Some of the sacred texts read, re-read, re-re-read, and worshiped at the Pierce house.
Robert really finds political labels, such as “conservative” and “liberal,” quite unhelpful. Especially when applied to people. Anyway, he is interested in understanding the primary themes of politics. In that light, this seems to be a very good list of non-fiction reading if one wants to understand what “conservatives” stand for.
Robert still has not yet read Road to Serfdom. Ugh.
Very very nice undergraduate-level lectures on Justice by Michael Sandel here. Nice discussions of Rawls and Aristotle, for example. Everyone should take a look. Very watchable.
This week Robert has been looking at information about the Carr fire that has been burning for a week in Shasta County near Redding. In particular, he has been looking at the “real-time” fire map that the National Interagency Fire Center has up. It uses satellite images to constantly refresh data about fires. Hot flames show up as red, less intense fire as orange, and smoldering as yellow.
Check it out here.
After watching the fire for a week, Robert is pretty fascinated about how the fire fighters must plan their strategies using natural and manmade fire lines. For the Carr fire, it seemed likely that they would use Highway 299 and the mountain ridge dividing Shasta and Trinity Counties as lines that would be defended. They have something like 30 water helicopters, and they can drop water along those lines, it seems. Sure enough, the fires are not moving significantly past those lines. It took the fire about 3 days to get to those lines, but they did not get much further in the following 4 days. The firefighters have a way to moving the fire into itself. Pretty cool
And now for the Robert Loves Sappy Music Hour (RLSM for short).
He asks you, what’s better than minutes 3:00 through 14:10 of Jim Croce Photographs and Memories? What?
Wow, this looks good.
Use the links below to audit the courses at no cost:
Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times is a course series created by senior research scholars at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim. The courses weave the discoveries of the evolutionary sciences together with the humanities such as history, philosophy, art, and religion. The courses in this Specialization draw on the Emmy-award winning film, Journey of the Universe, the book from Yale University Press, and a series of 20 interviews with scientists and environmentalists, titled Journey Conversations.
Each week there will be a brief commentary by Brian Thomas Swimme, co-author of the Journey book.
As part of the Specialization, we investigate the life of Thomas Berry, a historian of world religions known for articulating a “new story” of the universe that explores the implications of the evolutionary sciences and cultural traditions for creating a flourishing future.
The capstone course gives students an opportunity to bring together their learning in a project that explores ways in which the creativity of humans can be more deeply aligned with the creativity of universe and Earth processes.
Yesterday Robert took the long drive out to Hyampom to drop off Rory at Summer camp. A hot and smoky drive through Red Bluff, but we made it. We met Rory’s bunk house counselor and learned all about the scene from four of his bunk house mates, all of whom are going to be fifth-graders next year. Rory’s really up for this and we expect him to come back with lots of stories.
Note: Just to cutoff any comments about fires, here’s the awesome real-time satellite fire tracker.