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Trump administration is anti-science

There is plenty of evidence that the Trump administration is anti-science. For example:

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Why Wages Have Stagnated While GDP Has Grown: The Proximate Factors

Source: Why Wages Have Stagnated While GDP Has Grown: The Proximate Factors

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keep them happy with drugs and computer games


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Science, religion, and human behavior

Nietzsche famously said that there are not facts, only interpretations. The claim of science is rationality, but scientist are human, and therefore limited on the capacity to perceive reality objectively. The tool used by the scientific discipline to approach objectivity is the scientific method. Science is a belief system and scientist are subject to cultural and individual biases. Yet not all belief systems are religious. In the scientific belief system the predictive power of theory is the ruling consideration. Religious belief are magical and facts or experience are secondary to dogma. A rationalization of facts is necessary to fit them in the religious model.

Atheism per se is not scientific, it might be a religion for some, yet the scientific position cannot be but agnostic. In the human experience there is not factual or theoretical proof of the existence of a supernatural sentient being. If it were, they will be only one religion and the mechanics of how to relate to the supernatural will be common knowledge.

It is hard to define anything. Words like religion are especially hard to define because they are used to mean different things depending of speaker and context. Particularly, in my personal experience most people confuse magic with religion and folk reasons for religion beliefs are actually magic thinking: Means to control or influence reality by magic.

One thing I do not agree with is the statement that religion is puzzling because there is no benefit to it. Humans need meaning and a sense of belonging: Religion is the cultural manifestation of those instinctive needs.

Humans are a singularity, but the underlying mechanisms of behavior are a product of evolution, and as such, are shared among other animals. In any case, behavioral drivers explain group behavior and individual behavior in a statistical sense, as a general patterns. Furthermore, humans are for the most part unaware of their own motivations.

A scientific explanation of human behavior has to be functional and reductionist because the scientific method is analytic and function and behavior can be observed and measure, while meaning is subjective and not directly observable.

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The Sykes–Picot Agreement

The Sykes–Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and France,[1] with the assent of Russia, defining their proposed spheres of influence and control in the Middle East should the Triple Entente succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empireduring World War I. The negotiation of the treaty occurred between November 1915 and March 1916.[2] The agreement was concluded on 16 May 1916.[3]

The agreement effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of future British and French control or influence.[4] An “international administration” was proposed forPalestine.[5] The terms were negotiated by the French diplomat François Georges-Picot and Briton Sir Mark Sykes. The Russian Tsarist government was a minor party to the Sykes–Picot agreement, and when, following theRussian Revolution of October 1917, the Bolsheviks exposed the agreement, “the British were embarrassed, theArabs dismayed and the Turks delighted.”

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islamophobia

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“Integrity vs. Despair”

Voices from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

The mean(ingless)-stream media circus continues
Celebrating the latest ignorance and cruelty
Seas, air and land poisoned by hubris and greed
Drones and bombs shredding lives and livelihoods
Millions of refugees searching for shelter
I feel the earth crying out to awaken our hearts
It’s more than enough to foster sorrow and hopelessness

***

crouching child

***

As a woman of little importance I still have a choice
to resist that temptation
for the sake of my grandchildren and yours
As a simple teacher and storyteller I can give voice
to the suffering and wisdom of my ancestors
to the fleeting fragile beauty present, now, everywhere
to clear visions of the peaceful world that could yet be

***

***

Each one of us who resists despair
adds a bit of light to the world

***

Note:

The title, “integrity vs. despair” is drawn from Erik Erikson’s theory on…

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with luck, balls are better than brains

Christopher Columbus (c. 31 October 1451 – 20 May 1506) was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in what is today northwestern Italy.[2][3][4][5] Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements in the island of Hispaniola, initiated the process of Spanish colonization, which foreshadowed the general European colonization of the “New World“.

In the context of emerging western imperialism and economic competition between European kingdoms seeking wealth through the establishment of trade routes and colonies, Columbus’ far-fetched proposal to reach the East Indies by sailing westward received the support of the Spanish crown, which saw in it a promise, however remote, of gaining the upper hand over rival powers in the contest for the lucrative spice trade with Asia. During his first voyage in 1492, instead of reaching Japan as he had intended, Columbus landed in the Bahamas archipelago, at a locale he named San Salvador. Over the course of three more voyages, Columbus visited the Greater and Lesser Antilles, as well as the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Venezuela and Central America, claiming them for the Spanish Empire.

Never admitting that he had reached a continent previously unknown to Europeans, rather than the East Indies he had set out for, Columbus called the inhabitants of the lands he visited indios (Spanish for “Indians“).[7][8][9] Columbus’ strained relationship with the Spanish crown and its appointed colonial administrators in America led to his arrest and dismissal as governor of the settlements in Hispaniola in 1500, and later to protracted litigation over the benefits which Columbus and his heirs claimed were owed to them by the crown.

Washington Irving‘s 1828 biography of Columbus popularized the idea that Columbus had difficulty obtaining support for his plan because many Catholic theologians insisted that the Earth was flat.[25] In fact, most educated Westerners had understood that the Earth was spherical at least since the time of Aristotle, who lived in the 4th century BC and whose works were widely studied and revered in Medieval Europe.[26] The sphericity of the Earth is also accounted for in the work of Ptolemy, on which ancient astronomy was largely based. Christian writers whose works clearly reflect the conviction that the Earth is spherical include Saint Bede the Venerable in his Reckoning of Time, written around AD 723. In Columbus’ time, the techniques of celestial navigation, which use the position of the Sun and the Stars in the sky, together with the understanding that the Earth is a sphere, were widely used by mariners.

Where Columbus did differ from the view accepted by scholars in his day was in his estimate of the westward distance from Europe to Asia. Columbus’ ideas in this regard were based on three factors: his low estimate of the size of the Earth, his high estimate of the size of the Eurasian landmass, and his belief that Japan and other inhabited islands lay far to the east of the coast of China. In all three of these issues Columbus was both wrong and at odds with the scholarly consensus of his day.

As far back as the 3rd century BC, Eratosthenes had correctly computed the circumference of the Earth by using simple geometry and studying the shadows cast by objects at two different locations: Alexandria and Syene (modern-day Aswan).[27] Eratosthenes’s results were confirmed by a comparison of stellar observations at Alexandria and Rhodes, carried out by Posidonius in the 1st century BC. These measurements were widely known among scholars, but confusion about the old-fashioned units of distance in which they were expressed had led, in Columbus’s day, to some debate about the exact size of the Earth.


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Sources (Taken from the oatmeal via Anacephalaeosis) :

A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, and Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Loewen.

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History Buffs: Dances with Wolves

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