Spectacular, terraced rice paddies cover the mountainsides of Yuanyang County, China. Cultivated by the Hani people for the last…


Spectacular, terraced rice paddies cover the mountainsides of Yuanyang County, China. Cultivated by the Hani people for the last 1300 years, the slope of the terraces varies from 15 to 75 degrees with some having as many as 3,000 steps. Approximately 1.5 square miles of paddies are seen here surrounding the small village of Tuguozhai.

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23°05'55.3"N, 103°01'22.6"E

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Antarctica loses three trillion tonnes of ice in 25 years

ocean, Anthropocene, Antarctica, ice, sea-level-rise, climate, climate-change, 2018, 1992

Glaciologists usually talk of three distinct regions because they behave slightly differently from each other. In West Antarctica, which is dominated by those marine-terminating glaciers, the assessed losses have climbed from 53 billion to 159 billion tonnes per year over the full period from 1992 to 2017. On the Antarctic Peninsula, the finger of land that points up to South America, the losses have risen from seven billion to 33 billion tonnes annually. This is largely, say scientists, because the floating ice platforms sitting in front of some glaciers have collapsed, allowing the ice behind to flow faster. East Antarctica, the greater part of the continent, is the only region to have shown some growth. Much of this region essentially sits out of the ocean and collects its snows over time and is not subject to the same melting forces seen elsewhere. But the gains are likely quite small, running at about five billion tonnes per year. And the Imbie team stresses that the growth cannot counterbalance what is happening in the West and on the Peninsula. Indeed, it is probable that an unusually big dump of snow in the East just before the last assessment in 2012 made Antarctica as a whole look less negative than the reality. Globally, sea levels are rising by about 3mm a year. This figure is driven by several factors, including the expansion of the oceans as they warm. But what is clear from the latest Imbie assessment is that Antarctica is becoming a significant player. “A three-fold increase now puts Antarctica in the frame as one of the largest contributors to sea-level rise,” said Prof Shepherd, who is affiliated to Leeds University, UK. “The last time we looked at the polar ice sheets, Greenland was the dominant contributor. That’s no longer the case.” In total, Antarctica has shed some 2.7 trillion tonnes of ice since 1992, corresponding to an increase in global sea level of more than 7.5mm.

via https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment–44470208

BLACK LIGHT - Artforum International EXALTED AND EXCORIATED, praised as universalist and damned as Eurocentric, the…


BLACK LIGHT - Artforum International

EXALTED AND EXCORIATED, praised as universalist and damned as Eurocentric, the Enlightenment has for decades now been central to scholarly debate and even, to a significant extent, to discussion beyond the academy. If these arguments originally pivoted on the contrast between the eighteenth-century Enlightenment and the nineteenth-century backlash or counter-Enlightenment, the opposition that has structured the conversation since the turn of the millennium has been between the Enlightenment and the post-Enlightenment (whether post-structuralist or postcolonial, or sometimes both).

Yet even as we speak (write), it could be contended that these debates are about to be blotted out, rendered irrelevant, by the oncoming darkness of an aggressively resurgent anti-Enlightenment, which bears some affinities to traditional conservatism and the nineteenth-century counter-Enlightenment but is now more explicitly racialized than before. So this is no longer a time when self-styled post-Enlightenment critics—taking for granted liberal-democratic guarantees—can afford to be sneering at Enlightenment norms. The protections of those rights and freedoms can no longer be assumed.

Of course, for blacks and other people of color, those assumptions were never operative in the first place. The misleading definite article (“the”) actually subsumes multiple Enlightenments, diverse both geographically (whether intra-European, e.g., Scottish, Dutch, or German, or extra-European, e.g., Islamic or Asian) and politically (“conservative” or “moderate” versus “radical,” in Jonathan Israel’s dichotomy). But I suggest we need to formally recognize a variant not usually listed in these taxonomies: what could be termed the Black Enlightenment.

The Black Enlightenment develops in modernity out of the experience of Atlantic slavery, which created a stigmatized, diasporic Afro-descendant population not merely in the Americas but also in Europe. And this global experience of racial subordination, lasting for over a century after the nominal emancipation of slaves in various countries (1865 in the United States; as late as 1888 in Brazil), generates what could be metaphorically seen as a “black light.” Think of it as a kind of X-ray vision into the actual workings of polities committed on paper to inclusive liberal-democratic norms but in truth still racially structured, as exemplified even today by the racial realities of the US and other nations. The very invisibility of blacks as human equals—recall here Ralph Ellison’s classic 1952 novel, Invisible Man—has given them (us) an insight into white cognition (W. E. B. Du Bois’s “second sight”), a metaperspective that can be analogized to frequencies beyond the visible spectrum.

So if the “whiteness” of Enlightenment vision has too often been self-blinding rather than illuminating, a black correction has been required to see clearly. And from this perspective, this angle of vision, the problem has never been a genuinely universalist White Enlightenment but a consistently racially particularist White Enlightenment, from the American founding father Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner, proclaiming the self-evident truth of human equality to the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, simultaneously the father of modern Western ethics and the inventor of modern “scientific” (biological) racism. As the anti-Enlightenment bears down on us, threatening a new Dark Age, just remember: We told you so (and long ago, too).

- Charles W. Mills

Why did I not invent this acronym first? ‘Collaborative Technology Hardened for Underwater and Littoral Hazardous Environment’,…

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Hverfjall is a tephra cone, or tuff ring, volcano located near the eastern shore of Lake Myvatn in northern Iceland. It erupted…


Hverfjall is a tephra cone, or tuff ring, volcano located near the eastern shore of Lake Myvatn in northern Iceland. It erupted in 2500 BP, leaving behind a massive crater more than half a mile (1 km) in diameter. Hverfjall is just 1,300 feet (396 m) high, allowing tourists and hikers to scale its slopes and walk along the crater’s rim.

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65°36'19.3"N, 16°52'21.1"W

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Top 5 Writing Tips: 1. Kill your starlings 2. Writing is rewriting is rewiring is HVAC maintenance 3. Text adverbs to let them…

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Google discovered that giving every employee a credit card and trusting them to follow policy on expenses, even with some bad…

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I’m pedantic about the singular they. It is as old as the English language and when folks are like "I don’t have a problem with…

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In places where there’s limited land and a surplus of water, it makes a lot of sense to optimize for land. So there, grow & eat…

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"Mojibake (文字化け; IPA: [mod͡ʑibake]) is the garbled text that is the result of text being decoded using an unintended character…

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There is a principle of Defensive Decentralization: when besieged, a well constructed decentralized system will further…

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“You already know enough. So do I. It is not knowledge we lack. What is missing is the courage to understand what we know and to…

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To a degree. This is what I endeavor to do in High Weirdness, where I try and both exploit the ambiguity of the term (as genre,…

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Anthony Bourdain on humanity: "Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and…

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Our #driversofchange posters are on display at a special @ClimateMusic concert in San Francisco. The music tracks land-use,…

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I don’t know a lot about Bourdain but I know this: He got television about human geography to rate well. He got more Americans…

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Daniel Trilling (@trillingual)’s LIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE is the best book yet written about borders and migration in Europe….

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Federico Campagna (@FedCampagna)’s TECHNIC AND MAGIC will change the way you think about reality in strange and mysterious ways….

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Realised I mostly tweet about visual art and tech rants, so with my own book coming out in a couple of weeks I thought I should…

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’The “Crack Manifesto” marked the beginning of the “Crack group,” a collective of five Mexican writers dedicated to breaking…

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Actually now I’ve given it some thought, clearly the most efficient undersea data storage approach would be to put LEDs on the…

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a mix of some of my favorite female noise artists for @nnwradio including @electric_indigo, @poemproducer, @theotherldr,…

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Random philosophical thought experiment: would running a real-world Searle’s Chinese Room experiment make one guilty of crimes…

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Paris Climate Goals Can Be Reached Without Carbon Capture Tech, Landmark Study Finds



A groundbreaking study by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is the first to map a pathway to limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels without relying on negative emissions technologies that suck carbon dioxide from the the atmosphere, an IIASA press release reported.

Instead, the study published Monday in Nature Energy found that the more ambitious Paris agreement target can be reached through innovations in the energy efficiency of daily activities. Changes to heating, cooling, transport, appliances and technological devices could both limit climate change and meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals to improve quality of life in the global South, the study found.

“Our analysis shows how a range of new social, behavioral and technological innovations, combined with strong policy support for energy efficiency and low-carbon development can help reverse the historical trajectory of ever-rising energy demand,” IIASA acting program director and lead study author Arnulf Grubler said in the press release.

The report focused on innovations that were currently available and calculated what would happen if they were applied at scale. It found that doing so could reduce the energy required for transportation, heating and cooling and meeting the physical needs of the world’s population by two to four times.

The paper further explained that the success of its scenario relied on the willingness of populations, governments and businesses to make the changes it advocates.

Markers on that roadmap included ride-sharing fleets of electric vehicles that could reduce transport energy demand by 60 percent by 2050. Increased energy standards for new buildings and renovations for old ones could reduce energy demand from heating and cooling by 75 percent by 2050. The report further found that changing individual habits on a global scale could make a huge difference. The expanded use of smartphones to do the work of what would have previously been several devices, accompanied by a shift in the younger generation from owning material goods to accessing services as needed could limit the growth in global energy demand to 15 percent by 2050. And following a healthy diet that replaced red meat calories with something else could lower agriculture energy demand and lead to increased forest cover the combined size of Bangladesh and Italy by 2050.

The report concluded that reducing overall global energy demand 40 percent by 2050, combined with projectedrenewable energy growth, would succeed in limiting warming 1.5 degrees without the need for negative emissions.

Paris Climate Goals Can Be Reached Without Carbon Capture Tech, Landmark Study Finds

https://t.co/8vMnkGFW9Q "A potent question at such intersecting points of interest being asked, "Are we at the doors of…

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The UNC on the Law of the Sea states: Artificial islands & other structures do not possess the status of islands. They have no…

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There is a whole critical literature on the concept of trauma that is unknown to most in mental health who assume it is a…

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It’s the last day of @JamesPDuffy’s secondment with @_foam. James has been modifying the #sonickayak system to automatically map…

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’[Mongolia’s] monasteries are increasingly run by millennial monks, the first generation to come of age after decades of…

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Increasingly I hear from people who won’t do something that functions well in their own context because it "won’t scale…

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