Links for 2011-09-04

  • Atlas Mugged: The Ayn Rand Six Step | Common Dreams

    "Imagine your landlord coming to you one day and saying, “It’s everyone for himself. We’re not going to supply heat or water or electricity any longer, and we’re not going to conduct repairs.”

    Of course, you and the rest of the tenants wouldn’t stand for such a thing . You’d kick him out if you could and move out if you couldn’t.

    But suppose, over the years, he cuts the part of the portion of your rent that goes to utilities and repair work. Year after year, he’d stop by and announce his cuts with great fanfare, telling you how much money you’ll save.

    On each visit, as he handed out the meager savings, he’d rail about how the utilities were incompetent, and filled with lazy workers, and that repair and maintenance work was a rip-off perpetrated by equally lazy laborers.

    “We’re gonna show them,” he’d say, “The market will take care of these bozos.”"

  • Problem-solving Paralysis | Action-Reaction

    "I know my students take the same approach when solving puzzles, whether it’s video games, mobile games, crosswords, or sudoku. They dive right in and tinker. So why, when faced with a physics problem, do many students suddenly freeze-up if they can’t see the whole solution right from the outset? How do we show students it’s OK to dive right in, go down blind alleys, hit deadends, backtrack, and try again?"

  • Why We Need More Space Adventures

    "Two depressing facts became apparent the other day: 1) NASA is so desperate to get people excited about space travel, they were willing to consider collaborating on the horror mockumentary Apollo 18. 2) The fall 2011 season is the first time there’s been no TV show, on any network, featuring people on spaceships, since probably the mid-1980s.

    What’s happened to us? We haven’t just lost our space shuttle program, we’ve lost our zest for space adventure altogether, at least in TV and movies. How can we get our love for space opera back?"

  • 4Humanities | About

    "4Humanities is a platform and resource for advocacy of the humanities, drawing on the technologies, new-media expertise, and ideas of the international digital humanities community. The humanities are in trouble today, and digital methods have an important role to play in effectively showing the public why the humanities need to be part of any vision of a future society."

Comments

  1. #1 Neil B.
    September 4, 2011

    Chad, disagree as we might about certain issues in physics, I sure do like your political links and the “unusual interest” examples. The latest revelation from an ex-Republican in support of your top post comes from Mike Lofgren, who says the GOP has gone grandly bonkers and many are deliberately gumming up the government to make it look bad:
    “A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner…. Undermining Americans’ belief in their own institutions of self-government remains a prime GOP electoral strategy.”
    A good link (because of the additional discussion) is at Washington Monthly: “Mike Lofgren leaves ‘the cult’”. I also want to see what Sullivan will say about it.

  2. #2 PowerJunkie
    September 5, 2011

    Why in the world would would you use a date format like 2011-09-04 … ?? So retarded. I get it, but c’mon.

  3. #3 Neil B.
    September 5, 2011

    PowerJunkie, that is the European tradition and it makes more sense than month/day/year because it is in decreasing order of specification. Also, it (depending on system) sorts better than the other scheme. For example, lists will have all the same year grouped, the same year/month, etc. You like power, that will help.

    (BTW, with no data memory at work I may or may not bother with full name.)

  4. #4 Neil B.
    September 5, 2011

    (I think I should mean, increasing order of specificity.)

  5. #5 Eric Lund
    September 5, 2011

    PowerJunkie@2: That date format is specified by ISO 8601. The standard is used because a sort performed on a bunch of dates in that format puts them in chronological order. One can specify times as well in ISO 8601, but Chad normally does not need to do so in a links dump post.

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