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Links February 2014

The Economist has an interesting and informative article about the lack of reproducability of scientific papers and the implications for scientific research [1].

Regina Dugan gave an interesting TED talk about some of the amazing DARPA projects [2].

Chris Anderson interviewed Elon Musk about the Tesla cars, SpaceX, and his new venture Solar City [3]. Elon has a lot of great ideas for improving humanity while also making money.

Smart Planet has an interesting article about Bhutan’s switch to electric vehicles [4].

Paul Piff gave an insightful and well researched TED talk about the ways that money makes people mean [5].

Maryn McKenna wrote an interesting article for Wired about what happens when the current anti-biotics stop working [6]. Unfortunately she lists increasing food prices as a consequence, really the unreasonably low price of meat is due to the misuse of anti-biotics that is causing this problem.

Linda Walther Tirado wrote an interesting article about being poor titled “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, Poverty Thoughts” [7]. It gives a real insight into the situation of people who are trapped in poverty. When someone who is as obviously intelligent as Linda feels that it’s impossible to escape poverty there is a real problem in the system. While Australia doesn’t suck nearly as badly as the US in this regard (higher minimum wage and better health care) we still need to improve things, I know people in Australia who’s experience bears some similarity to Linda’s.

Maxwell Neely-Cohen wrote an interesting article about peer pressure [8]. Some of the conclusions are dubious, but the ideas on the way the Internet changes peer relationships in high school are interesting.

An English pediatrician wrote an article for The Daily Beast about why he won’t accept anti-vac clients [9].

There are some decent people in the Liberal Party, Liberal MP Warren Entsch attacks Cory Bernardi on ‘gay obsession’ [10]. AFAIK we haven’t yet had a gay sex scandal involving a homophobic Australian politician…

4 comments to Links February 2014

  • Nikolaus Rath

    It seems that the authenticity of the “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, Poverty Thoughts” links is contested rather heavily, see e.g. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/04/linda-tirado_n_4381014.html

  • etbe

    The article you cited debunks claims made against the article and it’s author, the main specific claim is that she had no dental problems, the article links to a Youtube video which apparently has her removing dentures (I haven’t watched the video but assume that the summary is accurate). Furthermore it asserts that the only reason that the article is “contested” is that it goes against conservative ideology.

  • Nikolaus Rath

    Not sure what you’re trying to say, or if you expect me to respond. I thought readers of the original link would also be interested in the discussions that it prompted, and the huffington article seemed a good starting point since it links back to several other commentaries. I’m not trying to take a specific position here or assert that the statements in the huffington article are in any way more authoritative than anything else that has been written about this issue.

  • etbe

    The contesting of that article is like the contesting of climate science by climate change deniers. It’s not based on facts and appears to be motivated by support for political positions which offer a financial benefit to certain parties.

    I’m not interested in “teaching the controversy” on my blog. I’m interested in publishing the truth. For any issue there will be people who are wrong, there’s no need to debunk them unless they are particularly amusing or get their ideas spread widely.