Weekly Link Roundup #1

A long, long time ago before the era of this current blog, back before I wrote essays and instead just wrote short little things, I used to run a weekly segment where all I did was post links to some of the many awesome website articles I’ve been reading… you know… on websites that aren’t my own. It is kind of shocking how many good articles aren’t written by me, as I’ve highlighted in my list of essays that inspire me.

Well, a weekly listing of good articles I have stamped with my “+1″ is in order. I have been asked to bring it back, and now that I am writing on a five-day-a-week tentative “format” rather than a three-day-a-week tentative “format”, I have room to include it.

So here it goes; in no particular order, I present the first “weekly link roundup” of the newest generation:

  • America’s Debt: Shame on The Republicans: interestingly, it’s a Washington Post article
  • The Poltifact Truth Index: “Just as the Dow measures the ups and downs of the stock market, our Truth Index tracks the ups and downs of political discourse with a statistical average of PolitiFact’s state and national Truth-O-Meter rulings.”
  • Lab Yeast Make Evolutionary Leap: “IN JUST a few weeks single-celled yeast have evolved into a multicellular organism, complete with division of labour between cells.”
  • Symphony of Science: “The Symphony of Science is a musical project headed by John Boswell, designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form.” Actually even more amazing than it sounds.
  • Why the Republicans Resist Compromise: “The chart that I’m going to show you is one of the more important ones that we’ve presented at FiveThirtyEight in some time.”
  • Richard Carrier on “Did Jesus Exist?” [Youtube]: A rather hillarious 40-minute speech by Richard Carrier on the historicity of the Gospels given at Skepticon 2.
  • The Ideological Turing Test Contest: “Caplan challenged partisans to see if they could explain and the positions of their opponents well enough to pass as one of their ideological enemies. [...] Here, Christians will sham amidst a group on genuine atheists and vice versa. The plausibility of their counterfeits will be determined by open voting.”
  • Searching for the Meaning of Life in the Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “the very similar ‘What is the meaning of life?’ question, seem to be committing a basic category error: life isn’t the kind of thing to which the word ‘meaning’ or ‘answer’ applies.”
  • There Will be Two Internets: “Social media isn’t really something Google saw as a priority until Facebook locked them out. Facebook activity – user information, shares, Likes – can’t be indexed, archived, or even sold against by Google. The Internet as seen through Google is now only a piece of the greater web story – and the company is scared.”
  • Efficient Charity is Do Unto Others: “The Roman historian Sallust said of Cato “He preferred to be good, rather than to seem so”. The lawyer who quits a high-powered law firm to work at a nonprofit organization certainly seems like a good person. But if we define “good” as helping people, then the lawyer who stays at his law firm but donates the profit to charity is taking Cato’s path of maximizing how much good he does, rather than how good he looks.”
  • How Digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet: “What the inspectors didn’t know was that the answer they were seeking was hidden all around them, buried in the disk space and memory of Natanz’s computers. Months earlier, in June 2009, someone had silently unleashed a sophisticated and destructive digital worm that had been slithering its way through computers in Iran with just one aim — to sabotage the country’s uranium enrichment program and prevent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from building a nuclear weapon.”
  • Longest Word in English [Wikipedia]: “The identity of the longest word in English depends upon the definition of what constitutes a word in the English language, as well as how length should be compared.”
  • Postrank Ranks the Ted Talks: “This is our experiment on TED.com speakers to find out which are the most engaging and where that engagement is coming from on the social web.”
  • How Paul Krugman Found Politics: “When he has a draft, he gives it to Wells to edit. Early on, she edited a lot—she had, they felt, a better sense than he did of how to communicate economics to the layperson. But he’s much better at that now, and these days she focusses on making him less dry, less abstract, angrier.”
  • Instruction Manual for Life and Why Live [Youtube]: Two Youtube video parables about living life.


I now blog at EverydayUtilitarian.com. I hope you'll join me at my new blog! This page has been left as an archive.

On 15 Jul 2011 in All, Link Roundup. No Comments.

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