Okay, something went wrong down at the comment level of my last posting. I am forced to create a new Post-level entry in order to continue discussions.
Especially discussions of my by-now infamous (and by-now an instant classic?) article on Salon Magazine (currently their lead) about "Why Johnny Can't Code." That one sure ignited a firestorm! Mostly from people who (clearly) did not even bother to actually read the article, skimming and leaping to a false conclusion that Old Fart David Brin Loves Basic.
When, in fact, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the (apparently) difficult real point of the essay... that we are devouring the seed corn of years past and denying kids the simplest thing their uncles and aunts once had... the chance to use computers to... compute.
I was posting a reply when the boys at Blogger let me down (coincidence? ;-) I will enter it again below, under comments. But feel free to discuss other things too!
Like SF in China! (Or how to encourage the Chinese govt to declare a "Year of SF and the Future in Asia!) Or Subscribing to Baen's Universe to see my serialized comedy!
Oh, even though this is an emergency posting, let me add some new stuff!
All right, I admit it. Sometimes I simply pass on stuff collected and distributed by Ray Kurzweil. This time these goodies have in many cases cvome from FUTUREdition - from the Arlington Institute. All of them are way cool or at least way interesting...
Back From the Dead -- September, 2006) A new theory claims that direct electrical stimulation can effectively 'reboot' the brain of comatose or otherwise severely brain-damaged individuals - possibly allowing their brains to regain some normal functionality.
Gene Found to Switch Off Stem Cells During Aging -- (NY Times -- September 6, 2006) Biologists have uncovered a deep link between lifespan and cancer in the form of a gene that switches off stem cells as a person ages. To offset the increasing risk of cancer as a person ages, the gene gradually reduces the ability of stem cells to proliferate. The finding indicates that many of the degenerative diseases of aging are caused, in some part, by an active shutting down of the stem cells that renew the body’s various tissues.
Cure for Cancer, Age-Related Diseases Coming Into View -- (LEF -- August 22, 2006) When a cell divides, the DNA in its chromosomes is replicated and passed on to the new cell. Telomeres keep the replication process on track. With each replication, the telomeres shorten, becoming exhausted as a person or organism ages, resulting in cell deterioration - i.e., ageing, cancer and other age-related diseases. Nanocircles (a new nanotechnology) and vTert (a new synthetic enzyme) are now capable of repairing damaged telomeres.
India has long been noted for 'stealing' U.S. jobs, particularly in the field of I.T. However, as the Indian economy continues to expand, it has been attracting Westerners in all fields and has come full circle: Westerners are now beginning to come to India for I.T. jobs.
Risky Business: US Insurers Adapting to Climate Change -- (Fortune -- August 24, 2006) In 18 states, from southern Texas to the northern tip of Maine, insurance companies are scrambling to reduce the risk of major hurricane-related payouts. The upshot: For the 43% of the U.S. population who live and do business in these states, rates are likely to rise between 20% and 100% over the next year. In the rest of the country, premiums are expected to rise about 4%. Publicly, insurers have not accepted the theory of global warming. What the industry does believe is that, for whatever reason, weather isn't what it used to be.
...plus ca change....