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Placebo Buttons?

A recent article suggested that many of the buttons/toggles that we experience in our daily lives...

The Development Of Social Monogamy In Mammals

Two papers published this week have proposed explanations regarding the evolution of social monogamy...

Easy Answers To World Problems

After reading another article by Alex Berezow ["The Arrogance of a Well-Fed Society"] insisting...

The Precautionary Principle Review

There is an interesting series of articles published by the Guardian discussing various aspects...

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Gerhard AdamRSS Feed of this column.

I'm not big on writing things about myself so a friend on this site (Brian Taylor) opted to put a few sentences together: Hopefully I'll be able to live up to his claims. "I thought perhaps you... Read More »

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I recently read an opinion piece that suggests that concerns about human population growth are grossly overstated and that nothing of consequence is going to occur.
Consequently, no serious demographer believes that human population growth resembles cancer or the plague. On the contrary, the United Nations projects a global population of 9.3 billion by 2050 and 10.1 billion by 2100. In other words, it will take about 40 years to add 2 billion people, but 50 years to add 1 billion after that. After world population peaks, it is quite possible that it will stop growing altogether and might even decline.
Almost two years ago, I wrote an article entitled "What is life - Part 1" describing various aspects of life that dealt with the issues of "intent" and "purpose".  These are obviously heavily loaded terms, and represent a tremendous difficulty in defining life and trying to come to terms with the obvious and yet inexplicable behaviors we see.

Yet, we all recognize this type of behavior and biology even uses the term teleonomy to characterize this (1).
To many, DNA represents the definitive code which governs all life.  It has been compared to a sophisticated computer program from which every aspect of an individual organism is built.

Equally it has been stated that DNA is not destiny, so there is some basic recognition that DNA is not the absolute arbiter of everything biological.
Much has been made of recent efforts to address the gun control issue, in the wake of the shootings of school children in Newtown, Ct.  While the media plays up the controversy, and various pundits go through the motions of bringing various pro/anti gun advocates on their programs, we find that the entire process is an elaborate illusion designed to make people believe that something serious is afoot.

Of course, that's the beauty of illusions.  You can imagine that people are actually serious, while you miss the sleight of hand that ensures that nothing actually gets done.
Any time the subject of taxes comes up with respect to economics we are invariably treated to examples such as the following, to illustrate how government revenue has an effect on the economy.  Of course, this is all smoke and mirrors nonsense, but nevertheless it seems plausible enough so that many people don't consider the absurdity of these examples.

In the first instance, we are treated to the supposition of what society would be like without taxation.
While one can't reasonably assume all corporations are corrupt, it is little wonder why so many people are adopting a much more cynical attitude.  

HSBC got their hand slapped.  Of course, none of those responsible were charged with anything.
http://www.salon.com/2012/12/11/hsbc_to_pay_1_9bn_to_settle_money_laundering_scandal/

AIG ex-CEO manages to reflect its disdain for tax payers (1).
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/washingtons-jaw-drops-at-possibility-of-aig-lawsuit-85924.html