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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Social Sciences’ Category

[NEWS] Four science and technology links: LIGO, Neanderthal genes, Kazuo Ishiguro, AI gods

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  • I bet that, as numerous reports have indicated, LIGO picked up a neutron star collision, with EM traces. D-Brief reports.
  • Neanderthal genes seem to have had a big influence on modern human health. I would be surprised not to have some. National Geographic describes.
  • Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go may evoke crises of bioethics, but I’m not sure it relates to genetic engineering. VICE reports.
  • These apocalyptic visions of technophiles who want to create an artificial intelligence to become god are notable. The Guardian takes a look.
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[NEWS] Four links on relationships,sexuality: Brooklyn drag, Tom of Finland, bromance, online dating

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  • VICE suggests that drag in Brooklyn is having a big creative moment.
  • This interview with the director of the Tom of Finland biopic sounds like he has grasped the issues.
  • LiveScience tells of a formal study suggesting heterosexual guys prefer bromances to straight relationships … huh.
  • Does online dating have the ability to transform society, by making all kinds of unexpected links across boundaries? Technology Review reports.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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Bad Astronomer Phil Plait talks about the discovery that the early Moon had a notable atmosphere. http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/air-de-lune

The Big Picture, from the Boston Globe, shares terrifying pictures from the California wildfires. https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/bigpicture/2017/10/10/raging-wildfires-california/GtkTUeIILcZeqp5jlsLTMI/story.html

The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about how writers need editing, and editors. https://broadsideblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/why-editors-matter-more-than-ever/

D-Brief notes that forming coal beds sucked so much carbon dioxide out of the air that it triggered an ice age.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/10/10/coal-earth-ice/

Dangerous Minds looks at Michael’s Thing, a vintage guide to gay New York dating from the 1970s. http://dangerousminds.net/comments/michaels_thing_new_york_citys_once_essential_queer_city_guide

Cody Delistraty looks at a new Paris exhibition of the works of Paul Gauguin that tries to deal with his moral sketchiness, inspiration of much his work. https://delistraty.com/2017/10/09/paul-gauguins-insurmountable-immorality/

Hornet Stories notes that same same-sex-attracted guys opt to be called not gay but androphiles. (Less baggage, they say.) https://hornetapp.com/stories/men-who-love-men-androphile/

Language Hat notes a claim that the Spanish of Christopher Columbus was marked by Catalan. http://languagehat.com/columbuss-catalan/

Language Log notes that the languages of southern China like Cantonese are actually fully-fledged languages. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=34933

Lawyers, Guns and Money notes an argument that Chinese companies do not abide by the terms of tech transfer agreements.
http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/10/tech-transfer

The LRB Blog notes an old Mike Davis article noting how California, at a time of climate change, risks catastrophic wildfires. https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/10/10/the-editors/california-burning/

The Map Room Blog is unimpressed by the new book, A History of Canada in Ten Maps. (It needs more maps. Seriously.) https://buff.ly/2gcdLKG

The NYR Daily takes another look at the nature of consciousness.
http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/10/09/consciousness-an-object-lesson/

The Planetary Society Blog shares a scientist’s story about how he stitched together the last mosaic photo of Saturn by Cassini. http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2017/cassinis-last-dance-with-saturn-farewell-mosaic.html

The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that an unnegotiated secession of Catalonia from Spain would be a catastrophe for the new country. http://noelmaurer.typepad.com/aab/2017/10/la-econom%C3%ADa-de-la-secesi%C3%B3n-en-la-madre-patria.html

Roads and Kingdoms considers what is next for Kurdistan after its independence referendum. http://roadsandkingdoms.com/2017/whats-next-for-kurdistan/

Science Sushi considers the sketchy science of studying cetacean sex. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/science-sushi/2017/10/10/dolphin-penis-vagina-simulated-marine-mammal-sex/

Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that exceptionally strong evidence that we do, in fact, exist in a real multiverse. https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/10/12/the-multiverse-is-inevitable-and-were-living-in-it/

Strange Maps looks at rates of reported corruption across Latin America, finding that Mexico fares badly. http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/half-of-all-mexicans-paid-a-bribe-in-the-previous-12-months

Window on Eurasia notes new inflows of migrants to Russia include fewer Europeans and many more Central Asians. http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.ca/2017/10/gastarbeiters-in-russia-from-central.html

[NEWS] Five LGBTQ links: Metropolitan Community Church, Jeff Rock, PFLAG China, Indian lit, Satanism

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  • Hornet Stories looks at the long history of the explicitly LGBTQ-friendly Metropolitan Community Church.
  • Jeff Rock will be the new pastor of Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church congregation, after Brent Hawkes. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Quartz reports on a PFLAG China cruise, featuring queer people and their parents.
  • Little India reports on the emerging field of gay literature in India, prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction.
  • The Satanic Temple of Seattle is commissioning anti-gay bakers to bake them pro-Satanism cakes. Religious freedom, right? Bustle tells the story.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Anthropology.net notes that the analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton from Croatia reveals much common ancestry.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares some stunning photos of Jupiter taken by the Juno probe.
  • Crooked Timber considers the differences–such as they are–between science fiction and fantasy literature.
  • After a conversation with Adam Gopnik, Cody Delistraty makes a case for the importance of high-brow culture.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a paper arguing that Earth-like planets can exist even without active plate tectonics.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas argues that operating systems relying on instinct hurt human thought.
  • Language Log considers Twitter post limits for East Asian languages.
  • The LRB Blog considers trench fever and the future of nursing in the United Kingdom.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a study suggesting people actively look out for bad and threatening news items.
  • The NYR Daily examines the reasons why Uber ended up getting banned by the city of London.
  • Drew Rowsome reports on an exciting new staging at the Paramount Theatre of Salt-Water Moon.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at the very low proportion of planets in studied exosystems actually detected by Kepler.
  • Strange Company tells the story of John Banvard, a 19th century American who lost everything in mounting panorama exhibitions.
  • Towleroad reports on how PREP contributed to an 80% fall in new HIV diagnoses in London and wider England.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the worsening of HIV/AIDS in Russia, aided by terrible government policy and bad statistics.

[DM] “On the demographic issues of Puerto Rico in an era of exodus”

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I’ve a brief post up looking at the history of emigration and, more recently, population decline in Puerto Rico, something due to only by hugely accelerated by the catastrophe of Hurricane Maria. What will happen next?

Written by Randy McDonald

October 8, 2017 at 12:11 am

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes a team of students who caught footage of the August solar eclipse from a high-altitude balloon.
  • D-Brief notes the discovery that the early Moon apparently had a very thin atmosphere for tens of millions of years.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to Elon Musk’s descriptions of his space ambitions.
  • Hornet Stories notes that many on the alt-right are upset that game Wolfenstein is all about shooting Nazis.
  • The LRB Blog notes the almost ridiculous irony of Conservative Theresa May wearing a bracelet with the image of radical leftist Frida Kahlo.
  • Russell Darnley looks at efforts to get Singapore restaurants to shift away from using environmentally damaging palm oil.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the overwhelming power of the NRA in the modern United States.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers ways we can do SETI better by having a less Eurocentric understanding of our own history.
  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Uzbekistan and Kyrgzystan could solve border issues through swapping enclaves.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the corrosive effect of Bannon, and journalistic culture generally, on politics.