A Clinton Wedding; Jane Austen Would Approve
They have always loved him. But now the media is more in love with President Clinton than ever, as they have something simple and straightforward to celebrate: the marriage of his daughter, tomorrow. Witness this. A Presidential marriage is the essence of bi-partisan bliss; everyone knows how to respond. Most Americans will want to see not only who “did” Chelsea’s dress but also which toasts will be released to the press. You may fault the Clintons for certain things, but you cannot fault their exceptional work as parents. There were no politics there, no parsing of intent. There was only love.
Although she wrote, “happiness in a marriage is entirely a matter of chance,” Jane Austen knew marriage was central to our conception of ourselves. Austen knew that while life’s complexities were not to be avoided, or denied, many of them could be cured—or, at least, softened—by love, and most especially by marriage. Austen’s heroines—often headstrong, often witty, still divined a sense of peace by making an “acceptable” connection with a lover, then sealing it ceremonially. Perhaps what the Clinton White House lacked in romance (as compared to their predecessors, most notably the Kennedys) will be made up for tomorrow. We will have the white dress. We will care less about the blue dress. There is a new iconography in place.
We want to see marriages, generally. We want to see our leaders celebrate hope—and not only on their campaign trails. “Hope” was a word closely associated with the Clintons, and then with Obama. Weddings are the essence of hope. Uniquely in politics (and in life), incentives are aligned at a wedding; we all want this thing to last.
Chelsea represents something in relation to her parents, but more broadly she represents something in relation to her generation: she is educated, she is discrete, she is ambitious despite her privilege, she is graceful. Whatever the Clintons did while raising her they did it without compromising her sanity. How We Did It: perhaps this will be the book the Clintons co-author one day; if so, it will be the one that nets the best advance. With her marriage, Chelsea just might make moot all prior images of the Clintons non-romance. She is our future; she is their future. We will watch her closely, with joy and with hope.
Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.
- The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
- Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
- Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.
- Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
- In nature, properties of Particle B may be depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
- In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.