From a boy who loved NASA: How 49 heroes lost the right stuff and sullied their names over climate politics

NASA, science, polictics, denial, AGW, climate change

That’s the sort of hard-headedness that I used to love about NASA - the idea that humans, if they just kept plugging away, could figure stuff out - and that other humans - astronauts and test pilots - would stake their very lives on it. Not this hand-wringing by deniers that argue we can’t figure anything out, we can’t afford to do anything, it’s all a vast hoax, and we shouldn’t try. A far cry from the can-do of NASA. How could guys that once put their very lives in the hands of science be so dumb about it as they get old?

http://www.shawnotto.com/neorenaissance/blog20120413.html

Academic publishing: Open sesame

vendor lockin, Elsevier, the economist, open access, academic publishing, publishing, openaccess, oa

PUBLISHING obscure academic journals is that rare thing in the media industry: a licence to print money. An annual subscription to Tetrahedron, a chemistry journal, will cost your university library $20,269; a year of the Journal of Mathematical Sciences will set you back $20,100. In 2011 Elsevier, the biggest academic-journal publisher, made a profit of £768m ($1.2 billion) on revenues of £2.1 billion. Such margins (37%, up from 36% in 2010) are possible because the journals’ content is largely provided free by researchers, and the academics who peer-review their papers are usually unpaid volunteers. The journals are then sold to the very universities that provide the free content and labour. For publicly funded research, the result is that the academics and taxpayers who were responsible for its creation have to pay to read it. This is not merely absurd and unjust; it also hampers education and research.

http://www.economist.com/node/21552574

Will the techno-optimists save the world? - Paul Gilding

optimism bias, optimism, time, environment, technology, TED, techno-optimism, sustainability, climat

Driven by their optimism bias, people use the clearly huge opportunity of technology to reassure themselves we won’t face a crisis. They believe any serious limits in the system will be avoided because technology will intervene and we’ll adapt. There are two reasons I think this is wrong and may actually be dangerous. Firstly, while technology has huge potential to address the issues we face, without strong price signals and other government support, large-scale technology change takes a very long time. We see this today where, though there are many programs supporting clean technology around the world, it is taking a long time – many decades – for this technology to have scale impact. This is the second reason the techno-optimists view is wrong, the science says we simply don’t have a long time. In fact we’re completely out of time, with the evidence clear that the ecosystem limits have already been breached. This is no longer forecasts but rather the measurement of today’s reality.

http://paulgilding.com/cockatoo-chronicles/will-the-techno-optimists-save-the-world.html

James Bridle – Waving at the Machines

james bridle, computer world, perception, perspective, machine readable, new aesthetic, video, machi

So what I’m going to talk today, obliquely, about is a project that I’ve been sort of accidentally engaged in for the last six months or so, to which I gave the name “The New Aesthetic,” which is a rubbish name but it seems to have taken hold. And people are responding to it, which is good. And I’m going to try and talk through some of the symptoms of that, this project, this way of seeing, that is itself about ways of seeing. And this talk is about the aesthetics of that. So this idea extends in all directions and through all forms in media and technologies. But because I have nice big screens here, I’m going to show you a lot of pictures of it.

http://www.webdirections.org/resources/james-bridle-waving-at-the-machines/

Hyungkoo Lee

hyungkoo lee, art, drawing, sphere, mask, sculpture

[Hyungkoo Lee 06[6].jpg] (via http://lh4.ggpht.com/_bJLcML1b9aM/TP0CYNg2CDI/AAAAAAAADLo/NnK3GnBs66U/s1600-h/Hyungkoo Lee 06[6].jpg)

[Hyungkoo Lee 03[6].jpg] (via http://lh6.ggpht.com/_bJLcML1b9aM/TP0CTwrNieI/AAAAAAAADLQ/XodXDh2ZBtE/s1600-h/Hyungkoo Lee 03[6].jpg)

[Hyungkoo Lee 02[6].jpg] (via http://lh6.ggpht.com/_bJLcML1b9aM/TP0CSxN9y0I/AAAAAAAADLI/rzcbJ-3Qbbg/s1600-h/Hyungkoo Lee 02[6].jpg)

[Hyungkoo Lee 01[6].jpg] (via http://lh3.ggpht.com/_bJLcML1b9aM/TP0CReH8s3I/AAAAAAAADLA/JGb7LL3ejeI/s1600-h/Hyungkoo Lee 01[6].jpg)