mindstalk: (Earth)
Lord of the Rings was written between 1937 and 1949, though Return of the King's 1956 publication was delayed due to him revising the ending.

The Great Smog, killing 4,000 Londoners and sickening 100,000 more, happened in 1952. While it seems a bit late to have had a direct impact on the novel, it's kind of indicative of the times. The fact that the British peppered moth evolved from light to dark in order to blend in with polluted surfaces also seems relevant.

The industry most of us have known is *much cleaner* than that Tolkien grew up with and wrote under, thanks to various Clean Air Laws. (Also, exporting to poorer countries.)

(And those laws, of course, aren't saving us from global warming.)

Factfulness 1

2019-Feb-01, Friday 21:43
mindstalk: (Earth)
I'm reading Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, on the state of the world and people's misconceptions of it. It's kind of like Pinker's Enlightenment Now except with less Enlightenment crowing and I think fewer people distrust Rosling, and more about "so, why are people so wrong?" Because that's his first point: people are very wrong about how things are going in income distribution, life expectancy, child mortality, etc. Worse-than-random-chimps wrong. I can confirm in a small way: a Facebook poll of my friends regarding global life expectancy was mostly wrong.

Gapminder link

Wall o' text )

April 2019

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