Human Lessons: Cellphone Firestarter

via MAKE We’d all like to think that in a survival situation the education we have in our heads could pop up a new version of civilization fully former like some pop-up trailer but no, we’re wrong.  I can’t build you a Ford Taurus or a Cuisinart. But without fire, we aren’t even properly functioning as animals.  That’s why it’s important to know how to make it in any situation, especially with the modern detrius we’ve got laying around.  Hence, the genius of the above instructional video. Summary: remove battery, short with rolled up steel wool, use smoldering steel wool to light tinder and save your poor fur-less, scale-less, horn-less human ass. This comes via Backpacker magazine’s Survival Skills section, a great place to look around and learn how to look less like coyote food. Remember: until you pick up a tool, fucking koalas are higher on the food chain […]

Philosophy: Mind and Manner

Interesting article on Crooked Timber by John Holbo: “In philosophy, after the speaker is done, it is fine for someone to raise his hand and say: ‘but it seems that your central premise – the claim from which all these other things follow – is actually ambiguous between four different claims, two of which are logically false, one of which is obviously empirically false, and one of which is a tautology that won’t support your conclusions at all …’” As an armchair philosophy student (technically my minor) I find this sums up much that I have tried to express. Chiefly its important to question base assumptions in process. As Holbo continues: To put it another way, these aggressive-seeming questions are not intended as conversation-stoppers but as conversation-starters. Read the whole well writen article on Crooked Timber.