The Ants, the Bees, and the Blind Spots of the Human Mind

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Charles Henry Turner, the son of a nurse and a church janitor, dedicated his life to investigating insects, focusing on proving that insects are far more intelligent than previously believed. He was the first to prove that insects can hear and distinguish pitch, and the first scientist to achieve Pavlovian conditioning in insects. He also illuminated sex differences in ant intelligence and discovered that ants, bees, and wasps learn, remember, and recognize landmarks to get home. Unfortunately, despite his groundbreaking research, he was turned away from every university post he applied to on account of his race; Turner lived through the harsh climates of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Read full article here

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The Priest in the Arena

The phrase “man in the arena” has been popularized in recent years, but a lesser known, more dangerous archetype is the “priest in the arena”. This figure is responsible for a process called theocratic capture, where an institution surrenders to a cult demanding unaccountable authority, fueled by claims to privileged knowledge. These cults often target powerful institutions and attempt to monopolize conversations with scaremongering tactics and hostile treatment of allies. It is important to identify and stop theocratic capture before it can gain control. Read full article here


Maps Distort How We See the World

Maps have a major impact on how we perceive the world, as they often distort reality. One example is the Mercator projection, which can make countries closer to the equator appear smaller than they actually are. Africa is an especially stark example, as it’s much larger than it appears on a map. This distortion can lead to a poor intuition for comparative region sizes, with Brazil being the most short-changed. It’s even big enough that its northernmost point is closer to Canada than its southernmost point! While international maps are chosen for good reasons, they can be deceitful. Read full article here

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