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Links With Your Coffee - Tuesday


  • Social diversity improves cooperation and group fitness
    Nature magazine recently published a fairly hard to read but fascinating paper entitled “Social diversity promotes the emergence of cooperation in public good games” (10 July 2008 issue). The authors, Francisco Santos, Marta Santos, and Jorge Pacheco (the first at the University of Brussels, in Belgium, the other two at the University of Lisbon, in Portugal) argue that cooperation in human groups can evolve as a result of social diversity, an outcome that would make concerted efforts at increasing diversity not only ethically good, but practically useful as well.

  • None of the Answers - Stanley Fish - Think Again - Opinion - New York Times Blog
    In a famous passage in the sixth book of “The Prelude” (1805, 1850), William Wordsworth recounts a walking journey in which he and a companion (Robert Jones) crossed the Alps without having been aware that they had done so. That is, they were already heading down when they believed they were still going up. The big moment they had looked forward to occurred without their noticing. What they had missed was the liminal experience of crossing a threshold, stepping across a line, passing from one state to another. One minute they’re thinking about getting somewhere and the next minute they discover they’re already there. They can hardly believe it and question the peasant who has informed them: “And all the answers which the man returned/ To our inquiries, in their sense and substance/ Translated by the feelings which we had,/Ended in this — that we had crossed the Alps.”

  • LRB · Michael Klare: Past Its Peak
    Unlike the oil ‘shocks’ of the 1970s, the current energy crisis is almost certain to be long-lasting. None of the quick fixes proposed by pundits and politicians – drilling in protected wilderness and maritime areas, curbs on commodity speculators, pressure on members of Opec to increase output – is likely to have much impact. In 1973-74 and again in 1979-80, events in the Middle East led to a sharp reduction in the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf, causing a contraction in global supplies and a rise in energy prices, and thus sparking a global recession. But when equilibrium of a sort was restored to the region, the oil began to flow again and the crisis passed. Now, however, the imbalance between supply and demand is largely due to factors inherent in oil commerce itself – and so is less easily solved

  • Amitava Kumar :: Bye For Now (a poem

  • Steve Fuller - Science v. Religion? Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution - Reviewed by Sahotra Sarkar, University of Texas at Austin - Philosophical Reviews - University of Notre Dame
    Steve Fuller getting what he deserves for his support of ID , a real thrashing
  • Jackie Gingrich Cushman :: :: Get Lost - In A Book
    The major finding of the study was “...a positive association between exposure to narrative fiction and social abilities, and the opposite pattern for expository non-fiction.” The conclusion was that fiction readers tend to have greater social skills than do non-fiction readers and mentioned “the possibility that social skills may be improved as a result of exposure to social narratives (i.e. reading stories).”

  • Steinbeck, Hemon and Our Progressive Zeitgeist

  • Wide Scope | 75th Philosophers’ Carnival

  • » The Value of Philosophy, Yet Again

  • t r u t h o u t | Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance Comes to Brookings



Is everybody on vacation? Have we all given up? It sure seems quiet around these parts lately.

I wish I had something useful or interesting to contribute. Perhaps a poem of my own-

Barack Obama is the lesser of evils whoop-dee frickin' doo

d'oh, that was supposed to be a haiku, let me try again:

Barack Obama

is the lesser of evils

whoop-dee frickin' doo

Nice to come across a quote from Wordsworth's Prelude, sitting on the front porch on a beautiful Wednesday morning... like getting an unexpected phone call from an old friend.

Sarkar gave Fuller a thorough, knowledgeable, and remarkably good-humored thrashing. I especially liked the parade of truly basic historical and scientific errors. (Fuller doesn't know nucleic acids from proteins and he still has the gall to pontificate on the on the deficiencies of "Darwinism").


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