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Comment: Re:What you don't know (Score 3, Interesting) 96

by Philotic (#33622482) Attached to: How Your Brain Figures Out What It Doesn't Know
"In March 2003, Donald Rumsfeld engaged in a little bit of amateur philosophising: "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know." What he forgot to add was the crucial fourth term: the "unknown knowns", things we don't know that we know - which is precisely the Freudian unconscious. If Rumsfeld thought that the main dangers in the confrontation with Iraq were the "unknown unknowns", the threats from Saddam we did not even suspect, the Abu Ghraib scandal shows where the main dangers actually are in the "unknown knowns", the disavowed beliefs, suppositions and obscene practices we pretend not to know about, even though they form the background of our public values. To unearth these "unknown knowns" is the task of an intellectual."

-Slavoj Zizek
http://www.lacan.com/zizekempty.htm

Comment: Re:Solution: Tax gas more. (Score 1) 1139

by Philotic (#33298342) Attached to: Is a US High-Speed Railway Economically Feasible?
We went to war for a number of reasons, most of which are irrelevant to this discussion. Oil, however, was almost certainly one of those reasons. But we didn't go to war to avoid the volatile price swings of oil markets, but to secure long-term access to a geostrategic resource. Oil is (second perhaps to water) the most important resource in the world. The middle east is one of the most important sources of oil in the world. To a certain extent it doesn't matter what the price of oil is because the global economy is almost entirely reliant on it. Until there is a satisfactory replacement, oil will be a preeminent issue in international security for some time to come.
Biotech

+ - Radiation-Munching Mushrooms->

Submitted by Philotic
Philotic (957984) writes "Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered a unique property of certain fungi that allows them to utilize ionizing radiation similar to how plants harvest energy from the sun. In tests, fungi that contain melanin grow significantly faster than normal when exposed to radiation as high as 500% that of background levels. From the article:

Scientists have long assumed that fungi exist mainly to decompose matter into chemicals that other organisms can then use. But researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found evidence that fungi possess a previously undiscovered talent with profound implications: the ability to use radioactivity as an energy source for making food and spurring their growth.
The article implies possible use of the fungi as a nuclear waste clean-up agent, as well as a food source for astronauts on long space flights."

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"If there isn't a population problem, why is the government putting cancer in the cigarettes?" -- the elder Steptoe, c. 1970

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