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Member since: Sun Feb 6, 2011, 08:14 AM
Number of posts: 3,862

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H. naledi has shaken up the way that paleoanthropology goes about the business of doing science

Four months after the announcement (of new species Homo Naledi), questions about H. naledi have crept up. Articles about the fossils were published too quickly, naysayers claim. They were published without “proper” peer review. Moreover, the fossils—and the entire Rising Star Expedition that found them—are simply a means of fueling the project’s media agenda.

If the history of paleoanthropology shows us anything, it’s that controversy over a new fossil hominin species is nothing new. In fact, most newly discovered hominin species have undergone periods of serious scrutiny, particularly because discoveries force scientists to rethink evolutionary relationships. For the past hundred years, paleoanthropologists have bandied about insults, in addition to hypotheses, as they discussed fossil hominins in academic and public circles.

The H. naledi brouhaha, however, offers a curiously new type of challenge for paleoanthropology. Instead of shaking up the hominin evolutionary tree, H. naledi has shaken up the way that paleoanthropology goes about the business of doing science.

Traditionally, fossils have been studied and published in a very top-down way, where small teams of senior experts spend years (even decades) studying fossil hominins before publishing their discoveries in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. This means the fossils are carefully scrutinized, measured, compared, and analyzed before they reach a public audience. The peer-review process of such top-tier journals—like Science or Nature—forms a well-established social system of checks and balances, ensuring that research credibility is attached to published discoveries.

The H. naledi project has championed an opposite view of how data should be collected and distributed. Berger’s team found, excavated, studied, and published the Rising Star Cave’s cache of more than 1,550 fossils in just two years. The project has relied on the expertise of many young, early career researchers. In addition, the project published scans of the fossils themselves in eLife in September 2015, an open-access journal with a shorter peer-review process.


Woody Guthrie and Fred Trump (the idiot's father)

Guthrie once lived in a building managed by Fred Trump and penned an unpublished song in which he accuses Trump of stirring up "racial hate." The passage was found by professor Will Kaufman.

"Guthrie’s two-year tenancy in one of Fred Trump’s buildings and his relationship with the real estate mogul of New York’s outer boroughs produced some of Guthrie’s most bitter writings, which I discovered on a recent trip to the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa. These writings have never before been published; they should be, for they clearly pit America’s national balladeer against the racist foundations of the Trump real estate empire.

Recalling these foundations becomes all the more relevant in the wake of the racially charged proclamations of Donald Trump, who last year announced, “My legacy has its roots in my father’s legacy.”


could someone pls link me to the recent Tom Hartmann post? I tried the "search" but

it is not working this morning.
It was in the last couple of days, relating to extinction of humans.


Does anybody here do ebay?

what is your experience - positive, negative?


When is a candidate going to condemn the TPP - the worst legislation in the history of the world?

As far as I know - none has.
Pls correct me if I am wrong.

From Cronulla to Cologne, it’s the same rhetoric

It is the idea of sexual assault perpetrated upon German women by foreigners that has been the epicentre of the political explosion. Since 1 January, there have been calls to close the borders, end all German intake of refugees and asylum seekers, and immediately deport any non-German found guilty of sexual harassment. These calls have been echoed across the political spectrum. In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a politician who has not made some sort of public statement on ‘Cologne’, including the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose portfolio does not usually include sexual assault and petty theft on the streets of Cologne.

Not even the Paris terror attacks of November last year appear to have had such a destabilising effect on Germany’s so-called ‘open door’ policy on immigration and asylum – but perhaps that is because the mass killings in Paris didn’t involve questions of moral and cultural standards around sexuality and gender relations.

By now, it is well-known how ferociously the events have been seized upon by conservatives and radical right-wing groups opposed to immigration. The language of the public debate has been predictably filled with calls to defend ‘our women’ from the ‘uncivilised’ hordes of medieval barbarians from the Middle East. Vigilante groups have formed. One announced on Facebook that it would be organising ‘patrols’ around Cologne with the intention of ‘cleaning up’.


Howard Dean, Now Employed by Health Care Lobby Firm, Opposes Bernie Sanders on Single-Payer

and another one hits the dust...

Dean, a longtime supporter of single-payer, seemed to be changing his tune, a point made by host Chris Hayes during the segment.

This evolution of Dean, known within many circles for his spirited critique of the Iraq War during the 2004 Democratic primary, comes as he has settled into a corporate lobbying career.

Dean, though he rarely discloses the title during his media appearances, now serves as senior advisor to the law firm Dentons, where he works with the firm’s Public Policy and Regulation practice, a euphemism for Dentons’ lobbying team. Dean is not a lawyer, but neither is Newt Gingrich, who is among the growing list of former government officials and politicians that work in the Public Policy and Regulation practice of Dentons.

The Dentons Public Policy and Regulation practice lobbies on behalf of a variety of corporate health care interests, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a powerful trade group for drugmakers like Pfizer and Merck.

In 2009, Dean praised single-payer while speaking on Democracy Now, calling the idea “by far the most economically efficient system.”


Westboro’s Planned Protest of David Bowie’s Funeral Backfires in the Most Beautiful Way Possible

The greatest trolls in the world, the Westboro Baptist Church, are preparing to protest at the funeral of David Bowie. But rather than inciting outrage from observers, as is their traditional modus operandi, Westboro’s action is prompting America to respond with compassion.

In response to Westboro’s hate-filled action, the organization Planting Peace, which operates the rainbow flag-colored Equality House across the street from the Westboro compound, is instead using the opportunity to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in honor of Bowie to help find cures for cancer. Planting Peace president Aaron Jackson told the Huffington Post he wanted to turn the negativity of the Westboro protest into something that created value.


Meditation group going well

I started a local meditation group about 5 weeks ago.
We meet in a community church once a week.
we do jyoti meditation and mindfullness meditation.
sometimes a guided meditation, in which I read from San Harris's book.

People like it a lot.
It's very rewarding to have someone say that they look forward to this all week, or, that this one hour we spend together makes their life better.

One thing I want to change is that people walk into the room - all talky and loud - as they do into any gathering.
and there is nothing wrong with that.
Except that for this meditation group, imo it is appropriate to enter the room, and assume a reflective mode, to focus within, even as people take off their coat, greet their friends, and take a seat.

I can drop this - if there is a lot of objection.
But I am going to ask participants to give it a try, and I think they will like it.
I want to create a "sacred place", a space which is an alternative to the normal outward-looking space, - a space where it is the norm to look inward.

Democratic Party Primaries: “Progressives” as Political Contraceptives

American mass movements have been successful in mobilizing hundreds of thousands in opposition to Washington’s wars. Progressives have educated and organized millions to oppose Wall Street and the Democratic Party’s more recent bailout of banks.

Without fail, every time that mass movements and the electorate opted for independent social action outside of the Democratic Party, a ‘dissident’ politician has emerged from within the Party mouthing many of the criticisms and demands of the social movements.

These Democrat “dissidents” round up millions of votes and hundreds of delegates to the Democratic Convention and then they inevitably lose to the Party machine and meekly submit, reasserting their loyalty to the Party. The essential political consequence is that the “dissidents” channel mass social disaffection back into the Democratic Party thereby undermining any independent political initiative.

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