Author Archives: Mark R. Kelly

Ls&Cs: Engagement with the Universe

Two contrasting perspectives, today, both passages I just happened to read during my morning web browsing. Rival worldviews. One characterizing religious myths, the other about Kim Stanley Robinson.

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Ls&Cs: Balancing the Left and Right

NYT, Jonathan Rauch and Peter Wehner, posted 20 Jan 2022: What’s Happening on the Left Is No Excuse for What’s Happening on the Right

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Ls&Cs: Misleading Maps

Here’s one of my favorite counter-intuitive facts: how our impressions of the sizes of countries and continents that we get from (flat) maps are wildly inaccurate.

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John Allen Paulos, INNUMERACY: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences (1988)

This slender book was first published in 1988 (I have the 1990 paperback edition) and became a bestseller. It was one of the earliest books on the very general theme of how many people don’t understand the world around them, … Continue reading

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L&Q&Cs: Neal Stephenson on What Might Save Us

Sunday’s New York Times Magazine had an interview with SF writer Neal Stephenson, whose latest novel is Termination Shock. NYT Times Magazine: Neal Stephenson Thinks Greed Might Be the Thing That Saves Us

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E.O. Wilson: THE SOCIAL CONQUEST OF EARTH (2012)

E.O. Wilson’s THE SOCIAL CONQUEST OF EARTH, from 2012, is in my estimation one of the four most significant books by this scientist and writer. (The others are ON HUMAN NATURE, 1978; CONSILIENCE, 1998; and THE MEANING OF HUMAN EXISTENCE, … Continue reading

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L&Qs&Cs: Wearing Us Down

We are weary of this, as I alluded a few posts ago, but that’s what they count on, I think, that the events of the past year, or past five years, will become the new normal. (I refuse to link … Continue reading

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E.O. Wilson, GENESIS: THE DEEP ORIGIN OF SOCIETIES (2019)

This was Wilson’s second to the last original book, and it’s quite short, perhaps simply a long essay; 125 pages divided into 7 chapters with illustrations and blank pages in between; many references, and an index. Key Points The gist … Continue reading

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E.O. Wilson: THE ORIGINS OF CREATIVITY (2017)

What is creativity? It is the innate quest for originality. The driving force is humanity’s instinctive love of novelty—the discovery of new entities and processes, the solving of old challenges and disclosure of new ones, the aesthetic surprise of unanticipated … Continue reading

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L&C: Rationality in Language

Something a bit abstruse for today. This is via a Facebook post by David Brin on December 21st.

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