Daily Posts

Monday, 31 Jul 2017 Short summer break.

Best science — Best human rights


Friday, 28 Jul 2017 Problem is that curiosity is very hard to define. There are several kinds. Curiosity is variable and can depend on external and internal variables. Nevertheless, it is not hard to recognize curiosity whatever kind however varied. And, it is not hard to encourage that curiosity. Unfortunately it is easier to discourage that curiosity.

Best science — Best human rights


Thursday, 27 Jul 2017 This piece from The Atlantic is a good example of a growing understanding that curiosity is essential for success in education and much more [link].

Big problem is that schools do not foster curiosity rather discourage curiosity. Which was my experience [link].

Best science — Best human rights


Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017 I'm now reading a nifty book by Adam Gopnik: "Angels and Ages, a short book about Darwin, Lincoln, and modern life." Lincoln and Darwin were born just hours apart 12 Feb 1809. They both changed our world. Darwin enriching science greatly. Lincoln enriching human rights greatly. Very nice to think about them in parallel.

Best science — Best human rights


Tuesday, 25 Jul 2017 Our legislature seems to be doing a good job with science funding EXCEPT for cutting programs which track changes in our environment as desired by rich donors [link].

Best science — Best human rights


Monday, 24 Jul 2017 Reading about China's amazing jump from backward in 1980 to manufacturing powerhouse today I choked on "free market" and "market forces" fantasies.

There never has been, nor ever will be, any market free from cheating, free from fraud, free from inequalities, free from being rigged.

Markets do not have forces. People make decisions about prices, not markets. People refer to what decisions others are making as indicated by a market. Markets are passive.

Best science — Best human rights


Friday, 21 Jul 2017 I've been reading "The cold war, a new history" by esteemed historian John Lewis Gaddis. Along the way many isms float by. For me "capitalism" is the most slippery.

So, I made my own definition in terms of human rights. For me the essence is the right to private ownership of economic activity and the right to make profit from that economic activity.

Best science — Best human rights


Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 Our government's majority party prepares to cut taxes and cut programs to hurt children, old persons, persons with disabilities, and more.

You might be interested in a different attitude as shown in " Why Canada Is Able to Do Things Better" [link].

Best science — Best human rights


Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 Science now has powerful tools for genetic engineering which raise even more powerful questions about protecting our world. All humanity must be part of resolving these questions. But, how? Must we change the ways science is done?

Here is a link to an important piece about this [link].

Best science — Best human rights


Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 All of us with vision can easily share in the Juno project because of the amazing images. We do not share with most other science which is published in sources not easily accessible using special languages we do not know.

Every several months I see a plea for better science communication usually in Scientific American usually by a young researcher and often a young woman. My most recent example argues that as part of their jobs scientists should be required to talk directly with the public. She includes many good ideas and many links to resources, an especially good piece [link].

Best science — Best human rights


Monday, 17 Jul 2017 Our curiosities about what is far beyond us led us to create our now potent sciences. Those sciences and our continuing curiosities about what is far beyond us led us to send autonomous spacecraft Juno to orbit planet Jupiter.

Juno just sent us close-up images of Jupiter's red spot. The Juno teams post the raw image data and citizen scientists process this data to make images bringing out details for further study and to inspire us all.

Here is a link to a nice piece from The Atlantic about this [link] And here is a video by a citizen scientist from Scientific American [link].

Best science — Best human rights


Friday, 14 Jul 2017 To overcome these many and mighty barriers to progress we need much help from our social sciences.

It will be interesting to see if our Supreme Court will accept the evidence showing how partisan electoral districts are, that evidence generated via some nice social science by University of Chicago professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos and the Public Policy Institute of California fellow Eric McGhee [link].

Best science — Best human rights


Thursday, 13 Jul 2017 Our states are basic elements in our political structure. Our cities are most important for our economic and cultural health. About the importance of cities see the many pieces in The Atlantic by Richard Florida [link].

Because of easily rigged electoral districts and because of voter suppression, state governments do not represent the interests of our cities. For example, the city St. Louis passed a minimum wage of $10/hr. The home state quickly took that away [link].

Best science — Best human rights


Wednesday, 12 Jul 2017 Too easy to rig electoral districts are another nasty barrier to progress. Why do we tolerate this?

Best science — Best human rights


Tuesday, 11 Jul 2017 The electoral college was added to our Constitution as a sop for slave states. Why is it still there? It is a nasty barrier to progress.

Best science — Best human rights


Monday, 10 Jul 2017 A team published last week in Science calculations of several categories of costs of climate change for every US county.

Here is a link to an easier-to-read synopsis from The Atlantic [link]. You will see in the synopsis that the highest costs are in southern states.

Best science — Best human rights


Friday, 07 Jul 2017 The last, fair tax, point in the ideas I posted Wednesday will be tough. What is a fair share? Our system now is very far from fair. So much wealth and privilege is now held by the richest actors (persons, corporations, organizations) that is hard to imagine how change could occur.

Best science — Best human rights


Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 The healthcare point in the ideas I posted yesterday contains things like environment protection and the FDA which I think are best seen as health issues.

The regulated economy point contains things like labor union rights and fair employment regulations.

Best science — Best human rights


Wednesday, 05 Jul 2017 Here are some of my ideas for that detailed agenda mentioned yesterday:



Every person treated fairly, no unfair treatment of any person anywhere, anytime.

Fair access to healthcare for all persons, with no unfair limits, with no unfair advantages.

Fair access to basic education for all persons, with no unfair limits, with no unfair advantages.

Fair science research with fair access for all persons to participate, with no unfair limits, with no unfair advantages.

Fairly regulated economy with fair opportunities for all persons, with no unfair limits, with no unfair advantages.

Fair taxes so that all persons can give a fair share to our common good, with no unfair limits, with no unfair advantages.



Best science — Best human rights


Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 We know how to build a great middle class. We did it. We know what works. We undid it. We know what does not work.

The first step is to elect persons to do what works and avoid what does not work. Here is a link to "How the Democrats Can Take Back Congress" by Bruce Reed and Rahm Emanuel who did take back Congress [link].

Their main points are "to recruit candidates who match their districts and offer voters a detailed agenda."

I wish I knew where this might happen so I could support.

Best science — Best human rights


Monday, 03 Jul 2017 I just finished Elizabeth Warren's new book [link]. It is a great diagnosis of our current predicament.

After WWII we built a great middle class. Some of the key policies were in place before the war in response to the 1929 economic collapse.

Then in 1981 we adopted some crazy economic ideas so that now there is precious little left of that great middle class.

Those crazy economic ideas are now zombies. They have been killed many times by evidence but they live on causing great harm.

Best science — Best human rights


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