Hear experts discuss cutting edge issues of secrecy/privacy on KPBS Radio...
I had a great time on a panel last night, spending two lively hours exploring the topic of “Surfing the Internet: Who’s Watching? Who’s Censoring?” at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. The presentation was recorded and will be heard tomorrow (Wednesday) on KPBS radio, from 9-11 am, live in San Diego but also will be made available as a podcast, as well. Panelists included:
. David Brin, science fiction writer and author of The Transparent Society
. Lance Cottrell, Founder and CEO, Anonymizer
. Pam Dixon, Executive Director, World Privacy Forum
. Lawrence Hinman, Director, Values Institute, University of San Diego
One minor point. I have been slipping, lately in my google placement! The bad news is that I have slid from 15th to 20th place. The good news is that the search criterion is the word “David”. Hrm. I guess being the #20 “David” isn’t too obscure. Yet.
(Of course helpful types could go "David" on google and pick me, a few hundred times... but that's less useful than just leaving a few five-star reviews on Amazon! (nudge wink!)
Misc notes from the the territory ahead...
* Will Japanese Robots Rule the World by 2020? (Actually, a very silly article, ignorant and reflexively anti-modernist. Not up to the usual Globalist standards.)
Now this interesting factoid from the progressive Policy Institute.
Scientific research as percent of GDP, 2003:
United States: 2.5%
European Union: 1.8%
What The Numbers Mean:
Albert Einstein, visiting the United States for a 1921 lecture tour, attributed America's success to high labor costs. Einstein, who worked as a patent examiner before publishing his 1905 special relativity paper, thought expensive workers made Americans look for efficiency and new technologies; he called labor costs "the stimulus which evokes the marvelous development of technical devices and methods of work." India and China stood in gloomy contrast, as giant but impoverished museum-pieces where "the low price of labor has stood in the way of the development of machinery" and industrial development had come to a halt. Eighty-five years later, a report by the National Academies of Science points to a similar but intensified competition -- Americans "now face competitors who live just a mouse-click away in Ireland, Finland, China, India, or dozens of other nations" -- and worries that America's scientific edge may be slipping.
Optimists can point to lots of working scientists and relatively high spending on research. The United States spends 2.5 percent of GDP annually on R&D, placing America sixth or seventh in the world. (According to the U.N. Development Program, Israel leads the field at 5.1 percent of GDP; Sweden, Finland, Japan, Iceland, and Korea round out the top six. Research rates have risen quickly in Asia since the mid-1990s, though.) The OECD says American industry, together with government and university labs, accounted for $284 billion out of the $680 billion in total rich-world research spending in 2003, and World Bank data show the United States has nearly twice as many scientific researchers per capita as Europe -- 4,500 researchers per million people -- and trails world leaders Japan, Sweden, and Denmark only slightly.
Future-minded observers, though, can look with anxiety at hard-science research and future workforce prospects. Stable overall federal support for research masks a sharp drop in support for physical sciences, chemistry, and engineering, from 0.33 percent of GDP to 0.21 percent, since the 1970s. The stable total level -- of 0.45 percent of GDP -- reflects growing support for biology and medical research.
Meanwhile, the United States has been graduating fewer native-born scientists and engineers than it needs for several decades, and compensating by attracting foreign scientists and students. (As Princeton attracted Einstein himself in 1930.) The National Science Foundation says in 2003, a fifth of all science and engineering graduates working in the United States (and over a third of doctorate holders) were immigrants. Some examples: 57 percent of PhDs in computer science and electrical engineering; 52 percent of PhDs in mechanical and chemical engineering; 37 percent in chemistry and biology; 43 percent in mathematics; 40 percent in physics and astronomy. Many are former students at American universities, as about three-quarters of foreign science students hope for careers in the United States after graduation. But tougher student visa policies cut foreign-student enrollment in the 2003-2004 academic year, and did so again in 2004-2005. NSF says new science and engineering enrollment fell over 10 percent in these two years, with the sharpest drops in new computer science and engineering enrollment.