Saturday, July 24, 2010

Link love

John wonders whether it might not be better to start a sermon with application.

Failure to understand Black Swans leads to fallacious thinking (Black Swans are the low probability, high impact events that are excluded by most forecasting models).

"12 million hectares of arable land – roughly the size of Greece or Nepal, enough to harvest 20 million tonnes of grain and feed six million people per annum – are lost to desertification each year."

Painting your roof white to cool the planet. Crazy? Not entirely.

Jason ponders forgiveness and eucharist with Williams and loneliness and prayer with Stringfellow.

Sisyphus revisited.

The Jordan river is too polluted for baptisms. The Nile isn't looking so great either.

Climate science in 1979.


Mark Stevens said...

Byron, I think I was with you when you took that shot! :-)

byron smith said...

Yes, indeed you were! A got a few good shots that day and have been meaning to put some more. Keep looking out for them. :-)

byron smith said...

Mongabay: A very stimulating post on Black Swans.

I tried to comment over there but couldn't seem to get it to work. In order to not lose the thought, I'm going to post it here, though it will only make sense in the light of the post over there.

"A genuinely open question for me is the degree to which local communities can genuinely become more resilient in the absence of wider cultural and political shifts, particularly given the speed and unpredictable knock-on effects of social, economic and cultural feedbacks (such as the housing market mentioned above) to generate Black Swans. And so I wrestle with what proportion of my energies to put into building local communities vs engaging larger political and cultural questions. It is not, of course, a zero-sum game, since transforming local communities can (as in the Goat Island example) have broader effects, and in a complementary fashion, any attempt to increase local resilience is going to run into broader social and political questions fairly quickly (note for instance the effect on the various urban gardens and local infrastructure of, say, Vermont to flooding associated with Irene)."