What Went Wrong? typified commentary about the U.S. economy, and economic journalism was dominated by scare headlines about downsizing, after a mere two years of good news America’s mood has become startlingly triumphalist. Read on
Scientometrics is the science of measuring and analyzing science, and it began in 1947 when mathematician Derek J. de Solla Price as asked to store a complete set of The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society temporarily in his house. He stacked them in order and noticed that the height of the stacks fit an exponential curve. Price then started to analyze all sorts of scientific data and concluded in 1960 that scientific knowledge had been growing steadily at a rate of 4.7% annually since the 17th century. Scientific data was doubling every 15 years. In 1965, he realized that the growth was a factor of 10 every half century.
Arbesman wanted to discover the half-life of the scientific facts we know. The decay in truth of clinical knowledge about cirrhosis and hepatitis is about 45 years. Half of what physicians thought they knew about liver diseases was wrong or obsolete 45 years later.
Facts are being manufactured all of the time, and many of them turn out to be wrong. There were 845,175 articles published in 2009 and recorded in PubMed. How many of them were replicated? Not many. In 2011, a study in the journal Nature reported that a team of researchers had been able to reproduce only six out of 53 landmark papers in preclinical cancer research.
Lots of this new information will be overlooked. Arbesman illustrates this by talking about when Harvard researchers decided to go back and look at all of the prior randomized control trials relating to heart attacks and the drug streptokinase between 1959 and 1988. In 1988, a trial showed that streptokinase was effective in treating heart attacks.
The researchers concluded that scientists could have easily found a statistically significant result in 1973 rather than 1988. The efficiency of streptokinase remained hidden in scientific literature for 15 years. These days, there are data combing companies working on ensuring that previous studies arenâ€™t lost.
â€œWe persist in only adding facts to our personal store of knowledge that jibe with what we already know, rather than assimilate new facts irrespective of how they fit into our worldview.â€ Samuel Arbesman
In order to keep facts actuated, people should always seek out new information. Instead of memorizing facts, something that could eventually be outsourced to the cloud, people should continually learn. The current growth rates will also have to slow down, as they could imply that everyone on the planet will one day be a scientist. via
The political salience of sport has increased dramatically in the past 30 years. Governments in regimes of every type have shown a new willingness to invest and intervene in sport directly, steer and develop sport policy more purposefully, and, recently, engage in bidding for and hosting sports mega-events. With the London 2012 Olympics on the horizon, it is an apt time to reflect on the reasons behind the increasing politicisation of sport and sports mega-events, and the increasing competition between states to host an Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup or one of the smaller international competitions, such as the Commonwealth Games.
Check out a thorough collection of articles about 9/11 via NYMAG‘s Encyclopedia of 9/11.
What Dinh didnâ€™t anticipate was a profound shift in liberalism and, therefore, in the politics of the country. Even with a Democrat now in the White House, the liberalism that protects the right of the individual against the majorityâ€”the politics of civil rights and abortion and gay marriageâ€”has diminished, in favor of one that aims to improve the lot of the median man. Obamaâ€™s liberalism is for the majority, not against it. This spirit, and the unlikely endurance of the Patriot Act, owes something to the central psychological events of the decade: the vitality and threat of new economic competitors, the social violence initiated by the authors of obscure financial instruments, but first and most of all September 11â€”each of which evoked a particular feeling, that we were all together, under attack. .::Patriot Act
Decades after the end of Jim Crow, and three years after the election of America’s first black president, the United States remains a profoundly segregated country.
That reality has been reinforced by the release of Census Bureau data last week that shows black and white Americans still tend to live in their own neighborhoods, often far apart from each other. Segregation itself, the decennial census report indicates, is only decreasing slowly, although the dividing lines are shifting as middle-income blacks, Latinos and Asians move to once all-white suburbs — whereupon whites often move away, turning older suburbs into new, if less distressed, ghettos.
Head on over to Salon to check out the rest of this article on (and slideshow of ^) the most segregated cites in America.
Now super texting tweens are being recruited to fend off forces of evil…
Cyber security has been at the forefront of American politics in recent months following high profile cyber security attacks like theÂ Stuxnet worm andÂ Aurora attacks. Those attacks underscored growing concern over the future of cyber security in the U.S. and the lack of native cybersecurity talent. Now aÂ new multi-state competition is seeking to encourage U.S. teens to develop the kinds of cyber security skills needed in the workforce.
The Cyber Foundations competition is a creation ofÂ The U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC), a national, public-private partnership focused on identifying and developing cyber security skills. It is openÂ to students nationally, with registration open until February 18, with awards being issued at the state level.
The Cyber Foundations competition was piloted in California, Maryland, and Rhode Island and is now being officially launched, with a number of states conducting formal campaigns to encourage schools and students to participate. Â USCCâ€™s goal is to find 10,000 talented Americans to fill the ranks of cyber security professionals where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation. (Source)
Given that this is an opinion article, from the Washington Post of all places, it should be taken with a grain of salt (and a dash of paprika).Â It’s kind of interesting, though.Â Republicans really ARE doing everything they can to discredit Obama, which is odd after they had the worst president in modern history (or at least recent memory) just 2 years ago… anyhow.
This is a critical moment for the country. From the faltering economy to the burdensome deficit to our foreign policy struggles, America is suffering a widespread sense of crisis and anxiety about the future. Under these circumstances, Obama has the opportunity to seize the high ground and the imagination of the nation once again, and to galvanize the public for the hard decisions that must be made. The only way he can do so, though, is by putting national interests ahead of personal or political ones.
To that end, we believe Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012. (Read More of this Semi Nonsense)
8 years ago… I STILL like this guy…
No surprise here, ninjas. Hillary Clinton can chalk one up in the W column tonight, winning the Pennsylvania primary byÂ a projected 8 points with 30% more precincts to report in. Let’s just hope she doesn’t let it go to her head … haaaaaaaa. I’m so sad.
This is Pennsylvania, folks. Barack Obama was never supposed to be close in this one, and Clinton is already trying to spin the victory as people being unsure about the viable nature of his candidacy. Apparently she forgot that she was supposed to have this in the bag back on or before Super Tuesday. And she would have gotten away with it, too. If it weren’t for those damned free thinkers and their ideals …
It is nice to see that the major media outlets are largely saying that this victory is merely allowing her campaign to continue to exist, rather than giving her any sort of boost she shouldn’t receive.
According to the Washington Post: Total Delegates: Obama – 1620; Clinton – 1499. Super delegates: Obama – 214; Clinton – 250. Delegates up for grabs (super and pledged): 852. There are 8 more contests.
In Iraq’s southern city of Basra, a critically important location because of it’s proximity to valuable oil and it’s trafficking, it is being reported that “thousands of Iraqi troops [are battling] Shia militias.” This is bad news for everyone. The BBC is reporting that at least 30 people have died, we can assume many more. Apparently, the situation in Basra has instigated altercations throughout the occupied nation, including Sadr City, a neighborhood of Baghdad. There, the militia has ordered the Iraqi army to vacate the vicinity.
Now, I’m trying to make as much sense of this situation as possible with the sources I have available to me, and it appears to be pretty complicated. As I understand it, the Mehdi militia, loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr, has been subject to a government crack-down. As a result, the movement has threatened then acted upon a national campaign of civil disobedience in the form of demonstrations and protests. The latest fighting is clearly an escalation of these actions. Ninjas will remember that Sadr’s supporters are currently heeding a call for a six-month cease-fire ordered by al-Sadr.
Different Shia groups are fighting against each other in Basra, as are they fighting government and international forces (though it hasn’t directly been reported that international forces have been involved, air-strikes have been, so that’s got to be either the US or the Brits). The Brits had control of the city until December of ’07, when they turned it over to the local authorities. Now, apparently, these authorities tried to disarm the Mehdi army. Poor decision. The Iraqi government and the U.S. accuse the Mehdi movement of receiving munitions, training, and funds from Iran.
We at the dojo will be keeping a close eye on this situation.
Once again Charles Krauthammer makes me want to vomit.
Today’s interpretation of Barack Obama’s superb address on race and his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, this past week is vial and no more than a clever attempt at framing the issue. Krauthammer seems to imply that all of Wright’s speeches are volatile and venomous. He seems to want to believe that week after week Barack and Michelle Obama would bring their children to hear someone speak ill of America and sow the seeds of racial hatred. He wants to believe that Wright wasn’t a man who could get caught up in the intensity of sermon and perhaps loose sight of what he was saying. He wants to believe, like so many others, that this pastor is not a man of the Christian faith at all, but a man full of hatred and contempt for whites and America. Well, ninjas ain’t that stupid.
Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?
Do you, Krauthammer, truly believe that Jeremiah Wright is a one faceted, America hating machine? Or will you acknowledge that as a pastor he, week after week, speaks of the gospels, of peace, of love, of truth and of unity? That he, too, would like nothing more than a nation indivisible, but that his observations and understanding of the past and present has made him realize that there is much moral and social progress to be made.
His language, at times, may not have been chosen with the utmost attention to political correctness, as yours and mine surely is. But he is neither politician nor pundit, he is a pastor. And Barack Obama has made it clear throughout this entire campaign that he is a rational, intelligent, independent and thorough thinker. The bottom line is: this relationship is of no concern in political discourse. If it is, then let’s talk about McCain asking Hague to support him.
And that whole thing about crack, well, let’s be real. As my ninja, Orange Menace, said “You think some hood from the PJs invented crack?” Who’s to say. But take a look at the sentences given for those involved with crack versus the much more expensive cocaine and you got yourself a f*cked up situation.
You have connections to Monsanto through the Rose Law Firm where you worked and through Bill who hired Monsanto people for central food-related roles. Your Orwellian-named â€œRural Americans for Hillaryâ€ was planned with Troutman Sanders, Monsantoâ€™s lobbyists.
Genetic engineering and industrialized food and animal production all come together at the Rose Law Firm, which represents the worldâ€™s largest GE corporation (Monsanto), GEâ€™s most controversial project (DP&Lâ€™s – now Monsantoâ€™s – terminator genes) [here], the worldâ€™s largest meat producer (Tyson), the worldâ€™s largest retailer and a dominant food retailer (Wal-Mart) [here].Â
What Bill did for Monsanto â€œgenetic engineeringâ€ goes beyond inadequate concepts of giving corporate friends influence: He unleashed genetic engineering into the world. And then he helped close off peopleâ€™s escape from it.
The New York Times’ piece on Cuba’s “Cyber-Rebels” suggests a very new type of revolution going on in the socialist nation. The technological advances of the 21st century have, apparently,Â proved to be quite trying for Cuba’s government. The island nation has major restrictions on internet accessÂ (which is not widely available to the public) and has a press that is strongly regulated by the state. As a result, Cubans are going cyber to get and spread information that may be considered sensitive [read: unacceptable]Â by the government. One such instance of unsanctioned information was the result of a recent confrontation between students and the president of Cuba’s National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon, in the form of video footage.Â The video can be seen below. A situation like this rightly begs the question: what will the information age doÂ to/for Cuba?Â Â