Monday, February 18, 2013

On The Peak of Intelligence - 3

Daryl and his other brother Daryl
It can happen even without the radical idea from the scientific gentleman, Dr. Ernst Mayr, who said that human intelligence is a fatal mutation in the evolutionary stream of things.

It can happen when one takes on the journey to find the doors into the realm of intelligence lately, because the journey has been ending up at a convenience store.

A convenience store alongside a path that is filled with a lot of other mystery along the way too.

It can happen when you find out that "the doors into the realm of intelligence" is a notion included in the reason for the journey made famous by books and movies, which were eventually named "Alice In Wonderland", or something close to that.

Yes, intelligent shit can happen.

For some human mothers, sometimes "intelligence" is the essence of her sweetest child, the one who gives her a lot less crap than the other kids, and to some other mothers it is the child who wins the spelling bee, and so it goes.

Dads, of course, have a different format for finding the doors into the realm of intelligence, but I digress.

One of the greater mysteries one can encounter on this path is the realization that finding the doors into the realm of intelligence is not one of the priorities of the political facets of government.

Unless of course one opens a door labeled "intelligence" only to find CIA headquarters just inside ("headquarters" always caused me to envision a bedroom were all of the "heads" inside were lying on a bed in a stupor caused by violent plans and schemes).

The Alice in Wonderland series was rife with conflicting, and sometimes confusing, imagery and ideology, even if it was cool to watch.

Straight out of the gate in this series I tried to keep a lot of that type of confusion and conflicting energy to a minimum:
The first post in this series took some time to explain that intelligence and sanity are not the same concept.

A person can be quite intelligent and quite insane at the same time, and so can civilization.

Some recent research efforts have resulted in scientific data that further complicate our concept of "intelligence."

Especially the concept that intelligence exists only in the conscious mind of humanity.
(On The Peak of Intelligence - 2). I think the picture of Einstein in the post "What Kind of Intelligence Is A Lethal Mutation?", and the subsequent discussion therein, takes us in a useful direction.

One lovable "radical" recently elaborated on other issues that pass for intelligence, but in fact may not be intelligence:
What interests me here is that highlighted claim: that the US "is the greatest country in world history", and therefore is entitled to do that which other countries are not.

This declaration always genuinely fascinates me. Note how it's insufficient to claim the mere mantle of Greatest Country on the Planet. It's way beyond that: the Greatest Country Ever to Exist in All of Human History (why not The Greatest Ever in All of the Solar Systems?).

The very notion that this distinction could be objectively or even meaningfully measured is absurd. But the desire to believe it is so strong, the need to proclaim one's own unprecedented superiority so compelling, that it's hardly controversial to say it despite how nonsensical it is. The opposite is true: it has been vested with the status of orthodoxy.
(American Exceptionalism, by G. Greenwald, emphasis added). As you can imagine, he goes on down that path of mystery, that search for the doors of intelligence, looking at perplexing / conflicting oceans of evidence to the contrary on the left and on the right, along the way of his post.

Great stuff.

Meanwhile, a new intelligence gathering satellite (of the other kind of intelligence) has found that the Arctic Ice Cap is down:
CryoSat-2 measures ice volume using a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar altimeter, which fires pulses of microwave energy down towards the ice. The energy bounces off both the top of sections of ice and the water in the cracks in between. The difference in height between these two surfaces let scientists calculate the freeboard – the height of ice above the water – and then the volume of the ice.

The findings are the result of a huge international collaboration between teams from UCL, the European Space Agency, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of Washington, York University, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland.

The team confirmed CryoSat-2 estimates of ice volume using measurements from three independent sources – aircraft, moorings, and NASA's Operation IceBridge.
(Cryo-Sat 2 Mission). Let's not discuss this further until we compare these words with another way of describing those findings:
The sharp drop in Arctic sea ice area has been matched by a harder-to-see, but equally sharp, drop in sea ice thickness. The combined result has been a collapse in total sea ice volume — to one fifth of its level in 1980.
(Arctic Death Spiral Bombshell, emphasis added). Regular readers of Dredd Blog know that along the road to the doors of intelligence, there are lots of such bombshells (see How Fifth Graders Calculate Ice Volume).

Perhaps we should consider "The Life and Death of Bright Things" along our path to find the doors of intelligence.

The previous post in this series is here.

Some doors of intelligence:


  1. Hey! 't's a big ideer placin' m'fembly pixtyer up air whir all can see? Ah doan lock yu mister.

  2. The "R" and the "D" are readers of scripts given to them by their handlers.

    They have both followed the directions "from on high" that has led to a new endangered species, "The Middle Class."

  3. Don't ever forget the "global" part of global warming induced climate change:

    "The five most devastating typhoons recorded in the Philippines have occurred since 1990, affecting 23 million people. Four of the costliest typhoons anywhere occurred in same period, according to an Oxfam report. What is more, Bopha hit an area where typhoons are all but unknown.

    The inter-governmental panel on climate change says mean temperatures in the Philippines are rising by 0.14C per decade. Since the 1980s, there has been an increase in annual mean rainfall. Yet two of the severest droughts ever recorded occurred in 1991-92 and 1997-98.

    Scientists are also registering steadily rising sea levels around the Philippines, and a falling water table. All this appears to increase the likelihood and incidence of extreme weather events while adversely affecting food production and yields through land erosion and degradation, analysts say
    ." (Filipino super-typhoon an ominous warning of climate change impact). It is not "all about US", rather it is about all of us.