Links for the Week – Mar. 4/06

quantumMostly US politics this week:

Circumventing the Electoral College and the US Legal System, and a Commercial: Subscribe to the New Yorker: It’s way cheaper than buying single copies, you get some stuff you can’t get online, and intelligent, well-researched magazines are an endangered species and need our support. This week Hendrik Hertzberg outlines a way to simply do away with the abomination of the electoral college without having to change the constitution, and James Surowiecki outlines a way to simply circumvent the utterly broken US legal system to fairly compensate victims of asbestos poisoning.

Give LA’s Elephants a Decent Life: The stalemate between misguided state and zoo officials who want to build an undersized new enclosure for the elephants (at great cost) and those who propose to remove them to one of two natural areas where they could live a full and comfortable life continues. If you’re in the area, please weigh in in favour of the latter. If you’re not, the site has lots of other ways you can help these wise and wonderful creatures.

Malcolm Gladwell Has a Blog: It’s here.

NYT on the Disappearance of the Middle Class: In the latest installment of a wonderful series explaining how the demands of shareholders and the demands of globalization are inexorably exterminating the US middle class, Louis Uchitelle explains how Caterpillar’s management and unions have both accepted that incessant pay cuts for all but elite workers are necessary to keep the company viable.

Moyers on Restoring Morality to Public Office: One of the reasons so few Americans participate in the political process is that they think it is hopelessly corrupt and unresponsive to un-moneyed voters. In his usual eloquent and well-researched way, BillMoyers explains that they’re right, but that the system can and must be fixed. Inspiring stuff. Moyers for President!

A Website on Everything That’s Important: You thought my blog was ambitious. Anup Shaw’s Global Issues site attempts to summarize the critical factors on every issue that is of global importance today. He does a pretty good job, too.

Tom Delay on Evolution: Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate contains a fact I hadn’t seen anywhere else: He quotes Tom Delay as claiming that Columbine was “inevitable” because of the teaching of evolution in schools. 

Quantum Physics for Everyone: A video excerpt from the movie What the Bleep explains simply and delightfully how the two-slit experiment shows the dual quantum nature of matter.

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2 Responses to Links for the Week – Mar. 4/06

  1. Rajiv says:

    On the Slit Lamp experiment, Shahriar Afshar’s experiment casts doubt on the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Specifically, his experiment violates Bohr’s Complementarity Principle, and has important implications for better understanding Measurement in quantum mechanics.

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Thanks Rajiv. This whole issue is wildly controversial, with positions being taken from everyone from nuclear scientists to aliens-from-another-dimension conspiracy-theorists. I ain’t wading in.

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