Tag Archives: ted talk

Geoengineering – is it possible to really engineer our ecosystem?

Today is the start date for a program in which iron based fertilizer will be seeded into a swath of the southern ocean. That will cause a massive algae bloom, and (in principle) soak up carbon dioxide. The notion is that, I suppose, it will stay in the ocean end up as sediment.

The Science short news article is not heavy on the details, but I at least wonder about the possibility of harvesting that algae. But it’s a secondary interest. The bigger issue is: we can certainly inadvertently cause unintended effects on the climate; can we really hope to create intended consequences as well?

I saw a TED talk on that a while back, and thought it was great.

Hope you enjoy.


On TED talk and Book about The Blank Slate

As soon as I get to read Steven Pinker’s book, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, I’ll give a more complete review. But I wholeheartedly agree with at least two of his points. First is the basic premise that people are born with a ‘first draft’ of their attitude toward life already built in. Secondly, and related to this, is his assessment of the ‘decline of the arts’. It’s bullshit. The arts are alive and well. What is declining is an interest in pedantic pseudo-intellectualism in the arts. We’re getting back to a more grounded artistic sensibility that actually takes into account what people actually like. That seems unsophisticated. Sophistication for its own sake had its heyday. It’s over.

But sophistication can come back. Sophistication now should be about bridging discipline gaps. Instead of intellectual masturbation, (forming connections to yourself) artists need to go study neuroscience and learn how to make people tick. Or make connections to other sciences or history and try to teach people something beautiful in a way that is beautiful. Forge new connections. We all need to bridge Snow’s Two Cultures. This is meaningful. It will give birth to new ideas. It’s intellectual procreation.