Archive for the ‘Hacker News’ tag

#  The Havoc of a Radioactive Shipping Container →

October 29th, 2011 at 13:18 // In Worth Reading 

This story is first and foremost a good yarn. It’s entertaining and unknown enough to keep you interested, while it teached you some valuable things about the seldom regarded infrastructure that keeps human civilization pushing foreword, and the risks of nuclear terrorism within that system.

(via Hacker News)

#  I am nothing →

October 13th, 2011 at 17:46 // In Worth Reading 

A great unreligious primer on the value of egolessness. One of those things I didn’t know I was looking for until I found it. Also one of those things I’d like to have written first, but that’s a different matter.

(Oddly, via Hacker News)

#  The Case for Neo-Colonialism →

March 3rd, 2011 at 16:47 // In Worth Considering 

I feel like I either linked or read something about this idea before, but could find no record. In any case, Paul Romer’s idea is both appealing and problematic:

By building urban oases of technocratic sanity, struggling nations could attract investment and jobs; private capital would flood in and foreign aid would not be needed. … To launch new charter cities, he says, poor countries should lease chunks of territory to enlightened foreign powers, which would take charge as though presiding over some imperial protectorate. Romer’s prescription is not merely neo-medieval, in other words. It is also neo-colonial.

(via HN)

#  The Science Problem →

July 8th, 2010 at 10:32 // In Worth Considering 

I’ve been grappling with this for a while (e.g.: 1, 2), and I think this paragraph from Megan McArdle pins down pretty well the type of science skepticism I think is necessary:

This is not to say that the peer review system is worthless.  But it’s limited.  Peer review doesn’t prove that a paper is right; it doesn’t even prove that the paper is any good (and it may serve as a gatekeeper that shuts out good, correct papers that don’t sit well with the field’s current establishment for one reason or another).  All it proves is that the paper has passed the most basic hurdles required to get published — that it be potentially interesting, and not obviously false.  This may commend it to our attention — but not to our instant belief.

(via HN)