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Old 07-07-2013, 09:22 PM   #1
kennyc
The Dank Side of the Moon
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How do we know? A few things we've learned from science.

My latest book:



How do we know? A few things we've learned from science.

Is now available from Amazon: Amazon.com: How do we know? A few things we've learned from science. eBook: Kenny A. Chaffin: Kindle Store

UK link: How do we know? A few things we've learned from science. eBook: Kenny A. Chaffin: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store


This has been a labor of love for many months now so I'm glad to finally make it available. Unfortunately it is not poetry but I do hope it is poetic and speaks to those interested in science. It covers a variety of scientific topics from the formation of our galaxy to human consciousness all written in a manner accessible to the average person. References and links are provided on each topic for those interested in digging deeper.

Please see the Amazon link above for additional information, post your questions here or contact me directly.

Thanks

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Old 07-15-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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Added cover image to O.P.

Here's the opening of the final chapter:

Quote:
Watching the River Flow





Oh, this ol' river keeps on rollin', though,
no matter what gets in the way and which
way the wind does blow,
and as long as it does I'll just sit here
and watch the river flow.
– Bob Dylan


What is it to be conscious? As you read this are you aware that you are reading? Can you feel your toes? Are you aware of your heart beating, your breath? Do you notice these things singly, individually, sequentially or as part of a mosaic of awareness?

Where do you think ‘you’ are? In your brain? In your chest? Or maybe just behind your eyes. Close them. Are you still there? Are you still in the same place or have ‘you’ shifted? When you touch something with your fingers, feel the texture where are ‘you?’ Is it ‘you’ feeling the texture or ‘you’ knowing that you are touching/feeling the texture under your fingers? Or is it both? Are you the water, the river or are you just sitting there contentedly watchin’ the river flow?

As you might know already, philosophers have had a field day with this topic since at least the time of Descartes and his famous ‘I think therefore I am’ bifurcated the mind and brain; certainly not just with those words but just as certainly as the church bifurcated body and soul. We’ve struggled ever since to return to a rational view of the mind and consciousness. Why?

Mostly it’s from our anthropomorphic centrism which continues to rear its head from Copernicus to Hubble, Freud to Jung, and Newton to Schrodinger. We all want to feel and be special. We want our place to be special, our thoughts to be special. Oh sure we are each unique, each with our own quirks, crooked smile and mannerisms, but this is a deeper sort of ‘special.’ We each feel as if we will go on forever as a unique individual -- even when sleeping and we perchance to dream we still are ‘ourselves.

.....
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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Congrats on getting the book published. Always a great achievement. I wish you all the best.

Mike
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:09 PM   #4
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Thanks Mike, much appreciated!
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:46 AM   #5
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I've posted an excerpt from this book on my blog for your reading pleasure.

Hotspots Calderas and all That:

http://kennyachaffin.blogspot.com/20...t-excerpt.html

Let me know what you think.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:20 AM   #6
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What's in the book?

Here's the TOC:

Quote:
Introduction

The Milky Way Galaxy

Moonstruck

The First 4 Billion Years

Tree Rings Carbon Dating and the Age of the Universe

Hotspots Calderas and All That

How Life on Earth Began

Extinction!

Cellular Communication

Eve – Mother of all Mankind

A Few of Our Closest Relatives

Human Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

Watching the River Flow
Now available from Amazon: Amazon.com: How do we know? A few things we've learned from science. eBook: Kenny A. Chaffin: Kindle Store

UK link: How do we know? A few things we've learned from science. eBook: Kenny A. Chaffin: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

as well as other geographic locations.

Enjoy!

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Old 08-25-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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The first essay in this collection "The Milky Way Galaxy" is posted on my Bleeding Edge Blog:

http://kennyachaffin.blogspot.com/20...ay-galaxy.html
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:21 AM   #8
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From "Cellular Communication:"

"Billions of years before cell phones, dropped calls and texting while driving biological cells were prodding the cell next to them and asking ‘R U there?’ Cells, particularly in confederations such as human bodies are constantly sending and receiving messages; constantly building and destroying the proteins and enzymes used like words for this communication. And like the phone system calls can be either local or long-distance. Local communication is through paracrine or synaptic signaling. In paracrine communication a cell creates and releases a protein into the interstitial fluid between cells. If this protein matches up with a receptor on an adjacent cell then that cell will ‘accept the call’ and perform an appropriate action. Synaptic signaling is similar but is only used by nerve and brain cells and the proteins are passed across much smaller distances (synaptic gaps) between very specific cells rather than simply being released into the intercellular fluid.
..."

This is one of the 13 topics covered in

How do we know? A few things we've learned from science.



Available from Amazon: Amazon.com: How do we know? A few things we've learned from science. eBook: Kenny A. Chaffin: Kindle Store

UK link: How do we know? A few things we've learned from science. eBook: Kenny A. Chaffin: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Enjoy!
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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Where is technology and in particular Artificial Intelligence taking us? I explore this in "Artificial Intelligence" one of the essays in How do we know?

Quote:
From: Artificial Intelligence

The first Alien Intelligence we meet may not be from another planet, but from our own computer labs. Many of us walk around with a computer in our pocket capable of listening, parsing, and responding – sometimes even correctly – to our voice. We Google for information by typing in phrases, sentences or disconnected words and the artificial intelligence in Google’s search engine almost always comes back with what we are looking for. These dedicated applications are on the verge of intelligent behavior and could certainly in their domain be called intelligent. Other systems are even more so and in some cases demonstrate more generic intelligence such as the Watson system from IBM that recently defeated the all-time Jeopardy! champions. So how soon until we get to meet these Alien Intelligences of our own creation? We could see them perhaps within the century and almost certainly (provided we don’t kill ourselves off or get whacked with an asteroid) by next century. A Watson-like system is being rolled out by IBM to assist in medical diagnosis. Google, Google Voice, and Siri will continue to improve. New research into machine learning, user interfaces and the human brain are being brought from the lab into practice. It’s been a long and bumpy road, at least by technological progress measurement since that first Dartmouth conference on machine learning in 1956 when Marvin Minsky boldly predicted that "within a generation ... the problem of creating 'artificial intelligence' will substantially be solved."


....

Available from Amazon: Amazon.com: How do we know? A few things we've learned from science. eBook: Kenny A. Chaffin: Kindle Store

UK link: How do we know? A few things we've learned from science. eBook: Kenny A. Chaffin: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:14 PM   #10
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Thank you, Kenny. This looks interesting.
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:46 PM   #11
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Thanks Harry!
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:06 AM   #12
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Get it now, before the U.S. Government shuts down.


Available from Amazon: Amazon.com: How do we know? A few things we've learned from science. eBook: Kenny A. Chaffin: Kindle Store

UK link: How do we know? A few things we've learned from science. eBook: Kenny A. Chaffin: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:46 AM   #13
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New Research presented this week at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting saying the Yellowstone hotspot may be even bigger than previously thought: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25312674

You can read more about hotspots in the excerpt posted on my blog and many other topics in the book: http://www.amazon.com/know-things-le.../dp/B00DTIEZYW

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
I've posted an excerpt from this book on my blog for your reading pleasure.

Hotspots Calderas and all That:

http://kennyachaffin.blogspot.com/20...t-excerpt.html

Let me know what you think.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:18 PM   #14
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Just a bump for old times sake.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:15 PM   #15
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News today that analysis of the Apollo Moon rock samples support the massive impact theory of the Moon's origin: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...space-science/

I wrote about this in the Moonstruck essay of this book -- you can read it as part of the sample at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/know-things-we...016942&sr=1-10

Many other interesting articles and essays in the book as well!

Enjoy!
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