Entangled Life: Best Instagram Posts–First Half of 2017

Entangled Life is on Instagram since beginning of this year. Here are the best post so far. If you are on Instagram be sure to follow, because when inspiration strikes, it is highly likely that something will be published there first, simply because I might feel that it’s too small a thought to warrant a full blog post. You’ll notice that some have very few likes. This is because at the beginning you don’t have so many followers, but they are still included because I feel they are essentially good. The posts are in chronological order, which means they will be posted in the order they were posted on Instagram, so you’ll be able to see that the account does get more popular.

Below each each post is a small comment about it. Also, while I’m here I want to tank some of the people who are following since the beginning.

So, here we go:

What can an #atheist do to improve the World? Generally, this is our goal. #atheism #agnostic #agnosticism #humanist

A post shared by Entangled Life (@entangledlife) on

Comment: Ah, the horrors of trying to generalize. But I feel that even generalization is better that the “NOT ALL __” proclamation which really only stops the conversation. Choosing this quote was an attempt of trying to explain why do atheists post things they post.

Bertrand Russell is surely one of the people who I admire, so there’ll be some quotes from this extraordinary man. Here is his thought about how it really doesn’t make sense for god to be offended when somebody simply uses the “tools” he gave them.

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Do Not Be Afraid Of The Future

People have always been afraid of change. Here and now is not perfect, but it is stable. It is reliable. It is dependable. The future may seem strange and unknown and scary and it might include things that make you uncomfortable, it might include things you personally do not like. But please try to see past that and try to have faith in humanity.

Do not be afraid of the future

The fact is that the World is now better than before. Generally speaking, there are fewer childhood deaths than before, there are ...fewer deaths from preventable diseases, we as a species are more sensitive to problems of minorities, we are more concerned about animals, we are more socially aware and sensitive to injustice. This progress was not easy to make, it was painful, but we did it.

We now turn to the needs of our planet which needs our help, we turn to address problems of people that are not able to live in their homes, we turn to eradicating remaining preventable diseases, we turn to the problems of less fortunate, we turn to try to give even more rights and justice to people who love each other and want the ability to continue to do so. We turn to continue increasing happiness on a global scale.

These are all worthy causes. This should be our future. Do not be afraid.

Why Invest In Science?

Whenever you see a post about something amazing science has done, or some big investment in science, there’s always somebody with a comment “that will end all wars”, or “yeah, looking at other galaxies is really useful”. Yes, many times these are nothing more than trolls, people desperate for some attention. But many times, people really, really think these things and will flame until the end of time because of it. Also, sometimes people will like in agreement while thinking only short-term and not realizing what investment in science actually means. In this day and age where we get bombarded with a hue amount of misinformation, it’s all too easy to quickly agree and continue scrolling.

This is an attempt to quickly answer the question “- Why should we invest in science?

No Science? No Music on the Go for You!

Take the very fact you are on Facebook or the very fact that you are looking at your phone right now. Well, it is because of Quantum Theory! Without quantum mechanics there would be no computers because the most important building block of a computer would not exist – the transistor. In short, the semiconductors development is based on a foundation of quantum mechanics. To quote Wikipedia:

The modern understanding of the properties of a semiconductor relies on quantum physics to explain the movement of charge carriers …

… Developments in quantum physics in turn allowed the development of the transistor in 1947 and the integrated circuit in 1958.

Wikipedia: Semiconductor

The process did not go: “we need some sort of machine which will do calculation for us” and then Quantum Mechanics was discovered – exactly the opposite thing happened. Scientists more-or-less went where their curiosity took them. They were concerned with nature of light, photoelectric effect, radiation, etc. These kind of scientific experiments led to scientists formulating the Quantum Theory. After that, the insights into the World given to humanity by Quantum Theory gave scientists knowledge and ideas to design components of modern electronic devices, laser, transistor, etc. And it all started with exploration of something humanity did not know at the time.

Same purpose applies today. The investment in exploration of something we don't know today will solve all kinds of real problems tomorrow. Not only that, but such endeavors inspire generations of people to go into field of Science and to continue exploring and inventing. This effect then goes into positive feedback–loop – even more scientists are influenced by those who came before them. And all of this can only mean good news for a country or countries that invest in science, since they get to lead the world in the technological advancement.

The previous argument was mostly focused on the utility of science – but there is another very powerful argument. We should invest in science because it answers questions about the world. Science illuminates the cave, looks into unknown and drags the truth out in the open, for all to see. This means – science even gives us the tools and power to decide things that are a matter of ethics – science informs us, so that we have the facts before making an important ethical decision. Science helps ordinary people understand the big themes – space, time, the World and our place in it.

Science makes the World a better place. That is it.

Debunking Conspiracy Theories – Chemtrails – Pt. 1

There are two distinct schools of thought when it comes to crazy conspiracy theories. First school of thought basically says that they should not be even discussed because it gives crazy, deluded or simply hopelessly ignorant people a platform to stand on, brings them into the mainstream and validates them. In other words, this school of thought feels that the very act of talking about these theories, somehow hints that we should take them seriously.

Other school of thought basically believes that humanity needs to really actively work to get rid of the World o these unrealistic, crazy and simply put, bad ideas. It believes that if people talk about these problems long enough and simply present evidence to the contrary, conspiracy theorists will start abandoning these silly beliefs because they will now have a better explanation. Regarding the first school of thought they feel that it’s a justified risk.

Without wasting time on too much introduction, the existence of this post basically means that, after much thinking, we’re gonna give second school of thought an advantage. It simply seems that the world is in such a bad shape that some things really need to be not only disproven, but that we should strive for this to reach as many people as possible, because if science and reason don’t, ultimately there is a risk that the conspiracy theorists will. Of course, people are capable of thinking for themselves, but if they are constantly exposed to one thing, and the rebuttal is nowhere to be found …

So, we’ll start with one that’s particularly annoying: Chemtrails. This is a big topic and we can cover a lot of ground, so, we’ll for the sake of being clear enough and not bore people split it into few posts. Sorry for the long introduction, BTW, it’s just that if you’re a member of the first school of thought – that we shouldn’t give them a platform, you might want to consider switching to the second school of thought.

Chemtrails? What?

A high-flying jet's engines leaving a condensation trail (contrail)

Image by Adrian Pingstone No machine-readable author provided. No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., Public Domain, Link

This is an image of the condensation trail left behind by a jet’s engines. The claim that these trails that airplanes leave in the sky (if they are long lasting) are actually chemicals which are being sprayed for well, unknown purposes. The craziness often includes such claims as fighting global warming, attempts to reduce the size of the population, the idea that the US military wants to use the weather in future wars, psychological manipulation … etc.

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The Red Herring of – Not All Christians, Muslims, Buddhists …

TL;DR – Religion cannot be ignored as a cause of hate. Religion cannot get a free pass.

19. 06. 2017, on Monday morning, around 12:20 AM a terrorist has driven a van into pedestrians in London. The man intentionally rammed into worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at the mosque. All of the casualties were Muslims.

This is truly a despicable attack as it was targeted at peaceful worshippers. Same as other terrorist attacks, victims turn out to be people who generally have nothing to do with current problems in the world – innocent bystanders.

Naturally, as you can imagine, social media immediately exploded, with both sides being quick to point out that not all Muslims are terrorists, not all Christians are terrorists, not all Christians are radicalized, etc., etc..

This somehow really, really, really seems to miss the entire point of discussion, because every “NOT ALL …” proclamation merely stops any further conversation and this is in nobody’s interest, really. The thing is – terrorism does happen. We as a species need to be able to figure out WHY. No, you do NOT know why. Some of the greatest minds in politics, philosophy, even science are NOT 100% certain WHY.

Candle

Image by Pexels / Pixabay - Public Domain

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Why should we Trust Science?

f you think about it, it’s actually pretty sad that somebody is even motivated enough to open a Word processor and start writing about why should we trust science. Make no mistake, it’s important to think for yourself and not blindly follow what any authority says, but in this day and age, we all can agree that the problem of our World is NOT too much rational thinking and looking at evidence, but rather the opposite. It is not that people are looking for evidence and then look at evidence themselves, it’s that people are looking for opinions that confirm their already existing suspicions or preconceived notions. That is called Confirmation Bias.

Ok, after this gross-generalization, let’s get real. Many times story is less sinister. Today it’s easier than ever to be exposed to the so-called fake news. We all have a huge number of friends on social media platforms. There is a large spectrum of beliefs about the world and only some of them are true. So, it’s very likely that everyone has at least one free-spirit, alternative energy, magic beans, astrology type who likes to share various dubious claims with links to dubious sources which someone may tend to believe. The problem with this should be clear: not every idea is a good idea, or to put it more bluntly: not everything you read on the Internet is true.

Microscope

Image: felixioncool / Pixabay, Public Domain

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The Gender Wage Gap

The times we live in are difficult enough without people trying to sell so-called “fake news” as facts. Fake news is a term which was popularized by Trump in order to basically deceive his supporters that the media is dishonest. But just because in his case “fake news” cry has proven false, that does not mean that this phenomenon does not exist. We live in times where people spend huge amount of their day scrolling. Many times they scroll across some headline and believe it, without thinking or even clicking on it. Combine this tendency for instant gratification with the plainly simple truth that media these days does care a great deal about clicks, in order to get advertisements, so they form headlines like in a “you won’t believe” manner that are designed for people to click, just co confirm their bias or see something incredible.

Also, this era we currently live in has been greatly exposed to the dangers of relativism and dishonest post-modernism, so, some people even harbor a belief that everything is basically opinions, without any absolute truths. This state of mind is of course, deeply troubling, as this is exactly how we fall into the traps of believing that everyone can only say being bigoted is part of their culture and we cannot say anything against it.

How to get a coin?

Having said that, one of the movements that is sure to get a huge amount of smearing is feminism. Feminism has the potential to be deeply troubling to first of all, white patriarchal-type males which find it deeply troubling that women can possibly be on their level. Second of all, feminism poses great danger to basically all religions, as all of them think of women as lesser beings than men. Next, feminism can even be challenging to the established norms of society, where it is almost expected in some countries that women should stay at home and take care of children or even submit themselves to men’s desires. Even if we ignore all of this, it would still be in the interest of some corporations to spend less on salaries. If salaries are made more or less equal, they stand to lose. So, hopefully one can see what the motivation would be to try and prove that there is no such thing as a wage gap. Sorry to say this, but this establishment, whatever it is has managed to gain some leeway, because as has been argued before, today people generally are quick to believe anything they see online.

This post will try to bring to the table facts about the Gender Wage Gap. So, let us continue.

Or rather – rant is over, let’s begin. We’ll begin with quoting from Wikipedia, as it nicely summarizes what is actually happening.

There are two distinct numbers regarding the pay gap: unadjusted versus adjusted pay gap which takes into account differences in hours worked, occupations chosen, education and job experience. For example, someone who takes time off maternity leave will likely not earn as much as someone who does not take time off from work. Factors like this contribute to lower yearly earnings for women, but when all external factors have been adjusted for, there still exists a gender pay gap in many situations (between 4.8% and 7.1% according to one study). Unadjusted pay gaps are much higher. In the United States, for example the unadjusted average female's annual salary has commonly been cited as being 78% of the average male salary.

Wikipedia

To learn more, keep reading.

So, basically, there are two ways of looking at it, to begin with. Then, of course, things are different in different parts of the world, but Canada and the US are not that different from each other, and while EU seems better, it’s far from perfect. But any better result would be contrary to the idea that there’s pay gap which you might argue that this blog post is trying to prove, so it’s fair to include all three kinds of data – US, EU and Canada. Other world countries, like those in Africa can only make things worse, so they cannot generally be used as a rebuttal.

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