At The New York Times, Amy Harmon has a fascinating long read about the battle over banning GMOs on the island of Hawaii, and the story of a county council member who came to believe GM plants, as plants, are safe after researching the scary claims made by the ban's proponents. It's an interesting story and reminds me of how I ended up not being afraid of genetically modified food (at least not of the plants, themselves, in any blanket way). Basically, when the claims the anti-GMO people made kept turning out to be mixed-up, misleading, confused, and flat-out wrong, I started questioning whether they actually knew what they were talking about.
Another interesting thing happening in this piece is the comparison Harmon makes between the anti-GMO crowd on the political left and the climate change denialists on the political right. In both cases, you get anti-science, conspiracy-laden rhetoric that tends to ignore any data that doesn't fit ideology. The difference, of course, is that the same people on the left who spread incorrect scare stories about GMOs are often the same people who jump to correct the climate change deniers and lecture them about good science. At the New Republic, Isaac Chotiner writes about this weird inconsistency, and what it means in the context of politics and culture wars.
Thanks to Pesco for the New Republic link!
Writing in Slate, Cathy “Weapons of Math Destruction” O’Neill, a skeptical data-scientist, describes the ways that Big Data intersects with ethical considerations.
Our pals at surreal clothiers Imaginary Foundation bring us this fine enamel pin emblazoned with an essential insight of the ages, captured by a simple Venn diagram. Just $10!
In his weekly address, President Barack Obama this week pledged $4 billion in federal funding for computer science education in schools throughout the nation.
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]