Categories
Politics

Why did Paul Ryan lie about his marathon time?

In a recent interview Paul Ryan gave a much faster personal record for his marathon time than he actually ran. Nicholas Thompson has a good overview, plus James Fallows as well. Ryan claimed to have finished “Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.” Via Thompson he actually finished with a 4:01 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Economics

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 […]

Categories
Evolution and Genomics

The Genomic Tsunami. Reshaping arguments for Human Equality.

This is part 3 of a 3 part series. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. In part 1, we saw how the 10,000 fold decease in genome sequencing costs is creating a golden age for genomics biology. In part 2, we reviewed recent debates about race, genetics and intelligence. Now we can put this together […]

Categories
Evolution and Genomics

Genomics goes from trickle to flood

This is part 2 of a 3 part series. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here. In part 1, we saw how the 10,000 fold decrease in genome sequencing costs has ushered in a golden age for genomic biology. This onslaught of genetic data is upending a lot of old views, and in particular it’s […]

Categories
Evolution and Genomics

Cheap genome sequencing – expectations and reality

  This is part 1 of a 3 part series. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here. The human genome project completed the first draft of the human genome in 2000 after a 10 year push. Looking back, what’s striking is the expectation this draft genome would provide immediate practical use in medicine. President […]

Categories
Aliens and Space

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 […]

Categories
Pop Culture

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 […]

Categories
Science

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.

Categories
Science

Science on the cusp of mainstream

William Gibson has a deservedly famous quote: The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed. Normally this is applied to technology, like smartphone adoption.