I just tweeted on a subject that I suspected would cause a stir, and so it has, I’m moving it here:
RafeFurst: I strongly support a soda tax! RT @mobilediner: check it out: a Soda Tax? http://amplify.com/u/dvl
coelhobruno: @RafeFurst what about diet soda? Would it be exempt?
RafeFurst: @coelhobruno no diet soda would not b exempt from tax. Tax should be inversely proportional to total nutritional content. Spinach = no tax
Lauren Baldwin: I do as well … and while they are at it they should tax fake fruit juice too.
Kevin Dick: I think this would be an interesting experiment. I predict a tax does not cause any measurable decrease in BMI.
Kim Scheinberg: New York has had this under consideration for a year. Perhaps surprisingly, I’m against it. In theory, people will drink less soda. In reality, it will just be another tax on people who can afford it the least.
Leaving aside the “rights” issues and …
From Monday’s Washington Post:
The District, New York and Los Angeles are on track for fewer killings this year than in any other year in at least four decades. Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis and other cities are also seeing notable reductions in homicides.
Full article is here, in which more sensible police approaches are given credit for the decline.…
Shadows live in a simple world. They glide effortlessly across any sort of surface, oblivious to the higher dimension of space in which 3-D bodies move, collide and sometimes block the paths of rays of light.
Shadows have no idea how important that third dimension is, and how objects in it endow those very shadows with their quasi-physical existence. Indeed, the laws of shadow physics all depend on the third dimension’s presence. And just as the clueless inhabitants of the shadow world require an extra dimension to explain how they exist and interact, reality for humans may also depend on an invisible dimension or dimensions unknown.
Heng, et al recently published a review paper that brings together and touches on many different aspects of cancer complexity. I thought this an opportunity to selectively quote the paper and organize the quotes loosely around various complex systems concepts they relate to. I’m curious whether this makes sense to readers of this blog, or whether there’s too much unexplained jargon and too many large conceptual leaps. Please ask questions or make comments freely below.
One preface I think will help is to understand that genome, karyotype and chromosome refer roughly to the same thing. Here are several schematics that I will present without explanation that together illustrate how genes relate to genome/karyotype/chromosome structure, and how that in turn relates to the so-called genetic network (loosely equivalent to the “proteome”). Of course “gene” is an outdated and inaccurate concept, so don’t get too hung up looking for genes here, just understand that they are sub-structural elements of the genome.
From MSU website
We all know the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. TED Prize Wish winner, Karen Armstrong, even laudably proposed that a Charter for Compassion based on the observation that all three Abrahamic traditions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) have the Golden Rule at their core.
I do believe that if we all followed the Golden Rule as the basis for how we treat one another the world would be a better place. But I also think there is a a more fundamental rule, call it the Diamond Rule, which is even better:
Treat others as you believe they would want you to treat them, if they knew everything that you did.
The difference is subtle, and may not practically speaking yield different action that often. But when it does, the difference can be significant.…
In Juan Enriquez’ TED talk earlier this year, he made the point that humans have entered a new phase of evolution, one that has not been seen on before modern humans and their technology. This, of course, is one of the main theses of Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Singularity is Near, and the main justification for the creation of The Singularity Institute (plus related Singularity Summit), and now just recently, Singularity University.
Lest you think the concept of Homo Evolutis — a species that can control its own evolutionary path by radically extend healthy human lifespan and ultimately merging with its technology — is a fringe concept share by sci-fi dreamers who don’t have a handle on reality, check out the list of people in charge of Singularity University (link above), the Board members of the Lifeboat Foundation, and throw in Stephen Hawking for good measure, who says, “Humans Have Entered a New Phase of Evolution“. These people not only …