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What Plants Can Teach Us About Politics

Outside – “In his new book, ‘The Nation of Plants,’ botanist Stefano Mancuso suggests that human democracies may have something to learn from the world’s trees and flowers..

By perceiving plants as being much closer to the inorganic world than to the fullness of life, we commit a fundamental error of perspective, which could cost us dearly,” warns the Italian botanist Stefano Mancuso in his latest book, The Nation of Plants. Mancuso is director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology at the University of Florence and a leader in the emerging study of what he calls plant intelligence. Some biologists say that since plants lack neurons, plant neurobiology is an oxymoron. They dismiss the field as much ado about nothing—like the famous but ultimately debunked 1973 work The Secret Life of Plantswhich had everyone playing Mozart for their ferns but is now seen as a confused and wishful attempt to endow plants with a sentience they just don’t have.

Yet research by Mancuso and others has shown that plants communicate, perceive, and respond to each other and their environment, and can even exhibit something like memory. Plants may lack brains, but, as Mancuso has argued in popular books like Brilliant Green (coauthored with journalist Alessandra Viola in 2015), they’re in no way inferior in biological sophistication or evolutionary ingenuity to animals. In The Nation of Plants, Mancuso half-seriously suggests that they may even be smarter than humans when it comes to the way they live together…”

Revealed: the Facebook loophole that lets world leaders deceive and harass their citizens

Julia Carrie Wong – A Guardian investigation exposes the breadth of state-backed manipulation of the platform. “Facebook has repeatedly allowed world leaders and politicians to use its platform to deceive the public or harass opponents despite being alerted to evidence of the wrongdoing. The Guardian has seen extensive internal documentation showing how Facebook handled more… Continue Reading

Explore Congressional Reactions to Historic Events on Congress.gov

In Custodia Legis: “The Congress.gov team has received feedback requesting that we add content from prior congresses to the Congressional Record and public law text collections. We are pleased to announce that we have made substantial progress on this request. The Bound Congressional Record collection now goes back to the 82nd Congress (1951-1953) and the… Continue Reading

FCC Encourages Public to Use Its Speed Test App

FCC: “In today’s world, it is critical that families and businesses across the country have access to broadband. As work, education, healthcare, and many other activities have moved online, broadband is no longer nice to have. It’s need to have for everyone. In order to better determine where high speed internet services are currently unavailable,… Continue Reading

Legal Issues Related to Transportation Mask-Wearing Mandates

CRS Legal Sidebar – Legal Issues Related to Transportation Mask-Wearing Mandates April 12, 2021: “On January 21, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing federal agencies to require mask wearing in a range of transportation contexts nationwide. In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order (Mask Order) requiring… Continue Reading

Race-ing Roe: Reproductive Justice, Racial Justice, and the Battle for Roe v. Wade

134 Harv. L. Rev. 2025 Apr 12, 2021 Race-ing Roe: Reproductive Justice, Racial Justice, and the Battle for Roe v. Wade – Article by Melissa Murray – “Amidst a raft of major Supreme Court decisions, a relatively quiet concurrence has planted the seeds for what may precipitate a major transformation in American constitutional law. Writing for… Continue Reading

The rise of domestic extremism in America

Washington Post – Data shows a surge in homegrown incidents not seen in a quarter-century:[article and graphics] “Domestic terrorism incidents have soared to new highs in the United States, driven chiefly by white-supremacist, anti-Muslim and anti-government extremists on the far right, according to a Washington Post analysis of data compiled by the Center for Strategic… Continue Reading