Climate & Culture

I stumbled upon a very interesting article on a hypothesis I’ve ruminated upon for some time: the idea that climate and geography profoundly affect culture. It may seem obvious, but few thinkers allow its implications to color their judgments.

America is a great case-in-point. Founded under a universalizing, Enlightenment-era liberal ideology, Americans have internalized a peculiar lack of attachment to place. (For more on this, visit the wordsmiths at Front Porch Republic). However, I have noticed in my late-night, pajama-clad research sessions, that warm States are different than cold, and coastal States different than inland.

I determined that despite my love of warm weather, the trade-offs were intolerable: high crime, corruption, dishonesty, and disease.

Meanwhile, coastal areas appear to be wealthier, more sophisticated, and to have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes their cultures widely envied and imitated.

Anyway, making such generalizations is certainly a troll-baiting exercise, but it’s just food for thought.

For the record, I admire the politics of the Mountain West, which is not coastal, and Texas, which is not cold. But we’re looking for tendencies here…

Forward: Lew Rockwell

In case you don’t already visit Lew Rockwell several times a day, here’s a neat article by one of Lew’s cadre of talented and enlightened writers. It’s about how a more plausible Terminator-style plot would turn out, i.e. how it might look if machines took over. My favorite part is realizing that our centralist society is already built for such a thing. Does it really matter if it’s humans or computers pulling the strings?

Lew Rockwell is a great website to casually frequent to get your fill of freedom’s fire when the normal news is too much of a wet blanket. And boy is it ever. The Lew Blog is now reporting that several key Cato Institute members are telling the press they favor a Fannie/Freddie bailout. Another one bites the dust…

Armchair Epidemiology

On a radically different subject from my usual, an article in Discover magazine gave me a ‘light bulb’ moment. Discover’s Jessica Snyder Sachs wrote a piece on the spread of antibiotic resistant genes among bacteria. Bacteria trade genes, and absorb the DNA of their dead brethren, spreading resistance to our key medical antibiotics. While much of the article seemed to be a veiled call for more regulation, a la the European Union, it was still food for thought. I wonder if this idea hasn’t been tried yet: use the bacteria’s ability to absorb DNA to seed it with code that causes it to lose that very ability, namely to absorb DNA. This ‘neutering code’ could be spread around areas of high infection, like hospitals and wastewater treatment plants – rendering the bacteria unable to share genetic information, and therefore making them easier to kill.

I’m sure some scientist has thought of this, but I thought I’d put it out there anyway.

Brief

I have an interest in advancing an anti-federalist, libertarian model of statehood, in reforming association football in New York and the rest of North America, and in providing a unique view of a million other topics that are widely under-thought. The contributions will be varied, but they will have in common a vision that cuts through mediocrity. For too often my fellow man fails to think grandly because he is convinced that he is small. In any pursuit, I can guarantee that you are not small, but in fact the biggest creative force the universe has ever known.

A ‘blog’ is a podium for excluded voices. Allow me to join the conversation.