"Antarctica's buried lakes are connected by a network of rivers moving water far beneath the surface, say UK scientists.
It was thought the sub-glacial lakes had been completely sealed for millions of years, enabling unique species to evolve in them."
Saturday, April 22, 2006
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Secret rivers found in Antarctic:
Posted by Rob Pugh at 4/22/2006 07:16:00 AM
Friday, April 21, 2006
Alchemically Braindamaged » Blog Archive » It’s Only the End of the World, Again:
"Contrary to what you might think, digging in and defining oneself in adversarial stance to anything else makes you an accessory to their plans, not an obstacle. Arguing against something only lends it credibilty, rather than leaving it to rise and fall on it's own merits as the crazy blood thirsty bullshit that it is. It's like arguing against ethnic cleansing: do we need to argue against ethnic cleansing? Do we really want to give the maniacs who spout that kind of shit any more credibility by standing across the line from them? No fucking way. They'll just suck you into their hellworld of mass murder and make you the token resistance in it. Fuck them and fuck their fantasies. Envision somthing positive and make them fight you for a change. They're cowards and they'll lose in the end. Guaranteed."
Posted by Rob Pugh at 4/21/2006 03:36:00 AM
Seeing What You Believe, Believing What You See - Forbes.com:
"Snails have very slow nervous systems. It takes them several seconds to record each new visual impression. What this means is that if someone walks by very quickly and drops a penny in front of a snail, the person will be invisible and the penny will seem to appear form nowhere. In reverse, if a snail is picked up and moved very quickly, it will believe it has teleported from one place to the other.
Our senses play the same trick with reality at large. Our brains are too slow to register that every concrete object is winking in and out of existence at the quantum level thousands of times per second; therefore, we see solid objects where none in fact exist.
The five senses imprison us in ways that are unconscious and invisible.
...Experiments have been done in which a group of subjects are put in front of a tape recorder; they are asked to write down what the voice on the tape says, and the machine is started. But the volume is so low that the voice is very difficult to decipher. Even so, every subject writes down a reasonable set of notes. The catch is that the machine was uttering nonsense–the ear and the brain cooperated to create meaning where none existed, a totally unreliable version of reality.
A fact from neurology, little known to the general public, is that our brains create the five senses and therefore everything they tell us."
Posted by Rob Pugh at 4/21/2006 03:30:00 AM
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Next up, Alyssa Milano on Fermat's last theorem | MetaFilter:
"'Eloquent' does not and has never equaled 'correct,' but primates who feel their own 'common sense' is paramount seem to value it much more highly."
Posted by Rob Pugh at 4/19/2006 06:59:00 AM
Rigorous Intuition: A Bridge over Muddied Waters:
"By way of contrast, the original research of Daniel Hopsicker is all about constructing a narrative - identifying the pattern .. His April 17th story, for instance, concerning a DC9 seized in the Yucatan last week after hauling more than five tons of cocaine from Caracas. A co-owner of the aircraft is Brent Kovac, a Tom Delay appointee to the Business Advisory Council of the National Republican Congressional Committee. The plane's Florida charter company, 'Royal Sons,' used to be housed in a hanger at Florida's Ground Zero of Huffman Aviation, from which Mohammed Atta, according to Hopsicker's research, also used to make drug runs to Venezuela. 'A close look at Royal Sons,' writes Hopsicker, 'reveals evidence indicating that the firm is part of a cluster of related air charter firms being used as dummy front companies to provide 'cover' for CIA flights.' And let's remember, just three weeks after Atta enrolled at his flight school, its right-wing evangelical owner, Wally Hilliard, had his private plane seized with 43 pounds of likely Afghanistan heroin on board. Hilliard made some calls. Hilliard wasn't charged. Hopsicker's narrative is drugs and money, and from Iran/Contra to Indochina's Air America to Bonesmen profiteering by China's Opium Wars, it's a long-established and predictive pattern."
The Lazy Way to Success: What is Success?:
"I opined that doing something where the sole motivating focus is acquiring money is not the formula for success and, in fact, is a waste of life. He tried to defend himself by saying his focus was not on money per se and that he only wanted the money for the freedom and comfort that it would bring. (Frankly, I didn’t see how that view was any different from how everyone else in the world views money.)
Unfortunately, most people view success in terms of money and what it can buy. But to me that is an inadequate characterization of success. If we look deeply into money, we can’t help but see that it is a fraud. Money is an illusion. Governments have declared money to have value. And we all go along with it. But let’s face it, the emperor has no clothes. Even the agreed upon value of money is eroding over time...
Money is intrinsically unsatisfying, probably because it cannot buy the most valuable things in life – health, friendship, love, a fantastic golf shot, etc. Therefore, I, by fiat, am declaring that success shall hence forth be defined without using money as a measuring rod.
True success will now be defined in terms of fulfillment. If you are experiencing joy while doing what you are doing, you are successful. If your activity is making a meaningful contribution to society and the environment, you are successful. If you are reveling in a progressive collaboration, you are successful. If your intelligence and creativity are being challenged and are growing, you are successful. If you are giving people value, you are successful. If you are happy in the doing, then, with each step, you arrive. Why? Because you are already there."
Posted by Rob Pugh at 4/19/2006 06:55:00 AM
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I'd tend to think that identity consists of both that which you do - which frequently defines your position - and that which you are. But this is a nifty linguistic verbal trick to keep you from investing your sense of self only in your position and accomplishments.
Self-Acceptance vs. Personal Growth:
Self-Acceptance vs. Personal Growth:
"But if I let my self-esteem and my identity get too wrapped up in these external outcomes, I’ll be setting myself up for ultimate failure. When the pendulum swings the other way, and of course it eventually will, I’ll get frustrated with my less than stellar performance. And from there it’s a slippery slope into the realm of ego-driven attachment to outcomes...
The solution is upstream… to keep identity and position as separate as possible. I find that a couple practices help a lot with this: journaling and meditation. I’ve been doing both for many years, and these practices help me keep my internal compass aligned with true north principles that aren’t going to change within my lifetime. So my sense of self stays rooted in permanent concepts like service, awareness, and peace. Those concepts don’t change, so my deepest sense of self remains fairly fixed. That makes it easier to fully accept who I am in every moment. But on the positional side, I’m still able to enjoy the pursuit of positional growth and play full out without settling for underachievement.
If I stray from these practices for too long (more than a few weeks), I gradually fall out of alignment with true north. I eventually get sucked back into the prevailing social climate that loves to identify people with their positions. ...It would have been problematic if I fell into the trap of letting my ego become overly attached to my position... The ego resists positional changes it perceives as negative — it doesn’t like to be wrong...
Have you fallen into any person-position pairing in your own life? Do you derive your sense of self from things that are changeable and vulnerable, such as your income, your job title, your relationships, or any other form of status? How much energy are you investing in defending those positions out of fear?
When you loosen your attachment to positions, you don’t have to defend them... None of the positional aspects of your life are going to endure, so it’s best not to become too attached to them. Enjoy them while they last, but don’t seek your self in them.
When you root your self in something permanent, then your sense of self is effectively untouchable. Your position can be attacked, and you can still defend it if you like, but you won’t feel irrationally compelled to defend it out of fear. You won’t feel you’re being personally attacked when your position becomes vulnerable.
What I’m really getting at here is inner peace. When you keep your sense of self away from third-dimensional positions, your position can rollercoaster all over the place, and you can still be at peace on the inside no matter what happens. You don’t have to withdraw and be totally passive. You can enjoy being an ambitious overachiever and set and achieve goals like a maniac — and have a great time doing it. But meanwhile you don’t seek your identity in those fluctuating outcomes.
...If you find yourself succumbing to the ego-position trap, add some practices to your life like meditation, journaling, time with kids, time in nature, and so on. This will help you reconnect with what’s most sacred to you (your own version of true north principles) and keep your identity separate from your position. Then you can experience drive without attachment, ambition without ego, and peace without passivity. "
Posted by Rob Pugh at 4/18/2006 08:52:00 AM
Sunday, April 16, 2006
The Dilbert Blog: Respecting the Beliefs of Others:
"People keep telling me that I should respect the beliefs of others. That sounds entirely reasonable, at least until you think about it. The problem is in knowing where to draw the line. I can understand why, for example, Presbyterians should respect the beliefs of Methodists. They’re practically the same thing.
But what about those Heaven’s Gate guys who believed they should kill themselves so their souls could follow a comet? Am I obligated to respect those beliefs too? How about the people who give away all of their possessions because they have determined the exact date that the world will end? Do I respect their opinions up to the predicted end-time and then, after it passes, keep on respecting their opinion while they are begging the neighbors to give back their crap?
...I also wonder if showing respect for all beliefs is causing more problems than it’s avoiding. The only thing that keeps most people from acting on their absurd beliefs is the fear that other people will treat them like frickin’ retards. Mockery is an important social tool for squelching stupidity. At least that’s what I tell people after I mock them. Or to put it another way, I’ve never seen anyone change his mind because of the power of a superior argument or the acquisition of new facts. But I’ve seen plenty of people change behavior to avoid being mocked."
Posted by Rob Pugh at 4/16/2006 07:48:00 AM