A young man stares out a window and the caption reads “Bus windows: the ultimate philosophy school.” writes

All the canonical philosophers of boredom have believed that boredom was eventually edifying – a painful experience that, like mortality itself, educates and enhances the mind. Because we’re all addicts of our own desires for stimulation, the therapy here may be hard. There may be withdrawal, and the DSM and medical models of clinical addiction won’t help. This is philosophical work.


Provocative statement by Canadian automobile reviewer.

> There isn’t now and likely never will be enough electricity available worldwide to replace all the petroleum for the vehicles we currently drive.

> And given that at least in Canada, only 11 per cent of fossil fuel emissions come from passenger vehicles (that’s not from some climate-change-denying website but from Environment Canada, the official tree-huggers of the federal government), and that this percentage is dropping as newer, cleaner cars replace older, dirtier ones, the belief that battery-powered cars are the answer to our pollution issues is not only far-fetched, it’s downright dangerous because it takes focus away from the real pollution bad guys, like agriculture and cement manufacture.

Jim Kenzie | Feb. 1, 2020 | Toronto Star at

Lecture on "Are Systems Changes Different from System + Change?" at master's, web video and digital audio now at coevolving.com/blogs/index.php .

Lecture of 1h18m covered 37 of 55 slides, all online for

The 2019-2020 fires in Australia are associated with a slow history of human activity.

> Three hours north, in Sydney, the air quality was worse than in Jakarta. [....]
> There is no doubt that the fires are growing more ferocious. Even without the changing climate, it would be inevitable; 250 years of land mismanagement have changed the way in which Australia’s bushland reacts to a spark.

"Mourning a disappearing world as Australia burns" | Jessica Friedmann | Jan. 2, 2020 | Globe & Mail at theglobeandmail.com/opinion/ar

> ... a fascinating study by Javier Miranda, principal economist at the U.S. Census Bureau; Benjamin Jones, professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; and Pierre Azoulay, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. They took a detailed look at the demographics of successful entrepreneurship. The results were so conclusive as to debunk the myth of the young startup founder. They paint a portrait that is much more consistent with your own intuition from experience.

> They conclude: “The mean age at founding for the 1-in-1,000 fastest growing new ventures is 45.0. The findings are similar when considering high-technology sectors, entrepreneurial hubs, and successful firm exits. Prior experience in the specific industry predicts much greater rates of entrepreneurial success.”

It’s a Disservice to Urge Young People To Become Entrepreneurs | Jeffrey A. Tucker | November 15, 2019 at aier.org/article/its-a-disserv

The scientific publication is:
"Sleep fragmentation, microglial aging, and cognitive impairment in adults with and without Alzheimer’s dementia" | Science Advances | Dec. 2019 at advances.sciencemag.org/conten doi:10.1126/sciadv.aax7331

As a mature adult, is a bad cycle of sleeping poorly impacting your cognitive function?

> Dr. Lim, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Toronto ... suggest[s] microglia play a role in the link between poor sleep and cognitive impairment and dementia. Microglia normally help fight infections and clear debris from the brain. But dysfunction of microglia appears to be involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Lim said. [....[

> Dr. Liu-Ambrose, the Canada research chair in physical activity, mobility and cognitive neuroscience at UBC, said good-quality sleep is believed to allow the brain to clear itself of toxic beta-amyloid protein, the buildup of which is one of the characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease. And, she said, there is also good evidence to suggest an accumulation of beta-amyloid can further contribute to disrupted sleep.

> “It’s a vicious cycle,” she said.

"Study finds link between dementia and lack of sleep" | Wendy Leung | Dec. 11, 2019 | Globe and Mail at theglobeandmail.com/canada/art

Does "the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and the second best time is now" date back further than 1988?
@AmericanForests .
Christmas tree 2019 prices, says
@ChrisAReynolds , trace to financial crisis of 2008

Declarations of sapiosexuality may describe individuals seeking partners for intellectual intercourse.

> A self-described “sapiosexual," someone who is primarily attracted to intelligence over physical appearance, Van Dusen says she now screens her dates for post-secondary education. [.....]

> Many sapiosexuals acknowledge the term can come off elitist, but in the often superficial world of online dating, they say, identifying as such helps them foreground their interests to potential partners. Sex researchers point out there is a difference between a sexual preference and a sexual orientation.

> There is almost no academic research on sapiosexuality, says Dr. Lucia O’Sullivan, a psychology professor and sexuality researcher at the University of New Brunswick. But, she says, there are plenty of studies that show most people value intelligence in romantic partners.

"Have you ever dated a sapiosexual?" | Dave McGinn | Oct. 9, 2019 | Globe & Mail at theglobeandmail.com/life/relat

In the Canadian press, this is attributed to inverted yield curve, resulting from the trade war.

> Anyone buying that bond is willingly buying an investment that's guaranteed to lose money, but investors are more than happy to buy it up - because the fear is that alternative investments will fare even worse. [....]
> Those negative yields are filtering down into the economy in some truly jaw-dropping ways. A Danish bank this week started offering a negative yielding mortgage ...
"Free mortgages and bond yields turned upside down: trade war impacts veer toward the wacky" Aug. 17, 2019 cbc.ca/news/business/trump-tra

There's something seriously wrong in the global financial markets, when banks are offering mortgages at zero or negative rates.

> Jyske Bank, Denmark's third largest, has begun offering borrowers a 10-year deal at -0.5%, while another Danish bank, Nordea, says it will begin offering 20-year fixed-rate deals at 0% and a 30-year mortgage at 0.5%.
> Under its negative mortgage, Jyske said borrowers will make a monthly repayment as usual – but the amount still outstanding will be reduced each month by more than the borrower has paid.

"Danish bank launches world's first negative interest rate mortgage" Aug. 13, 2019 at theguardian.com/money/2019/aug

Web video of Systems Changes: Learning from the Christopher Alexander Legacy, extending especially Eishin School and Multi-Service Centers methods-in-practice. For Ontario, up the learning curve on ongoing research. coevolving.com/blogs/index.php

Web video of presentation of Evolving Pattern language towards an Affordance Language, 2018, on week visiting#RaphaelArar and at Almaden. Insider's history of science and prospects coevolving.com/blogs/index.php

Web videos of keynote presentation "Innovation Learning for Sustainability: What's smarter for urban systems" for 2018 International Conference on Smart Cities and Design (SCUD) in Wuhan. coevolving.com/blogs/index.php

Web videos of lecture "Architecting for Wicked Messes: Towards an affordance language for service systems" 2018, two sessions for @redesign and . One slide set, two slightly different talks on my research to that point. coevolving.com/blogs/index.php

Extreme weather conditions could lead to disruption in regional food supplies, says an IPCC report published in August 2018.

> It is projected that for every degree of global warming, the world's yield of wheat will fall six per cent, corn by 7.4 per cent, and rice and soybeans both by a little more than three per cent each. Together those four crops account for two-thirds of the calories consumed by people, and with the population growing by 80 million people each year on average, the world needs to produce more food, not less.

"Canadian food supplies at risk if climate change not slowed: UN report" | Mia Rabson (The Canadian Press) | Aug. 8, 2019 at ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/canadian-f

> Cynthia Rosenzweig, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City and one of the coordinating lead authors of the IPCC report, said much of the world relies on trade to access food, which increases global vulnerability if food production is affected across several regions at the same time.

"Climate change could trigger a global food crisis, new U.N. report says" | Denise Chow | Aug. 8, 2019 | NBC News at nbcnews.com/mach/news/climate-

"Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems" | Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change | August 2019 at ipcc.ch/report/srccl/

While we should be satisfied with "making do", we should also appreciate that it's human nature to be (sometimes) frivolous.

> Making do is a deeply pragmatic philosophy. It means asking of our things the only question we should ever ask of them: “Can you fulfill your intended use for me?” [....] Taken literally, it simply means making something perform – making it do what it ought to do. [....]
> The challenge, of course, is that making do is at odds with human nature. As products of evolution, we are predisposed to seek novelty, variety and excess; now, we hunt for bargains, not mastodons. [....]
> In other words, to be frivolous is to be human. To aspire to pure pragmatism – to own only necessities – is misguided.

"The life-changing magic of making do" | Benjamin Leszcz | July 13, 2019 | Globe & Mail at theglobeandmail.com/opinion/ar

Agriculture responds to climate change, with chicken farmers switching to ducks, and shrimp fisherman switching to crabs.

> The advantages of ducks for farmers such as Akter [in Bangladesh] are several. Chickens catch infections much more easily than ducks do when they get wet, too hot, or too cold, Helal Uddin, the BRAC agriculturalist who first came up with the duck program, told me. [....]
> Nor is it just ducks. In the southwest of Bangladesh, crab fattening is on the rise. Its proponents hope crabs, which sell at high prices—especially the meatier ones—can form part of a new coastal economy, stemming the tide of migration to the cities.

"To Survive in a Wetter World, Raise Ducks, Not Chickens" | Susannah Savage | July 13, 2019 | The Atlantic at theatlantic.com/international/

Show more
Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves. A STEM-oriented instance.

No hate, No censorship. Be kind, be respectful

We federate with all servers: we don't block any servers.