Cowlix Wearing my mind on my sleeve

Tuesday, December 24, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Is this thing on?

I've been away from this place for a while. I've paid little attention to the world for a few months, which kind of made it difficult to put my random notes on things happening in the world here. Am I back? We'll find out.

I seem to have some catching up to do.


Judi Bari Home Page: documenting the career of an Earth First! activist who was disabled by a bombing in 1990 during a logging protest. She and a friend were quite publically investigated, but never charged, by both the Oakland police and FBI for planting the bomb underneath the driver's seat of their car. A few months ago, they won a civil rights lawsuit stemming from the investigation. Judi did not live to see the case play out.

Radio theatre

Soundstage Audio Theatre: you might say I'm biased, and you'd probably be right, but these guys are good.

rm -rf *

Preserving Software: Why and How: on keeping the legacy software for future generations to study and say, "huh?"

Where are the early UNIVAC operating systems? The first FORTRAN/COBOL/ ALGOL compilers?

[via Iterations (by way of Bifucated Rivets)]

Designing intelligence?

Survival of the Slickest: on Intelligent Design, the latest challenge to science education, and the people behind it.

ID theorists posit that living things, due to their organizational complexity and magnificent design, simply must be the creations of some form of intelligence. Where evolutionary biologists see species evolving through a blind process of natural selection acting over millions of years, ID theorists assert that life as we know it simply could not have arisen in such a manner. Furthermore, they claim that this is a scientific observation. ID advocates don't always articulate precisely what sort of intelligence they think should stand in lieu of evolution on textbook pages, but God -- defined in a very nebulous way -- generally outpolls extraterrestrials as the leading candidate.

[via Arts & Letters Daily]

Where from here?

False dawns in the brave world of New Genetics: The Observer's Mike Bygrave looks at the state of genetic research.

After talking to a range of working scientists and researchers, it is relatively easy to come up with a short list of the hot button topics in genetics and their likely progress over, say, the next 10 years. The consensus about what can and cannot (and may never be) done is not complete, but it is impressive. There is more than enough on the agenda to keep everyone busy without worrying about designer babies - or Frankenstein's monsters either.

The list goes like this: pre-implantation genetic diagnosis; germ-line therapy and gene therapy, which together comprise what most people think of as 'genetic engineering'; cloning; stem-cell research; ageing; and the impenetrably named pharmacogenetics, which could turn out to be the most useful of all.

[via also not found in nature]

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Copyright © 2001-2002 by Wes Cowley