Smartphone = crack pipe?

via Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones? – The New York Times

You could read this as “See Mr Whiteside, at least I’m not doing drugs”

OR

“I am hooked, and I don’t even know on what – just whatever this device pushes on me.”

It does make me think about Marx’s line: “Religion is the opiate of the masses” and how completely he underestimated technology.

Bees, Cognition, and Twerking

How could I not post this? It’s got it all – bees, cognition, consciousness, and, yes, a mention of twerking. Read it and see. Plus the video is cool.

More to ToK though is the question of what does it mean for us if other entities are conscious, thinking beings (I avoided the pun). How do we define ourselves as special if other entities can do alot of what we do?

via Bumblebees Demonstrate the Power of Insect Brains – The New York Times

Also, there was this one today:

NPR – bees playing catch

And if we are in no way special, then what? Does that require any kind of shift in knowledge and/or how it gets used?

Inconstant Constants

This is what it looks like when experts disagree, or perhaps this is what it looks like when standing on the cusp of a paradigm shift. Bear in mind that this is no small disagreement, the argument is over what the facts are – maybe a given constant in physics isn’t so constant. But for us what is more intriguing is the question as to what the new knowledge will look like and what it means for how we will do things – or as is suggested in the article, we are about to “learn new physics.”

via Cosmos Controversy: The Universe Is Expanding, but How Fast? – The New York Times

These are a few of my favorite things

I love life. Look at this – issues of neuroscience, knowledge, knowing, self-identity. AND David Byrne!?!?!?!! Are you kidding me? Who put this together? This is ToK as it should be – weirdo musicians and ways of knowing.

The experiments look fascinating and I love the interdisciplinary thinking that Byrne is using, not unlike his band’s interdisciplinary sound (Talking Heads for those of you not in the know). Look at all the things a ToK experience can prep you for – it’s like being an explorer, just of the mind.

via David Byrne’s Theatrical Thought Experiment in Silicon Valley | The Do List | KQED Arts

Death, the West, and the Gita

via Have Your Wishes For Care Known Before A Health Crisis Strikes : Shots – Health News : NPR

Given our recent readings and discussions in the Gita I found this to be an interesting look at the way we currently think about and treat those close to death in our culture. We have discussed the role of dualism in Western thought and this seems like one of the consequences of a dualist way of thinking about death. What I wonder is if the thoughts expressed towards the end of this article are beginning to take on thinking that is similar to what Krishna expresses in the Gita.

And then there is the notion that any day you think about death – and by extension the life you have now – is a good day. Enjoy.

Death and Food

via In Many Species, a Family Dinner Means Something Else – The New York Times

As we move into the realm of other perspectives and other cultures, this seemed fairly timely. Here is a rather interesting and detailed look at cannibalism in both the non-human and the human world. It’a a fascinating read, the pictures are cool, and it ends with recipes.

Well, not really, but it does hint at other ways of thinking about the corporeal world we inhabit. Best if read right before dinner.