Links 3/31/15

Links for you. Science:

Defending Darwin: I teach human evolution at the University of Kentucky. There are some students I’ll never reach. (excellent)
Genome Study Predicts DNA of the Whole of Iceland: Large genome databases are starting to reveal critical health information—even about people who have not contributed their DNA.
Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal
The Dumbest Question You Can Ask a Scientist
Sharklet: A biotech startup fights germs with sharks

Other:

Amazon demands employees sign 18-month non-compete agreement to get a three-month-long job
The one wild possibility missing from most of the equally baseless Germanwings speculation
Out of Debtors’ Prison, With Law as the Key
Expanding Social Security: The Democratic Party Comes Home
That racist SAE song? Members say they learned it at a national fraternity leadership event
Opinion: National experiment in school choice, market solutions produces inequity
The Warren Effect: Here Is A Bluff That Needs To Be Called
It’s time to stop pretending James O’Keefe is only evil, he’s also dangerous
State scrubs exam questions — too many students didn’t answer
NJDOE, Hespe Turn Blind Eye to Segregating Charter Schools
How The Media Enable The Anti-Worker Movement
Best response to Starbucks telling employees to discuss race with customers
Assyriously cool friezes in downtown Boston
What’s the Matter with Wall Street?
In 23 states, richer school districts get more local funding than poorer districts

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3 Responses to Links 3/31/15

  1. Robert L Bell says:

    Great work today.

    About that “dumbest question you can ask a scientists” article, the economics of scientific investigation are known in great and robust detail.

    The frustrating paradox is that, while scientific investigation is far and away the most successful investment yet created or imagined, the very nature of Science and its results makes it difficult (to the point of impossible) for investors to capture the profits generated. This fact leads to the inevitable and systematic underinvestment in science – exemplified today by opportunities foregone and careers blasted by the hopefully temporary lack of funds.

    The traditional way to handle this is government supported basic research with private development of commercial products, paid for by judicious taxation of those products that succeed, but that system has been under long term decline in the wake of the Reagan Revolution and the triumph of the No Taxes Ever lunatics. And that problem requires a political solution towards which science does not provide a whole lot of advice.

  2. I’m confused about how Amazon’s non-compete agreements of temp workers are beneficial to them considering the unemployment benefit taxes.
    Or is this another way a big company has figured out that they can benefit from public benefits systems somehow? That somehow it’s cheaper to force their employees to be on unemployment and subject to random recall as needed, willy nilly, with them ready in waiting… than to actually pay them properly or offer more people steady employment…?

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