Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for June, 2009

Wednesday Links

Here are some links for you. Science first:

With the uprising in Iran using Twitter, there’s been a lot of Twitter triumphalism running amok hither and yon through the intertubez. Tom Watson has a very nice takedown, but there are two other themes worth discussing: the conduit by itself isn’t revolutionary; and, a medium with 140 characters shreds the culture of political literacy…

If so, my respect for her just went up a notch. I’m not a huge fan of MA Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (although she is far better than Wilkerson), in part, because of her unwillingness to protect arts funding in MA. But, in response to the idea that financial literacy should be added to the school…

I’m wary of criticizing Paul Krugman. I’m a firm believer in the DeLong Rules of Krugman, which can be paraphrased very simply: Don’t disagree with Paul Krugman. Re-read rule #1, you fucking moron. Nonetheless, I think Krugman, in an otherwise excellent column, misstates the motivations behind the ‘centrist’ Democrats opposition to the public option for…

The Notorious M.I.K.E: Rise of the Cyborg

Because everyone else is finding out what their cyborg name is:

The U.S. Can Teach Kids Math Provided…

…they live in Massachusetts. Most of us have read the “ZOMG!! AMERICAN KIDZ DON’T KNOW TEH MATHZ!” stories. But a recent study (pdf), found by way of Matthew Yglesias, points out that some states in the U.S. actually do better than most countries (and then there’s Mississippi, Alabama, and Washington D.C.).

What’s so frustrating about the healthcare debate is that even though 76% of Americans want a public option, this is somehow deemed politically unviable. Never mind that the Republicans were crushed at every level electorally and that President Obama has a 63% approval rating. Even this tepid option–and it is tepid compared to what most…

What was Italy thinking? And, for that matter, NIH? From Science:

Words As Weapons: The Slacktivist Edition

I’ve posted many times about how the theopolitical right and movement conservatives use words as weapons. They are not supposed to be taken at face value, but rather are meant to manipulate others. A good, although old, example is “evolution is just a theory.” Any professional creationist who says that knows this is false–in fact,…

If you support a public option for healthcare reform, there’s a campaign going on right now to get senators to commit in writing to whether or not they support a public option (Chris Bowers has more details). You should also write your president–I’ve heard rumors that, even though a huge majority support a public option,…