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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Nanotech 

This article in the Washington Post about nanotechnology and the blooming anti-nano movement is really interesting for any amateur science geeks or would-be consumer rights activists out there.

This is probably the most practically applicable of modern science's recent discoveries/creations. The trend to pre-empt technological advancement through civil and legislative action can be viewed through two lenses. The first is articulated and explained quite well in the article with its insightful parallel to the reception of and fallout from the extensive use in biotechnology in agriculture. The idea is that such efforts, if overexaggerated, demonstrate that science must look more carefully at its new babies before releasing them into the world, and that such internal-to-the-field scrutiny can prevent both bad public reception and real fallout from irresponsible use in the future.

The other, and perhaps more overlooked and therefore more important to acknowledge lens through which this process can be viewed is the political one. The question is whether the debate over the use and/or abuse of this new technology can be a rational and real one rather than one skewed on the one side by overzealous defenders of the public latching onto worst-case scenarios and preventing real progress through innovation or on the other by capture of both the science and the political process leading to its regulation or lack thereof by industrial and corporate interests with more stake in their own bottom line than in what is best for the public, the enironment, or science. In other words, if the debate over the technology is dominated by the views of organo-hippies or Dow Chemical, the outcome could be a disaster.

"Everybody agrees that if nanotechnology is going to be the next industrial revolution, it would be nice if it were a cleaner revolution than the last one. "

If only I had the faith in corporate-capitalism to believe that the "person" that is Dow or Monsanto really "agreed" with that statement in a meaningful way.

Combine that with this:

"And although the nano spending bill that Bush recently signed calls for social and environmental concerns to be addressed, efforts to include a minimum dollar amount for such studies lost out in the final draft."

Hmm...

With Ashcroft yacking about "evil biology" and "evil chemistry", Bush and Cheney so blatantly and unapologetically in the pockets of industry, and the new message that "faith" is as important as science when it comes to government activities, I'm of two minds about this new technology coming into its own at this moment in our history.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Retarded in Georgia 

Check this out.

"The state's school superintendent has proposed striking the word evolution from Georgia's science curriculum and replacing it with the phrase 'biological changes over time.'"

You gotta be fuckin' kidding me.

The idea is to keep the hardcore biblical-creationists (cue Deliverance theme music now) from freaking out everytime they hear the word "evolution", while still allowing teachers in schools to teach the theory as part of Biology class. It's ultra-conservative political correctness mutated to circumvent imbred ignants.

New Matter 

Neato.

One time I discovered a new kind of matter in the bottom of a jar of peanut butter.

Pandagon 

Is the best blog ever. As evidenced by, along with the usual deluge of fabulousness, this post, which is a clear blue ribbon, thumbs-up, rock-on, head-and-shoulders above the rest shoe-in for best title to a blog-post in the history of the universe.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Like a Drunken Sailor... 

...but at least some of the money is going to a damn good cause. Bush is upping funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Man I love it when this man makes my conservative friends get their little fiscal responsibility panties in a wad. YEEHAW!!!

I guess I'm happy about this, but if I find out that wannabe hick is trying to censor the funded work I'll vomit on his shoes and call it "Beefy Toes Goes to Washington".

Oh...and every real conservative in this country should be as ashamed of the pandering of your figurehead as I had to be watching Clinton go from populist powerhouse to adulterous lapdog.

For those who like to Parse 

A little list compiled by the Center for American Progress and simplified by Atrios. Now...did the adminiistration, or did it not, say we were under an "imminent threat" from Iraq.

Really, this should be a dead issue after Kay's recent announcements. What I want to know is this: How do George H. W. Bush's old buddies in the CIA (there must be a few left over from when he was in charge) and the rest of the intellligence community feel about his policy-retarded son blaming them for his own hubris? Perhaps he'll just take it out on his son's pet politics-savant, Karl.

Either way, there were no WMD...just like the inspectors from the UN and the IAEA that Bush pretends weren't in Iraq right before we bombed the shit out of it were trying to say before we bombed the shit out of it. I was called crazy for suggesting they might be right, and now I want my goddamn cookie.

One more thing...if you think the CIA is going to take their new role as scapegoat lying down...don't bet on it.

UPDATE: I promise I'll start taking grammar and spelling lessons next week, so a post like this never happens again...


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Hehehe 

This is pretty funny. I don't think it means anything (which apparently some lefty bloggers are claiming), but it is pretty amusing...

Click here and scroll down to check out the Republican NH primary results.

The reason I don't read into this is simple: I'm a card-carrying Republican. Shocked? Well, that's what happens when you vote in the Republican primary for your first ever presidential election vote (that would be 2000, when I went out of my way to try to keep Bush out of office by voting for McCain in the primary. And for the record, I still have a great deal of respect for Mr. McCain, and feel strongly that he would have made a damn good president, or at least a helluva lot better than the tripe we ended up with).

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Tin Foil Hats 

You might think I would link to this article to complain about the lack of accountability when the Justice Department determines there has been no abuse of the Patriot Act. Given my opinion of our Sorcerer General, that would be a fairly good assumption. Instead, I link to it to complain about the use of language. Check this:

"Most of the complaints -- 720 -- were found to be "unrelated" to civil liberties or civil rights. These included people who claim the government is broadcasting harmful signals to people or that its agents are intercepting their dreams, according to the report."

Now, I don't think the government can intercept people's dreams. Were they able to, however, this would clearly be related to civil rights and civil liberties. Call them ridiculous, call them paranoid, but they are definitely not "unrelated" to civil liberties. Once again, I'm not lending these claims credibility, so don't go fitting yourself for aluminium headgear just yet, but the looseness of language usage from what should be a bunch of lawyers is sloppy at best and should be disturbing to anyone who values semantic precision...

Monday, January 26, 2004

Economy "sucks" 

This is interesting (ripped from Hesiod).


Ashcroft is a fuckin' LOON!!! 

As part of the Bush Administration's policy of justifying the war in light of the fact that there is increasing evidence (read: it is all but an established fact) that there are/were no WMD in Iraq despite the lies they pushed in the lead-up, we get this gem from John Ashcroft, our Sorcerer...er...Attorney General.

"Weapons of mass destruction including evil chemistry and evil biology are all matters of great concern, not only to the United States but also to the world community. They were the subject of U.N. resolutions."

"Evil biology" and "evil chemistry"? You gotta be fuckin' kidding me. I don't even know how to react to this nonsense except to say that this guy is totally off his rocker. Has anyone told him that we have (and continue to manufacture) everything we claimed Saddam had? Are we, therefore, "evil"?

God save us from your followers...

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Get Your War On 

Consistently funny, but every now and then it's priceless; this is one of those times.

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