"Make me a sandwich"Ich finde diesen Comic immer wieder klasse:
- Here's what "normalization" means. Trump praises this bizarre offer from Putin in which U.S. gets to question the 12 Russians the U.S. DoJ accuses of engaging in election subterfuge, in exchange for Russia questioning William Browder and former ambassador Michael McFaul. News outlets go nuts about the proposal, bringing on talking heads to discuss what a crazy idea this is. The anchors and talking heads use inflammatory language about "handing over" Brower or McFaul, or letting Russia "interrogate" the subjects, etc. But no one, NOT ONE (so far as I've seen) of these commentators or news anchors mentions the obvious: that Browder and McFaul are private citizens, so there is no legal principle under which the U.S. executive branch could compel them to show up for the questioning anyway. Do you see what's happening here? Trump talks about this swap as though it's a thing he *could* do. He knows it'll never happen. But as people talk about what a terrible idea the swap is, they unwittingly accepting the premise that citizens are property for all-powerful rulers to use as pawns in the first place! They push back on Trump's specific proposal, but they first grant his assumptions & worldview in order to do it. That's normalization.For so long as I remain an active civil servant, I can't legally mutiny against the President. If I am able to leave the civil service, the Hatch Act comes off and then I can then criticize some of the madness a bit more. Until then, I'm one of the people that keeps the federal government funded by helping collect 93% of the gross.
More chapters in the readingThe fifth segment of the reading of The Francesians is up. Contains chapters 27 through 29.
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Alien rebootShow all 5 replies
- Neil deGrasse Tyson in a new video is dismayed at American rejection of science, though it was integral to the shaping of the US. "Science is a fundamental part of the country that we are."
He sees standing in denial of science and rising to power as a "recipe for the complete dismantling of our informed democracy."
Right after that statement is a clip of Pence, as a congressman, speaking to congress and saying, "Let us demand that educators around America teach evolution not as fact, but as theory." Science denial, but continues to get elected.
Science is not affected by the intentionally misinformed science deniers. Unfortunately,
our understanding of science and our political system are both negatively affected by the
Tyson says, "When you have an established scientific emergent truth, it is true whether or not you believe in it."
Call your elected reprensentatives and remind them that Science is Real and they need to
take that into account when legislating. If they done, vote them out. Better yet, recall
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Plus, Minus: A Gentle Introduction to the Physics of Orthogonal has a remarkably simple explanation of the speed of light limit, time dilation, and other effects of relativity. Using nothing more complicated than triangle geometry in a couple of different geometric systems.
As Egan works through some of the implications of a Riemannian universe that has no speed limit, he concludes "Life will need to master some delicate reactions" and "only certain structures will be stable". Of course, he needed to find a somewhat plausible way for life to work in order to write three novels about it (which are quite good reads).
He doesn't explicitly bring up the Anthrophic principle, but if life in a Riemannian universe would be very unlikely and fragile, it's a good thing this isn't one. Being limited by the speed of light seems like a reasonable tradeoff..
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I will have to check this out. Thanks for discussing it!
A colleague of mine, S. James Gates (theoretical physicist), uses something he calls "The Einstein Hypotenuse" to engage an audience with some skill in high school trigonometry in understanding how certain things, like the speed of light, are left invariant even as space and time change with relative motion. It sounds very similar to what Egan uses.
StoryPicture possibly inspired by: http://decider.com/2015/12/11/the-radicalization-of-luke-skywalker-a-jedis-path-to-jihad/
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