Watching the news about Egypt and the debate as to whether Twitter, Facebook, etc.. are inherently pro-democracy, I’m struck by a connection to Joseph Tainter’s 1988 classic, The Collapse of Complex Societies.
I am not very ethical about how I eat. I am not proud of this, but it is the truth. I am not a vegan or a vegetarian. In fact, I eat a lot of bacon and beef - I’d probably eat Soylent Green if given the option.
Are men expendable? After millennia of vigorously hoisting their species to the top of the food chain, is XY now a barrier to additional progress? Has the ball game for “dudes” expired? Will the future be self-reproducing super-women? With males”¦ extinct?
How different does the universe look on small, medium, and large scales? The most famous short science film of its generation, Powers of Ten, originally created in the 1960s, answers that question by offering eye-opening comparisons.
From a picnic blanket near Chicago out past the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, every ten seconds the film pans out to show a square a factor of ten times larger on each side. The video then reverses, panning back in a factor of ten every two seconds and ends up inside a single proton.
I’ve spent almost a month in Egypt and can tell you that what I saw was a divide between the rich and poor, corruption, and poverty. As the picture on this page shows of me in Cairo standing in the middle of garbage, something common all over the city, things have got to change. However I also saw the rise of the internet and cell phone use.
Looking ahead to the middle of this century, will the United States still be the world’s dominant superpower? Could China reach parity with the US, or even achieve superiority? Or might we see a wide open multi-polar world with no major controlling powers?
Asked when, if ever, a robot would deserve ‘human’ rights, respondents to a recently concluded poll of our readers showed dissatisfaction with the range of answers we offered. Almost 22% gave their own answers, and another 10% said they weren’t sure.
It can’t be. Even a so-called “identical twin” is not an identical twin. Even if one’s DNA is the same as another person, as with identical twins, there are differences in terms of when particular genes within that DNA are turned on and off.
This animation was adapted from a talk given at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.
Sascha Vongehr is a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures and the Philosophy Department of Nanjing University. This is his first article for the IEET.
The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. Oreskes documents the misuse of science, driven by free-market fundamentalist ideology, to mislead the public on matters ranging from the risks of smoking to the reality of global warming. The people the authors accuse in this carefully documented book are themselves scientistsâ€”mostly physicists, former cold warriors who now serve a conservative agenda, and vested interests like the tobacco industry.