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Steve Leckie

Steve Leckie's Public Library

  • But even the most talented Realist artists capture only a tiny slice of reality. Rembrandt’s self-portraits, as real as they appear, omit nearly all the biological and mental processes going on in Rembrandt’s body and mind. Suppose, for example, we could zoom in on his face, seeing it at 10 times magnification, then 100, then 1,000, and so on. At each level of magnification a new world would be revealed, of pores and cells and microbes. And there is so much structure to understand in each of these worlds, from the incredibly complex ecology of microbes on the skin, to the inner workings of cells. Consider this video simulating the inside of a cell:
  • In Post-realism, art isn’t about directly representing an objective, independent reality. Instead, it’s about creating new types of relationship between the art piece and the human mind.
Apr 16, 15

"And what it comes down to is basically this: humans are afraid of death. That fear, encompassing as it is, compels us to think of ourselves as being different from the other animals — even though, really, we aren’t — and as a way of expressing that difference, we treat them like… well, animals. Or, worse than that, like “spare parts, commodities and property,” further disguising the similarities between us all." 

  • Could infection be the key to stimulating spontaneous remission more generally? Analyses of the recent evidence certainly make a compelling case for exploring the idea. Rashidi and Fisher’s study found that 90% of the patients recovering from leukaemia had suffered another illness such as pneumonia shortly before the cancer disappeared. Other papers have noted tumours vanishing after diphtheria, gonorrhoea, hepatitis, influenza, malaria, measles, smallpox and syphilis. What doesn’t kill you really can make you stronger in these strange circumstances.
  • It’s not the microbes, per se, that bring about the healing; rather, the infection is thought to trigger an immune response that is inhospitable to the tumour. The heat of the fever, for instance, may itself render the tumour cells more vulnerable, and trigger cell suicide. Or perhaps it’s significant that when we are fighting bacteria or viruses, our blood is awash with inflammatory molecules that are a call to arms for the body’s macrophages, turning these immune cells into warriors that kill and engulf microbes – and potentially the cancer too.

  • recent report in the journal Nature is proposing the year 1610 as the beginning of what has become known as the Anthropocene
  • Disease brought by those Europeans killed roughly 50 million native Americans, who were mostly farmers. Their abandoned farmland was taken over by forest and jungle in such a growth spurt, it sucked carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, a dip that can be seen today in ice cores. So, it was global trade that marks the beginning of the Anthropocene Epoch.
Nov 22, 14

Comment: Google the "Hawthorne Effect."

Efficiencies studies were done at a factory in 1924-1932 to see if brighter lights increased productivity. They did. So the researchers kept making the lights brighter, and productivity went up even more. Finally, they tried making the lights dimmer, and productivity went up.

Industrial psychologists eventually suspected that people liked being paid attention to, and thus tended to respond positively to whatever stimulus the folks in labcoats with clipboards dreamed up.

  • By the 1970s, Langer had become convinced that not only are most people led astray by their biases, but they are also spectacularly inattentive to what’s going on around them. “They’re just not there,” as she puts it. When you’re not there, Langer reasoned, you’re very likely to end up where you’re led. She set up a number of studies to show how people’s thinking and behavior can easily be manipulated with subtle primes.
  • In one, she and her colleagues found that office workers were far more likely to comply with a ridiculous interdepartmental memo if it looked like other official memos.
  • Langer’s technique of achieving a state of mindfulness is different from the one often utilized in Eastern “mindfulness meditation” — nonjudgmental awareness of the thoughts and feelings drifting through your mind — that is everywhere today. Her emphasis is on noticing moment-to-moment changes around you, from the differences in the face of your spouse across the breakfast table to the variability of your asthma symptoms. When we are “actively making new distinctions, rather than relying on habitual” categorizations, we’re alive; and when we’re alive, we can improve. Indeed, “well-being and enhanced performance”

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