Rocky Lhotka

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Nate Silver
“The most basic tenet of chaos theory is that a small change in initial conditions—a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil—can produce a large and unexpected divergence in outcomes—a tornado in Texas. This does not mean that the behavior of the system is random, as the term “chaos” might seem to imply. Nor”
Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't

Nick Lane
“This second type of vent is not volcanic, and there’s no magma involved. Instead, it depends on the reaction of these freshly exposed rocks with seawater. Water doesn’t just percolate into such rocks: it physically reacts with them; it is incorporated into them, altering their structure to form hydroxide minerals like serpentine (named after its resemblance to the mottled green scales of a serpent). The reaction with seawater expands the rock, causing it to crack and fracture, which in turn permits further seawater to penetrate, perpetuating the process. The scale of such reactions is astonishing. The volume of water bound into rock in this way is believed to equal the volume of the oceans themselves. As”
Nick Lane, Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution

Nick Lane
“Life itself turned our planet blue and green, as tiny photosynthetic bacteria cleansed the oceans of air and sea, and filled them with oxygen. Powered by this new and potent source of energy, life erupted. Flowers bloom and beckon, intricate corals hide darting gold fish, vast monsters lurk in black depths, trees reach for the sky, animals buzz and lumber and see. And in the midst of it all, we are moved by the untold mysteries of this creation, we cosmic assemblies of molecules that feel and think and marvel and wonder at how we came to be here.”
Nick Lane, Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution

“Hoover’s growing obsession with what he believed was communism’s malignant influence on African Americans stands out in his August 3, 1943, letter to the White House, which he filled with unsubstantiated rumors about racial unrest in the nation’s capital. Quoting several confidential informants, Hoover warned of a marked uptick in communist-inspired agitation among Washington’s “less desirable colored element.” These included, one informant claimed, “younger negroes between the ages of 16 and 18 years old who are not in the Army and who have shown an insolent attitude that they will take nothing from anyone.”
Mark A. Bradley, A Very Principled Boy: The Life of Duncan Lee, Red Spy and Cold Warrior

Nick Lane
“With these new techniques, a new breed of evolutionist is emerging, able to capture the workings of evolution in real time. The picture so painted is breathtaking in its wealth of detail and its compass, ranging from the subatomic to the planetary scale. And that is why I said that, for the first time in history, we know. Much of our growing body of knowledge is provisional, to be sure, but it is vibrant and meaningful. It is a joy to be alive at this time, when we know so much, and yet can still look forward to so much more.”
Nick Lane, Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution

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