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About Yukle

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    Aurelian, Restorer of the World, and Progenitor of 2018 Champs
  • Birthday 07/31/1989

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  1. This is bittersweet. Her lifespan was a bit longer than what she could have expected in the wild. And I am always still so torn as to whether we should keep such beings in such small captive places. Yet she lived a life she enjoyed, making friends with the staff and with her pet cat. Koko proved to the world the human arrogance of assuming we were the only ones smart enough to truly have language, the only ones who ask questions, the only ones who feel compassion and have emotions. Once gorillas would have numbered in the hundreds of thousands, and the other great Apes probably in the millions. Now, they're left clinging to edges of the habitats we haven't destroyed.
  2. Yukle


    We're looking forward to having you all! BTW, you've picked a funny time; much of the userbase aren't using their regular names due to the World Cup. Normalcy will return soon.
  3. The national flag and national flower of... somewhere. Who cares? CROATIA WILL WIN!
  4. Kate Spade's passing a few days ago was sad, as I think all know those in similar positions of vulnerability. I think the best way to phrase it is that she died from depression. We don't think of it like that, but we should. May she be at peace.
  5. There's nothing like underwear to stave off the winter chill.
  6. Interesting stat: Carlsen's rating is back to 2851, level with Kasparov's peak.
  7. To the first part: awesome! To the second part, it's often the case that fundamental changes to human thinking come precisely because someone approaches a problem from a different angle. Diamond works in biology and geography, and he provides a great account of human activity from an objective standpoint. It's not unusual for geography to examine the effects of environment on various animal species, for instance. He is treating humans in much the same way - which I think is appropriate. Thinking we are somehow separate from our environment has been a key human weakness throughout history.
  8. It's great book that includes factual errors which people unfortunately use to discredit it. His main hypothesis is that geographic advantages were the key cause of particular cultural and technological advances that made Europe conquer Africa and the Americas, and not the other way around. The theory is sometimes called "environmental determinism." Unfortunately, it's often lumped together with the hard-core racists who said that it was the European destiny to conquer non-whites. Instead, he makes the entirely reasonable (and to be honest, probably likely) case that human cultures developed more easily in regions with particular geographic advantages than in areas that did not have these advantages. Things as simple as having animals and plants that can be domesticated over wide areas, which are very rare and hard to come by. The focus is more on geography and biology, and to a lesser extent history, but it's useful as part of a broader study on how some humans build the societies that they do while others don't. It's fairly lengthy, though, but I'd highly recommend it. Don't worry so much about Diamond's speeches, unfortunately he's not a very good speaker. But despite a few errors here and there in his writing (much of which was believed accurate at the time of publication), his central thesis holds up. You'll find a lot of geographers disagreeing with how little mind he gives human agency for the development of human societies, and yet from a biology point of view his thesis makes perfect sense. Certainly his central idea holds true to what I've found with my own research. Wars are given too much credit and disease too little credit for human development over time, and the way that humans have responded to disasters over time. However, no matter whether you read the whole book or not, @Rippounet, I thoroughly recommend you read the chapters on writing and language. These sections specifically delve into how language is a unifying factor among people. As far as is known, writing only developed twice in human history, and one of those (central America) is essentially extinct. All other writing systems probably stemmed from the same concept that was later spread throughout the world from somewhere in the fertile crescent.
  9. Bonus marks to Which Tyler, for correctly naming the all-purpose silver tape! Some erroneously believe it is called "duct" tape. But it's not; the "duck" refers to the way water is meant to slide off it, like a duck's back. Like many things, it was invented for military purposes and found its way into the civilian world. Details below. http://mentalfloss.com/article/52151/it-duck-tape-or-duct-tape
  10. Despite the name, they're not pigs and they're not from guinea.

  11. The idea of a religion requiring an "in-group" is fascinating if you follow Judeo-Christian teachings over its first 700 years or so. The various factions began to splinter and consolidate around particular fundamental cultural traditions more than they did any religious differences. For instance, the formalised hierarchies that the Roman Empire mandated created a system of dioceses that the Catholic Church still uses today, even though they began as administrative, rather than religious, boundaries. It's interesting how you point out the original logical reasoning behind certain religious taboos, which were once grounded in practices that ensured clean food and water supplies. Even the principle of sharing bread and wine at Church began as a normal, commonplace celebration of having guests. Bread was the only cheap and readily available food and wine was mixed with water to make it potable. The bonding ritual of Eucharist to celebrate Jesus stemmed from an entirely practical way of having meals with your family. It's also interesting to note how other religions responded to each other over such time periods. Islam treats Jesus as a holy prophet and he is considered a Muslim to them.
  12. Pity. While it wasn't a necessary plot point, their presence explained how someone like Han Solo would be skeptical of the Force's existence. If it's all because of tiny germs living in you, that's a scientific explanation and "The Force" seems to be just a religious overlay that is subjective. Which, to relate to the current thread, is a common source of bonding between people, one way or another.
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