Category Archives: Visualization

Why does almost no one pick up litter?

on September 5, 2021 in Nature, Visualization

I can’t understand why I never see anyone picking up litter except people joining me. Do I sound like I focus too much on this issue? Look at this picture: Almost within living memory, plastic didn’t exist. That scene may be in the third world, but we in the overdeveloped world are catching up. The issue isn’t waste management, as the producers say, lying through their teeth. It’s overproduction. As[…] Keep reading →

Why you shouldn’t live sustainably (not really): Coming clean about my shameful sponge

on September 4, 2021 in Habits, Leadership, Nature, Nonjudgment, Visualization

Every time I look at my floor sponge I think, “it’s beyond the end of its life. Time to get rid of it.” Below are pictures of the front and back. It’s in tatters. But look at the third picture. It still cleans the floor. Why get rid of something that works? I’ve cleaned my floor every fifth day without fail for about five years, maybe more. I do it[…] Keep reading →

Even when governments pay them to have more kids, families want fewer

on August 26, 2021 in Education, Visualization

I came across this revealing graph in a peer-reviewed paper and had to share it. It shows that over fifty years, societies that intentionally instituted family planning (as I understand, not China’s One Child policy) saw birth rates lower. But note that every society’s birth rate dropped. Governments that tried to increase birth rates saw decreases nearly identical to those that did nothing. They spent money for nothing except working[…] Keep reading →

More recursion after last week’s recursive map post

on August 3, 2021 in Creativity, Humor, Visualization

Last week I posted The most amazing “You Are Here” map you’ve ever seen, which featured a map that referred to itself. In the closing paragraph I referred to a book—Godel, Escher, Bach—on recursion. I’d read and reread the book in the 1980s and it stuck with me. Not sure if anything would come of it, I wrote the author, Douglas Hofstadter, with a link. Beyond writing back that he[…] Keep reading →

The most amazing “You Are Here” map you’ve ever seen

on July 29, 2021 in Creativity, Perception, Visualization

I live in Greenwich Village. Here’s an old map of the neighborhood: It’s a tall building. From the roof, I can see across the street to a playground for a school between a couple brick buildings: You probably see marked on the ground the two basketball half-courts on the left and the blue track that curves beside them. You’ll also see a colorful block pattern inside the track. Let’s look[…] Keep reading →

Know the 2 carbon cycles and don’t confuse them.

on July 25, 2021 in Models, Nature, Visualization

Can we grow enough forests and use enough regenerative agriculture to sequester enough carbon to undo global warming? To answer this question you have to understand the two carbon cycles. I’m simplifying, but you can think of two different cycles of carbon. One is the regular life cycle of carbon-based life forms. When something lives, it contains carbon, including trees, humans, and everything living in dirt and the oceans. When[…] Keep reading →

Doing something nonpolluting doesn’t offset something polluting

on July 11, 2021 in Nature, Visualization

Posting yesterday that Eating something healthy doesn’t offset something unhealthy suggested a parallel with polluting. People dream that if they do polluting things, they can do something nonpolluting to average it out, as if carbon offsets or recycling had negative pollution that averaged with flying’s positive pollution to zero pollution. Offsets don’t negative pollute. They’re nice, but they don’t put pollution we took from underground back underground permanently. You can’t[…] Keep reading →

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