Some notes toward a talk I'm giving at Burning Man next week. I'll be at camp Cosmicopia (located at 3:45 and Ephesus). The talk is on Wednesday at 4pm. http://playaevents.burningman.com/playa_event/13197/ ........................ The word “psychedelic” was coined in the 1950s by the British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond in a letter exchanged with the famed author and philosopher [...]
Sam Mickey on Big History.
I attended the recent conference of the International Big History Association. The association is oriented toward researching and teaching “Big History,” which aims (as their website says) to “understand the integrated history of the Cosmos, Earth, Life, and Humanity,” specifically by means of “the best available empirical evidence and scholarly methods.” That opens up the field of history into a comprehensive and cross-disciplinary account of the entire 13.8 billion year history of our universe.
Big History is far from alone in its aim to articulate an integrated and evolutionary vision of matter, life, and humanity. Multiple scholarly fields and schools of thought share the integrative aims of Big History (e.g., the universe story, the field of religion and ecology, integral theory, ecofeminism, complexity theory, posthumanities, process philosophy). Big historians still have much to learn from those and other integrative and transdisciplinary sources of evolutionary knowledge.
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Scientists like to contrast themselves with others by their faithfulness to evidence. Sadly, they resist evidence that does not fit their pre-commitments. Aristotelian scientists at the papal court refused to look through the telescope because they would see what did not fit their philosophical convictions about the heavenly bodies. Modern scientists have all along ignored [...]