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Embedded Energy versus Embedded Cognition
Kim Kastens, Columbia University in the City of New York
A human-made object includes both embedded energy (the energy that was used to grow, mine, manufacture, and transport the object) and embedded cognition (the thinking that was used to design the artifact.)

Topics: Energy, Solving Societal Problems

Does "form follows function" apply in geosciences?
Kim Kastens, Columbia University in the City of New York
The aphorism "form follows function" applies fairly straightforwardly to objects designed by humans and to organismal parts derived by evolution, but its applicability to geoscience objects is less ...

Topics: Energy, Spatial Thinking, Perception/Observation

Collapsing mountains and embodied cognition
Kim Kastens, Columbia University in the City of New York
In the Aleutians and Kenai Penninsula of Alaska, Kim observes evidence of mass wasting tearing down volcanic and tectonically-uplifted terrains, reflects on the balance between potential and kinetic energy, and ...

Topics: Energy, Perception/Observation, Field-Based Learning

The second law of thermodynamics as a unifying theme of geosciences
Kim Kastens, Columbia University in the City of New York
Many major earth processes have a net effect of redistributing energy spatially from areas of high concentration towards areas of lower concentration. Examples include the global atmospheric circulation, ...

Topics: Energy, Spatial Thinking, Systems Thinking

My Catastrophe is Bigger than Your Catastrophe
Kim Kastens, Columbia University in the City of New York
Climate change, biodiversity loss, and peak oil are all competing for the attention of politicians, the media, and the public. To some extent the scientific community is being fragmented as individual scientists ...

Topics: Collaboration, Energy, Community, Systems Thinking, Solving Societal Problems

Why Nature is Quiet and the Built Environment is Noisy
Kim Kastens, Columbia University in the City of New York
The built environment is busy because many human-made devices are energy inefficient.

Topics: Energy, Perception/Observation, Evolution

"How did Economists Get it So Wrong?"
Kim Kastens, Columbia University in the City of New York
Author makes the case that one reason why economists and business journalists generally did not foresee the current economic crisis coming is because their worldview does not encompass an Earth Systems ...

Topics: Energy, History of Geosciences, Systems Thinking, Solving Societal Problems

Evolution selects for Energy Conservation
Kim Kastens, Columbia University in the City of New York
Many fundamental attributes of plants and animals can be understood as an evolutionary adaption that allows the organism to conserve energy, including the streamlined shape of fish, the feathers and hollow bones of ...

Topics: Energy, Evolution, Solving Societal Problems

The Energy Budget of Thinking
Kim Kastens, Columbia University in the City of New York
We speak of the "cognitive effort" of this or that task, but "cognitive effort" is a term without units. It would be useful to be able to quantify cognitive effort in energy terms, in calories, ...

Topics: Energy, Spatial Thinking, Research Idea



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