Friday, July 15, 2011

What Makes Us Human?

What makes humans so different from other animals on Earth? I was wondering the other day if it is because we do not accept our limitations. Most if not all other animals are well adapted to what they do best, but they don't enhance their own capabilities. This goes beyond tool making, which we know some other animals do. Humans observe other animals capabilities that we don't have, and figure out how to get that ability. We can't fly but we can invent planes, etc. We can't run as fast as some animals, but we can invent motorized vehicles so we can go faster than any land animal. We can't stay underwater like sea mammals or fish, but we come up with scuba gear and submarines. Our evolutionary advantage is clearly our big brains, which allow us to think up this stuff. Other "smart" animals -- elephants, dolphins, etc. -- don't self-adapt in this way. So -- is that what really distinguishes us from other animals? Humans as inventors? And to think I used to think it was humor that made us human!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Down the Rabbit Hole

...over the past ten years...Republicans got the tax cuts...the financial deregulation...the wars...the unfunded spending increases they wanted. And the results were completely, unrelentingly disastrous. A decade of sluggish growth and near-zero wage increases. A massive housing bubble. Trillions of dollars in war spending and thousands of American lives lost. A financial collapse. A soaring long-term deficit. Sky-high unemployment. All on their watch and all due to policies they eagerly supported. And worse: ever since the predictable results of their recklessness came crashing down, they've rabidly and nearly unanimously opposed every single attempt to dig ourselves out of the hole they created for us. -- Kevin Drum

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Faux News Propoganda

Tell the old folks: