When not in real life, I spend my time here, and writing the Forms of Life blog for theadvancedapes.com. Check it out.
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Haha. Somehow I think a blog that nobody has ever heard of writing about a website nobody had ever heard us won't create too much of a buzz on the teenie bopper radar screens. We're safe... For now.
They're trying sleight of hand with the data, and who knows for what reason. Maybe to look 'responsible'. Maybe some editor has an agenda. Maybe one of their sponsors has an agenda. This is nothing but a money grab for various organizations, all in the name of public safety. I'm fed up.
And here's a Times "Room for Debate" piece about DD. Notice that the only person of the five who, ya know, cites a study with, ya know, numbers and such, is on the side of this law being stupid. I'm sure the prison-industrial complex is on board, however.
This is so typical of the way we "solve" problems. Data be damned! Instead, let's feed the bureaucracy, because we're too chickenshit to do otherwise.
- In its eight-point plan to "jump-start the stalled war on drunk driving," MADD advocates the use of highly publicized but random roadblocks to find drivers who have been drinking. Even setting aside the civil liberties implications, these checkpoints do little to get dangerous drunks off the road. Rather, they instill fear in people who have a glass of wine with dinner, a beer at a ballgame or a toast at a retirement party.
Yep. I'm glad I live in a state where the supreme court has deemed these gestapo outposts as illegal.
And, of course, there's this:
- In fact, there is little in MADD's plan that would improve traffic safety. A British study found that cell phone use while driving caused significantly more impairment than a .08 blood-alcohol level. And a 2001 American Automobile Assn. study found that eating, fumbling with a car stereo or CD player or disciplining children while driving are even more dangerous than cell phone use.
As for color, it has been pointed out in other things I've read that the use of specific words for specific colors mostly follows the pigments available to the users of the language. That is, why name the color blue (the Ancient Greeks apparently didn't have a word for it, as it doesn't appear in Homer), if you can't color anything blue? Red and yellow are common natural pigments, while blue is not. This theory of language in interesting, because it shows a functional basis for naming things. That language is "hard wired" is a stupid idea and demonstrably false. Linguists should have to learn biology before they speak about it.
I found a website that shows that dd deaths have decreased since 2000, but they seem to follow the same trajectory as before the law was passed, which leads me to believe that education about drunk driving and tougher enforcement of laws that already exist is probably more to credit than the tougher standard.
The morality/immorality is kind of irrelevant. It will be cheaper in the long run if everyone has insurance, and then these choices will be much fewer and further between. The huge downside is that there is no doubt that the transition to universal healthcare comes with some seriously rocky turf. I have no idea whether the law will turn out to be good or bad in the long run, as there are some good things in there and some mind-numbingly stupid things, but I think that it will take at least 5 years beyond the mandatory insurance date (beginning 2014, if I'm not mistaken) to make a determination. We need to find a water level then reevaluate without being ideological, which is very hard for both sides on this issue.
I just read the first three chapters of Murakami's Kafka on the Shore yesterday while killing time at Barnes and Noble. I'm intrigued by it, and might suggest it (that is, unless everybody has already read it; I know it has been very popular for a almost a decade).
- 4. you will fall in love, so to speak, with a good teacher and want to please him or her -- thus doing more than you would do for a good book
Haha, I was in love with the choir teacher when I was 11 so I joined running club, because she was the sponsor. I hate running more than any other form of exercise. Ah, the power of a good teacher.
More seriously, though, I think that you highlight why so many students are disillusioned with college: they have no idea if they have a good teacher, because their class size can be upwards of 500. What is the difference between an online class and a giant lecture hall? Pretty much trivial, IMO. It sucks to have your tuition raised, and see class sizes constantly expanded. At the upper undergrad and graduate level this isn't the case, but for those first two years (in the US; I have no idea what Canada is like; perhaps you can enlighten us) you may only have small group discussions with grad assistants. Even great ones aren't a substitute for professors.
Holy hell, the far more telling part of this story are the comments. I don't typically wade into reading user comments on any forum but our humble one here, but I tried my hand at it on this story. I urge some of you to do the same. If you didn't live in the world and you only were trying to figure out how we live based on the opinions stated there, you would think that we live in a hadean dystopia where you have to get government permission to make eye contact with your neighbor. WTF? How does this kind of thing happen to people? In the W years there were a lot of people who screamed treason, conspiracy, etc, but was it like this? Maybe I'm an affected partisan, and I can't see the forest for the trees, but I don't think that's the case. I think that there are some seriously delusional folks out there. I leave you with this:
- He's a puppet. A Slave. Like the rest of us. Yes, he is a narcisistic, (sp?) but he is NOT leadership material. He is one of those democrats that think the world owes him a living, and when one thinks that, they rarely have real leadership qualities, since they cannot even lead themselves out of a pothole. Which begs the question: Who is the puppetmaster(s)?...[His] degrees were purchased by the Saudi King, "who contributed to Obama's educational financing." Sure he knows what he knows, but that is NOT a knowledge of America not her true sense of freedom.
The niche is as important as the disease. I long for the day when this or that gene pathway is inconsequential to fighting cancer. The reductionist approach is silly, but seems to be getting more entrenched, not less, with the advent of whole genome mapping, proteomics, exome sequencing, etc.
Game theory seems as good a place as any to develop a new approach to cancer fighting. I personally believe many diseases (say, MS or ALS, for example), not just cancer, are systemic in nature, and they can therefore only really be understood at a systems level, as opposed to the reigning view that says that the molecular level is king. I'm not saying molecular biology isn't important; it is, as drugs act on molecules. But systems level thinking may lead to new avenues of exploration of what to target with a new drug. I.e. sometimes the causative agents we're after are not immediately obvious in a complex biological system.