All posts by marlenedotterer

Science Fiction and Fantasy writer

UZH Mediadesk – Plant communities produce greater yield than monocultures

This is the kind of thing that makes me say, “Duh…” But most of the world thinks monoculture is god’s greatest gift.

http://www.mediadesk.uzh.ch/articles/2014/pflanzengemeinschaften-bringen-mehr-ertrag-als-monokulturen_en.html

Published for the First Time: a 1959 Essay by Isaac Asimov on Creativity | MIT Technology Review

The ideas here are interesting. Asimov’s central thought is that creative people tend to think out of the box.

I think this is true, but it’s worthwhile to define the the box. The hardest box to describe is the one you’re in. So perhaps Asimov, who by all accounts, was a brilliant, intuitive thinker, was nevertheless mentally constrained by the box of the 20th century’s worship of deductive science.

Okay, stop right there. Don’t panic. I am ever as much a fan of deductive science. But I do believe it has limits,  an idea that was anathema to the powers-that-be of the middle 20th century.

It’s anathema to today’s,  too, which is a big reason we can’t solve most of our global problems. We get so blindsided by details that we never look at the big picture.

We scoff at the people who do look at the big picture and see the myriad integrations of real world issues. When they offer solutions that take these issues into account, the immediate response is to insist “we need more studies.” This is doublespeak for “it would cost too much,” or “we’d have to change our way of life.”

I’m a big picture thinker, albeit without the brilliance required to be worthwhile.  I know that the way I see the world is not the way most people see it. I’ve often had my ideas scoffed out of the room. Big picture ideas are complex, and I often have trouble expressing what I see. But others can express them – people like Joel Salatin, Michael Pollen, Courtney White, Elizabeth Warren, and many others in many diverse fields… these people have the creative ideas that our world needs.

We only need the courage to implement them.

Here’s the article.

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/531911/isaac-asimov-asks-how-do-people-get-new-ideas/

Article: Brooks Headley’s Tips on Making an Awesome Veggie Burger

I’m sharing this mostly so I can access the Bon Apetit recipe linked at the bottom. It looks like a good one for a veggie burger. To make it vegan, I guess you just leave out the eggs.  Does anyone know of a good substitute?

Brooks Headley’s Tips on Making an Awesome Veggie Burger

http://www.bonappetit.com/people/chefs/article/brooks-headleys-veggie-burger?adbid=525286085920714752&adbpl=tw&adbpr=25170188&mbid=social_20141023_34267897

The Smithsonian Institution Announces an Official Climate Change Statement | At the Smithsonian | Smithsonian

This kind of holistic approach is what we need to adapt to a changing planet. Humanity can probably survive a major climate change, but good planning – and implementation – can help us survive well.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/smithsonian-institution-announces-official-climate-change-statement-180952822/?no-ist

Heavier Babies Do Better in School – NYTimes.com

Throwing intensive health care interventions at natural, healthy pregnancies does not bring about better outcomes. Let those babies stay in the womb until they’re ready to be born.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/upshot/heavier-babies-do-better-in-school.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&abt=0002&abg=1&_r=0&referrer=

Lay Off the Almond Milk, You Ignorant Hipsters | Mother Jones

Yes, this. I get so tired of these stupid food fads, and I freely admit that most of the worst offenders are people who (like me) want food that is simple (as in simply food), organic, and sustainable.

But hold on. Sustainable is EXACTLY the problem with this alternative milk fad. Nut milks are so far from sustainable you can’t even see the horizon.

http://m.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/07/lay-off-almond-milk-ignorant-hipsters