Storms, Evidence and Song Dept.


First off. Ebert, as usual, nails it.

The gathering storm - Roger Ebert's Journal

We need to pull in our belts, pay more taxes, demand more value for our taxes, and say no to an ideology that requires converting our health money into corporate profits. We should to raise the lowest wages, and lower the highest ones. We have to return to the saying my father quoted to me a hundred times: "A fair day's work for fair day's pay." No, I don't think everyone should be paid the same wage. If you earn a lot of money, you have a right to a lot of money. If you earn it. But when Wall Street bosses are paid millions in bonuses for bankrupting their firms, and their political tools in Congress oppose a better minimum wage, that's plain wrong. It's rotten. People who defend it with ideology are strapped to a cruel ideology.

There's some other good notes in there about how Chicago really screwed itself to the wall when they privatized parking meters. How did they not think that would simply allow the company that controlled them to raise prices through the roof, with the city getting nothing but some chump change upfront? Why do we insist on, as Crass put it, bailing out the basement when there's holes in the roof?

As Paul Krugman also put it, it's time to make banking "boring" again and stop trying to create money out of nothing — with its concomitant consequences of taking blood from stones. (I like how one commentator tried to slap back at this by insisting that bubbles are nothing new. Well, sure, so is war and famine; that doesn't mean we should sit around and let them happen.)

Second, some insight into why things like this might be happening: people tend to focus on the messenger (are they like me?) and how closely the message matches their own existing beliefs than what the evidence itself suggests. The article itself is about climate change, but you could apply this to most any debate where there's evidence to be bandied about. Yes, that major snow- and rain-fall we've had on the East Coast actually confirms what's going on: a hotter overall climate = more evaporation = more precipitation in places that get it and less in places that don't.

Third, a truly amazing story about composer David Cope — wait, he's actually a music professor with a side gig in teaching computer science. He writes programs that compose music — and his compositions are startlingly, well, human. Play the samples in the article. That said, giving credit to anyone — or anything — other than Cope seems premature.


Tags: links music science sociology




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This page contains a single entry by Serdar in the category Uncategorized / General, published on February 25, 2010 10:38 AM.

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