: I really disliked the way you mentioned speaking to a Schizophrenic like it's so unusual to talk to someone with an illness. Could you explain why you feel the need to talk about Schizophrenics like they're an alien race?


I think I talk to them and about them like they are ordinary people. 

But let’s make it clear. What’s so unusual is not to talk with a mentally ill person, right now I actually talk to them more than I talk to “sane” people. What’s unusual is the topic of the conversation.


: The Ningen, A Japanese Cryptid Is That True? Does That Thing Really Exist?

It’s very unlikely.


: One of the books I'm working on has lead me to begin delving into a possible communal significance of memory--as a group of people, a culture, a country, a world, a species, etc. Since I enjoy your blog and views on things psychological and scientific, I figured I'd ask if you have an opinion at all on the matter from either (or both!) standpoints?

I don’t know much about communal memory and so I don’t have any informed opinions on the matter, but, don’t ask me why, your question made me think about Berger & Luckmann book: ‘The Social Construction of Reality’. I even picked up and browsed the book thinking: “maybe there’s something about memory that I don’t clearly remember”, but there isn’t.

Damn memory


: I listen to hypnosis tracks every night to assist me with motivation and having a more positive outlook (I have suffered from depression in the past). I have noticed a difference in my thought process; before I was always negative and now I can see hope and am less judgemental in my assessment of myself. I have been concerned that once I stop listening to them the benefits will vanish. Is this why you do not like hypnosis, or for other reasons? Could you please expound a little?

My concern is that hypnosis fosters a change that relies on an external authority that tells you how to feel or behave. The change is greater the grater is the power you give to this authority. This means that to change you rely on an external source of authority with whom you have a dependency relationship.


: I love you with all my heart. Be mine. Have my children. Oh, am I being immoderate?

No, it’s ok. Except that I cannot have your children because I don’t have a uterus.


: What do you think about hypnosis?

In general terms, I just think that it’s nothing more than a form of suggestion. Also, I don’t like it.


: If you could choose any time in Earth's history to go back, explore and document, where and when would you go?

If we talk about human history, I’ve always been fascinated by classical Greece (c. 500 - 323 BC). Thinking about the whole history of the Earth I guess I’d like to go back to 4.5 billion years ago to see the collision between the Earth and Theia (a hypothesized Mars-sized protoplanet) from which was created the Moon. 


: Can a scanning electron microscope actually see the nucleus of an atom?

No, it cannot. To see an atom we can use microscopes such as scanning tunneling microscopes, but the resolution we can reach is “limited” to 1Å (this article tells about a microscope that can achieve a resolution of 0.6Å).

1Å = 10−10 m = 105 fm, it is ok to see an atom, but the nucleus is much smaller, from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands times smaller, its diameter varies from 1.75 fm to 15 fm (it depends on the elements).


: are we even close finding all the creatures on earth?

Not even close. According to a 2011 research paper (How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean?) there are:

 ”[…] ~8.7 million (±1.3 million SE) eukaryotic species globally, of which ~2.2 million (±0.18 million SE) are marine. In spite of 250 years of taxonomic classification and over 1.2 million species already catalogued in a central database, our results suggest that some 86% of existing species on Earth and 91% of species in the ocean still await description.”


: why do i eat dinner alone?

Because you didn’t invite me.