November, 2009

Welcome, Kim Scheinberg!

Kim is one of my best friends and the single most self-aware friend I have.  In terms of hearing a rational argument and seeing solid evidence, nobody updates their beliefs and practices to coincide quicker than Kim.  And when the evidence shifts to suggest a deeper, more nuanced truth, so does Kim, without ego, and without disdain for those who are not as willing to remake their mind and personal identity with as much facility.  These qualities (amongst others) makes Kim someone I greatly admire and strive to emulate, and someone with whom I always look forward to talking and learning from.  I know you will too.…


In learning the history of various religions, it becomes clear that all religions are created to redress human suffering in whatever forms are ubiquitous during the founding. They are spread at a rate directly proportional to the suffering and directly proportional to the simplicity of the message.

Given this formulation, what does it portend for the religions of Science, Democracy and Capitalism respectively?…

How Many Calories for a Dollar?

Michael Pollan, as always, making perfect sense:

Now watch Will Allen on urban farming…

Cultural Relativity

When a person walks into a village and blows it up along with themselves we call it terrorism. But when a person drops bombs from a $100M fighter jet and blows up a village it’s somehow not terrorism. Why is that?

This is an observation Laura made tonight that stopped me in my tracks. I don’t know why it did, I’m sure I’ve heard it before.

Another thought that went through my mind was the question of what causes terrorism? The only single-word answer that I can think of which is not oversimplified is… imperialism. I’m sure I’d heard that somewhere before too.

If you ever go to India, I highly recommend loading the movie Ghandi onto your iPhone to watch along the way. The power of his *ideas* is as unfathomable as the ideas are ancient and simple: non-violence; humility; service. Where have we heard these before? The better question is, what ancient belief system does not espouse them?

Some would say imperialism is…

Egyptian Mummies Yield Ancient Secrets of Good Journalism

This is based on an LA Times article here

What strikes me most is how athlerosclerotic the science itself is.  Or perhaps it’s just the reportage?

The opening line of the article is “CT scans of Egyptian mummies… show evidence of… hardening of the arteries, which is normally thought of as a disease caused by modern lifestyles….”  One of the researching cardiologist draws this conclusion: “Perhaps atherosclerosis is part of being human.”

The LA Times reporter covering the story (Thomas Maugh) rightly points out at the end, “The high-status Egyptians ate a diet high in meat from cattle, ducks and geese, all fatty.”  Which of course entirely negates the hypothesis of heart disease being part of the natural human condition.

It’s clear why the researchers — both cardiologists — would want ancient evidence to support the notion that heart disease is normal.  But the fact is that the preponderance of evidence around the world in epidemiology as well as cardiology indicates that …