11 Feb 2013

Anything but water

  1. This 2004 paper [pdf] should correct the misperceptions of people who think that the truth will emerge if a topic is sufficiently debated:
    ...drawing from examples such as climate change, genetically modified foods, and nuclear waste disposal, I explore the idea that scientific inquiry is inherently and unavoidably subject to becoming politicized in environmental controversies... I briefly explore the problem of why some types of political controversies become “scientized” and others do not, and conclude that the value bases of disputes underlying environmental controversies must be fully articulated and adjudicated through political means before science can play an effective role in resolving environmental problems.
  2. The culture of taxi drivers does not only include overcharging

  3. How to choose and use knives

  4. Short but depressing article on America's military. I was surprised to see (in black and white) how politicians see it as a tool for "projecting force" rather than defending the country. That's perhaps why the US spends more than ALL OTHER COUNTRIES in the world, combined, and still has not won the "war on war." That fact also explains the American Paradox: why is a country with such a grand tradition of freedom likely to invade your country to deny you yours? If you like that, then definitely read this long and perceptive post on agit/prop, politics, Chuck Hagel and the Military Industrial Complex.

  5. A fascinating article on Dr. Oz ("America's Doctor") and how -- in his desire to engage patients -- he may be misleadingly endorsing quack medicine to patients who may lack critical thinking skills. A semi-related post details how economics students are more likely to lie, since they've learned that's the "optimal" behavior in Econ 1 but not yet learned of its weaknesses in Econ 101 (life).
H/T to RM