Terrestrial Science

Terrestrial Science

We make a mistake in thinking state socialism is the challenger to capitalism as the most important system of terrestrial knowledge. Instead, the real challenge comes from ecology, not from economy. The mania for growth built into capitalism isn't compatible with the steady state nature of ecological systems as a whole.

Introducing Quantemplation

Introducing Quantemplation I find it fascinating that religion and philosophy arose at about the same time. Except for the last hundred years or so when philosophy became professionalized, the two subjects have gone hand in hand; indeed for much of human history philosophers were religious philosophers, embedded within a religious tradition. So where did this…

Too Cheap to Meter

In 1954, a commissioner of the US Atomic Energy Commission, Lewis Strauss, declared that atomic energy would make electricity too cheap to meter. In other words we were going to enter an era of such radical abundance of free energy that we would not need to pay for it at all they had no cost.…

In Doubt we Trust. Newsletter #23.

Fundamentalism is one of those modern predicaments that often come clothed in ancient garb. Religious fundamentalists like to tout their faithfulness to a pure version of their tradition. In practice, fundamentalism is more about exclusion rather than purity; co-religionists are often targeted for their impure faith — perhaps they sing and dance or celebrate a festival that…

Mind your Brain

Obama is about to announce the brain initiative any minute now. I happen to think it is a colossal mistake, but an instructive one. First, it prompts an analysis of Obama: more than his drone war and budget debacles, this brain project is my wake up call that for all his eloquence, he utterly lacks…

Synthesis

Science has mostly been an analytic pursuit; we try to break the universe into its constituent parts and analyze these parts for what they are. This method is also often called reductionism, but one can be analytic without being a reductionist. Engineering on the other hand is synthetic; while an engineer does analyze cars in…