Not bad. The descriptions are great.
If we’re willing to make assumptions about how likely it is that life arises on planets with certain similarities to a young Earth, we can indeed draw conclusions about the likelihood of intelligent life throughout the galaxy. The only problems are that our conclusions are only as good as our assumptions, which we have no reason to believe are very good. There may well be 36 alien civilizations in the Milky Way right now, but science has a long way to go before anyone — even the paper’s authors — are convinced of that conclusion.
As a police tool, the current deployment of tear gas reinforces the effect that made gases so powerful in World War I: fear. With reports showing tear gas being used on peaceful protesters, that fear is itself a deterrent by law enforcement on public demonstrations. Given legitimacy by the CWS in the interwar period, tear gas provides police with a chemical weapon that is no longer permitted in war.
Where are the alien ham radio operators beaming scientific secrets or extraterrestrial poetry? Why no mysterious engineering projects out among the stars? Where’s our invitation from the Galactic Council? As the great physicist Enrico Fermi once asked, “Where is everybody?”
Maybe the Great Filter got them, Dr. Hanson proposed. The Great Filter is a civilization-scale event or circumstance that would prevent a species from colonizing space or ever meeting other species — perhaps of even continuing to exist.
The filter could be a chemical bottleneck that prevents the formation of RNA that jump-started evolution, or a geophysical roadblock to the production of oxygen, which enabled multicellular creatures. But the filter could also be nuclear war, or a world-destroying asteroid, or global warming, or a malevolent artificial intelligence gone amok. Or, even, a vicious pandemic.
A basic definition of resilience could be “the capacity to maintain core functions and values in the face of disturbance,” writes environmental studies scholar David W. Orr in the inaugural issue of Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities. That definition can cover a lot of ground, from the physical and mental health of an individual to the preparedness of our institutions to the social structures they all fit into. Orr also quotes a Marine friend of his who describes resilience on a more personal level, as the ability to come back swinging after taking a gut-punch.
While the time spent on the song might seem extravagant, we should consider that these days bands can pluck the sounds they want, whatever they are, from pull-down menus, and splice anything together in a matter of minutes. In the mid-60s, Brian Jones, Brian Wilson, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and other studio pioneers dreamed up sounds no one had heard before, and brought together instrumentation that had never shared space in a mix. Producers and engineers like Martin had to invent the techniques to make those new sounds come together on tape. Learning the ins-and-outs of how Martin did it can give even the most die-hard Beatles fans renewed appreciation for songs as widely beloved as “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
See this Instagram video by @rodrigoygabriela: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_IqB4jBMUR/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet
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That bar of soap you’re so rigorously scrubbing your hands with multiple times a day is one of the most ancient consumer products you use, with one caveat: A lot of modern soap isn’t soap at all.