After overdosing on myself, on Wes Clark Jr's "Young Turks" Air America show (watch for the podcast next week!) -- I feel like dousing the political lamp for a time.
First off, in case you all thought “Brin will never write sci fi again...” See a review of my new short-novel SKY HORIZON. A “YA book for all ages, in the Robert Heinlein tradition.” Order a copy and wallow in the good old days, when your favorite author actually wrote, now and then.
The Globalist is an online magazine on the global economy,politics and culture. You can subscribe to a weekly digest. Generally, I find about a third of the articles on-target. But this week’s set is especially cogent and interesting. The articles are brief and - on this occasion - every single one of them is worth a look.
Example: “It is a major paradox: The global image of the United States has never been lower — but the global earnings of U.S. multinationals have never been higher.”
Also... the plight of island Tuvalu amid global warming and redefinition of the middle class.
The first baby created from an egg matured in the lab, frozen, thawed and then fertilised, has been born. Until now it was not known whether eggs obtained in this way could survive thawing to be fertilized. The findings hold particular hope for patients with cancer-related fertility problems.
In an exercise, Princeton students had to come up with a plausible strategy for keeping the 2050 greenhouse gas emissions level equal to today's. Coming up with seven politically feasible strategies is no simple matter.
Rice University researchers want to use the human skeleton to transmit commands reliably and securely to wearable gadgets and medical implants, using frequency-shift-keyed, low-power acoustic waves. (A Brin forecast!)
Los Angeles' driest year in 130 years of record-keeping has just gone onto the books. The nation's second-largest city is missing nearly a foot of rain for the year counted from July 1 to June 30. Just 3.21 inches have fallen downtown in those 12 months, closer to Death Valley's numbers than the normal average of 15.14 inches. And it's much the same all over the West, from the measly snow pack and fire-scarred Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada to Utah/Arizona's shrinking Lake Powell.
process information differently, says Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto Business School. "They have the predisposition and the capacity to hold in their head two opposing ideas at once, and creatively resolve the tension between those two idehttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifas by generating a new one that contains elements of the others but... (Dang! I thought I was simply crazy... or “contrary”...)
Ah, but that implies "successful leader" means being successful at perceiving ways for the thing you lead to become successful. It says nothing about "successful usurpers."
Tangible display makes 3D images touchable
Issued by the National Academy of Sciences and sponsored by the space agency, the 116-page report reviews current research into what life is and what it needs to survive, as well as the way life might differ on other worlds. Our investigation made clear that life is possible in forms different than those on Earth," said committee chair John Baross, an oceanographer at the University of Washington, Seattle.
In recent weeks a steady stream of scientific reports from increasingly prestigious sources have all reinforced the same news: the Arctic ice is disappearing three times faster than the worst case scenarios used in the models.
The DOD is developing a parallel to Planet Earth, with billions of individual "nodes" to reflect every man, woman, and child this side of the dividing line between reality and AR.Called the Sentient World Simulation (SWS), it will be a "synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information", according to a concept paper for the project. "SWS provides an environment for testing Psychological Operations (PSYOP)," the paper reads, so that military leaders can "develop and test multiple courses of action to anticipate and shape behaviors of adversaries, neutrals, and partners".
Alas... we all know about “gigo” which can slay the best-laid plans. In fact, the greatest wisdom that you can bring to guesstimating the behavior of enemies is this...
“Do not assume that your foes are cowards, who will back down in the face of a slap that would turn YOU into a hero.”
It was the assumption that past adversaries made, e.g. with Pearl Harbor, Ft. Sumter, the Somme, and so on till 9/11. It is the most commonly performed act of self-delusional wish-following, pursued out of pure reflex by almost every national elite, since the beginning of time. And it may soon be pursued by dopes who want to send in a few dozen fighter bombers to “indimidate Iran into backing down.”
Riiiiiiight. Some aerial pinpricks will accomplish what Saddam could not, by slaughtering a couple of million of them?
Oh, I am all in favor of advanced modeling. But again, watch your assumptions when you program that thing. People are ornery. Make that rule number one.
MIT biochemists have identified a molecular mechanism behind fear, and successfully cured it in mice by inhibiting a kinase called Cdk5
Would you give up your immortality to ensure the success of a posthuman world?
The in the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has topped 1,000, a stark reminder of the risks run by civilians working with the military in roles previously held by soldiers. Deaths and injuries among the growing ranks of civilians working in war zones are tracked on the basis of claims under an insurance policy, the Defense Base Act, which all U.S. contracting companies and subcontractors must take out for the civilians they employ outside the United States. Contrary to common perceptions, the majority of civilian contractors in the war zones are not Americans; foreigners have done most of the dying as the U.S. accelerated outsourcing functions previously performed by soldiers.
Our solar system is traveling in a different direction to the rest of the Milky Way, scientists say. The magnetic field ihttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifn interstellar space is propelling our solar system along at a 60-90˚ angle to the rest of the galaxy. That's happening because the part of the interstellar magnetic field that comes closest to our system is not parallel to the spiraling arms of the galaxy, as it appears to be elsewhere.
And here’s some wisdom from a very smart guy (I happen to know)...