Links January 2011

Halla Tomasdottir gave an interesting TED talk about her financial services company which uses “feminine values” and thus survived the Icelandic financial crash [1]. She also has a lot of other interesting ideas about how to run a corporation or a country.

Hillary Clinton gave an interesting TED talk about national security and women’s rights [2]. The US State Department is now making women’s rights a priority due to the fact that places where women are mistreated tend to pose a security threat to the US. Unfortunately this talk can’t be viewed without flash.

Richard Dawkins reads some of his hate-mail while sitting by the fire [3], it’s interesting to know that a loving God wants his minions to send hate-mail to scientists. There are a few cheap laughs here.

Emily Pilloton gave an interesting TED talk about fixing some of the problems with the education system in rural USA by incorporating design [4]. Instead of having useless projects in “shop class” the students will complete real projects for their community which have to be designed, planned, and made. The students who end up going to university will learn some generally useful skills through this and the ones who don’t go to university will probably have an immediate opportunity to apply the skills that they learn.

Elizabeth Pisani gave an interesting TED talk about rational behavior and HIV [5]. She explains why certain behavior that carries great risk can be rational for the people who do it. One of her interesting points is the fact that the poor health system in the US makes it economically viable for the government to refrain from providing free needles to junkies as they don’t pay to treat them when they get sick. She makes a good case for political change.

Tony Porter gave an inspiring TED talk titled “A Call to Men” about the way the macho culture socialises men towards violence against women [6].

Fraud Magazine has an interesting Interview with Dr. Robert D. Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak about psychopathic fraudsters [7]. Most of the interview is generally about psychopaths and the cases of psychopaths in business, there isn’t much that is specific to financial fraud. It has a good summary of what some psychopaths are like.

Barbara Fister wrote a “Liberation Bibliography” – a call for knowledge to be free [8]. Currently universities pay researchers who then pay for corporations to accept copyright for their work and then resell it back to the universities. This is sucking money from the university system and denying access to knowledge to the people who can’t pay.

Charles Limb gave an interesting TED talk about using an MRI to study the brains of Jazz musicians doing Improv and Rappers doing Freestyle [9].

Deborah Rhodes gave an interesting TED talk about her new method of screening for breast cancer for women with dense breast tissue [10].

Cory Doctorow wrote an interesting article about Net Neutrality and it’s importance in helping the less famous writers (the majority of writers) earn money [11]. He also makes some interesting points about Google and about the corporate welfare given to telephone companies.

Beyond Zero Emissions has an interesting summary of the current situation regarding Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS), among other things the only system that’s currently operational is leaking CO2 and killing plants and animals [12].

The Brisbane council knew that the flood risks were greater than suggested by published information, they kept this news to themselves to assist property developers in selling low-lying land, and this led to increased problems now that the predicted floods have occurred [13]. Sounds like corruption, we could probably do with a Royal Commission into this.

Psychology Today has an interesting article titled “Wise Words From Fellow Introverts” which is a collection of blog comments from introverts [14].

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