Jus cogens is defined as “peremptory norms of general international law from which no derogation is permissible.” Among the human rights issues that fall into this category, such as slavery and genocide, there is one that has yet to be elevated to this level of importance that unequivocally should be: rape in conflict areas.
Each weaver ant colony inhabits from half a dozen to more than a hundred nests at any given time, forming a metropolis of boroughs and suburbs connected by busy commuter routes. A hierarchy of workers and soldiers maintains and defends this territory, which spreads from treetops to the forest floor, staying in sync through constant communication. They touch each other with mouths, forelegs, or antennae. They lay down scents with different glands to send different messages. They release more pheromones into the air to broadcast signals quickly and widely.
The past and future may seem like different worlds, yet the two are intimately intertwined in our minds. In recent studies on mental time travel, neuroscientists found that we use many of the same regions of the brain to remember the past as we do to envision our future lives. In fact, our need for foresight may explain why we can form memories in the first place. They are indeed “a base to build the future.” And together, our senses of past and future may be crucial to our species’ success.
You claim that the primary mechanism of evolution is not mutation but symbiogenesis, in which new species emerge through the symbiotic relationship between two or more kinds of organisms. How does that work? All visible organisms are products of symbiogenesis, without exception. The bacteria are the unit. The way I think about the whole world is that it’s like a pointillist painting. You get far away and it looks like Seurat’s famous painting of people in the park. Look closely: The points are living bodies—different distributions of bacteria … There were no animals, no plants, no fungi. It was an all-bacterial world—bacteria that have become very good at finding specialized niches. Symbiogenesis recognizes that every visible life-form is a combination or community of bacteria.
This chart shows the rapid decline of vegetable varieties from 1903 to 1983 when the study was conducted. The study found that 93% of the 66 crops which had been surveyed had gone extinct
Many students are disengaged and uninterested in learning because they’ve been presented with an Industrial Age one-size-fits-all model of education. Sir Ken referred to mainstream education as riding the ‘rails of conformity’, a phrase which brilliantly illustrates the convergent nature of our systems as well as alluding to the railway, perhaps the most recognizable and enduring image of the Industrial Age. In the digital age, we have the tools and capabilities to bring education back to its roots, so to speak, allowing learners to pursue their passions and develop themselves as human beings, rather than cogs in a system doing “clerical work”.
Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998 … Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing”the fear and folly of nuclear weapons.” It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.
My project proposal was to transform the national education system into one befitting of a democracy. I cited Chomsky’s writing on the Trilateral Commission and the liberal elite’s stated goal to make education less democratic in order to stave off unrest like that which occurred in the 1960s and early 1970s and argued that rather than seeking to prevent social upheaval through indoctrination, a democratic society through its system of education should seek to promote free thought and self-critical analysis with the aim of strengthening democracy.
George Mason Economist Tyler Cowen has an interesting name also, The Great Stagnation. Cowen asserts that “America is in disarray” and that we face a “long-run fiscal crisis.” He and countless other economists and observers from Marxian Rick Wolff to mainstream news outlets like CNN and the Financial Times point the finger for this malaise at one thing, median wage stagnation for the majority of Americans and massive income increases for the rich. In other words, for most Americans (90%) the past 30 years have seen almost no actual increase in wages, while the rich have seen a substantial rise; all leading to messy economic problems and a bleak outlook for recovery.
One of the most innovative new initiatives comes from the City Centre Library in Surrey, British Columbia, which is scheduled to open next month. Realizing that bound volumes are far from the only source of knowledge, librarians in Surrey will also lend out “living books”—in other words, people. Staff will maintain a list of local residents who have volunteered to share their knowledge of any topic, and other library patrons can make appointments for 30-45-minute conversations.