Project Unabom

Project Unabom

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.

Download all episodes here.

https://www.audacy.com/podcasts/project-unabom-149264

If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal: What Animal Intelligence Reveals About Human Stupidity

If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal: What Animal Intelligence Reveals About Human Stupidity

Author(s): Justin Gregg

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, Year: 2022

ISBN: 0316388068,9780316388061

Search in WorldCat | Search in Goodreads | Search in AbeBooks | Search in Amazon.com

http://library.lol/main/BE0C449BC9903F4F9CA856D7B8C7367D

Description:
“A dazzling, delightful read on what animal cognition can teach us about our own mental shortcomings.”
– Adam Grant

“Undeniably entertaining”
– 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.

 

Over half of known human pathogenic diseases can be aggravated by climate change

Over half of known human pathogenic diseases can be aggravated by climate change

Abstract

It is relatively well accepted that climate change can affect human pathogenic diseases; however, the full extent of this risk remains poorly quantified. Here we carried out a systematic search for empirical examples about the impacts of ten climatic hazards sensitive to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on each known human pathogenic disease. We found that 58% (that is, 218 out of 375) of infectious diseases confronted by humanity worldwide have been at some point aggravated by climatic hazards; 16% were at times diminished. Empirical cases revealed 1,006 unique pathways in which climatic hazards, via different transmission types, led to pathogenic diseases. The human pathogenic diseases and transmission pathways aggravated by climatic hazards are too numerous for comprehensive societal adaptations, highlighting the urgent need to work at the source of the problem: reducing GHG emissions.

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-022-01426-1

Rainwater everywhere on Earth unsafe to drink due to ‘forever chemicals’, study finds

Rainwater was found to contain unsafe levels of forever chemicals. – Copyright Pexels

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.

 

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Ozark Magic with Brandon Weston

OZARK MAGIC WITH BRANDON WESTON

https://sittingnowpodcast.podbean.com/e/ozark-magic-with-brandon-weston/

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 RootworkHoodoo, 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.​

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Handle with Care

A photo taken from the International Space Station by NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman Sept. 2, 2014.
A photo taken from the International Space Station by NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman Sept. 2, 2014.

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.

LINK: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/episodes/on-the-media-handle-with-care

Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios

Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios

Abstract
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.

LINK

Dark green religion : nature spirituality and the planetary future


Dark green religion : nature spirituality and the planetary future

Description:
In this innovative and deeply felt work, Bron Taylor examines the evolution of “green religions” in North America and beyond: spiritual practices that hold nature as sacred and have in many cases replaced traditional religions. Tracing a wide range of groups—radical environmental activists, lifestyle-focused bioregionalists, surfers, new-agers involved in “ecopsychology,” and groups that hold scientific narratives as sacred—Taylor addresses a central theoretical question: How can environmentally oriented, spiritually motivated individuals and movements be understood as religious when many of them reject religious and supernatural worldviews? The “dark” of the title further expands this idea by emphasizing the depth of believers’ passion and also suggesting a potential shadow side: besides uplifting and inspiring, such religion might mislead, deceive, or in some cases precipitate violence. This book provides a fascinating global tour of the green religious phenomenon, enabling readers to evaluate its worldwide emergence and to assess its role in a critically important religious revolution.

DOWNLOAD: http://library.lol/main/B9BBB2CCA0487F104A243B0C16D053BC

This Civilisation is Finished with Rupert Read

This Civilisation is Finished with Rupert Read

This episode I’m joined by Rupert Read is an academicand a Green Party campaigner and a former spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion). In this episode we discuss the end of civilization, collapse, sustainable energy and more…

Read’s site: https://rupertread.net

LINK: http://library.lol/main/DFD70A0C0020BE5E3EB97AFC6BFE8DA5

Description:
Industrial civilisation has no future. It requires limitless economic growth on a finite planet. The reckless combustion of fossil fuels means that Earth’s climate is changing disastrously, in ways that cannot be resolved by piecemeal reform or technological innovation. Sooner rather than later this global capitalist system will come to an end, destroyed by its own ecological contradictions. Unless humanity does something beautiful and unprecedented, the ending of industrial civilisation will take the form of collapse, which could mean a harrowing die-off of billions of people.

This book is for those ready to accept the full gravity of the human predicament – and to consider what in the world is to be done. How can humanity mindfully navigate the inevitable descent ahead? Two critical thinkers here remove the rose-tinted glasses of much social and environmental commentary. With unremitting realism and yet defiant positivity, they engage each other in uncomfortable conversations about the end of Empire and what lies beyond.

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