Archive for May, 2011

Rodrigo Cea at EL Mercurio, Chile, noticed Franzens’ writing about rayaditos

May 31, 2011

A while ago I talked about Franzens’ trip to Mas Afuera (Farther Away according to Franzen: actually for him it should be Farting away) in the Juan Fernandez archipelago, Chile, published a while ago in the New Yorker.  I was pissed at Franzen for his inane comments about the people the fish and the bread he didnt like in the island. He’s got the right to not like whatever, however dont insult the people, dont alienate, dont be a goddam imperialist pig. It translates into judgement, it hurts your art.

Franzen, somehow in “Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts’ NYT May 28, an excerpt of Kenyon College commencement speech, grows an inch taller. But, again he should have mentioned, maybe he did in the speech the important work of Jeremy Gilbert Rolfe that in the last chapter of Beauty and the Contemporary Sublime analyzes in depth the posthuman present.

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Sam Harris gone nuts and confirms evolutionary relatedness between skunks’ butt and human “intelligence”

May 30, 2011

A propos de skunks’ butt, at HP, Sam Harris confirms the notion that you can get a butt rather than a functioning brain writing “Morality without a free will-ie”.

No wonder: some atheists’ minds are like skunk butts, according to Dr Coyne

May 30, 2011

Over at Planet of the Apes Ms. Faye Flam (!) (for real last name ?) on the archquestions of faith, science, mind and whatever. She interviewed atheists, religionists, scientists and sciantheists (atheiscientists?)-atheists that are scientists.

 On a league of its own, Dr. Coynes’  remarkable opinion: “Many biologists are not religious, and few see any evidence that the human mind is any less a product of evolution than anything else, said Chicago’s Coyne. Other animals have traits that set them apart, he said. A skunk has a special ability to squirt a caustic-smelling chemical from its anal glands. Our special thing, in contrast, is intelligence, he said, and it came about through the same mechanism as the skunk’s odoriferous defense.”

So? Well, the last sentence is debatable at worst, if not right down false. Intelligence: defined how? All creatures are “intelligent”. To assume identical mechanisms for the ‘evolution” of the skunks’ gland and the evolution of  “intelligence” (human) is gratuitous.

 So: I am happy that Coyne is happy to think that his mind and the skunks’ butt evolved supported by analogous mechanisms.

There you go lads: no wonder some have their heads up their arsses.

Insult to injury: The first lado

May 28, 2011

Mrs Todd Palin will start an east coast tour, obviously to gauge her possibilities to make Todd first lado (gasp; what a nightmare0) But I wouldnt discount her from the GOP nomination.

The republidiots are desperate for a light and a front runner with a glimmer of hope: Mrs Todd Palin? ffkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

Barca

May 28, 2011

The cules have destroyed ManU. Well played. Sir Alex screwed up badly. Chicharito should have been out by the 30 ‘. Bad. Why didnt Berbatov play?

Short than brilliant, those cules.

Trumpo encore, but maybe not….

May 16, 2011

Of course he didnt run, the sleazebag. Can he be playing us?  Will Obama  have any real contenders from the GOP or anywhere? Well, maybe Rupert Murdoch or Rand Raul will go definitely crazy and run(Even  with Ron Paul there). I do hope sometimes this happens. I enyojed Perot screwing things up for the GOP, or dumb Nader screwing up big time for Democrats and everybody else for that matter ( he hides). I didnt enjoy this that much. And now, Oh Newt, you really screwed up, thank god, now NOBODY believes a single word from you.

Can anyone imagine a stranger landscape. Before OBL, Barack was considered gone. But now the question is how much of a lanslide will be. Without even throwing jobs recovery into the picture that will come inevitably.

Time 100 most (non) influential people

May 16, 2011

Time magazine usually dispenses wisdom in the form of the most beautiful, most successful, the most anything. Now we are graced by the 100 most influential people. In the Universe that is. I have no idea how they pick them. The first one is Wael Ghonim, the media sanctified “young” Google leader that Facebooking singlehandendly brought democracy..wait..no it hasnt happened yet, to Egypt. In the absence of evidence that it wasnt a publicity stunt (no reason to trust Google Egypt, Facebook or Wael himself) very ittle can be inferred from this. I place more contribution from the younger market vendorMohammed Bouazizi  that immoled himself in Tunisia for everythingit went down in that region.

Interesting to me was to know what scientists are cited. To my surprise, genuine surprise here are the names: Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, of bonobo and chimp fame (I met her great lady, gracious, nice Institute in Bloomington) but people should read the astounding work of Povinelli et al on the issue of chimps inner lives,  V.S (not B.S.) Rachamandran, fake limbs and mirror neurons (contrary to what mainstream says he didnt discover them), Derrick Rossi: stem cells, Harvard (about the only guy doing science here) and I may forget one or two but THATS IT.

Oh no, Felisa Wolfe-Simon and her sulfur bacteria are in: how is this possible? I thought that work was mostly bs?

So much for influential scientists reaching general audiences. There is a couple of medically related NGO drives but mostly they are sociopolitical in nature. Where are the stringers,  psych bios?  In the times of capitalist science I mised them in this ranking.

 I liked Joseph Stiglitzs’ mention (not a popular economist of the neocon, Rand kind, but a damn insightful analyst and pound for pound the most accurate one) and liked  Lionel Messi, Arianna and Barack O in the same page. Oh and darling Jennifer Egan, the older the wiser..and better looking.

Found this at wikipedia: “In the 2007 Time 100 list managing editor Richard Strengel explained that the Time 100 was not a list of the hottest, most popular or most powerful people, but rather the most influential, stating:

Influence is hard to measure, and what we look for is people whose ideas, whose example, whose talent, whose discoveries transform the world we live in. Influence is less about the hard power of force than the soft power of ideas and example. Yes there are Presidents and dictators who can change the world through fiat, but we’re more interested in innovators like Monty Jones, the Sierra Leone scientist who has developed a strain of rice that can save African agriculture. Or heroes like the great chessmaster Garry Kasparov, who is leading the lonely fight for greater democracy in Russia. Or Academy Award winning actor George Clooney who has leveraged his celebrity to bring attention to the tragedy in Darfur”.

No idea if this still ongoing.

GG (Glenn Greenwald)

May 14, 2011

“The quaint and obsolete Nuremberg principles” is GG (pronounced GiGi) striking article in (at) Salon.com paralleling the Nuremberg judgements and premises to whats going on today with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan in sum, the whole region: severe analysis of imperialist mind(s). Read and learn.

Greenwalds’ view is persuasive, focused on overarching principles that have been neglected far too long and way too much. Add J.Stiglitz, the Nobel, comments on VF May issue, to this: “In recent weeks we have watched people taking to the streets by the millions to protest political, economic, and social conditions in the oppressive societies they inhabit. Governments have been toppled in Egypt and Tunisia. Protests have erupted in Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain. The ruling families elsewhere in the region look on nervously from their air-conditioned penthouses—will they be next? They are right to worry. These are societies where a minuscule fraction of the population—less than 1 percent—controls the lion’s share of the wealth; where wealth is a main determinant of power; where entrenched corruption of one sort or another is a way of life; and where the wealthiest often stand actively in the way of policies that would improve life for people in general. As we gaze out at the popular fervor in the streets, one question to ask ourselves is this: When will it come to America? In important ways, our own country has become like one of these distant, troubled places.”

Oh lord! last one turn lights off. Lets go for a tumbler.

The finger

May 13, 2011

In front of Milan stock market. I wonder whether we can stick it up the bulls’ arse.

Flaw(s)

May 13, 2011

Distinguished evo prof Dr Coyne writes: “Ants are one of the most abundant groups on earth, but, curiously, not a lot of things eat them.  Yes, there are anteaters (who also eat a lot of termites), and some lizards specialize on ants, but the little critters are full of noxious chemicals and pheromones that put them way down on the list of predators’ preferred foodstuffs. Because of this, many other insects and arthropods have evolved to mimic ants, taking advantage of the aversion of predators to anything antlike”

Obviously ant mimes survive because they dont get eaten (so far so good).The ones-ant mimes- that resembled ants survived in the first place. And they evolved (so far so good).  Some will say semantics. To which I say: precisely (i dont  know whether fakes taste bad).

Moreover, it isnt “curiously’ ants are not eaten,  Coyne says it himself: ants  taste rather bad. (formic acid and other antie chemicals).

Cosmic Variance speaks confidently of biological science explaining “order’.  I assume he means biological order from  inheritance, development  and what else? The fact remains that despite we know most of the human genome sequence, we have the faintest idea how gene makes form-tissues, organs, human. Moreover, despite The origin and the new synthesis and the New atheists (sic) we dont really understand,  the rules of ‘evolution, beyond the purported explanatory force of the  conjectures of the selfish gene silliness and the shortcomings of “natural selection”,

“The common thread among all these thinkers: trying to explain the origins of order in the absence of teleology. The fact that we can do that successfully in biology, and are hot on the trail in cosmology, is a milestone achievement in the history of human thought”.

Doubtful cosmic doubt. Semantics? precisely lads.