October 7th, 2012
A comparison between Romney’s debate technique and that of creationists. Somewhat fair. Look, debates are a ridiculous way of deciding which point of view is better. You can’t fact check in real time. Rhetorical “zingers” mean nothing in reality. And people seem to judge them based on who seemed more comfortable and confident rather on whatever is spewing from their mouth. (Dawkins rightly won’t debate creationists, but Obama has no choice in his debate opponent or what techniques he will use.) I’ve said before that debate is terrible, at least if you want to get at the right answer which I do, and I’ll probably have to keep saying it. (Recall that the Einstein Brain app is under $10!)
And according to the latest Gallup poll, some 46% of Americans believe in Creationism. This is nuts. I know people aren’t always rational, but is it roughly half that believe in unsupportable nonsense contradictory to one of the most solid ideas in all of science? (It’s actually WORSE than I’ve implied. Check out the poll question choices/response rates for more details.)
A few years ago I posted about an auction for one of Einstein’s letters stating his views of religion (AKA “superstition”). It’s up for sale again, looking for a crazy high price. If you’ve got a few million to spare, it can be yours!
With the politicization of science and rising corporate power, we’re risking science being intimidated big big money and the legal system. It’s hard enough for me to keep track of all my own research programs let alone make them available to the courts at the whim of companies like BP. Really, we want to share what we’ve learned and how we’ve done it!
Batman doesn’t always help. And he needs anti-persperant.
Apparently the Prometheus Blu-Ray release has a bonus item that ties into Blade Runner. WHY? WHY? WHY? Alien is fucked up in my memory now. Leave BLADE RUNNER Alone!
More amusingly…the ten most inexplicably tiny outfits in science fiction history. Yes, that one is on the list. That one, too. But no, not the Princess Leia gold bikini.
Neil deGrasse Tyson interviewed on NPR about the physics (or lack thereof) of some of James Bond’s gadgets. Audio file with transcript of highlights.
The history of the phrase “correlation does not imply causation” and how the internet fell in love with it. I personally feel the phrase is abused as an argument to mean that all correlations and their potential implications can be ignored when convenient. A correlation is actually positive evidence in many cases when it is predicted in advance.
The Future is Ours (video). A reminder that there’s a lot of smart people doing cool things in the world, and pessimism about the future isn’t the only or necessarily most realistic view.
Tobias Buckell being wise: Authenticity is okay. Really. Fuck yeah!
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