.

 

I've seen this 'conscious observer' thing bandied around as though our human minds have some special influence over the physical world. The slant on this often seems to border on the spiritual or mystical. It's nothing of the sort, although it is bloody amazing.

 

If it is not spiritual or mystical, what do you think it could possibly be?

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