Archive for March, 2003
I like this article – more people should know how to be skeptical.
I began this list of warning signs to help federal judges detect scientific nonsense. But as I finished the list, I realized that in our increasingly technological society, spotting voodoo science is a skill that every citizen should develop.
I love Dan Gilmor, but sometimes his “little guy” mentality drives me nuts.
Remember who lost in this spinning. First were the little investors who bought over-hyped stocks that have since crashed. Second were the companies selling stock; the huge gains their shares tended to make at the peak of the bubble meant that the investment bankers were pricing the offerings much too low. That meant less money in the coffers of small companies, some promising, that would eventually need every dime.
The “little guys” didn’t lose any more than the big guys – it’s a fallacy to assume that all the big guys got out, while the little guys were holding the bag.
The companies selling stock did get short-changed by the bankers, because if their stock ran up the first day after the IPO, they left some money on the table. On the other hand, most of these companies should never have gone public in the first place, so they were already making more money than they really deserved.
A cool book review on Slashdot:
James Yonan writes “For years, the space elevator concept has been a staple of science fiction fare, popularized by Arthur C. Clark in The Fountains of Paradise, a convenient and plausibly feasible technology for building a vertical railroad of sorts, tens of thousands of kilometers tall, linking earth with geosynchronous orbit. Unsatisfied with the unquestioning consignment of the space elevator concept to science fiction status, authors Bradley C. Edwards and Eric A. Westling set out to understand why it could or couldn’t be done. The result is a compelling new book, backed up by voluminous research, which concludes that space elevators are near-term-feasible. Edwards and Westling have not only convinced roomfuls of skeptics of the basic concept, but have also won serious funding from NASA for continuing their work. This book, The Space Elevator, is one of the fruits of their ongoing research.”
The first entry – woo hoo! I’m starting a weblog just to get in on the act, and to preserve some of the cool stuff I see. This is mostly for myself, to see if I find it useful.