Archive for June 15th, 2011

June 15, 2011

Possibilianism

Possibilianism is a philosophy which rejects both the idiosyncratic claims of traditional theism and the positions of certainty in atheism in favor of a middle, exploratory ground.

The term was first defined by neuroscientist David Eagleman in relation to his book of fiction ‘Sum.’ Asked whether he was an atheist or a religious person he replied, ‘I call myself a Possibilian: I’m open to…ideas that we don’t have any way of testing right now’

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June 15, 2011

David Eagleman

possibilian

sum

David Eagleman (b. 1971) is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action and the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. He is best known for his work on time perception, synesthesia, and neurolaw. He is also an internationally bestselling fiction writer.

An early experience of falling from a roof raised his interest in understanding the neural basis of time perception. Eagleman’s scientific work combines psychophysical, behavioral, and computational approaches to address the relationship between the timing of perception and the timing of neural signals.

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June 15, 2011

Brights Movement

brights

james randi

The Brights Movement is a social movement that aims to promote public understanding and acknowledgment of the naturalistic worldview (disbelief of the supernatural), including equal civil rights and acceptance for people who hold a naturalistic worldview. It was co-founded by Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell in 2003.

The movement aims to create an Internet constituency that will pursue the following aims: Promote public understanding and acknowledgment of the naturalistic worldview, which is free of supernatural and mystical elements. Gain public recognition that persons who hold such a worldview can bring principled actions to bear on matters of civic importance. Educate society toward accepting the full and equitable civic participation of all such people.

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June 15, 2011

Kief

Kief

Kief [keef] (from Arabic,  meaning ‘well-being’ or ‘pleasure’) refers to the resin glands (or trichomes) of cannabis which may accumulate in containers or be sifted from loose dry cannabis buds with a mesh kiefing screen or sieve.

Kief contains a much higher concentration of desired psychoactive cannabinoids, such as THC, than other preparations of cannabis buds from which it is derived. Traditionally kief has been pressed and baked into cakes as hashish for convenience in storage and shipping, but can be vaporized or smoked in its powder form.

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June 15, 2011

Synesthesia

Mango-Shaped Space

Synesthesia [sin-uhs-thee-zhuh] is a condition where the brain mixes up the senses (e.g. sounds can have ‘colors,’ images can have ‘odors,’ etc.). People who have synesthesia are called synesthetes. Synesthesia is usually inherited (called congenital synesthesia), but exactly how people inherit it is unknown.

Synesthesia is sometimes reported by people using psychedelic drugs, after a stroke, or during an epileptic seizure. It is also reported to be a result of blindness or deafness. Synesthesia that comes from events unrelated to genes is called adventitious synesthesia. This synesthesia results from some drugs or a stroke but not blindness or deafness. It involves sound being linked to vision or touch being linked to hearing.

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June 15, 2011

BC Bud

Dana Larsen

BC Bud is a generic term for several varieties of potent cannabis grown in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The term has almost become a brand name, especially in California, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Washington, to where most of the province’s cannabis is exported.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration considers BC production to be a major problem, given the porous United States-Canada border, and has launched several major initiatives to cut down on its flow, including collaborative operations targeting marijuana activists such as Marc Emery.

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June 15, 2011

Derek Parfit

derek parfit

Derek Parfit (b. 1942) is a British philosopher who specializes in problems of personal identity, rationality and ethics, and the relations between them. His 1984 book ‘Reasons and Persons’ has been very influential. His most recent book, ‘On What Matters’ (2011), has already been widely discussed, having circulated in draft form for many years.

He has worked at Oxford for the whole of his academic career, and is presently an Emeritus Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. ‘Reasons and Persons’ is a four-part work, with each successive section building on the last. Parfit believes that nonreligious ethics is a young and fertile field of inquiry. He asks questions about which actions are right or wrong and shies away from meta-ethics, which focuses more on logic and language.

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June 15, 2011

Aposiopesis

oh jeff

Aposiopesis [ap-uh-sahy-uh-pee-sis] (‘becoming silent’) is a rhetorical device wherein a sentence is deliberately broken off and left unfinished, the ending to be supplied by the imagination, giving an impression of unwillingness or inability to continue.

An example would be the threat ‘Get out, or else—!’ This device often portrays its users as overcome with passion (fear, anger, excitement) or modesty. To mark the occurrence of aposiopesis with punctuation an em dash or an ellipsis may be used.