This note used to say that the links below appear in the order I read them and was meant imply that they were more or less random in their subject matter, other than being of interest to me. Recently I started a few new sections at the bottom of the links on subjects that are of particular interest to me. But I can see that as time passes I am moving to a greater degree of "curation", which the dictionary tells me is about organizing and maintaining a collection. Applied to this collection of links and books I guess this will mean selecting links less randomly and trying to make them relevant in the context of this blog and whatever is going on in the world during the month.
But my originally statement still applies to the first section of links—they are pretty much random and just in the order I read them.
- A brief history of pharming; Monsanto is not trying to make you sterile, by Stephan Neidenbach, Medium
- Abortion and Love, by Katha Pollitt, The Nation
Ireland’s wildly successful movement to repeal the Eighth Amendment has given us a new way to frame reproductive rights.
Or as I would have it, "pro life"="slavery for women".
- Feeling Isolated?, by Adam Taggart, Peak Prosperity
If so, you're not alone.
- Why Grandmothers May Hold The Key To Human Evolution, by John Poole, NPR
I think over the next few decades as industrial civilization withers on the vine we are going to have to relearn how to live a human beings did for most of our pre-history. Working together in small groups. Having a clear idea of how that actually worked might be quite helpful. And I also think there may be room for improvement. As discussed in this article—"man the hunter" providing 3.4% on the food might not be the best use of men's time.
- Is Sleeping With Your Baby As Dangerous As Doctors Say? by Michaeleen Doucleff, NPR
Are three of our children slept with us from when they were born until the next one came along, or in the case of the youngest until he was about two and a half years old. The benefits hugely outweigh the risks. Which, as this article says, are pretty minimal.
- I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People, by Kayla Chadwick, Huffington Post
"Our disagreement is not merely political, but a fundamental divide on what it means to live in a society."
- FDA approves Golden Rice as anti-GMO activists spin lies to keep kids blind, by Stephan Neidenbach, Medium
- Fracking’s fundamental flaw, by Tim Watkins, The Consciousness of Sheep
- Hedge fund star David Einhorn calls fracking companies a joke, by Patrick Gillespie, CNN MOney
"A business that burns cash and doesn't grow isn't worth anything."
- OPEC’s Dilemma: Demand Destruction Or Production Boost, by Nick Cunningham, Oil Price.com
- Lessons I learned from communicating science on social media, by Stephan Neidenbach, Medium
- How Trump Voters Decide Who to Trust, by Francesca Tripodi, Medium
Google keywords, fact-checking the news, and the occasional sophistication of conservative media analysis.
- It’s employment Jim, but not as we know it, by Tim Watkinsa, The Consciousness of Sheep
- GFC II: The Anatomy of the Next Crash, by Tim Morgan, Surplus Energy Economics
" most of the recorded “growth” in world GDP since 2008 has been cosmetic, amounting to nothing more substantial than the simple spending of borrowed money"
"what we are looking at is a 10% ($7.6tn) increase in world prosperity trying to support a 54% ($98tn) expansion in total debt. Moreover, the 10% increase in aggregate prosperity has barely matched the rate of growth in population numbers. People have not been getting more prosperous, then, but they have been getting ever further into debt."
- How Worried Do You Need to Be About Those Cancer Warnings for Your Coffee?, by Jenny Splitter, Self
“The first principle of toxicology is the dose makes the poison,” Carl Winter, Ph.D., a food toxicology scientist at the University of California at Davis, tells SELF. “It’s the amount of the chemical, not its presence or absence, which determines its potential for harm.”
It makes much more sense to look at “dietary patterns [rather] than [the presence of] single chemicals,” she argues, adding that, “This whole decision in California just confuses people about coffee and its effects on health.”
- What If India And China Used Natural Gas And Oil Like The U.S.?, by Jude Clemente, Forbes
Of course it is not going to happen, but it is useful to understand current energy usage in developing versus developed nations.
- Listen to Children Who’ve Just Been Separated From Their Parents at the Border, by Ginger Thompson, ProPublica
ProPublica has obtained audio from inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, in which children can be heard wailing as an agent jokes, “We have an orchestra here.”
- What are natural foods?, by Joseph LaPorte, Aeon
Putting forth some uncommonly sensible ideas about the meaning of the word "natural", while largely managing to avoid the naturalistic fallacy.
- The People Who Are Afraid of Food, by Virginia Sole-Smith, Medium—Trust Issues
New kinds of eating disorders feed off our cultural obsession with healthy diets.
I've posted similar articles to Facebook, only to be told by commenters that orthorexia is nonsense—no one has such a problem. Interestingly those who objected loudest had a keen interest in "clean food". I've said it before and I'll say it again: conventional and organic agriculture both produce food that is quite safe. Unfortunately both are about equally unsustainable.
- We’re In an Epidemic of Mistrust in Science, by Gleb Tsipursky, Medium—Trust Issues
"Academia isn’t immune to the scourge of misinformation."
- Adoption and Cognitive Development: A Meta-Analytic Comparison of Adopted and Nonadopted Children’s IQ and School Performance, by ,van Ijzendoorn et al
- A Dynamical Model of General Intelligence: The Positive Manifold of
Intelligence by Mutualism, by Han L. J. van der Maas et al, University of Amsterdam.
Refugees and Migration
- Five myths about the refugee crisis, by Daniel Trilling, The Guardian
"...how likely is it that states which treat migrants with such callousness will behave similarly towards their own citizens?"
Poverty, Homelessness, Minimum Wage
- After 25 years of being homeless, I learned there’s one simple thing you can do to help, by Gregory P. Smith, The Guardian
- The Difference Between Being Broke and Being Poor, by Erynn Brook, Flipboard—Longreads
- This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like, by Alana Semuels, The Atlantic.
Many seniors are stuck with lives of never-ending work—a fate that could befall millions in the coming decades.
I'm still wading slowly through The Bell Curve, in order to be able to criticize it with some degree of credibility. Almost half way through at this point. This has also lead to reading some scholarly articles about IQ on the web, further slowing down my other reading. I did read a couple of short non-fiction works this month, though.
- This is Water, by David Foster Wallace
"Some thoughts, delivered on a significant occasion, about living a compassionate life."
As a committed atheist, I don't agree with the author's thoughts on the impossibility of not worshipping. I do agree that many people do worship things other than God, that are a bad or worse than God. But the important part is what the author has to say about the importance of seeing things from the other guy's viewpoint.
- Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, by David Graeber
An excellent little book about anarchism.