If you’re feeling guilty about eating meat, you’re not alone. I get hit with it too sometimes, even though I consume animals and plan to for life. It’s been a couple of years since I shared my thoughts on “Should Humans Eat Animals“. I still stand beside what I shared in that article. Basically, I feel like a lot of the arguments to not consume meat (of all types, not just factory farms) are overblown and largely misunderstood, and that the arguments in favour of a vegan or vegetarian diet are often not seeing the big picture (in a proper setting, not a factory farm).
That said, I still don’t support factory farming (although I occasionally compromise) and have oriented my life towards supporting farmers who are taking great care of their animals and their impact on the soil that sustains us. Continue reading Feeling Guilty about Eating Meat?
About a year ago, I wrote an article called The Essence of Life: Two Potential Models. In that article, I explained that all the matter around us, which includes the bodies and brains of living beings, are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. These fundamental particles “swap out” all the time, and yet we still are who we are; our consciousness doesn’t change as the particles change. From this, it was posited that consciousness (or our “souls”) doesn’t reside in our matter, but from the arrangement of the matter, or the exact way that memories and experiences are chemically stored in the brain. Continue reading Is Consciousness Fundamental?
In a previous post (Quality over Quantity), I mentioned my fondness for a book by George Leonard called Mastery. In that book he outlines that progress in any field can feel linear, but there will be a plateau. The plateau is unavoidable, but it does ultimately end if you stick with whatever you are trying to master. Then comes another period of linear growth (a burst), followed by a slight dip in skill, followed by another plateau. Onwards and upwards. It looks something like this:
Continue reading Progress Comes in Bursts
The Nuclear Energy Series continues! The last post discussed climate change, and who is to blame for it (hint: us). This series has been intended to be an unbiased look at nuclear energy to power our high-energy lifestyles, especially for an eventual transition to a post-carbon society that doesn’t significantly affect the climate. First, I wrote up an introduction to nuclear power, which included a description of the two main reactions (fission and fusion) and the basics of how a nuclear power plant work. After that, I looked at the different fuels for fission power plants that are operational today, and the option of potentially moving to thorium nuclear power. This time, we’ll look at what is considered by many to be the holy grail of nuclear power: fusion! Continue reading Nuclear Energy Part 3: Fusion – The Holy Grail of Energy
Recently I turned 30, so I spent some time pondering on what that means. In some ways, it means very little. Age is just a number and being 29 years, 364 days is essentially the same thing as being 30.
I also know that at 30, I’m not that old yet. There are many happy, healthy, productive years ahead of me. Some might say my best years are ahead of me. On the flip side, I’m not that young anymore either. It occurred to me that at age 30, I now have a sense for how much time in my existence I have left. As a child, when school was out for the summer, the freedom of the season seemed like an eternity. Of course, it always came to an end (summer’s over already?), and then the new school year would seem so vast and overwhelmingly long that I wouldn’t even consider plans beyond it. Beyond the month even.
Not so anymore. Continue reading Quality over Quantity
Furthering our exploration of different energy sources that are alternatives to fossil fuels, let’s take a closer look at the energy source that was introduced in the last post, nuclear energy. In that post, I introduced where nuclear energy comes from (the nucleus of the atom), and that there are two types of reactions: fusion, and fission. After that, we learned that the heat and light from a nuclear reaction can be used directly as a heat source, or to create high-pressure steam that can then turn a turbine to create mechanical energy, or if connected to a electrical generator, electricity. This is very similar to the use of fossil fuels; the source of heat is just nuclear, not chemical.
This time, we’ll learn a bit more about exactly which types of atoms/nuclei are used as fission fuels. Not just any ol’ nucleus will do. Theoretically, in the right circumstances, any nuclei can react. Practically speaking, however, there are only a few options that really make sense for potent energy production here on Earth. Continue reading Nuclear Energy Part 2: Fuels for Fission