Endless Curiosity

September 29, 2009

China and climate change

Filed under: Climate Change, Politics — Alec @ 7:14 am

Another thing that Bill Maher’s article made me think about was climate change and the other pending disasters that I lump together under the rubric of Disaster Porn (more on this later).

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Playthings of the Gods

Filed under: God, Psychology — Alec @ 6:50 am

I read Bill Maher’s article about our inability to get anything done. Here’s a quote from it:

That’s the ultimate sign of our lethargy: millions thrown out of their homes, tossed out of work, lost their life savings, retirements postponed – and they just take it. 30% interest on credit cards? It’s a good thing the Supreme Court legalized sodomy a few years ago.

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September 26, 2009

My Kindle

Filed under: Technology — Alec @ 11:32 am

I have a Kindle. Sometimes I wonder why I bought it.

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September 18, 2009

The Age of Stupid

Filed under: Climate Change — Alec @ 1:38 am

There was an article in the Guardian yesterday where a Chinese government advisor said that China is not going to meet its climate change emissions targets.

“You should not target China to fulfill the two degree target. That is just a vision. Reality has deviated from that vision,” said Dai. “We do not think that target provides room for developing countries.” China argues that its priority must be economic growth to relieve poverty among its vast population.

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September 10, 2009

Health Care and What We Eat

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alec @ 7:22 am

I love coming across ideas I hadn’t thought of before. There’s so much talk about the cost of health care and how we need change: Too many unnecessary tests and procedures. Too many expensive me-too drugs. Too much fear of being sued by patients. Payment for procedures rather than results. New expensive medical technology that must be paid for.

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September 9, 2009

Blind Spots and Cassandra

Filed under: Climate Change, Economics, Politics, Psychology — Alec @ 6:35 am

I watched a great 2008 documentary on Labor Day called Blind Spot. It’s about the problems we face as the production of oil starts to run down. The fascinating thing is how much we as a race don’t want to think about these problems. We ignore the problem, or we tell ourselves that technology will solve it. As one of the interviewees said, we should go to church, mosque, or synagogue if we want to rely on miracles.

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September 8, 2009

Stimulating environments

Filed under: Psychology — Alec @ 1:08 pm

I’ve been reading Proust was a Neuroscientist, by Jonah Lehrer, and at one point he writes

Other scientists have discovered that antidepressants work by stimulating neurgenesis (at least in rodents), implying that depression is ultimately caused by a decrease in the amount of new neurons, and not by a lack of serotonin. A new class of anti-depressants is being developed that targets the neurogenesis pathway. For some reason, newborn brain cells make us happy.

What an intriguing idea.

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