Monday, May 31, 2021

Science and culture

The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them.

— Alexander Pope, born in 1688

Chinese scientists created COVID-19 in a lab and then tried to cover their tracks, new study claims | Daily Mail Online.

Discuss "'Much sadness': Tax office in working-from-home court fight"

Report: USPS ‘Internet Covert Operations Program’ Is ‘Much Broader in Scope Than Previously Known’.

They can't deliver the mail on time, but they have time for spying. Heads should roll.

Translating sites, search engines, social networks, browsers, ISPs, and other internet entities into geographic features, Martin Vargic has created a map of the internet circa 2021.

It includes several thousand of some of the most popular websites, represented as distinct “countries”, which are grouped together with others of similar type or category, forming dozens of distinct clusters, regions and continents that stretch throughout the map, such as “news sites”, “search engines”, “social networks”, “e-commerce”, “adult entertainment”, “file sharing”, “software companies” and so much more. In the center of it all can be found ISPs and web browsers, which form the core and backbone of the internet as we know it, while the far south is the domain of the mysterious “dark web”.

See also an actual map of the known internet from May 1973.

  1. “You cannot understand what science is, and therefore cannot really do philosophy of science, without understanding the extent to which science is embedded in culture” — a defense of ethnoscience from Justin E.H. Smith (Paris)
  2. Would you like to learn how to incorporate argument-mapping into your teaching? — there’s a free seminar on it coming up in June, sponsored by ThinkerAnalytix and Harvard’s Dept. of Philosophy
  3. A list of black studies texts philosophers should be reading — a list from Nicholas Whittaker (CUNY)
  4. If we’re interested in holding police accountable, we need to know what they should do. Medicine and public health provide some instructive analogies. — Brandon del Pozo (Miriam Hospital/Brown University) on how to improve policing
  5. Mommy-shaming and philosophy of science — Cailin O’Connor (UC Irvine) on “the use of scientific findings to promote unrealistic standards for modern parents”
  6. When does a philosophy Ph.D. go “stale”? — a discussion of some findings from Charles Lassiter (Gonzaga)
  7. Some infinities are bigger than others — a new animation tells the story of Hilbert’s Hotel

Mashable: “COVID vaccines give us much better protection than a COVID infection, say infectious disease experts. That’s one of many reasons to get a COVID shot, which are rigorously (and continually) tested for safety. The vaccines trigger a significantly more robust immune response than a naturally-acquired infection. Ultimately, this better prepares your body for a real infection, which can ravage the lungs, among other risks. “I would advise everyone to get the vaccine,” said Philip Felgner, an infectious disease expert and director of the Vaccine Research and Development Center at the University of California, Irvine. “I would advise everyone to get the vaccine.” The evidence is strong. For example, Felgner and other researchers assessed thousands of blood samples from people who were naturally infected with the coronavirus, versus those who received an FDA-authorized mRNA vaccine (Pfizer and Moderna). The new research, published online and now currently under peer-review, found the immune system’s response is “much stronger” with vaccines, explained Felgner. Following the second shot, people had ten times more antibodies than people who recovered from COVID…”