an exercise in miscellany

Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

Value of Life

In wild card, words & phrases on August 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Cost_Value_MatrixIn industrial nations, the justice system considers a human life “priceless”, thus making illegal any form of slavery; i.e., humans cannot be bought for any price. However, with a limited supply of resources or infrastructural capital (e.g. ambulances), or skill at hand, it is impossible to save every life, so some trade-off must be made. Also, this argumentation neglects the statistical context of the term. It is not commonly attached to lives of individuals or used to compare the value of one person’s life relative to another person’s. It is mainly used in circumstances of saving lives as opposed to taking lives or “producing” lives.

via Value of life 

East India Company

In history, technology & innovatons on July 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

eastindia1aThe East India Company (also known as the East India Trading Company, English East India Company, and after the Treaty of Union, the British East India Company) was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China. The Company was granted an English Royal Charter, under the name Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies, by Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies, the largest of which was the Dutch East India Company. After a rival English company challenged its monopoly in the late 17th century, the two companies were merged in 1708 to form the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies, commonly styled the Honorable East India Company, and abbreviated, HEIC; the Company was colloquially referred to as John Company, and in India as Company Bahadur (Hindustani bahādur, “brave”/”authority”).

via East India Company

Epistemology

In history, words & phrases on July 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

lens1379332_1316175617epistemology0Epistemology (Greek ἐπιστήμη – epistēmē, meaning “knowledge, understanding”, and λόγος logos, meaning “study of”) is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge and is also referred to as “theory of knowledge”. It questions what knowledge is and how it can be acquired, and the extent to which any given subject or entity can be known.

Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief, and justification.

The term “epistemology” was introduced by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier (1808–1864).

via Epistemology

Super-Sargasso Sea

In people, wild card on July 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

bermuda_sargassoThe Super-Sargasso is the dimension into which lost things go, whose existence was proposed by Charles Hoy Fort, writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena. It may be thought of as the spontaneous, anomalous teleportation of an object into another dimension. Fort did not actually believe that it existed but, in the vein of the ancient Greek skeptics, he wished only to present a theory that was just as plausible as those in the mainstream. The name alludes to the Sargasso Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, which lies next to the Bermuda Triangle.

via Super-Sargasso Sea

Operation Argus

In history, operations and projects, wild card on June 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm

FishbowlrocketsOperation Argus was a series of nuclear weapons tests and missile tests secretly conducted during August and September 1958 over the South Atlantic Ocean by the United States Defense Nuclear Agency, in conjunction with the Explorer 4 space mission. Operation Argus was conducted between the nuclear test series Operation Hardtack I and Operation Hardtack II. Contractors from Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as well as a few personnel and contractors from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission were on hand as well. The time frame for Argus was substantially expedited due to the instability of the political environment, i.e. forthcoming bans on atmospheric and exoatmospheric testing. Consequently, the tests were conducted within a mere half year of conception whereas “normal” testing took one to two years

via Operation Argus

Sympathetic Magic

In Religion, wild card on May 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Mumford full bodySympathetic magic, also known as imitative magic, is a type of magic based on imitation or correspondence. The theory of sympathetic magic was first developed by Sir James George Frazer in The Golden Bough. He further subcategorized sympathetic magic into two varieties: that relying on similarity, and that relying on contact or ‘contagion’:

If we analyze the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed. The former principle may be called the Law of Similarity, the latter the Law of Contact or Contagion. From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity, the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it: from the second he infers that whatever he does to a material object will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact, whether it formed part of his body or not.

Sympathetic magic

Project 112

In history, operations and projects on May 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm

green_biohazard_symbol_sticker-r557055e39305495b8b0a5c5b40bbd4b1_v9waf_8byvr_216Project 112 was a biological and chemical weapon experimentation project conducted by the United States Department of Defense and CIA handled by the Deseret Test Center and United States Army Chemical Materials Agency from 1962 to 1973. The project started under John F. Kennedy‘s administration, and was authorized by his Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, as part of a total review of the US military. The name refers to its number in the 150 review process. Every branch of the armed services and CIA contributed funding and staff.

Project 112 

Project Oxcart

In operations and projects, technology & innovatons, wild card on April 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

a-12-oxcartThe Lockheed A-12 was a reconnaissance aircraft built for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) by Lockheed‘s famed Skunk Works, based on the designs of Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. The A-12 was produced from 1962 to 1964, and was in operation from 1963 until 1968. The single-seat design, which first flew in April 1962, was the precursor to both the twin-seat U.S. Air Force YF-12 prototype interceptor and the famous SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft’s final mission was flown in May 1968, and the program and aircraft retired in June of that year. Officially secret for over 40 years, the A-12 program began to be declassified by the CIA in 2007.

Lockheed A-12

Spun Out of Whole Cloth

In wild card, words & phrases on April 28, 2013 at 8:47 am
6a013487e6f7ad970c015435660b00970c-800wiThe meaning of the phrase “made out of whole cloth” appears to have begun to change in the United States in the first half of the 19th century. The The Oxford English Dictionary labels the falsehood sense “U.S. colloquial slang”, and provides a citation from 1843: “Isn’t this entire story… made out of whole cloth?” The change of meaning may have arisen from deceptive trade practices. Charles Earle Funk suggests that 19th-century tailors advertising whole cloth may really have been using patched cloth or cloth that was falsely stretched to appear to be full-width.  Alternatively, the modern figurative meaning of “whole cloth” may depend on a lie’s having sprung whole ex nihilo, having no connection with existing facts. All-newness distinguishes garments and lies made out of whole cloth. This is a positive characteristic for clothes, but not for the average tissue of lies and deception.
 “whole cloth”

Operation Rolling Thunder

In history, operations and projects, wild card on April 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

tumblr_m0vbcbpXUt1rp3bd5o1_500Operation Rolling Thunder was the title of a gradual and sustained US 2nd Air Division (later Seventh Air Force), US Navy, and Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) aerial bombardment campaign conducted against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) from 2 March 1965 until 2 November 1968, during the Vietnam War.

Operation Rolling Thunder