Post-secondary education has an increasing tendency to become obsolete, even in more classic fields such as English literature where most of the information and adequate methods for accessing and manipulating it have been in place for a hundred years or more.
North Europeans like myself are notoriously prone to bipolar “disorder” and seasonal affective “disorder.” Are these really disorders, or are our minds and bodies telling us that we are forcing ourselves into a pattern of summer productivity which is ultimately unsustainable?
I hope this book becomes a theme for the coming Christmas; it is as timely as it was when it appeared just over a hundred years ago. What other signposts are hidden in my memory, ready to point down “rabbit holes” when the time is ripe for uncovering old information in a new context?
This brings us to my metaphor of the “Restricted Zone in the Sausage Factory.” That is the part of any operation… which those running the operation are particularly anxious to shield from the public eye, lest it adversely affect what is euphemistically termed consumer confidence.
What if a prophet is, in essence, a person who is able to hear and interpret the complex signals generated by massive geologic events years in advance of the actual event, and is seized with the overwhelming urge to warn people to take appropriate action
The essence of competition is the expectation that added effort on the part of one party will result in that party getting a larger share of the payoff than the competitors. If he does not, it’s not competition.
“The more I sought, the more evidence has appeared to demonstrate the probability, nay certainty, that all men are of one blood.” Robert Fitzroy, Voyage of the Beagle and Adventure Vol. 2, 1839.
Poverty and hunger were very real in Hamelin in 1286. Northern Europe never really recovered from the abrupt temperature drop and subsequent famine of 1257-58. The promise of food, especially delicacies like dried fruit, would have been a powerful draw.
A result of the very long unpaid or inadequately paid period of apprenticeship, during which survival is dependent on adhering closely to programs established at the higher levels of the hierarchy, is training in avoiding independent thought, especially avoiding noticing when the results of research are not serving the general public.
Have we made significant progress in dealing with cognitive dissonance in scientific thought since the beginning of the fourteenth century? I wonder.