Weekend Reads 1/14/17

Attributing the DNC Hacks to Russia

If the government is going to take public action against a cyberattack, it needs to make its evidence public. But releasing secret evidence might get people killed, and it would make any future confidentiality assurances we make to human sources completely non-credible. This problem isn't going away; secrecy helps the intelligence community, but it wounds our democracy.

155 readers like this.

Are Minimum Wage Jobs Meant for Teenagers?

Two million American workers will be seeing bigger paychecks after their states voted in November to raise the minimum wage. By 2020 the minimum hourly wage is scheduled to go up to $12 per hour in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine, and $13.50 in Washington.

350 readers like this.

Persuading a Climate Skeptic

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams is at it again. Fresh from congratulating himself for predicting Donald Trump's victory, Adams is applying his "persuasion filter" to climate science. His premise is simple.

I can’t tell which argument is right. I’m not smart enough to evaluate this sort of topic. But if we are looking at the persuasion dimension alone, one of these is far stronger persuasion than the other.

196 readers like this.

Weekend Reads 1/7/17

Why One Neuroscientist Started Blasting His Core

If stress is controlled by these few cortical areas—the part of the brain that deals in high-level executive functioning, our beliefs and existential understandings of ourselves—why would any sort of body movement play a part in decreasing stress?

The Death Of Expertise

176 readers like this.

The Consequences of Fake News

If you're on Facebook, you've probably seen some of the breathless, clickbaity political headlines. Republicans Ban First Amendment in Congress or California Democrats Legalize Child Prostitution.

187 readers like this, including you.

Weekend Reads 12/31/16

Ready for flooding: Boston analyzes how to tackle climate change

Damage from flooding, too, will increase as the climate warms. Around the middle of the century, the report projects that about seven percent of the city could be under water during one-in-10-year rainstorms unless the storm water system is improved. That includes portions of the subways and major highways, some of which are designated evacuation routes.

156 readers like this.

Climate Change: The Human Fingerprint

How do we know global warming is caused by the 30 billion tons of CO2 spewed into the atmosphere by human activity? Here are ten pieces of evidence. Click the image for additional information from Skeptical Science.

244 readers like this.

Weekend Reads 12/24/16

Fake news and fake gospels

I consciously try to take people at their word when they are talking about their religious convictions rather than assuming their beliefs are politics or some other ideology in thin religious trappings. The past year or so has challenged that posture significantly and raised questions about how fellow Christians are so easily taken captive by things like fake news and have such itching ears for fake gospels.

138 readers like this.

The Trolley Problem

Imagine you're standing next to the tracks when you see an out-of-control trolley heading your way. Up ahead are five workers standing on the track, just far enough away that they can't hear you yelling. If you do nothing, they will all die. But next to you is a switch that will divert the trolley to another track. However, there is a worker standing on that track as well. Do you pull the switch?

237 readers like this.

Weekend Reads 12/17/16

First Dinosaur Tail Found Preserved in Amber

While individual dinosaur-era feathers have been found in amber, and evidence for feathered dinosaurs is captured in fossil impressions, this is the first time that scientists are able to clearly associate well-preserved feathers with a dinosaur, and in turn gain a better understanding of the evolution and structure of dinosaur feathers.

240 readers like this.


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