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Showing posts from January, 2011

In ever living memory...

A recent article in Salon has me thinking a bit more about how members of current and future generations will be remembered by posterity. In light of the many advances in science that are occurring quickly in physiology and medicine, microbiology and genetics, there are some interesting wrinkles to the question that are not probed by the author of that article. In the article the author references a quote stated by Machiavelli concerning his views of those that would go on beyond their death to be alive in the minds of future men.

In fact, in his Discourses on Livy (c. 1517), he even provided a formula for predicting who might be famous in, say, 500 years' time. The first rank of glory belonged to those "who have played the chief part in founding a religion." Next came those "who have founded either republics or kingdoms." At the end, he adds: "Some modicum of praise is also ascribed to any man who excels in some art ... and of these the number is legion.&…

Deconstructing Landmark Forum

Deconstructing Landmark Forum:




Prologue:

Recently I was introduced to the Landmark Education organization by a girlfriend, she was effusive about the many lessons she learned and the "breakthroughs" she had while taking their "forum" and other self help and improvement seminar programs. I was immediately credulous, as a student of science I often find myself playing the advocate of reason when discussion emerges over any particular topic. Often the subjects that provide the most fuel for application of this reason based approach to information analysis are seemingly difficult to quantify without descending into machine gun fire ejaculation of "ideas" with little but anecdotal support behind them. The books of experience that people in various areas serve as the guide for their views a priori of new evidence, this bias against the future by correlation with the past often serves to hold people back from changing their views to suit
new observations...the…