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Archive for the ‘Science & Tech’ Category

Replace Earth Day with Human Achievement Day

I’m against Earth Day, because it elevates nature over humanity; I think it should be the other way around. Some writers who are skeptical of environmentalism have suggested alternative insights into Earth Day. John Tierney in the New York Times offers seven lessons from the 40 years of experience since the first Earth Day: It’s the climate, […]

Anti-modernists want volcano air delays to continue

It was bad enough that an Icelandic volcano eruption sent ash into the sky to interrupt European flight travel. The situation was made worse by the risk-averse European aviation authorities who were reluctant to lift the ban, on the basis of “precautionary” or worst-case thinking, as Frank Furedi noted. And now, to add insult to injury, […]

In defence of science and progress

In this TED talk video clip, Michael Specter, a New Yorker journalist who writes about health and science, passionately argues against those who adopt anti-scientific stances: those who, despite the evidence, reject vaccines, consider GM foods “Frankenfoods”, believe there is a link between MMR and autism, embrace alternative health, and so on. Specter argues that this is a fear-driven response […]

Obama’s NASA plan: an “elaborate wake” for human spaceflight

Last month, President Obama announced proposals for restructuring the NASA space program, and a key plank of his new approach was to rely much more on commercial companies. As I noted earlier, this sounds more like the outsourcing of leadership. And as an article in today’s New York Times today finds, it turns out the private aerospace industry that is supposed […]

The Chinese are coming! (maybe)

Thumbnail : The Chinese are coming! (maybe)

A couple of articles this week indicate that the Chinese economic presence in the US may be increasing in the near future. First, an article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal reported that “Chinese companies are increasingly looking to invest in the US, and state and local governments are scrambling to win a share of the […]

Misanthropic greens call for “no kids”

In the environmental website Grist (“we’re making lemonade out of looming climate apocalypse”), Lisa Hymas espouses her GINK Manifesto – Green Inclinations, No Kids: I am thoroughly delighted by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all. Making the green choice too often feels like […]

Google: don’t be holier-than-thou

Thumbnail : Google: don’t be holier-than-thou

Google has been applauded for its anti-censorship stand against China. But it’s not the role of companies to take moral or political stands, and we shouldn’t praise them when they do In January Google announced that it would no longer self-censor its search engine in China, referencing attacks from hackers to access Chinese political activists’ emails. This past […]

Battle over humanism at the science museum

Thumbnail : Battle over humanism at the science museum

  The New York Times published an excellent article by Edward Rothstein last week on the science museum. He visited science museums in the US and internationally, and discovered a variety of conflicting approaches, which he speculates may be “a sign of the science museum’s struggle to define itself.” One of Rothstein’s most interesting findings […]

Why we need to talk about innovation now: the Big Potatoes manifesto

Thumbnail : Why we need to talk about innovation now: the Big Potatoes manifesto

A new manifesto “thinks big” with the aim of kick-starting a debate over innovation. In these times of financial crisis and severe economic downturn, we are constantly told by the powers that be that now is not the time for long-term investments. Our energies need to focused on putting out the fires: stop the banks from falling […]

In defense of the dot-com bubble, ten years on

It has been ten years since the dot-com bubble burst. On March 10, 2000 the tech-dominated Nasdaq index peaked at 5048.62. Today it closed at less than half that level, at 2358.95. Many now see the end of the tech boom as the beginning of the most recent financial crisis. On the Opinion page of the Wall Street Journal today, author and […]

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