Tag Archives: technology

What I learned from six months of GMO research: None of it matters

Wow, this article streams about 20 of my gravest passions – grave in the sense of their depressing content – but mostly it’s an intriguing look at society’s relationship with technology. Thank you for this, Nathanael Johnson.


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Grist

About a third of the way through this series on GMOs, after a particularly angry conflagration broke out on Twitter, I asked my wife, Beth, if I could tell her what had happened. I was hoping to exorcise those digital voices from my head. Someone had probably accused me of crimes against humanity, shoddy journalism, and stealing teddy bears from children — I forget the details, thank goodness. But I remember Beth’s response.

“No offense,” she said, “but who cares?”

It’s a little awkward to admit this, after devoting so much time to this project, but I think Beth was right. The most astonishing thing about the vicious public brawl over GMOs is that the stakes are so low.

I know that to those embroiled in the controversy this will seem preposterous. Let me try to explain.

Let’s start off with a thought experiment: Imagine two alternate futures, one in…

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My nephew’s film debut!

Youth Team – How to do Research from
North Van Museum and Archives


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Produce, publish, and promote: Tell your story

Atavist facilitates the process from beginning to end, in any digital format:

Likened to Etsy by the NY Times, Atavist is a platform for media craftsmen. It’s a platform that integrates all media formats and adapts to emerging devices, and not just for “serious” writers, this app may very well do for writing what the printing press did for reading and the Internet did for knowing.

I can here the click-click-clicking of your thoughts already!

Check out four other “revolutionary apps for digital storytellers” vetted by the Tyee.


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This is not a baby sweater

In a post dedicated to an aunt’s love for her niece, my words fell short when trying to describe the mathematics of knitting, and other handwork. Well, no need for words. These miracles of “Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten Projects,” illustrate just how dorky mathematicians can really be!

susan-marie is a total math dork, what’s worse? She knits! Check out her work in an article she wrote for American Scientist:

 

 

That is one continuous surface people. Think about that.


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Hands on household gadgets

Another gem from Houzz:

People-powered AND pretty!


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Neutral technology is exactly the problem

This is dedicated to my former students. In case I didn’t quite make clear my message about technology being good, bad, or neutral, let me sum up…

Google Images: Technology
Philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, and even some savvy technologists (engineers included), have long debated the neutrality of technology: Is it inherently good or is it inherently evil?  Even as I am writing this, an article just appeared in my inbox asking “Is The Digital World Hurting Us Or Making Things Easier?

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There was a protest at school today…

“There was a protest at school today,” my 10-year-old began. “At recess, 200 kids started chanting: We want our playground back! We want our playground back!” It brought tears to my eyes: He knows the word PROTEST!

Recently, he and his sister also learned the word indentured. Oddly, this little lesson came from a Christmas song: 

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Banal

… it sounds funny. When I first heard it, I felt there must be a joke in there somewhere, but it somehow escapes double entendres. So, I left it printed with thousands of others on the pages of a Gutenberg legacy, the dictionary.  Until yesterday, when I realized that the dictionary has mechanized its utility, and sapped it of its meaning, its substance, because the dictionary offers no context. Continue reading


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