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Project Plain Talk (PPT) is a quest for holistic health and well-being in the digital age and education in the 21stcentury.

The following are the 6 major topics of PPT:

  1. Digi-Tech Debates: On pros and cons of digital technology
  2. Radio-Freq: On Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Field (RF-EMF), its biological mechanism of action and mitigation
  3. Health-Wise: On how health is wealth and food is medicine
  4. Mission Green: On adapting to climate change, adopting a circular economy and the concept of less is more
  5. PBL Lab: On education based on solving local and global problems
  6. Books: Books on digital well-being

The deeply researched interdisciplinary content of Project Plain Talk (PPT) will be useful to students, teachers and anyone with an interest in the above-mentioned topics.

Readers are strongly encouraged to make use of the content, and share valuable comments and suggestions in the space provided under each topic and/or blog.

Please FOLLOW and SUBSCRIBE to Project Plain Talk.

At Your Service,

Project Plain Talk (PPT)

Source: NASA Goddard

STANDING ON THE SHOULDER OF GIANTS AND CONNECTING THE DOTS

A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.

M. K. Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth

We are second-hand people. We have lived on what we have been told, either guided by our inclinations, our tendencies, or compelled to accept by circumstances and environment. We are the result of all kinds of influences and there is nothing new in us, nothing that we have discovered for ourselves; nothing original, pristine, clear.

J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known

All this fear that pursues us comes from believing in matter. Matter gets its whole existence from the presence of mind behind it. The only religion that ought to be taught is the religion of fearlessness. Either in this world or in the world of religion, it is true that fear is the sure cause of degradation and sin. It is fear that brings misery, fear that brings death, fear that breeds evil. And what causes fear? Ignorance of our own nature.

Swami Vivekananda, VivekaVani

According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.

Darwin Correspondence Project

If I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.

Darwin’s Regret, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: 1809-1882

Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; it is the impassioned expression which is in the countenance of all Science. Poetry is the first and last of all knowledge — it is as immortal as the heart of man.

William Wordsworth, Preface to the Lyrical Ballads

In the fulness of time, still dancing, he destroys all forms and names by fire and gives new rest. This is poetry; but none the less, science.

Ananda Kentish Muthu Coomaraswamy, The Dance of Shiva

I dream my painting and I paint my dream. And then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that’s not enough, what is enough? At present, I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly coloured than the day, having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens.

Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night, shedding light on the turbulent flow in fluid dynamics

I had little idea of what I would discover when I set out to find and photograph the oldest living things in the world. I expected that researching, traveling, and photographing would stretch my perspective, and force me to learn a lot of science: biology, genetics, chemistry, geology, and so on. But what I didn’t expect to learn was that sometimes the right person for a scientific endeavor is an artist.

Rachel Sussman, Contemporary Artist, What a 9,000-Year-Old Spruce Tree Taught Me

Life is water dancing to the tune of solids. Without that dance, there could be no life.

Gerard H. Pollack, The Fourth Phase of Water

Is information the fifth form of matter, alongside solid, liquid, gas and plasma?

Melvin Vopson, Physicist

Food is information and literally talks to your genes and controls gene expression, hormones and metabolism.

Mark Hyman, MD

Illness in a particular person is not a manifestation of individual biology but is the consequence of multiple factors which include the social and cultural environment, the economy, the politics, one’s personal relationships and one’s personal multi-generational history. And just to separate the mind from the body as Western medicine does and to separate the individual from the environment is completely unscientific and not very helpful.

Gabor Maté, Physician, Author

If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration. The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.

Nikola Tesla, My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla

There is real danger that, by strengthening our abilities to analyze some questions mathematically, we acquire a general confidence in our beliefs, which extends unjustifiably to those things we’re still wrong about.

Jordan Ellenberg, How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

Either mathematics is too big for the human mind, or the human mind is more than a machine.

How a verbal paradox shattered the notion of total certainty in mathematics: At the heart of any quest for truth, embrace the unknown.

Kurt Gödel, Mathematician, Logician, Philosopher

The most characteristic feature of metric fixation is the aspiration to replace judgment based on experience with standardized measurement.

Jerry Z. Mueller, The Tyranny of Metrics

Our own metric fixations can lead us astray.  There are examples of that within many aspects of modern life whether that is healthcare, education or policing, where people are told to hit a certain measurement standard, but in doing so they begin to twist the rules and begin to ignore what outcome it is that they are actually trying to achieve.

James Vincent, Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement from Cubits to Quantum Constants

If we have multiple universes, it turns out gravity can spill out of one universe and can be felt by another.  If we have another universe adjacent to ours, it could be that these sights where we see extra gravity is ordinary gravity in a parallel universe, and here we are, looking at it mysteriously, it’s like the blind man touching an elephant, you can’t see the whole elephant, maybe the elephant is ordinary gravity in another universe and we are making stuff up just to account for it.

Laws of physics have no agency. There are somethings that have no obvious cause like radioactivity. When an element decays from a heavier element to a lighter element, it does it on its own time. We cannot predict when it will happen. It changes without any obvious cause. So we are forced to say it just is. What is true is that all the atoms of a particular kind have a very repeatable half-life. Some live a longer time and some don’t. It is a mystery per atom what each atom is going to do next. I cannot call that a cause and effect. It just is.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist

The original hope of physicists to produce a single theory explaining the apparent laws of our universe as the unique possible consequence of a few simple assumptions has to be abandoned.

Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design

Every species of living thing can make a copy of itself by exchanging energy and matter with its surroundings (J. Chem. Phys. 2013). You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant (Quanta Magazine 2014).

Jeremy England, MIT Physicist on spontaneous emergence of life

What they share, and what is very interesting, is how complex behaviors arise. This is a theme recurrent in physics and biology, and most of the research that I have done is to get at this thing: how complex collective behavior may arise from elements that each have a simple behavior.

Giorgio Parisi, Nobel Prize in Physics 2021, on whirling flocks of starlings (PNAS 2006)

It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a façade of order – and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order.

Deep understanding of causality sometimes requires the understanding of very large patterns and their abstract relationships and interactions, not just the understanding of microscopic objects interacting in microscopic time intervals.

Douglas R. Hofstadter, Professor of Cognitive Science, Computer Science, and Comparative Literature

Niels Bohr says you cannot be quantum and alive at the same time, but I think that is probably not true. Claude Shannon quantified information. Can we quantify quantum entanglement rather than to keep saying it is spooky, weird and to philosophise about it? Can I create a quantum-entangled state of two living systems? Does biology utilise quantum mechanics? Things like photosynthesis, magneto-reception and how birds navigate in the magnetic field seem to be underpinned by quantum mechanics.

Vlatko Vedral, Quantum Information Practitioner

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.

Max Planck, Where is Science Going?

What we have learned is like a handful of sand; what we have yet to learn is like the whole world.

Avvaiyar, 4th Century Tamil Poet