Neil deGrasse Tyson - addendum

So I read this book about Narcissism called The Life of I by Anne Manne. I found this one bit about some well known Physicist who are repeatedly used by Climate Deniers. She was trying to understand why these few science guys would ignore all the research....

"The culture among physicists, studies have found, requires a macho (or highly competitive and confrontational) style of self-assertion, even bravado, while disdaining and being contemptuous of the work of others"

It just reminded me of Neil deGrasse Tyson telling me how stupid I was. And I started thinking the quote kind of applied to NDT.  There is a bit of confrontation in his Cosmos presentation and from his philosophy comments he certainly is contemptuous of the work of others. So maybe it is just a Physicist thing.

I found this interesting blog post contra NDT and Tyson actually replies in the comments section



You Are Not What You Think You Are

"There is, it seems, no mechanism in the mind or the brain for ensuring the truth, or at least the veridical character, of our recollections. We have no direct access to historical truth, and what we feel or assert to be true...Frequently, our only truth is narrative truth, the stories we tell each other, and ourselves—the stories we continually recategorize and refine. Such subjectivity is built into the very nature of memory, and follows from its basis and mechanisms in the human brain. The wonder is that aberrations of a gross sort are relatively rare, and that, for the most part, our memories are relatively solid and reliable."

"We, as human beings, are landed with memory systems that have fallibilities, frailties, and imperfections — but also great flexibility and creativity. Confusion over sources or indifference to them can be a paradoxical strength: if we could tag the sources of all our knowledge, we would be overwhelmed with often irrelevant information."

Just another thing to remind us that the world and ourselves are not what we think."Reality" is not what we remember. Or maybe it is only what we remember (perhaps erroneously) that becomes what is real.

Thank you Oliver Sachs, for breaking another bubble



Video I just want to remember


Random thougts

Neither is conservatism a makeshift fusion of capitalists, Christians, and warriors, for that fusion is impelled by a more elemental force—the opposition to the liberation of men and women from the fetters of their superiors, particularly in the private sphere. Such a view might seem miles away from the libertarian defense of the free market, with its celebration of the atomistic and autonomous individual. But it is not.

When the libertarian looks out upon society, he does not see isolated individuals; he sees private, often hierarchical, groups, where a father governs his family and an owner his employees.


More on feeling old...and mental bomb shelters

 I have very few friends or acquaintances my own age or near it. Though I am usually ill at ease in the company of elderly people I have the greatest respect and admiration for two very old men who seem to remain eternally young and creative. I mean [the Catalan cellist and conductor] Pablo Casals and Pablo Picasso, both over ninety now. 

Such youthful nonagenarians put the young to shame. Those who are truly decrepit, living corpses, so to speak, are the middle-aged, middleclass men and women who are stuck in their comfortable grooves and imagine that the status quo will last forever or else are so frightened it won’t that they have retreated into their mental bomb shelters to wait it out.

Henry Miller


 I love that phrase "mental bomb shelters"


Effort, More or Less

I know it happens to everybody, it is inevitable, obvious...but getting old(er) is kind of strange. You spend 55+ years of your life pretty much with out thinking about it and then, BLAMO..you have to worry about being in shape, or high Blood pressure or digestion or whatever. THEN you find you really do have to worry about such things.

I first started Aikido just before I turned 50, and while I was obviously not as robust as some younger people, there were actually a few times when I wore them out before myself. BUT, just before I quit a few years ago, I noticed my stamina was not what it once was and it seemed to take more to keep the weight off. And then I quit for almost 2 years.

Even after a few week of returning to Aikido I felt an improvement. But this Sunday I felt a cold coming on and by Monday after work it was bad enough that all I wanted to do was go home to sleep. Tuesday, the same. It just seemed my body was really old and tired. What a drag.

By today I felt a bit better but I was a little scared I would poop out mid class. But I felt I needed to clear out my lungs, so I rode around White Rock Lake. Not as strenuous as Aikido but enough to reassure me I was on the mend.

So why do I bother to even mention it? I guess I am trying to reassure myself that I am making an effort.