The Privileged Planet (Full Version: HD)

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For centuries scientists and philosophers have marveled at an eerie coincidence. Mathematics, a creation of human reason, can predict the nature of the universe, a fact physicist Eugene Wigner referred to as the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the physical sciences. In the last three decades astronomers and cosmologists have noticed another, seemingly unrelated, mystery. Contrary to all expectations, the laws of physics seem precisely fine-tuned for the existence of complex life.

Could these two wonders actually be isolated pieces of a wider pattern? Both are prerequisites for science, yet what about the process of scientific discovery itself? What are its necessary conditions? Why is it even possible? Read any book on the history of science, and you’ll learn about magnificent tales of human ingenuity, persistence, and dumb luck. But that’s only part of the story, and not even the most important part. Our location is much more critical to science than it is to real estate. For some reason our Earthly location is extraordinarily well suited to allow us to peer into the heavens and discover its secrets.

Elsewhere, you might learn that Earth and its local environment provide a delicate, and probably exceedingly rare, cradle for complex life. But there’s another, even more startling, fact, described in The Privileged Planet: those same rare conditions that produce a habitable planet-that allow for the existence of complex observers like ourselves-also provide the best overall place for observing. What does this mean? At the least, it turns our view of the universe inside out. The universe is not “pointless” (Steven Weinberg), Earth merely “a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark,” (Carl Sagan) and human existence “just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents” (Steven Weinberg). On the contrary, the evidence we can uncover from our Earthly home points to a universe that is designed for life, and designed for discovery. More at: privilegedplanet.com

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The Savings and Loan Banking Crisis: George Bush, the CIA, and Organized Crime , 4.3 out of 5 based on 10 ratings
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The Savings and Loan Banking Crisis: George Bush, the CIA, and Organized Crime

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1992 – The savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s (commonly dubbed the S&L crisis) was the failure of about 747 out of the 3,234 savings and loan associations in the United States. A savings and loan or “thrift” is a financial institution that accepts savings deposits and makes mortgage, car and other personal loans to individual members—a cooperative venture known in the United Kingdom as a Building Society. “As of December 31, 1995, RTC estimated that the total cost for resolving the 747 failed institutions was $87.9 billion.” The remainder of the bailout was paid for by charges on savings and loan accounts — which contributed to the large budget deficits of the early 1990s.

The concomitant slowdown in the finance industry and the real estate market may have been a contributing cause of the 1990–91 economic recession. Between 1986 and 1991, the number of new homes constructed per year dropped from 1.8 million to 1 million, which was at the time the lowest rate since World War II.

 

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The Savings and Loan Banking Crisis: George Bush, the CIA, and Organized Crime , 4.3 out of 5 based on 10 ratings
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