Why Revolutions Are Unpredictable
Over a long period of time, democratic and quasi-democratic nations change profoundly, but the change is gradual. Dictatorial regimes change in fits and starts, says Judge Richard Posner.
There are several reasons dictatorial regimes experience punctuated change. The obvious one is lack of information. A government that uses intimidation, surveillance, and control of media to quell dissent deprives itself of good information about the population’s concerns. People keep their concerns to themselves out of fear. Grievances are driven underground, to fester. Not having a good handle on what people want, the government risks being blindsided by a sudden explosion of repressed anger. Repression also fosters conspiracy; fearful of expressing themselves publicly, people learn to form secret cabals; they become experts at dissimulation.
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 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.