Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Oh, but in a libertarian society, the rich and powerful would take advantage of the poor and weak, denying them a decent life through arbitrary rules, cronyism, and corruption

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

The Washington Post reports that the FBI overstated forensic hair matches in nearly all trials before 2000: The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over ...

Maybe Austrian economics is more mathematical than people think

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

I don't mean quantitatively, with equations and graphs and models, but more philosophically and methodically. At the mathematics blag The Aperiodical, I found this post about the central difference between math and science: Up to a point, it might seem reasonable to explore an issue by finding a bunch of examples and ...

The problem with science funding is that it comes from the government

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Much writing about science funding and policy reveals how a consistent libertarian morality and an understanding of basic economics could add valuable insight into otherwise vacuous writing. It also shows how handicapped scientists and science writers are by being stuck in the mindset that government should fund science research and ...

The science of libertarian morality

Friday, November 5th, 2010

That is the title of an article by Ronald Bailey at Reason about a recently published psychological survey comparing libertarians, conservatives, and liberals. The survey's findings were interesting, if unsurprising: It will not surprise Reason readers that the study found that libertarians show (1) stronger endorsement of individual liberty as their ...

Medical contrarianism isn’t always right

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

A few years ago, for a stretch lasting a year or two, I boycotted because their all-too-frequent Creationist columns were embarrassing to the libertarian movement and I didn't want to be associated with those types of people, nor reward the publication of such hokum with additional page hits. It ...

Inequality is fatal?

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

In the April 30 issue of Nature, the new book The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett is reviewed. Some excerpts from the review: Why are our chances of reaching a great age so affected by wealth and status? The obvious ...

Taxes shouldn’t pay for stem cell research

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. —Thomas Jefferson Because they shouldn't pay for anything. Associated Press reports: Eight years of frustration are close to an end for scientists seeking ways to use embryonic stem cells to combat illness and ...

Space junk

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Debris from satellites and other random pieces of space junk are crowding the lower levels of outer space, to the extent that satellites and the Hubble Space Telescope are at risk for colliding with some of it at any given time (supposedly). I can imagine this problem will only get ...

Science needs an economics revolution

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Here in the scientific research world, there is considered to be a vast dichotomy between the atmospheres and work environments in academic (university) research labs and private (big pharma and biotech) research labs. Whether it's true or not, I don't know. The impression is that in academia, you are free ...

Stabenow and Gettelfinger plead for bailout

Friday, December 5th, 2008

On the radio this morning I heard a clip of Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, presumably in Washington, talking about the desperate need for a bailout of the automotive industry. I can't find an article or video with her dialogue, but this is very close to an exact quote from Stabenow's ...

Urine-to-water purifying machine

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Astronauts on the space shuttle Endeavor believe they have nearly perfected a machine that filters urine to produce drinkable water. The article quotes space station commander Mike Fincke: "Not to spoil anything, but I think up here the appropriate words are 'Yippee!'" Folks—he pees into a cup, pours it into a ...

Carl Sagan reads from Pale Blue Dot

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

I'm pretty sure this is the best video on the entire internets: