Last week I put up some Sunday reading – longer, thoughtful pieces I’d found.
I liked that other people also put up their links, with some very interesting topics. So I thought I might make it a regular feature. I’d put up a couple of interesting things that I’d come across in the week, and other people could share their links.
I’m not looking for people to push their bandwagons, and I want no link-whoring – don’t promote your own work. But interesting intellectual discussions, knowledge that is in danger of slipping by – the things that when you read them you found stimulating and wanted to share.
So my first link this week is a podcast from the BBC World Service link. A Harvard philosophy professor seeing the limits of the market: as we move into death bonds (gambling on people’s ill health) and renting wombs, market values are infiltrating our entire lives. What does this do for our morals and our societal bonds?
Discovery presents the thought that humans now have more in common with ants than other primates:
“With a maximum size of about 100, no chimpanzee group has to deal with issues of public health, infrastructure, distribution of goods and services, market economies, mass transit problems, assembly lines and complex teamwork, agriculture and animal domestication, warfare and slavery.
“Ants have developed behaviors addressing all of these problems.”
So says Mark Moffett of the Smithsonian, author of a new study into the idea.
Anonymous membership means that both human and ant societies can grow as large as environmental conditions allow, although some researchers suggest that an ultra large society can implode.
For example, David Queller and Joan Strassmann at Washington University in St. Louis predict that a society will collapse when individuals in the middle of a vast group of billions or trillions are no longer in contact with foreign societies of their species. They argue that this could allow for a gradual social decay. It would probably take centuries for this to occur, however.
A short link on climate change: A milestone has been reached, with measurements of more than 400 parts per million of CO2 over the Arctic (just the Arctic so far…). It’s been more than 800,000 years (at least) since these levels have last been reached. 275ppm was normal for the pre-industrial age, and we’ve only been over 300ppm in the last 60 years.
And a link from Joe90, who in my opinion day-in day-out provides the best links of deeper thinking in the comments. Vanity Fair have a short adapted piece from Joseph Stiglitz’ soon to be released book The Price of Inequality. It’s a look at why inequality is bad for the 1% – economically.