31 Oct 2012

Anything but water

  1. Very important USDA study:
    researchers set up three plots: one replicated the typical Midwestern cycle of planting corn one year and then soybeans the next, along with its routine mix of chemicals. On another, they planted a three-year cycle that included oats; the third plot added a four-year cycle and alfalfa. The longer rotations also integrated the raising of livestock, whose manure was used as fertilizer.The results were stunning: The longer rotations produced better yields of both corn and soy, reduced the need for nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides by up to 88 percent, reduced the amounts of toxins in groundwater 200-fold and didn’t reduce profits by a single cent.
  2. Learning from how smart people think and lessons for success from psychopaths (but why the US is being taken over by them?). Jesus Camp, meanwhile, made me sad to see kids getting brainwashed due to not learning critical thinking due to a desire to conform to their parents' beliefs at the same time as their parents are their (home school) teachers; and made it easier for me to understand why evangelical Christians see no problem with the environmental "going to hell" -- because they -- and only they -- plan to get sucked up by God before it matters. Damn.

  3. The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy to Lie About Climate Change Has Worked (i.e., science defeated by propaganda).

  4. Perhaps the Arab Spring (and "Fall of the Wall") was an example of where learned helplessness (at the hands of fascists) tipped into challenging authority that was built on a foundation of sand. Listen to this podcast [mp3] on learned helplessness, which may also apply to our confidence in the economy.

  5. In case you were wondering:

    Oh, and there's a lot of misperceptions of libertarians as laissez-faire fans of natural selection who don't care about others (in reference to Paul Ryan's fanfare for Ayn Rand), but that's wrong. (I'd also say it's wrong about Rand, since she was more worried about the sins of collectivism and fascism than the actions of free individuals.)
H/T to BB

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