Decades after Ted Kaczynski was caught, society is still asking some of the same questions about him: Is Ted a genius who went astray? Or simply a madman who murdered three people in cold blood? Project Unabom takes an in-depth look back at the Unabomber saga and Ted Kaczynski’s legacy from the perspective of FBI agents who worked to solve the case, his brother who turned him in, and Ted’s very own writings. New episodes out every Monday. Project Unabom is an Apple Original podcast, produced by Pineapple Street Studios. Listen and follow on Apple Podcasts.
Giant ice sheets, ocean currents and permafrost regions may already have passed point of irreversible change
The climate crisis has driven the world to the brink of multiple “disastrous” tipping points, according to a major study.
It shows five dangerous tipping points may already have been passed due to the 1.1C of global heating caused by humanity to date.
In An Inconvenient Apocalypse, authors Wes Jackson and Robert Jensen write that society needs to be better prepared for an inevitable collapse
In An Inconvenient Apocalypse, authors Wes Jackson and Robert Jensen style themselves as heralds of some very bad news: societal collapse on a global scale is inevitable, and those who manage to survive the mass death and crumbling of the world as we know it will have to live in drastically transformed circumstances. According to Jackson and Jensen, there’s no averting this collapse – electric cars aren’t going to save us, and neither are global climate accords. The current way of things is doomed, and it’s up to us to prepare as best we can to ensure as soft a landing as possible when the inevitable apocalypse arrives.
Author(s): Justin Gregg
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, Year: 2022
“A dazzling, delightful read on what animal cognition can teach us about our own mental shortcomings.”
– Adam Grant
– The New York Times
This funny, “extraordinary and thought-provoking” (The Wall Street Journal) book asks whether we are in fact the superior species. As it turns out, the truth is stranger—and far more interesting—than we have been led to believe.
If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal overturns everything we thought we knew about human intelligence, and asks the question: would humans be better off as narwhals? Or some other, less brainy species? There’s a good argument to be made that humans might be a less successful animal species precisely because of our amazing, complex intelligence.
All our unique gifts like language, math, and science do not make us happier or more “successful” (evolutionarily speaking) than other species. Our intelligence allowed us to split the atom, but we’ve harnessed that knowledge to make machines of war. We are uniquely susceptible to bullshit (though, cuttlefish may be the best liars in the animal kingdom); our bizarre obsession with lawns has contributed to the growing threat of climate change; we are sexually diverse like many species yet stand apart as homophobic; and discriminate among our own as if its natural, which it certainly is not. Is our intelligence more of a curse than a gift?
As scientist Justin Gregg persuasively argues, there’s an evolutionary reason why human intelligence isn’t more prevalent in the animal kingdom. Simply put, non-human animals don’t need it to be successful. And, miraculously, their success arrives without the added baggage of destroying themselves and the planet in the process.
In seven mind-bending and hilarious chapters, Gregg highlights one feature seemingly unique to humans—our use of language, our rationality, our moral systems, our so-called sophisticated consciousness—and compares it to our animal brethren. Along the way, remarkable tales of animal smarts emerge, as you’ll discover:
The house cat who’s better at picking winning stocks than actual fund managers
Elephants who love to drink
Pigeons who are better than radiologists at spotting cancerous tissue
Bumblebees who are geniuses at teaching each other soccer
What emerges is both demystifying and remarkable, and will change how you look at animals, humans, and the meaning of life itself.
Rainwater almost everywhere on Earth has unsafe levels of ‘forever chemicals’, according to new research.
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large family of human-made chemicals that don’t occur in nature. They are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down in the environment.
They have non-stick or stain repellent properties so can be found in household items like food packaging, electronics, cosmetics and cookware.
But now researchers at the University of Stockholm have found them in rainwater in most locations on the planet – including Antarctica. There is no safe space to escape them.
This week Ken and Mark venture into the deepest wooded mountains of the Ozark region to discover the hidden magic contained within. Our spirit guide on this quest is author of ‘Ozark Folk Magic’, and ‘Ozark Mountain Spell Book’, Brandon Weston.
This week we discuss: How does one acquire ‘The Power’, Plant magic, the myths and monsters of the region, just how do you pronounce ‘Appalachian’ and much more.
Joining me on his cunning throne this week is Mar(c)k™ Satyr
Main theme by Simon Smerdon (Mothboy)
Music bed by chriszabriskie.com
Check out Brandon’s book over at Llewellyn BooksBrandon Weston Bio:
My work is a living tradition. It’s the work that Ozark healers have been doing for hundreds of years. You can see many different cultures and traditions represented in Ozark folkways. These beliefs and practices, much like the Ozark people who created them, are a mixture of many places, beliefs, and ways of life. Specific folk traditions that have had a great influence on Ozark folkways include the European Cunning craft, Cajun/Creole folk medicine including the path of the Traiteur, Pennsylvania German Braucherei often also called Powwowing, Indigenous healing practices from the diverse nations of the Southeastern US, West African folk traditions by way of Southern Rootwork, Hoodoo, and Conjure, and even Central/South American Curanderismo. An important aspect of my research includes looking into all the traditions that have had such a great impact upon Ozark folkways. In looking at where these traditions intersect, we can start to understand so much more about the lives and practices of our ancestors. While you can look at Ozark folkways and see the fingerprint of all these traditions, remember that these practices remain unique to this specific area and should be approached with that mindset. I’m an Ozarker through and through. This is the land where I was born, the land where my parents and my grandparents were born, as well as many more of my ancestors before that. In this way, my work is my own, the spirits I honour are my own, and while my work may be seen as a part of the larger tapestry of Southern folk magic, there are many practices that are unique to me as I have learned them. I hold true to all these traditions that I’ve been taught and those that have been Spirit led.
A group of climate scientists warn that the potential for humanity’s mass extinction has been dangerously underexplored. On this week’s On the Media, we hear how facing our planet’s fragility could inspire hope, instead of despair, and a physicist explains how creation stories are essential for understanding our place in the universe.
Luke Kemp [@LukaKemp], a Research Associate at Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, on a new study that says we need to put more attention on the possibility of human extinction and other climate catastrophes. Bryan Walsh [@bryanrwalsh], editor of Vox’s ‘Future Perfect,’ also explains why our brains have a hard time processing catastrophes like climate change. Listen. Charles Piller [@cpiller], investigative reporter for Science Magazine, on his six month investigation into how faulty images may invalidate groundbreaking advancements in Alzheimer’s research. Listen. Guido Tonelli, a particle physicist at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, on the importance of creation myths, and what scientists can tell us about the fragility of the universe.
Prudent risk management requires consideration of bad-to-worst-case scenarios. Yet, for climate change, such potential futures are poorly understood. Could anthropogenic climate change result in worldwide societal collapse or even eventual human extinction? At present, this is a dangerously underexplored topic. Yet there are ample reasons to suspect that climate change could result in a global catastrophe. Analyzing the mechanisms for these extreme consequences could help galvanize action, improve resilience, and inform policy, including emergency responses. We outline current knowledge about the likelihood of extreme climate change, discuss why understanding bad-to-worst cases is vital, articulate reasons for concern about catastrophic outcomes, define key terms, and put forward a research agenda. The proposed agenda covers four main questions: 1) What is the potential for climate change to drive mass extinction events? 2) What are the mechanisms that could result in human mass mortality and morbidity? 3) What are human societies’ vulnerabilities to climate-triggered risk cascades, such as from conflict, political instability, and systemic financial risk? 4) How can these multiple strands of evidence—together with other global dangers—be usefully synthesized into an “integrated catastrophe assessment”? It is time for the scientific community to grapple with the challenge of better understanding catastrophic climate change.