World's Fair

Archives for January, 2009

The Ecology of Agro-Food Policy

In The Landscape of History, John Lewis Gaddis writes about the difference between reductionist research methods and ecological ones. Gaddis is a well-known and influential Cold War historian at Yale. This accessible and undergrad-suitable book is a brief foray into historiography and the practice of the historian’s craft. His discussion of research methods comes along…

This is a follow-up to a post a few weeks back about the One Laptop Per Child program. I had offered that post by way of summary to a class exercise about technology in cultural context. In part, it was an exercise about discussing the place of technology in global development efforts; at the same…

Beautifully done. I wish I could prepare lectures like this…

Just curious – the other day I gave a talk on the scientific method, and I was going over some of the icons that shaped the principles behind how science is done (like Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, and good old Karl Popper). I actually tried to paint a bit of a picture by imagining going…

Environment vs Economy vs Space Aliens

Here’s a slide I recently made in a lecture on the scientific method, to illustrate how easy it is to produce very different hypotheses for a particular observation.

Example #2,724: Ronald Bailey, “The Food Miles Mistake,” in Reason Magazine. As readers of this site know, we’ve weighed in numerous times of the Food Miles issue. Among the great many cases of public environmental debate that require a move beyond superficial parlor talk, the agriculture-energy connection has been an area of particular interest here.…

For those of you at this year’s Terry talks, you’ll obviously be aware of our little YouTube experiment. In any event, I present to you the fruit of that labour below. If you weren’t at the conference, here is the gist: audience members were ask to participate by brainstorming, pitching, choosing, and then executing an…

Agro-environmental Films

The genre of “environmental documentary” or “environmental film” is large enough now that it can suitably hold sub-sets. Here is a start to a filmography of agro-environmental documentaries and films. Since it is by no means exhaustive, I welcome all additions. I should say too that although many of these almost necessarily touch on GMOs…

I Dream in Malcolm Gladwell

New research shows links between marshmallow melting and pediatric nutrition. Perhaps. Yes, in homage to the Gladwellian oeuvre and generic New Yorker-ese please find “I Dream in Malcolm Gladwell” at The Morning News. We do encourage you to check it out.

They are cultural, philosophical, and political. Not even John Lennon can overcome the flaws, given their deep cultural basis. Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder and director of the MIT Media Laboratory, introduced the idea for the $100 laptop in 2005. The laptop would be geared towards children in “developing nations.” Its intent was to help education in…