Links 5/7/17

Links for you. Science:

Inflection points for @nanopore sequencing
How a Frog Became the First Mainstream Pregnancy Test
Anti-vaccine activists spark a state’s worst measles outbreak in decades
Afterword. Chiropractic and The New York Times. Is the newspaper TRYING to prove Trump right?
Louisiana’s coast was already sickly. Now it’s being hit by a plague.


The Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget: A Different Path Forward (“The Congressional Progressive Caucus released its annual budget today… If past patterns hold, it will likely be ignored by the media. Of course, the budget is not about to be adopted by Congress and signed by the president, but as a path forward it certainly is no less realistic than the various budgets put forward in past years by now Speaker Paul Ryan.”)
What we talk about when we talk about Susan Sarandon (the point about abortion is very valid)
Trump Doesn’t Understand Health Care — Shouldn’t The Press Say So?
Some Lesser-Known Truths About Academe
Betsy Bloomingdale and Diana Vreeland: the real cultural front of the New Right. And where Donald Trump developed his political aesthetic (Debora Silverman’s book is excellent)
Islamic State magazine steers followers to U.S. gun shows for ‘easy’ access to weapons
The right’s new love affair with Russia
The New York Times: Promoting False Hope as Journalism
I know the challenge of big class sizes
Steve Rattner is peddling nonsense about America’s budget deficit
Education Is Just Another Issue
Trump appoints Charmaine Yoest, our index Aunt Lydia, to Health and Human Services
Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong
After 100 Days of Trump, America’s Gotten Corruption Fatigue
Some New England Jews, Wary Of U.S. Politics, Reclaim German Citizenship
The spiritual ruin of a universal basic income (why we can’t have a 30-hour work week though…)

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2 Responses to Links 5/7/17

  1. A. U. Contraire says:

    Plait certainly proves that you can be a smart scientist and still talk out your ass about climate change.

    “…when it comes to global warming; they have posted a large number of laugh-out-loud ridiculous climate editorials, from claims that warming isn’t real to the forehead-smacking “carbon dioxide is plant food” bull defecaciousness.”

    Well, the warming is certainly real, but we have real data from remote sensing about how plants are actually responding globally to increases in carbon dioxide.

    Some salient points from the authors:

    1. 25% to 50% of global vegetated area are greening but only 4% are browning despite an increase in droughts.

    2. IPCC models underestimate this greening and, as a result, may overestimate temperature increases in their projections.

    3. Lab studies indicate that this fertilization effect is expected to diminish over time as plants acclimate. (though, I might add, nobody expected to find this signal to begin with. All models are wrong. Some are useful.)

    4. Authors point out that negative aspects of climate change must be acknowledged. They support actions to mitigate climate change.

    That’s being honest about climate change. If you want deniers to acknowledge the negative effects, you can’t have credibility if you make easily falsifiable statements like “But no matter what, the choices are between bad things happening and very bad things happening.” Plait actually links to his own blog post in which he only admits that “increasing CO2 may help some plants in some places, but it will have catastrophic effects elsewhere. ” That’s the same sort of “tactic” of pulling a point out of your butt that isn’t supported by current scientific evidence that Plait bemoans of “deniers”. 25% to 50% greening versus 4% browning to this point is the reverse of what he seems to claim should be happening. And, yeah, if your house is 20 feet underwater or if you live in an area that is new desert, you won’t be particularly comforted that they are growing fantastic tomatoes in Australia, but, if you are going to make calls for honesty about climate change, you have to be honest about the points that don’t support your preferred course of action. If you aren’t, it makes it very easy for the anti-science crowd to decide you’re completely full of shit even if 90% of the science is on your side.

  2. albanaeon says:


    The complaint against UBI is that there would be NO jobs anymore? Seems somewhat strawmanish as adding capital back into the economy at large would probably spike the need for worker to fulfill the new demands.

    If people actually thought of it as the government setting the lowest you can drop to “still have roof over your head and food to eat,” I wonder if it’d be better understood.

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