The “Burning Man Festival” is an annual event in a remote Nevada desert that draws the weird and wild into an orgy of self-expression. About 50,000 free thinkers arrive with body paint and outlandish costumes or minimal clothing – often none at all. Sexual activity, drug use and alcohol consumption is open and uninhibited. The festival ends with the burning of a huge metal structure in the form of a man (thus the name). The rite can mean anything one wants it to mean, or nothing at all. The crowd cleans up after itself and goes home, counting the days till the next annual orgy. One would think respectable scientists would distance themselves from this theater of the absurd. This year, however, four Darwinists welcomed it and joined in, and Nature gave them good press, calling it “a creative celebration of evolution.”1 As a matter of fact, “Evolution” was the theme of this year’s Burning Man Festival. Ruben Valas and his three colleagues spoke in glowing terms of the unrestrained self-expression. They envisioned symbols of evolution everywhere:Fittingly for the 2009 iteration of this social experiment, this year’s theme was ‘Evolution’. In the 23 years that Burning Man has been replicating, certain behaviours have been selected for by the inhabitants: radical inclusion and tolerance, self-reliance coupled with extreme altruism, a gift economy and a leave-no-trace environmental ethic. Add intense creativity, conscious participation, ingenuity and a propensity for hedonism, and the outcome is an unparalleled celebration of the human spirit.But what does the Burning Man rite have to do with evolutionary theory? Using a slew of evolutionary buzzwords, they tried to explain:This year, the 12-metre human shape hovered over a thorny forest – a tangled bank – atop a giant double helix. The DNA molecule provided a powerful artistic meme, representing both life’s capacity to evolve through genetics, and perhaps something that needs to be overcome through non-genetic evolutionary paths. Viewed from a different angle, the man seemed to float above a field of sea lilies, placing this celebration of human consciousness in an ancient evolutionary context. The most striking image at this year’s Burning Man, expressed in various ways across the city, was the famous “ascent of man” progression from great ape through to modern human, with the Burning Man icon representing the next step.Other evolutionary icons were constructed throughout the festival site. One can find whatever connections to a world view that one wants. Here, the very symbol intelligent design scientists embrace, the DNA code and information, became an evolutionary meme. How a burning human form represents the next step in evolution was not explained. Not all the festival was sex and drugs and alcohol. Some came to learn. Here’s where the four scientists showed their altruism by imparting wisdom to the unwashed and unclothed:We created a zone at Burning Man that explored atavisms – reappearances of past events in new contexts – in human social evolution. At our Atavism Camp we created ‘The Spandrel’, a shade structure built with materials salvaged from the ‘boneyard’ at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Marine Lab: leftover materials from past experiments, now reborn for a new purpose. At a symposium entitled ‘Evolution and Society’, we asked how society has interpreted evolution and whether, despite its shadowy past, its principles can guide us to a much-needed behavioural shift towards sustainability.They did not explain how an unguided process could lead to purpose and guidance, or why they should position themselves as guides in some way. Nor did they explain why a behavioural shift would be needed, if evolution gave humans and animals their attributes which presumably represent fitness. Instead, they seemed caught up in the euphoria of hope and change that is evolution:In the rampant transfer of culture at Burning Man, on a par with endosymbiotic events, we see hope. Evolution is evoked here on many levels: the adaptation and thriving of the individual in this extreme environment, the various camps as interactive and artistic spaces, the city as it alters over the seven days and from year to year, exhibiting emergent properties of altruism, shared community and free expression. ‘Burners’ become extremophiles. With resources scarce in the desert, intense sharing is the most efficient practice, suggesting that humans may yet realize a sustainable evolutionary trajectory.It is clear they were viewing their fellow humans as no more significant than bacteria in hot springs or animals in the wild. That being the case, the burning down of man’s image seems portentous. Nature included this report in their ongoing series, Darwin 200, celebrating the Darwin Bicentennial.1. Hodin, Bishop, Sharpe and Valas, “A creative celebration of evolution,” Nature 461, 733 (8 October 2009) | doi:10.1038/461733a.Are you surprised that evolutionary scientists will ridicule and repudiate Judeo-Christian tradition in the most scurrilous terms, then turn right around and embrace raw paganism? You shouldn’t be. They are fulfilling what Paul said happens when men forget God and reject His word (II Timothy 3). He warned that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (v. 12). Deceiving and being deceived. That just about sums it up. As GK Chesterton said, “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.”(Visited 45 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now It’s very difficult to sell without a compelling value proposition.Today I received a second call from a “radio station” that broadcasts live shows to 150 or more countries over the Internet. The salesperson said that they had researched me and determined that I would be a good fit for their platform.Politely, I suggested again that I wasn’t a good fit for their platform, and the salesperson wanted to know why. I explained that they don’t pay the “hosts” or “broadcasters” or whatever on their platform, and therefore, no value. I ruffled her feathers enough it came through in her voice when she suggested that I would have to pay them to to be on their network.I told her that I can already do what they do with a podcast, and I can be found on iTunes and Stitcher and Blubrry and my own site. She asked if I could be found in a 150 countries. I told her that thanks to the Internet, I imagine anyone who wanted to could find me from whatever country they happened to live in, but I wasn’t sure about North Korea.The salesperson was angry that I pushed back on her value proposition (or lack thereof) and told me that I wasn’t a good fit. I agreed. In fact, that was why I was trying to disqualify myself again.Some LessonsIt isn’t this salesperson’s fault she has a poor value proposition. Her company’s business model is broken. They are kind of a vanity press for people trying to build a brand, and when the tools and platforms didn’t exist to the level they do today, they may have been useful. She isn’t responsible for her company failing to change.The business model is to sell me the package and then require me to sell advertisers to make money. This model looks a lot like the publishing industry. Book publishers are interested in publishing books from people who are going to sell a lot of books. But if you already have an audience (and no publisher would want you if you didn’t), then you don’t need a publisher. You also don’t need to pay for a platform to broadcast.When what your client needs changes, your value proposition needs to change. Ask yourself this question, “What value can we deliver that would make us worth paying for?” (If you want to be great, ask “What value we can deliver that would make us worth paying MORE for?”If what you sell depends on your clients selling something, your value proposition is likely going to depend on how you help your client sell.
With just days to go before the Lok Sabha election in Gwalior on Sunday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi told a rally at Phoolbagh on Wednesday evening that while his party has delivered on promises made in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “does not know how to speak the truth”.‘Cong. waived loans’Speaking in Gwalior three days after Mr. Modi addressed a BJP rally here and attacked Mr. Gandhi’s “naamdar” family, Mr. Gandhi hit out at the Prime Minister for remaining silent on his 2014 poll promises. He said the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh had waived off loans of lakhs of farmers, including two relatives of former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. “The people had so much faith in Narendra Modi and his words. He said he’ll put ₹15 lakh in every bank account, will give jobs to 2 crore youth and will give loan waivers and right prices to farmers. What happened to that? These days, Mr. Modi doesn’t talk of employment, farmers, or corruption,” said Mr. Gandhi.He added that while youth were facing unemployment and agrarian crisis was pushing farmers to end their lives, Mr. Modi was “doing his mann ki baat”.Challenge for debate“He said he’ll make Gwalior a smart city. It’s been five years. Did it happen? Wherever he goes, he lies…He talks of nationalism. I want to ask him did the Congress send Masood Azhar to Pakistan? Did the Congress make him sit on a plane and send him to Kandahar? Was it our Minister who sat in the plane? Was it our Minister who gave money to a terrorist organisation? No, it was the BJP… Narendra Modi should tell the country the truth… Narendra Modi does not know how to speak the truth,” said Mr. Gandhi, adding that he had challenged the Prime Minister to a debate on the Rafale matter.Accusing the former BJP government in the State of reducing the number of factories from 400 to 80, he said a Congress government at the Centre would work with the party’s government in the State to make Gwalior an “industrial centre again”. Chief Minister Kamal Nath, while addressing the rally in support of Congress candidate Ashok Singh, said his government had waived off loans of 21 lakh farmers, while the BJP candidate from Gwalior, Mayor Vivek Shejwalkar, had not done anything for the city.“Shivraj was yelling that loans have not been waived. His own brother and nephew’s loans have been waived,” said Mr. Nath.Mr. Singh, who has contested three times before, had lost by a margin of about 29,000 votes in 2014 to the BJP’s Narendra Singh Tomar, who went on to become a Union Minister. This time, Mr. Tomar is contesting from the neighbouring Morena constituency, which was won by late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s nephew, Anoop Mishra, in 2014.