Partisan Incomprehension. “You didn’t build that” edition.

The theme for the first day of the Republican convention was “We Built It.” What struck me was not that the Republicans twisted an Obama quote to make a tag line. Rather it was how some people found the focus on that line simply incomprehensible. And yet that incomprehension has a story to tell. In… Continue reading Partisan Incomprehension. “You didn’t build that” edition.

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Categorized as Politics

The Enduring Appeal of Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand is in the news this month since Congressman and VP hopeful Paul Ryan cited her as a major influence. In reaction, Paul Krugman wrote that Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged is “a perennial favorite among adolescent boys”. And in regard to the G.O.P.:“What does it say about the party when its intellectual leader evidently gets… Continue reading The Enduring Appeal of Ayn Rand

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Categorized as Politics

Ricardo does the medal count

Olympic medal count predictions are good fun, especially by economists who put a model behind them. But with the Olympics over it’s already hard to care much about the medal race between China and the US. But maybe that’s because we used the wrong economists. You know, ones who are alive. Perhaps the best economist to… Continue reading Ricardo does the medal count

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Categorized as Economics

Closing the astronaut window. Robots onward.

The recent release of the wonderful mars rover pancam shot above shows how real space exploration is being done. I used to enjoy science fiction books and movies about astronauts doing space exploration, but the tropes involved just don’t ring true anymore. Those tropes were formed around the time of the Apollo program and haven’t… Continue reading Closing the astronaut window. Robots onward.

Adventures at Safeway

During this week’s trip to safeway for food shopping I was zoning out in the check out line since it was taking forever. The guy behind me complained and switched to another line. After a while I noticed the woman in front of me had crinkled dollar bills, tons of nickels, dimes and quarters spread… Continue reading Adventures at Safeway

Higgs nightmare scenario – still good science

Sean Carroll had some great posts about the recent Higgs boson announcement. In particular the video he posted is quite moving, especially when Peter Higgs is shown saying he did not expect it in his lifetime. The enthusiasm is contagious.

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Categorized as Science