Vikings, for example, invaded England starting in the eighth century and married into the society. Children in England, hearing their fathers’ “broken” Old English in a time when schooling was limited to elites and there was no media, grew up speaking that kind of English, and the result was what I am writing now. Old English bristled with three genders, five cases and the same sort of complex grammar that makes modern German so difficult for us, but after the Vikings, it morphed into modern English, one of the few languages in Europe that doesn’t assign gender to inanimate objects. Mandarin, Persian, Indonesian and other languages went through similar processes and are therefore much less “cluttered” than a normal language is.The article predicts a 90% loss of spoken language diversity and an decrease in spoken language complexity over the next hundred years.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Sunday, December 28, 2014
For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.
"Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else." Thus said no less than Erwin Schrödinger. I do not think such philosophical generalities entail theism, but I think they reject reductionist materialism. Perhaps I lack imagination, but I think purely physical descriptions of the brain, however tightly they manage correlate the neural to the mental, never will satisfactorily explain how or why there is anything mental for the neural to correlate to in the first place.
I am aware of two categories of potentially satisfying accounts of this correlation. The first is the dualist appeal to a mystical enforcement of a correlation between a noetic realm and a material realm that are otherwise causally separated. The second category holds that there exist, roughly speaking, laws of consciousness that complement the laws of physics.
In the former category, the particles/waves that make up a human brain have a physical form suitable for being bound to a mind, but the brain is mindless without supernatural intervention. In the latter category, each elementary particle of the physical universe, or perhaps I should say the wavefunction of the universe, is already endowed with mental or pre-mental properties that naturally assemble into a consciousness when, for example, a human brain develops.
In the former category, the birth of a new consciousness is supernatural; in the latter category, it is quite natural. In the former category, postmortem consciousness is unsurprising: if a soul can be chained to a body, then it presumably can be unchained. In the latter category, postmortem consciousness would require a postmortem physical body or some kind of substitute "body." In the former category, whether "higher" animals have minds is a mystery; in the latter category, they very probably do. Both categories are compatible with theism and both categories are compatible with atheism.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Thursday, December 04, 2014
A well-known related theory is that blue light has the greatest effect. I'm currently (self-)experimenting with reddening my home desktop LCDs as much as possible in hardware. However, effects of this treatment on when I actually fall asleep have so far been non-obvious. I would need to more carefully collect data and experiment with undoing the reddening for a while to be sure, but if the effect is small enough that I can't perceive it directly, then the effect is not worth the hassle of avoiding blue light. Relatedly, an N=12 study found that, "as expected, only the blue light reduced nocturnal melatonin. In contrast, both blue and red lights affected cortisol levels."
On the other hand, reddened screens at night are easier on my eyes, whether they help me sleep or not.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Sunday, September 28, 2014
But if the Lord has been pleased to assist us by the work and ministry of the ungodly in physics, dialectics, mathematics, and other similar sciences, let us avail ourselves of it, lest, by neglecting the gifts of God spontaneously offered to us, we be justly punished for our sloth.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
Saturday, August 09, 2014
Friday, May 09, 2014
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Friday, January 31, 2014
My main point is that the differences were small (probably statistically insignificant), but if you're curious about the "negative" part... On average, respondents (who were all be about 25 years old in 2012) with bachelor's degrees or higher were slightly less satisfied with their jobs than high-school drop-outs; both of these groups were more satisfied than college drop-outs.
On the other hand, education is strongly correlated (see page 17) with something the study names "work support," which is a linear combination of multiple survey responses that the authors identified through principal factor analysis (page A-13). (I couldn't find any explanation for why they call this quantity "work support.")
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. The isotopes will not be expensive for they will be by- products of the fission-power plants which, by 2014, will be supplying well over half the power needs of humanity. But once the isotype batteries are used up they will be disposed of only through authorized agents of the manufacturer.What might have been. Today I can read about the 30-year RTG in the Chinese moon rover:
Using plutonium-238, the battery will be able to power the 100-kilogram vehicle for more than 30 years, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program.But where's my nuclear powered car? I'll settle for a 90Sr model...
"The nuclear power system will make China the third country apart from the United States and Russia to be able to apply nuclear technology to space exploration," Ouyang said.
The moon rover is China's most advanced robot with complete automatic navigation and operations. It will be powered by the sun during daytime and by nuclear power during the night.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
The Lord God said to the serpent,"Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
The Lord says to my Lord:"Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."
The Lord says,"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
So shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
"Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Saturday, November 02, 2013
Friday, November 01, 2013
While more architectural imagery is highly important in understanding the creation and the notion of design is more appropriate in such a context, such imagery tends to be focused principally upon the inanimate creation... When we are dealing with the land animals in particular, what we see is a far more mediated mode of creation—‘let the earth bring forth’... In many respects, God’s creative work in this case is less akin to an external action upon passive material as an internal empowering of a process that arises within nature itself.