Friday, March 11, 2011

Why Obama Isn't Fighting the Budget Batt

Why Obama Isn't Fighting the Budget Battle

Drawing the Correct Lessons from Lehman

Drawing the Correct Lessons from Lehman Bros

Crazy Talk ... My Glenn Beck Story

Crazy Talk and American Politics: or, My Glenn Beck Story

Frances Fox Piven in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Art Brodsky: Web Startups Want an Open Internet -- House Republicans Don't

Art Brodsky: Web Startups Want an Open Internet -- House Republicans Don't

A Future Where Corporations Have Human R

MadisonWorld: A Future Where Corporations Have Human Rights ... And Humans Don't

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Theory of Everything... Still Searching?

Tyson's task, which he fulfilled admirably well, was not trivial: to keep six physicists with different ideas and opinions in check, making sure we didn't veer into technically arcane topics, losing the audience. We could talk about quantum vacuum fluctuations, superstrings, the multiverse, and dark matter, but had to explain ourselves in English.

About 1,300 people came to listen as we discussed the night's topic: The Theory of Everything... Still Searching? The debate should be on video soon.

Petroleum Imports To US

Crude Oil and Total Petroleum Imports Top 15 Countries

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The most generous interpretation of Boehner's remarks to the Wall Street Journal would be to assume that the Speaker is profoundly ignorant of the funding process for Social Security. But why can't we believe that the Speaker is merely misguided, as comforting as that would be? Because he and his party pushed a tax cut through for the wealthiest Americans last year that would have paid for any expected Social Security shortfall for the next 75 years! Specifically, as Daniel Marans pointed out, "the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% of Americans is equivalent to the cost of filling Social Security's 75-year shortfall. Both equal 0.7% of the GDP."

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ten years on: why a complete human genome mattered

Ten years on: why a complete human genome mattered

Circadian clock without DNA

Circadian clock without DNA--History and the power of metaphor

By Bora Zivkovic | Feb 11, 2011 10:45 AM | 4 Last week, two intriguing and excellent articles appeared in the journal Nature, demonstrating that the transcription and translation of genes, or even the presence of DNA in the cell, are not necessary for the daily ("circadian") rhythms to occur (O’Neill & Reddy 2011, O’Neill et al., 2011). (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)


It's the Inequality, Stupid

It's the Inequality, Stupid

Illustrations by Jason Schneider

Eleven charts that explain everything that's wrong with America.

— By Dave Gilson and Carolyn Perot

Why the Open Internet Is Worth Saving

Passing Through

Why the Open Internet Is Worth Saving

Barbara van Schewick, Internet Architecture and Innovation

MIT Press, $45 (cloth)

Tim Wu, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

Knopf, $27.95 (cloth)

Evgeny Morozov

In 2003 Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School, published an article on the once-sleepy subject of telecommunications policy. In it, he coined the term “net neutrality” to capture the idea that network operators—the Comcasts and Verizons of the world—should not be in the business of regulating the information traffic that passes through their networks. The term took hold, and the article launched Wu to cyber-rock-star status.

Net neutrality is a simple idea with powerful implications. A neutral net would, for example, prevent cable providers from slowing down their customers’ connections or, worse, banning them from running certain services. That is good for customers, who get equal treatment whether they are streaming movies on Netflix, chatting on Skype, or shopping on Amazon. And it is also good for Netflix, Skype, and other companies that have grown using an Internet infrastructure they do not own and have been able to innovate without worrying about shifting rules of the road.

Humans Version 3.0

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The next giant leap in human evolution may not come from new fields like genetic engineering or artificial intelligence, but rather from appreciating our ancient brains.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Law of Accelerating Returns

An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There’s even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity — technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light.

TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Good morning, one and all, to your semi-live blog of the production of Washington DC's major industrial creation, blather on the teevee. My name is Jason, and I surely hope that when our blather industry collapses, Lindsay Graham cuts the Eminem/Detroit commercial we deserve. "Whatever happened to the principles we used to compromise? Our relatively valuable real-estate? Remember when I guy could sit down with David Gregory and mentally piss his pants and nothing bad would ever happen? I believe we can still get back to those days. There are still some taxes on wealthy people we can cut. My name Lindsay Graham and I believe -- OH, SORRY, CUT, that time I actually wet myself. Pretending to believe in things is pretty difficult, y'all!"

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TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads
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