Archive for August, 2009

Tradeoffs: Knowledge for Bliss

E.O. Wilson in Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge: The most distinctive qualities of the human species are extremely high intelligence, language, culture, and reliance on long-term social contracts.  In combination they gave early Homo sapiens a decisive edge over all competing animal species, but they also exacted a price we continue to pay, composed of […]

What I’ve Noticed

It doesn’t say anything good about our culture that sexual violence against women is eroticized and mainstream, but women choosing and enjoying sex is just too much for us. A few songs are worth more than your life.  A lot more.  (via Michael Alan Miller) Oh, and Sweden took down pirate bay. Well, this should […]

What we killed Thursday

While I haven’t paid any attention to plant species in the last several weeks, this isn’t at all because they’ve stopped disappearing.  This week’s plant is Firmiana major, a flowering tree from China.  This is a beautiful tree and I imagine it’s even lovelier covered in flowers. The aesthetic appeal of this tree is why […]

Berry Go Round!

A wonderfully silly 19th Berry Go Round is up at Quiche Moraine.  My favorite featured post is about so called “natural” diets.


Classes started yesterday.  I’m always so excited to start each semester.  The amount of time I stay excited after they start, however, decreases every year –  it’s just the second day of classes and I’m only a little excited. I’m taking a plant ecology class and a “math stats” course that looks at the theory […]

Cultural relativism might be a bad idea

E.O. Wilson in Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge: Where cultural relativism had been initiated to negate belief in hereditary behavioral differences among ethnic groups – undeniably an unproven and ideologically dangerous conception – it was then turned against the idea of a unified human nature grounded in heredity.  A great conundrum of the human condition […]