Archive for the ‘history’ Category
Dictionary.com had hot word “California” and its origins. Have a read.
Early mapmakers began labeling the “island” as California, the name of a mythical island in a book called Las Sergas de Esplandián, “The Adventures of Esplandián,” written by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The book was part of a popular series of Spanish romance stories.
In the book, the mythical California is ruled by Queen Califa and populated only with female warriors who brandish gold weapons. They even harness their animals in gold because it is the only mineral on the island.
Men are as forgetful and heedless in their waking moments of what is going on around them as they are during their sleep. Fools, although they hear, are like deaf; to them the adage applies that whenever they are present they are absent. One should not act or speak as if he were asleep. The waking have one world in common; sleepers have each a private world of his own. Whatever we see when awake is death, when asleep, dreams.
Leaders in Europe and America have to take out dusty books of philosophy and check why Socrates and his ideas are still valid today:
- They’ve Never Been Rendered Obsolete
- He Taught Us to Question Everything
- He Taught Us That Life is Worthless Without Happiness
- He Taught Us to Ask if There’s Such a Thing as a Just War
- He Advocated True Freedom of Speech
- He Invented Philosophical Ethics
- He Was a Champion of Human Virtue
- He Warned Us of the Follies of Materialism
- He Taught Us the Value of Civil Disobedience
- He Taught Us to Stand Up For What We Believe
Philosopher/scholar Adler categorized freedom as:
- acquired state of mind
- self-determination: to determine — not necessarily carry-out — wishes/actions in life
Gandhi thought, “freedom isn’t worth having if it doesn’t connote freedom to err.”
In modern China/world, freedom is “fusion of personal, national, social, civic, and moral freedoms” or “liberation, self-development, independent personality/responsibility, democracy/human-rights, spiritual-cultural necessity, privacy, autonomy/self-mastery.
Hip-hop, an artistic expression/culture formed during 70s in Bronx, is a combination of terms — “hip” was used in African-American vernacular English starting in 1898, meaning current or in the know, and “hop” from “to hop.”
Hip-hop was the creative coalescence of the then popular funk music, self-appointed disk-scratching DJs, break-dancing MCs, improv lyricist-rappers and complementary street art (graffiti) which visualized a culture tinged with social bias, racism and ethnic rebellion. It went mainstream in 1979 by “Rapper’s Delight.”
Creativity in street (hip-hop) and classic (jazz) musical traditions is now being employed by neuroscience in exploring brain performance during creative processes.
4.5 billion years of evolution taught nature what works and what lasts.
We’ve been increasingly distancing ourselves from nature: agricultural revolution – grow stock and abandon hunting/gathering; scientific revolution – “torture nature for her secrets;” industrial revolution – machines replace muscles.
- use only the energy needed
- fit form to function
- recycle everything
- curb excesses from within
- tap the power of limits
- devise systems that can face unknown situations
- update ourselves by feedback loops
Stats about our universe (in 199 words – didn’t make sense to split):
- there are 200 billion stars in Milky Way;
- age of universe between now and Big Bang is about 100 billion dog years;
- universe was very smooth in the distant past;
- entropy is the number of ways we can rearrange the constituents of a system so that it looks the same macroscopically;
- entropy increases (2nd law of thermodynamics) because there are many more ways to be high entropy than to be low entropy;
- every difference between past and future is because of increased entropy: that we can remember past but not future;
- 380.000 years after Big Bang, hydrogen and helium nuclei captured electrons to form stable atoms;
- gravity started compacting helium and hydrogen clouds, and once temperatures exceeded 10 million degrees, protons started fusing -there was a huge release of energy – the first star was born;
- from about 200 million years after the Big Bang, stars started appearing through the universe.
- when large stars die, they create temperatures so high that protons start fusing into all sorts of combinations creating new types of atoms.
- Goldilocks’ conditions of life: right amount of energy, diverse chemical elements, liquids (water).
- 1 billion years ago, first multicellular organism appeared.