Disce aut Discede

WWF-Australia said that the proposals were insufficient and that billions of dollars were needed to restore the health of the reef. It said that the report has failed to set high-enough targets and allocate funds to help farmers cut fertilizer runoff and that the government had failed to minimize dredging and dumping in the World Heritage area, which stretches from the city of Gladstone to the tip of northern Queensland.

An Australian Marine Conservation Society reef campaigner, Felicity Wishart, said the report delivered “no measurable, deliverable action.” While there is a proposed management plan for dredging in existing sites, “there is no ban on dumping silt in the World Heritage area, up or down the coast,” Ms. Wishart said.

Immediately after I try to participate in seminar

This article immediately made me think of Stephen King’s entire body of work (feel free to hate, but the man is a master of characterization): he rarely publishes a book that doesn’t feature a precociously heroic 10-13 year old boy at the center of the action.

Also, it isn’t just about adulthood, but also about how the patriarchal dynamic has evolved over the last few decades. An interesting read whether you agree with all of his points or not.

The trade in illegal wildlife is a $19 billion annual business with ties to the Russian mob and Islamic extremists, and there’s one place the world turns to investigate the crime: a federal forensics lab (and curiosity cabinet) in a hippie town in Oregon.
The lab has been described as “Scotland Yard for animals” and ” ‘CSI’ meets ‘Doctor Dolittle.’ ” A more accurate comparison might be to the midcentury Bell Labs or to the Sandia National Laboratories. It is a hotbed of research, discovery and innovation. It’s a center of cutting-edge science that does double duty as a makeshift natural history museum. It’s also a crime lab — the place to turn to when you’ve collared a perp whose victims are Mexican fish. “We’re proud of what we’ve got going here,” said Ken Goddard, the lab’s director. “It’s a pretty neat little operation.

This is fascinating, I had no idea such a culture/religion existed until they  made news over the last month. Apparently they believe that Satan was forgiven, redeemed, and made into an angel, they function under a strict caste system, and believe they are descended from Adam but not Eve. They blend Zoroastrian and Mesopotamian rituals with parts from Christianity, Sufi Islam, and Judaism.

I don’t point any of this out in ridicule, it all sounds just as reasonable as the beliefs of any other religion, I’m only commenting on it because I was fascinated by how unique and little-known they are. I’ve done a good bit of reading on comparative religions but had never heard of them, wow. This Nat Geo piece provides excellent background and context that the media covering current events hasn’t touched on.

Best headline I’ve seen all morning. Although I wish they hadn’t died, there are worse ways to go …

Kearny focuses on the ways that digital technology has affected our physical connections with other people, but it struck me that these same issues also affect our connections with our own bodies on an individual level. Interesting stuff.

"Are we perhaps entering an age of “excarnation,” where we obsess about the body in increasingly disembodied ways? For if incarnation is the image become flesh, excarnation is flesh become image. Incarnation invests flesh; excarnation divests it…

The Platonic doctrine of the Academy held that sight was the highest sense, because it is the most distant and mediated; hence most theoretical, holding things at bay, mastering meaning from above. Touch, by contrast, was deemed the lowest sense because it is ostensibly immediate and thus subject to intrusions and pressures from the material world. Against this, Aristotle made his radical counterclaim that touch did indeed have a medium, namely “flesh.” And he insisted that flesh was not just some material organ but a complex mediating membrane that accounts for our primary sensings and evaluations.”

"The question is this: Which comes first, the faith or the feeling of transcendence? Is the former really a rococo attempt to explain and romanticize the latter, rather than a bridge to it? Mightn’t religion be piggybacking on the pre-existing condition of spirituality, a lexicon grafted onto it, a narrative constructed to explain states of consciousness that have nothing to do with any covenant or creed?
I’m not casting a vote for godlessness at large or in my own spiritual life, which is muddled with unanswered and unanswerable questions. I’m advocating unfettered discussion, ample room for doubt and a respect for science commensurate with the fealty to any supposedly divine word. We hear the highest-ranking politicians mention God at every turn and with little or no fear of negative repercussion. When’s the last time you heard one of them wrestle publicly with agnosticism?”