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Wolfgang Alexander Moens
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"A counterargument to your own should first be summarized in its strongest form, with holes caulked as they appear, and minor inconsistencies or infelicities of phrasing looked past. Then, and only then, should a critique begin. This is charitable by name, selfishly constructive in intent: only by putting the best case forward can the refutation be definitive. The idea is to leave the least possible escape space for the “but you didn’t understand…” move. Wiggle room is reduced to a minimum.

This is so admirable and necessary that it is, of course, almost never practiced. Sympathetic summary, or the principle of charity, was formulated as an explicit methodological injunction only recently."
“In the back-and-forth of a self-made contest, both sides have a shot.”
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Links:

a. Adam Gopnik on Darwin’s Brilliant Strategy for Preempting Criticism and the True Mark of Genius: brainpickings.org - Adam Gopnik on Darwin’s Brilliant Strategy for Preempting Criticism and the True Mark of Genius

b. Brainpickings: https://www.brainpickings.org by +Maria Popova

c. Adam Gopnik: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Gopnik

d. Charles Darwin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin
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Albert Einstein's Essay on Racial Bias in 1946.

In the years after World War II, Albert Einstein took up the mantle of confronting racism in America. He became a good friend and comrade of the prominent opera singer Paul Robeson, co-chaired an anti-lynching campaign, and was an outspoken supporter of W.E.B. Du Bois. But, it was in January 1946, that he penned one of his most articulate and eloquent essays advocating for the civil rights of black people in America. And, as described in Einstein on Race and Racism, the iconic physicist equated the ghettoization of Jews in Germany and segregation in America, calling racism America's "worst disease."

Originally published in the January 1946 issue of Pageant magazine, Albert Einstein's essay was intended to address a primarily white readership:

"[...] What, however, can the man of good will do to combat this deeply rooted prejudice? He must have the courage to set an example by word and deed, and must watch lest his children become influenced by this racial bias. [...]"

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After arriving in the U.S. in the 1930s, Albert Einstein witnessed the inequities and injustices done to black Americans. Read his little-known essay from 1946 about the "deeply entrenched evil" as he saw it then, and that pervades this country today.
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Links:

a. Albert Einstein Explains How Slavery Has Crippled Everyone’s Ability (Even Aristotle’s) to Think Clearly About Racism: openculture.com - Albert Einstein Explains How Slavery Has Crippled Everyone’s Ability (Even Aristotle’s) to Think Clearly About Racism

b. Albert Einstein's Essay on Racial Bias in 1946: http://www.onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-albert-einsteins-essay-on-racial-bias-in-1946/8810

c. Albert Einstein: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein
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"So You've Been Publicly Shamed ..."

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If Not Darwin, Who? An alternative history of the great ideas of science.

"What would physics look like if Einstein had never existed, or biology without Darwin? In one view, nothing much would change—the discoveries they made and theories they devised would have materialized anyway sooner or later. That’s the odd thing about heroes and heroines of science: They are revered, they get institutions and quantities and even chemical elements named after them, and yet they are also regarded as somewhat expendable and replaceable in the onward march of scientific understanding.

But are they? One way to find out is to ask who, in their absence, would have made the same discovery. This kind of “counterfactual history” is derided by some historians, but there’s more to it than a new parlor game for scientists (although it can be that, too). It allows us to scrutinize and maybe challenge some of the myths that we build around scientific heroes. And it helps us think about the way science works: how ideas arise out of the context of their time and the contingencies and quirks of individual scientists.

For one thing, the most obvious candidate to replace one genius seems to be another genius. No surprise, maybe, but it makes you wonder whether the much-derided “great man” view of history, which ascribes historical trajectories to the actions and decisions of individuals, might not have some validity in science. You might wonder whether there’s some selection effect here: We overlook lesser-known candidates precisely because they weren’t discoverers, even though they could have been. But it seems entirely possible that, on the contrary, greatness always emerges, if not in one direction then another.

I say “great man” intentionally, because for all but the most recent (1953) of the cases selected here I could see no plausible female candidate. That’s mostly a consequence of the almost total exclusion of women from science at least until the early 20th century; even if we looked for an alternative to Marie Curie, it would probably have to be a man. But the statistics of scientific Nobel Prizes suggests that we’re not doing much better at inclusion even now. This underuse of the intelligence and creativity of half of humankind is idiotic and shameful, and highlighting the shortfall in an exercise like this is another argument for its value. [...]"
What would physics look like if Einstein had never existed, or biology without Darwin? In one view, nothing much would change—the…
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Links:

a. If Not Darwin, Who?
An alternative history of the great ideas of science.: nautil.us - If Not Darwin, Who? - Issue 43: Heroes - Nautilus by +Philip Ball at +Nautilus.

b. Philip Ball: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Ball
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What happens if you fire a bullet at a Prince Rupert's drop?

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I made about 20 smaller PR drops using solid glass rods and a propane torch, dropped into a gallon can of water. I used them with my seventh-grade science classes. I made one drop as I explained what they were. I placed a drop in a plastic baggie behind a clear chem-shield and focused a projection camera on the drop. I then had a student put on a face shield, apron and rubber gloves and told them to hit the bulb of the drop with a finishing hammer. We made listed observations about what we knew about glass and elicited lab table group predictions concerning the hammer strike. Overwhelmingly, the predictions were that the hammer would shatter the drop. Hammer hit (intact result). Next repeated the prediction using the tail. Now the predictions became more even. Same set-up had student strike tail, drop shattered into fine fragments. Finished class by having each lab group propose a hypothesis to explain the phenomenon. Most groups proposed hypotheses that dealt with the thickness of the glass at the bulb. The next class we reviewed the activity and then I placed a PR drop on a white piece of plastic and used polarizing filter sheets to project the stress differences in the drop. The Prince Rupert drop was an excellent way to introduce materials science. We then worked with plastics, and metals. 
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"It was shocking to me. The arguments of the Dutch is that it's a children's holiday and that it's a tradition."

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The Dutch character of Black Peter, a goofy, singing, candy-giving Renaissance-clad figure in blackface, is the focus of the short film "Blackface."
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That's not an exclusive "or", is the thing. Much as I generally like the Dutch.
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"An Iranian man living in the United States is wrongly accused of a crime."
An Iranian man living in the United States is wrongly accused of a crime.
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wow . that's a powerful story ... when we have robo prosecutors I hope they'll learn to admit their mistakes. 
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Interbreeding seems possible between all citrus plants, and between citrus plants and some plants which may or may not be categorized as citrus.

The four core ancestral citrus taxa are citron (C. medica), pummelo (C. maxima), mandarine (C. reticulata), and papeda (C. micrantha).

These taxa all interbreed freely, despite being quite genetically distinct. They probably arose through allopatric speciation, with citrons evolving in northern Indochina, pummelos in the Malay Archipelago, and mandarines in Vietnam, southern China, and Japan.

The hybrids of these four taxa include familiar citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, and some tangerines. In many cases, these crops are propagated asexually, and lose their characteristic traits if bred. However, some of these hybrids have interbred with one another and with the original taxa, making the citrus family tree a complicated network.
There are also groups that interbreed with the four core taxa, but which have not historically been categorized as citrus. The trifoliate orange and kumquats do not naturally interbreed with the four undisputed citrus taxa due to different flowering times, but hybrids (such as the citrange and calamondin) exist. Australian limes and Clymenia are native to Australia and Papua New Guinea, so they did not naturally interbreed with the four core taxa; but they have been crossbred with mandarins and calamondins by modern breeders.
Humans have deliberately bred new citrus fruits by propagating wild-found seedlings (e.g. clementines), creating or selecting mutations of hybrids, (e.g. Meyer lemon), and crossing different varieties (e.g. 'Australian Sunrise', a finger lime and calamondin cross).

Genetic analysis is starting to make sense of this complex phylogeny. Two citrus fruits have had their full genomes sequenced (sweet orange and clementines). Many different phylogenies for the non-hybrid citrus have been proposed, and taxonomic terminology is not yet settled. [...]

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Links:

a. The Citrus Family Tree: All the oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits you’ve ever eaten are descendants from just a few ancient species.http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/02/explore-food-citrus-genetics/

b. Photo: by David Karp (?), University of California, Riverside.

c. Citrus taxonomy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrus_taxonomy
nationalgeographic.com - The Citrus Family Tree
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The Illusion of Explanatory Depth: "If you asked one hundred people on the street if they understand how a refrigerator works, most would respond, yes, they do. But ask them to then produce a detailed, step-by-step explanation of how exactly a refrigerator works and you would likely hear silence or stammering. This powerful but inaccurate feeling of knowing is what Leonid Rozenblit and Frank Keil in 2002 termed, the illusion of explanatory depth (IOED), stating, “Most people feel they understand the world with far greater detail, coherence, and depth than they really do.”

Rozenblit and Keil initially demonstrated the IOED through multi-phase studies. In a first phase, they asked participants to rate how well they understood artifacts such as a sewing machine, crossbow, or cell phone. In a second phase, they asked participants to write a detailed explanation of how each artifact works, and afterwards asked them re-rate how well they understand each one. Study after study showed that ratings of self-knowledge dropped dramatically from phase one to phase two, after participants were faced with their inability to explain how the artifact in question operates. Of course, the IOED extends well beyond artifacts, to how we think about scientific fields, mental illnesses, economic markets and virtually anything we are capable of (mis)understanding.

At present, the IOED is profoundly pervasive given that we have infinite access to information, but consume information in a largely superficial fashion. A 2014 survey found that approximately six in ten Americans read news headlines and nothing more. Major geopolitical issues from civil wars in the Middle East to the latest climate change research advances are distilled into tweets, viral videos, memes, “explainer” websites, soundbites on comedy news shows, and daily e-newsletters that get inadvertently re-routed to the spam folder. We consume knowledge widely, but not deeply.

Understanding the IOED [may] allow us to combat political extremism. [...]"

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+Isaac Kuo I'm willing to bet that the sum total of all tools needed to deal with all flavors of air conditioner malfunction is still larger than what it would cost me to pay somebody else to do it (because he's amortized the cost of tools across hundreds, possibly thousands of air conditioners).
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Below is a complete listing of the articles in “How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic,” a series containing responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming.

Arguments are divided by: Stages of Denial, Scientific Topics, Types of Argument, and Levels of Sophistication.
Below is a complete listing of the articles in “How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic,” a series by Coby Beck containing responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming. There are four separate taxonomies; arguments are divided …
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"[...] Observers fear the vast central African country, which has never known a peaceful transfer of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960, could plunge into a prolonged period of damaging, and possibly very violent, instability. [...]"

This vastly understates the violence that has been inflicted in the Congo region in the past century and half. This violence includes (among many other atrocities): the first genocide of the 20'th century (begun by Leopold, King of the Belgians, for profit and status, and largely tolerated by the international community and the Catholic Church), a cold-war coup (US-Soviet Union) which installed a 30-year dictatorship, and endless rape and plundering (during/following the Congo Crisis and the two Congo Wars wars).

And it now looks like the situation is about to get even worse for the 80 000 000 or so Congolese.

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Links:

a. History of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: en.wikipedia.org - History of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - Wikipedia

b. Atrocities in the Congo Free State: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atrocities_in_the_Congo_Free_State
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"New species of lifeforms are being discovered and described on our planet every single day -- but, when we talk about a species, what are we really referring to? Turns out, the answer is... complicated."

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