Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Aprés Demi-Mois Le Deluge

I really should have waited a month to use the Louis XV* / Madame da Pompadour (the Maitresse-En-Titre) line. The cause of the delay in posts is my discovery of Edge.org's 2012 Annual Question. Last year's question "What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?" was a revelation for me. In the  responses to this year's question, Emily Pronin's answer is similar what I had called the Godfather Complex. Therfore I wanted to put certain post on the back burner until I could digest all of this year's responses.   Anyway, after half a month, here comes a flood of posts.

* I thought Louis XV was mentioned in the second episode of 'John Adams' last night but that was set in 1775 and Louis XVI acceded in 1774. I am thoroughly enjoying the show despite my strong dislike of Paul Giamatti's acting. The most interesting scene has been the inoculation of Mr. Adam's family. A young boy with 'the pox' is brought from house to house in the Massachusetts countryside. Puss from a scar is then rubbed into an inscision made on the person to be inoculated. Vaccination would not be introduced until 1796. More can be read here.

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