Last Week Minnesota Public Radio, along with many other public radios stations, produced a series called Think Global, featuring a number of insightful pieces. The highlight of the week was Thomas Friedman's talk based on his book The World is Flat (1.5 hours, as I recall). There are several more pieces of audio I highly recommend. They are particularly good for while you're doing boring work that only requires a small amount of brainpower.
Results tagged “society”
Iran, a Beautiful Place to Be
Yesterday's Minnesota Public Radio story Finding culture and history in the suburbs was perhaps the most poignant I've ever heard, spotlighting a wonderful program in a Minneapolis suburb and displaying the full power of audio to move the heart in ways text alone cannot.
Who Deserves Human Rights?
More to the point, who is human, and what is normal? And, can a computer have "human" rights? These are deep philosophical questions with real-world (or potential real-world) application, as shown in How About Not 'Curing' Us, Some Autistics Are Pleading (NY Times) and in Man and the Machines (Legal Affairs). And what about animals that possess "theory of mind?"
Call for Greater Oversight of Governmental Science Policy
Home-brew letter to Senators Dayton and Coleman and Representative McCollum bemoaning the executive branch's handling of science-related policy and suggesting greater Congressional oversight for protection of consumer and environmental rights. If you too are concerned with federal scientific policy making, then please feel free to copy the letter below (and modify as desired) and send to your senators and representative.
In Wednesday's New York Times (2004-11-24), editorialist Nicholas D. Kristoff wrote about the Left Behind series of books (and assorted merchandise), which are the best selling books for adults in the United States. These books paint a grim picture of the Second Coming of Christ based on the authors' interpretations of some passages in the Gospels and, in particular, the revelatory language of St. John the Divine.
Recommendations: "Blinded By Science", "The Optimism of
I have a couple of article recommendations for you all*: Blinded By Science: How 'Balanced' Coverage Lets the Scientific Fringe Hijack Reality; The Optimism of Uncertainty. Plus a few small comments…
Did Diebold Strike?
In pondering the voting situation this morning, I had to ask myself what happened — the polls had been showing a Kerry victory in Florida and Ohio, amongst other places. Why were they so wrong? [Disclaimer: this is an observation, not a complaint. In this forum I intend to remain officially disinterested in the outcome from a partisan or political viewpoint.]
Jon Stewart on Crossfire
I had read about it, I had heard about it, and tonight I finally watched it: Jon Stewart on CNN's Crossfire (Courtesy of ifilm.com). I'm sure its been all over the blogosphere and I'm probably the last blogger in the world to notice it, but that's okay. I'm sure opinions range, but I probably rank in the majority of bloggers in saying "right on, Jon."
The Present Future
As a child I watched Elroy Jetson with a certain bemusement, flitting about in his jet pack, popping food pills, and relying on Rosy the Robot to keep his room clean. Likewise in Disney World's Tomorrowland I gazed in amazement at what was once envisione d for our future. Monorails and jet packs were just the optimistic incarnations of that Cold war futurism — but in science fiction particularly we find the more sinister predictions. Luminaries such as Bradbury, Roddenberry, and Gibson penned tales of continuing exploitation of all that humanity might invent. While their tales were scoffed at or ignored by the masses, especially when the Cold War ended with fall-out-free winters, the days of past present may be returning to the present future.