Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds and these are the last ones for 2020, a year few of us will forget.
So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
To be commenced in strands afar remote.
“A friendly reminder: Your inability to understand science is not an argument against it.” —@Konfytbekkie
Dave Trott — Words Beat Data
1842 — A member of the [Children’s Employment] commission asked a young writer to help with a pamphlet to turn public opinion against the cruel treatment of the poor.
To bring the greed of the wealthy to everyone’s attention.
The young writer’s name was Charles Dickens, and the pamphlet was to be called: “An Appeal to the People of England on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.”
Dickens visited tin mines in Cornwall, and Field Lane Ragged School in London’s east end.
What he saw there made him too angry to write a pamphlet.
Reason alone wouldn’t change anything.
Someone else could do facts and figures — he needed to move people emotionally.
He said to the head of the commission, Dr Southwood Smith: “You will certainly feel that a sledgehammer has come down with 20 times the force of the first idea.”
And Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol.
The state actually has been massively essential for capitalism to work by investing in the physical infrastructure, the social infrastructure, the deep tech stuff that I talk about “The Entrepreneurial State.”
That’s the myth about the free market. Without the state, we wouldn’t have capitalism.
For years, anthropologists and evolutionary biologists have struggled to explain the existence of menopause, a life stage that humans do not share with our primate relatives. Why would it be beneficial for females to stop being able to have children with decades still left to live? … “Grandmothering gave us the kind of upbringing that made us more dependent on each other socially and prone to engage each other’s attention.” This trend, Hawkes says, drove the increase in brain size, along with longer lifespans and menopause.