Archive for the ‘From the web’ Category

 

There’s a Story about That

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

David Brin has created a website to gather together science fiction solutions to real-world problems. The idea is that governments and organizations could look here when they have an unusual problem to deal with. By learning from the thought science fiction authors have already given to these problems, they could avoid mistakes and think about […]

A warning to humanity

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

More than 15 000 scientists from 184 countries have signed a document issuing a warning to humanity about the environment. Included are points about a decline in freshwater, dwindling biodiversity, and population growth. Here’s how CBC covered the story: More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries issue ‘warning to humanity’ We’ve seen before with CFCs […]

Donating food to charity is inefficient

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

This article points out that donating food to charity is inefficient. Next time you’re thinking about doing it, perhaps consider donating money instead. The buyers at food banks can buy food more cost effectively than you — plus they can buy what they need. The article is from Tristin Hopper, in the National Post: I’m […]

The war against expertise

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

David Brin, on his blog “Contrary Brin,” describes what he calls the war against expertise and portrays it convincingly as the most important problem in the US right now. He points out that all fact-centred professions are under assault. How could “tens of millions of Americans — who benefited spectacularly from the rise of science […]

Science fiction is good for you

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

Here are a couple of different perspectives on this topic. First, Rebecca J. Rosen on The Atlantic reports on research that suggests that reading SF can give inventors new ideas — and also anticipate the consequences of new technologies. A quotation from Dan Novy: “Fiction allows you to live more lives in the space-time of […]

Taxes: it shouldn’t be a dirty word

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

Here’s an article from Heather Mallick from The Star. She points out the incongruity that taxes give us things that we treasure, yet no politician can ever say they’re raising taxes. In short, taxes are “the price we pay for civilization.” Why I love taxes — and so should you: Mallick We should be willing […]

Cutting through confirmation bias

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

Here’s a short but informative video about how people don’t necessarily respond to facts. But if you take into account where they’re coming from, you might be able to persuade them. Tali Sharot, neuroscientist, on Big Think uses the examples of climate change and vaccines: Facts Don’t Win Fights: Here’s How to Cut Through Confirmation […]

New species of orangutan discovered

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

A population of orangutans has been studied and determined to be a distinct species, Tapanuli orangutans. They live on the island of Sumatra, which is part of Indonesia. Unfortunately there are less than 800 of them, which makes them endangered. Here’s the story from CTV News: Scientists discover new orangutan species in Sumatra Hopefully the […]

Nonsmokers get 6 extra vacation days

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

A company in Japan has decided to fight smoking and reward nonsmokers in a unique way. Someone complained that smokers take more time off, with their frequent smoke breaks. So the company is giving nonsmokers 6 extra vacation days. Since the new policy was put in place, 4 of the company’s 42 smokers have quit. […]

Void discovered inside the Great Pyramid

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

They’ve used a new technique to discover that there’s a sizeable void inside the Great Pyramid that no one knew about. It’s above the chamber known as the Grand Gallery. But there are no plans to use invasive techniques to find what’s in the void — and there are no tunnels leading to it. Here’s […]