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Our immune systems are complex, so improving resistance to disease may be puffery, writes .
> I looked at how the phrase “boosting our immune system” is being represented on social media. This concept is everywhere right now: it is being pushed by .... But in reality, the immune system is fantastically complex and can’t be “boosted.” (Even if you could, you wouldn’t want to. An overactive immune response is what leads to things such as anaphylaxis and autoimmune diseases.) The bottom line: There is no evidence that food, supplements, essential oils, spinal manipulation, IV vitamin infusions or really any product can enhance the functioning of the immune system in a manner that would provide extra protection against the coronavirus.

Ventures founded on growth maximization thinking unicorn might instead turn towards sustainability as camels.

> Where Silicon Valley has been chasing unicorns (a colloquial term for startups with billion-dollar valuations), “camel” startups, such as those founded by leading global entrepreneurs, prioritize sustainability and resiliency.

> The humble camel adapts to multiple climates, survives without food or water for months, and has humps to protect itself from the desert’s deprivations. Unlike unicorns, camels are not imaginary creatures. The metaphor may not be as flashy, but camels are survivors – as are their startup counterparts.

Death of the office, in pandemic times, with a larger perspective back in history.

> Offices have always been profoundly flawed spaces. Those of the East India Company, among the world’s first, were built more for bombast than bureaucracy. They were sermons in stone, and the solidity of every marble step, the elegance of every Palladian pillar, were intended to speak volumes about the profitability and smooth functioning within. This was nonsense, of course. Created to ensure efficiency, offices immediately institutionalised idleness.

While many outside of the field of architecture like the approach, it’s not so well accepted by his peers. A summary of criticisms by and is helpful in appreciating when the use of pattern language might be appropriate or not appropriate.

Wendell Berry:
> I trust instead people like the great Kentucky farmer Henry Besuden, who said, “If a man loves his soil, he’ll save it.”

The Funtowicz and Ravetz article on Post Normal Science from 1993 is important and well cited. I notice this republishing of the article with a new foreword is on The Knowledge Futures Commonplace, with the PubPub technology from MIT underneath it.

Appreciating that science moves, can we get to fast science?
> Another practical difficulty for philosophy of science to engage with fast science is to have venues in which such engagement can occur. Our pre-print platforms are meant for future articles that exemplify slow, careful scholarship, and anyway, unlike in medicine, what happens in a philosophy pre-print archive stays in a philosophy pre-print archive. A prominent and senior member of our discipline wrote to me saying that a short article he had written, relevant to understanding the pandemic, had been rejected by a number of visible sites devoted to popular science essays. In any case, most of us do not have established publishing relationships with, say, The Atlantic, or Aeon, though Fuller noted that venues such as Nautilus and The Conversation have been open to some slightly deeper analysis than is afforded by many venues.

Ecological economics (with some key systems thinking CANSEE members) meets P2P on May 13 YouTube Live session

While media as corporate giants funded by advertising is in crisis, the demand for information is increasing. Investigative journalism takes resources, but maybe we should think about how individuals and small groups could be filling in with critically evaluated content (as opposed to misinformation and hearsay.

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 .

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

> ... 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

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

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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

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

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