In a segment from BBC's program The Hunt, I learned of a quite amazing animal: portia, a spider-hunting spider.
In the clip, you can see a portia approach another spider, twice her size, and then, stop and carefully think about the best approach route to take her prey. She finally picks a route that will take many, many minutes to complete, and which involves her being out of site of the prey for a great deal of the route. And faced with unfamiliar spiders, they improvise new tactics. Furthermore, they are social, and recognize other individuals of their species.
"all reality that did not bend or reveal itself through the orthodox method [of the physical sciences] was a priori defined as subjective fancy." -- Colin Cordner, "Eric Voegelin and Michael Polanyi on Science and Philosophy," forthcoming in Tradition Versus Rationalism.
I was walking in NYC one day this fall when I was surprised to see several people nearby, wearing identical jackets, with patches claiming that they were participants in the "Canadian Goose Arctic Program." Maybe the Canadian goose was in trouble, despite its ubiquitous presence on golf courses?
Then I saw a few more participants, and then a few more. Soon I was seeing them everywhere. Apparently, there were hundreds of participants in this program, and they had all descended on New York City!
But when I asked my friend about this, he told me, "It's not a program, it's a brand."
"What?! Why would someone buy a jacket carrying such an idiotic patch, you know, given they aren't in any such program?"
"Not only do they buy them," my friend explained, "they pay $400 a jacket for the privilege of wearing the idiotic patch."
Typical open source install mess: first, their instructions are wrong, and I had to spend ten minutes researching why one of the commands they told me to run was failing.
But once it ran, it then spent 20 minutes seemingly installing half of the open source software in the world. Folks, having this many dependencies just about guarantees future messes down the road: how in the world are the dozens of packages I just installed all going to be kept in sync?