Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Why Meet?

Why do we have "church services," Sunday morning or not, at all? I heard one concept I liked on Sunday, though I'm not sure I took it in the way it was meant. Is it necessary? Why move beyond the level of house church? What happens at large gatherings that is not replicated on a vastly smaller scale? I seek opinions from everyone - long, short, detailed, or general (though I admit to being biased in favor of long, detailed).

Wal-Mart Wages

Have you heard the argument that Wal-Mart should pay higher wages because other "Big Box Retailers," (such as Costco - which I have often heard cited) do so? So have I. I never had a really good answer for it, until now.

I like any article that digs into actual numbers, and so I leave you with only a small teaser. Let's say that Wal-Mart pays $10 an hour to start, while Costco pays $17 (and with better benefits!). Wal-Haters will tell you this proves that Wal-Mart is exploitative. But how many jobs are "sacrificed" to pay the higher wage? Having nearly 4x the annual sales Costco has, Wal-Mart also employs almost 12x as many people (at a wage 58.8% of Costco's).

If Wal-Mart were like Costco in its employment practices (not a perfectly sound analysis, rather, food for thought), 900,000 people would lose their jobs (From 1,300,000 to 440,000 - 4x Costco's employment) - a reduction of 2/3 of their workforce. The lucky 1/3 that stayed would make more, but at what price? Wages paid would decrease from $13M (1.3M employees @ $10/hr) annually to $7.48M (440,000 employees @ $17/hr) - meaning $5.5M doesn't end up in the hands of the working class. Is this good for the poor?

For more, read the whole article.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I wish I were cool like this

Harmonics are cool. Playing notes on a guitar by hammering a string is cool. Strumming on the fretboard sounds cool.

This video is almost surreal.

Friday, August 25, 2006

My pictures in the world


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Originally uploaded by renowiggum.

Bet you never thought my mug would appear as the cover art on a band's debut album, did you? Granted, it's hardly recognizable as me, but nevertheless, it is so.

A band in Michigan found this picture through Morguefile.com, a free-use site, and was kind enough to let me know they were using it. The band name is "Slightly Innocent," and the album name is "Ascension." You can see the picture in use at the band website, http://slightlyinnocent.cabspace.com

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Why is it...

Why is it that in weddings, I often hear the pastor say something to the effect of "with the authority vested in me by the Lord Jesus Christ as a messenger of his gospel" or other assertion that the power to wed people comes from God? It makes us feel all holy and stuff, but where is that authority vested?

Maybe there's a scripture I don't know. Help?

Just one of those weeks

It's just been one of those weeks. I feel under the weather, which may be allergies, or it may be a physical manifestation of how I feel on the inside. It's a time when I am glad that those who hope in the Lord do more than soar on the wings of eagles, they also walk and do not faint.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Drug Companies and Profit

Is it unethical for a drug company to make over $1B in profit (sale price less manufacturing cost) for an aspirin? For an AIDS vaccine? For a cure to cancer?

Consider that the average costs incurred in bringing a drug to market are $800M. Consider how much money is sunk into research for drugs that go nowhere. Consider the damages they may face if a drug has harmful effects that were not picked up in the trials (c.f. Vioxx). And consider that for all of this risk and sunk costs, these companies exist to make a profit. And even when hey get a good and successful drug, there is a limited window afforded by patents until anybody can make generic versions of your drug, reducing your profit to almost nothing.

Consider the effect on R&D if there is no profit motive (Hint: It's not good). If we insist that drug companies come up with life-saving drugs, and then take their patents in the name of the public good, who will exist to make the life-saving drugs for the next generation?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My photos in the world

Vainly searching for my most common online name (renowiggum), I came across this site, using my picture in a "Beautiful places to have your wedding" ad for Lake Tahoe. Woot!

Ending Poverty

"Give a man a fish..." We usually take this to mean that our charity should be in training people how to get money on their own. But what does that look like? Is it possible that "sweatshop labor" is not a bad thing?

I know we hear that it is. But what if someone volunteers to work under those conditions? Would that not suggest that their alternatives are all worse? The development of the Western economies from agrarian to industrial to service had periods of low wages as workers flocked to the cities. Over time, we decided that was "inhumane" and instituted minimum wages and the like. What if sweatshop / low-wage, high-labor conditions are a necessary step in the development of a modern economy? By demanding that countries skip this step, are we short-circuiting the growth of these countries? To say "you can grow, but it has to be on our terms?"

Consider this article, about everyone's favorite whipping-boy:
Other than economic growth, there is no way to double the salaries of a 100 million people (and growing). After the 2004 Asian Tsunami, more than one-third of Americans gave more than $400 million in charitable aid, an extraordinary outburst of giving by any standard. And yet there are more than 630 million rural Chinese remaining, many of whom are living on less than a dollar per day. While each would welcome a charitable dollar if we could get it to them, that charitable dollar, representing one good day's worth of income, would not do them nearly as much good as would a job in the city paying twice as much day in, day out. Charity cannot take place on an adequate scale to solve global poverty.

Despite Jeff Sachs' enthusiasm for foreign aid, Bill Easterly makes a compelling case that government-to-government aid damages economies as often as it helps them. Does anyone think the World Bank raises more people out of poverty than does Wal-Mart?
Just food for thought. I'm not decided on the matter. But when people start piling on Wal-Mart, it makes me want all the more to come to their defense because I wonder if the source of their fustration is really that Wal-Mart is bad, or if the complainer is simply envious of its success.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Goin' to Fresno

Today I put in for the time off the Friday before Labor Day. Generally, this would be to secure a prime camping site, but this year I am headed out on Friday to watch the first football game of Nevada's 2006 season. There's a bus trip organized - there and back in a day for a nominal fee, and it gives me the chance to meet some new people.

The game'll be on ESPN - the only college football game that day - but I'll get to be there live, hopefully just behind the Nevada bench, proudly sporting the bluest clothing I can find in a stadium full of red. If you happen to catch the game, and see a block of 50 people in blue just behind the Nevada bench, look for me.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Yo Quiero Taco Bell

So I'm going to go have some. Recalling times of no money and no job makes me grateful for the power of disposable income.

Ten Years, Part 2

Continued from a previous entry:

Spring 1998: I previously said it was a blur. Then I thought a bit, and I do remember things that happened. It stunk, and I care not to hash out the details. I did talk to her on occasion, but it turned very not-pretty. I also started looking to see if there were other girls about. There were, and I became friends with some.

Summer 1998: Continued attending college group events. Really liked Intervarsity, and got to know Kenny, Luke, Jon, Michelle, and others much better. Having become interested in the Star Wars Customizable Card Game in the previous year, I spent a lot of time with some friends from high school playing it. I first got to know Chris and Jon, both in my facial-hair picture, this way. This summer was in may ways a time when I started seriously reconnecting with non-church friends. I also took a trip with the college group to Great America. This is only memorable as the first time I recall meeting a girl I'd spend most of the time from 2002-2005 trying to get to know better.

Fall 1998: Kenny and Michelle branch off and have their own Bible Study. It proves to be the one everyone goes to, and we cancel the study I and another girl were leading (which never had more than us and the girl whose room it was in). I started teaching the Jr. High Sunday School class at my church this semester. I did that for several years, and left with a much greater uncertainty that I was "meant to be" a teacher. Focus-wise, I'm often all over the map. I also became interested in UNR football about this time. Finally, I think this is when I changed my major to Economics, because it was a social science that I thought would be a good undergrad degree when I went to seminary - my plan at the time.

Winter 1998: Intervarsity has been steadily shedding people. Campus Crusade is starting, and drawing away people. In addition, other college groups have begun to grow and thrive, meaning that the once-popular college group at First E Free is shrinking. We try various stop-gap solutions, but things seem to keep shrinking. I have by now made peace with the girl who caused such consternation before.

Spring 1999: Peace with girl becomes shaky when she starts dating someone else. Vivid memories include driving to an unpopulated but under-construction housing area to vent some frustration on a dumpster on the day before she and he decided to be "friends with an asterisk". I now know what kicking a large metal dumpster with steel-toed shoes feels and sounds like. I start looking around at other girls again. I manage to ask one to dinner. She originally says yes, calls the day of to say she has too much homework, then proceeds to be at group events hanging out all weekend long. Through my frustration with this, I get to know another girl who was also rustrated by a guy she liked. United by frustration and jealousy, we get to know each other. She later told me that she thought about a relationship with me, but decided it wouldn't work, to my great disappointment. This must be when it happened. Should I have walked her to her car after seeing a movie? Should I have "pressed my advantage" when it was there? [shrugs]

Summer 1999: We learn that "staff" from Intervarsity HQ will be coming to Reno. Having a program of 7 people, this is welcome news. There are fireworks when we learn that the woman (a pair, man and woman on staff, each married) expects to split teaching time with the man. Kenny, Jon, and Michelle disagree enough to leave. I stay, and I become the last of the "old guard" of Intervarsity. A couple newer people who are now student leaders also stay. I wasn't sure I agreed, but didn't feel strongly enough about it to leave.

Fall 1999: I get my first job since 1997 working at the business school computer labs. I also have two female friends that I talk to regularly. Girl #1 and the guy she started seeing broke up - I was fall-back guy, not for a relationship, but the stereotypical listening-ear-great-freind-just-not-like-that. I didn't care as much, because things seemed to be going okay with girl #2, except that she was still obviously fixated on other guy. With Intervarsity, college group, Jr High class, and my newly-started participation with the big-church worship ministry, I often found myself not having time to hang out with my high school friends as much. I start talking to a girl I knew from the early days of InterVarsity and the college group on AOL IM. We get along great, and she starts telling me about a guy she's interested in, but doesn't know what to do because she's never dated anyone. I hope maybe I'm the guy. I'm not. She knows him from the new most-popular-Bible-study. I can't go because of IV or other commitments.

Winter 1999: Mostly uneventful. The college group at church had a New Year's party. I won an award for my costume. Girl #1 was jealous and thought she should have won. I rang in the new year with girl #1 and girl #2, both just friends, close by. Sure, I had no girlfriend, but things didn't seem to be going too bad.

Tagged

Ah, the sweet smell of descent into the blogging version of spam. Except instead of you wasting my time by filling my mailbox with it, I waste your time by making you read it. Bwah-ha-ha, says I.
----
1) One book that changed your life:
In the Likeness of God - There aren't any really good candidates, but the more I think of the gap between what the Body of Christ should be, and what it looks like now, the more sense this makes to me.

2) One book you've read more than once:
What's so Amazing About Grace? - I choose this one because it is a good reminder of what I want to be.

3) One book you'd want on a desert island:
Taking a cue from George MacDonald - Wooden Ship-Building.

4) One book that made you laugh:
Mort. Though I really enjoy just about any Discworld novel.

5) One book that made you cry:
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. I remember reading this for the first time, crying almost uncontrolably when Gandalf died.

6) One book that you wish had been written:
Just Friends: How to Tell What She Really Thinks Without Looking Like An Ass

7) One book you wish hadn't been written:
I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I'm against anything that can be used to give a guy hope where none exists. This did that effectively to me.

8) One book you're currently reading:
Moby Dick. I'm revisiting classics I never read before.

9) One book you've been meaning to read:
The Cost of Discipleship. I keep starting, not finishing, and restarting it.

10) Tag five others:
Travis-And/Or-Michelle, Christy, Sole Comfort, Romanós, Ken Lund

Friday, August 18, 2006

Why?

In this BBC news story, I have one real question. Why is it that the phrase "The accident involved dark chocolate" is (1) the closing line of the story, (2) important enough to deserve it's own paragraph, and (3) even mentioned at all?

More on Global Warming

A common argument I hear is that "all scientists agree..." My roommate used it the other day - all scientists, or all people who have any reason to know, believe in global warming.

Here is the tagline for the man who wrote this article. You tell me if he sounds like a scientist to you. Debate exists. That some try to quash it by claiming consensus makes me suspect their motivations.
Dr. Roy Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA's Aqua satellite.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Commitment

I finally took the plunge. I bought a beard-trimmer. I came to the point of needing to either shave off my facial hair, or begin trying to keep it orderly. I figure that I can always shave it later, but if it goes now who knows if I'll ever let it grow back?

Surprised to hear that I had a beard to shave? It may not be much to see. You can see a picture of it here.

Mindless Competition

There's nothing like competition where the opponent has no idea there's anything going on.

Stumbling blindly through blogdom, I found this page, which tells you how much your blog is worth, in what I think is a sly take on a business deal I don't claim to know a thing about.

Nevertheless, being a pointlessly competitive sort, I gave it a shot. $3,387.24. Sounds low compared to the $124K+ on the site that led me there. But then I put in someone else's. $2,258.16. I felt better. Really, they're both multiples of $1,129.08 - so I rated a 3 while he rated a 2, but even so... Boo-yah!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Yar! There be buried treasure about, mateys!

AOL is now engaged in hunting for buried treasure. Some things are just too good to make up.

Science, Faith, and the Classroom

This excerpt of an essay in the New York Times makes me nervous:

The chairman of the school board, Dr. Steve Abrams, a veterinarian, is not merely a strict creationist. He has openly stated that he believes that God created the universe 6,500 years ago, although he was quoted in The New York Times this month as saying that his personal faith “doesn’t have anything to do with science.”

“I can separate them,” he continued, adding, “My personal views of Scripture have no room in the science classroom.”

"A key concern should not be whether Dr. Abrams’s religious views have a place in the classroom, but rather how someone whose religious views require a denial of essentially all modern scientific knowledge can be chairman of a state school board."

The argument is that Science tells us the Earth must be very old. Dr. Abrams believes the Earth is only 6,500 years old. Therefore Dr. Abrams doesn't believe in science at all, as is seen in this quote:

It is a matter of overwhelming scientific evidence. To maintain a belief in a 6,000-year-old earth requires a denial of essentially all the results of modern physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology and geology. It is to imply that airplanes and automobiles work by divine magic, rather than by empirically testable laws.


My problem is that "all the results of modern physics, etc." only say how the Earth appeared to come about. They cannot say, nor can anything, whether the Earth could have been created, ex nihlo with laws in place that made it look very old. To say that combining a hydrocarbon with oxygen and heat today proves the Universe must be more than 6,500 years old is false. It does show that current scientific analysis works in a reliable way, but it is not absolute proof.

I lean towards the Old Earth / Science origin story. I still believe that God, as a super-natural being created it all. But I would not be surprised if God said one day "it really was just 6,500 years old. I made it that way." I believe God could do that, but as I look at the Universe, I use the assumption (because, no matter how many formulas, proofs, and tests are applied, I simply was not there) that it is really, really old.

What Dr. Abrams does is seperate science, as a way of investigating the visible world, which appears very, very old; from his faith that says "no matter how old it appears, it is only 6,500 years old." It is not a separation I care to make in this case, but neither do I find it impossible to think.

The Christian Response to Global Warming

Does not exist. All I can have is a Christian's response to global warming, and that's the most anyone else can have. I agree strongly with this article, in that I think (1) global warming - i.e. the significant warming of the earth due entirely to human activity is still a matter of debate, and far from certain; (2) burning organic compounds is a simple and cheap source of energy (ie, wood, coal, oil and their derivatives); (3) improving the quality of life for the poor requires energy (be it in wells, water purification, the manufacture of drugs to treat illness, transportation of goods, trade, etc); and (4) that increasing the cost of energy (through government mandates or bans) will decrease the effectiveness of a given dollar given to help the poor, more than the potential benefits they would see from it.

I don't really believe in global warming, in that I think the data on it is weak, the uses of the data are heavily political, and the politics is strong enough to overcome the weakness in the data. To say "but it's been really, reall hot" is bad because it's antecdotal, and says nothing about why it is hot, which is the crux of the matter. Just because it's hot does not mean that it is hot because of man-made global warming. That is a very important causal effect that needs to be shown.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Notes from the reunion

It was better than I feared it might be. I ended up at one table, so I only really got to catch up with a small handful of people. As it happened, many of them had been "stoners" in high school, who I knew to varying degrees from JROTC. I wondered for a bit why a clean, arrow-straight sort of person felt more comfortable with these people than mingling with others. I never drank, smoked, touched drugs or dated (much less slept with anyone).

It occured to me later in the night. Ideally, to be a Christian is in part to see the broken, fouled, fallen side of yourself, and know that you have no power to change it. Those who have "fallen" in the eyes of the world already know these things about themselves. As a result, I could sit in a group without pretense.

The saddest moment was hearing that one girl, now a single mother living in South Carolina, faced rejection from most of her small community because she's different. She feels cast out from the "good" Christians all around her. Shame on us.

The happiest moment came when I saw the e-mail address of a guy who seemed to have done more drugs than the others. It was a Scripture reference. Romans 10:13. The reference? Paul citing Joel "for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"

The lessons of the reuinon? Religious people condemn a girl in need while a (presumably) former drug user proclaims the salvation of the Lord. I definitely know which crowd I prefer.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ten Years, Part 1

My ten-year high school reunion is today. Doesn't seem to be a fancy affair - it's at Bully's, just down the street from the school. But it provides an occasion to recall how my life has changed since then.

Summer 1996 - Graduated in June, I spend a summer doing nothing. I am accepted at UNR, and just need to register for classes. My major is Chemical Engineering, but I am thinking of being a doctor. I wait until the week before class starts to register. I need 15 credits to keep my scholarship. I get 4 of the 5 classes I am planning on, but the most important is full. I rework my whole schedule in order to fit that class in. I wind up with Music Appreciation on Wednesday nights from 7-10pm, as well as Economics 101 (for a Social Science requirement) on Saturdays from 9-12am. The upside is that Mon, Wed and Fri my first class is at 11. Thursday, it's at 10. Tuesday, it's 1pm. Begin the life of up until 3, sleep to 10. Began attending TGIF, a gathering of college students from my church. Myself, Matt and Alex - three seniors from the same school, now freshmen, stick together like glue.

Fall 1996 - only marginally involved in the college group, but slowly getting to know people. Organic Chemistry is a lot harder than high school AP Chemistry.

Winter 1996 - I meet a girl. She's in the college group, a couple years older than I. One night in December, she asks for a ride home from TGIF, since we live pretty close to each other. I begin playing roller hockey in February with people from TGIF from ~12-3am. I begin slowly - I only got my rollerblades for Christmas.

Spring 1997 - I end up taking Economics 102, because 101 was pretty interesting. Matt and I begin attending InterVarsity (IV), a Christian group on campus made up largely of people from our college group. The girl hangs out a little with Matt. He thinks she's interested, I'm jealous. A week later, it is cleared up that she's just being friendly.

Summer 1997 - I am approached by some people from IV asking if I'd like to lead a Bible Study on campus in the Fall. I agree to it. I hang out more and more regularly with the girl, usually riding to and from Bible Study together. I'm elated to have finally met a girl that I was comfortable around, could talk to, and who seemed to be interested in having me around. A group of us hikes up Mount Rose at sunset to see the full moon from the top. On the way back, she puts her head on my shoulder and falls asleep on the ride back down the mountain.

Fall 1997 - Still a Chemical Engineering major, though I have no desire to pursue it at all. Things seem to be going really well with the girl. I lead the Bible Study, she attends. I meet Kenny and Luke, and start to get involved with things.

Winter 1997 - After attending the December graduation with her, I go to tutor someone from one of my classes. She attends the graduation party for a guy in the group. At the party, someone says she and I are dating, she strongly disagrees. After a conversation with her mom, she talks with me that evening. "You're a great guy and one of my dearest friends, but that's it." She admits that she was probably stringing me along a bit because it made her feel good to be liked. She asks for forgiveness, and I give it. What exactly just happened doesn't settle in for a couple hours. Matt showed up, and we spent some time talking in my car. It's the only time I ever remember crying in front of another person since before high school, or since.

Spring 1998 - I get my only D in college, in Accounting 201. I really couldn't care much less. It's mostly just a blur. She and I talked here and there, but not much for a few months. I'm still teaching a Bible Study.

Friday, August 11, 2006

They Can't Do This To Me!

There's another set of Lord of the Rings DVDs coming out. The "Limited Edition." The theatrical and extended movies on a single disc, with new "making of" footage.

August 18

Next weekend, I want to go up to the Black Rock Desert again. Probably drive up Friday after work, and return home early Saturday morning - though I might choose to actually sleep in instead of trying to stay up all night... though then again, the pre-dawn sunrise was perhaps the best part. Anyone else interested?

For the Record

I love Nevada. The mountains, the lakes, the rivers, the weather, the people, and a great many other things about it. I even like that we have casinos, not that I am a gambler (if I found that the sum total of random coins I've dropped in a slot machine exceeded $10, I'd be very shocked) but because... it feels like home.

It hurts when I read what some people think of my state. From this account, you'd think that Nevada was devoid of life, except for the sex parade of the Las Vegas Strip, a shameful place, with nothing useful to say, deserving only to be shunned and ignored.

For me, Nevada is an Awful Awful at the Little Nugget, swimming in the Truckee river, Shakespeare at Sand Harbor, stargazing on the Black Rock Desert, snow-tubing at the Tahoe Meadows, climbing Mount Rose, sleeping in a hammock, walking the streets of Virginia city, screaming for University of Nevada athletics, sunsets over the Sierras, and cows blocking a dirt road I need to drive down.

Immigration

I'm highly in favorof it. The only argument made concerning a need to restrict immigration is that of security. If we had a system where as many people as want can come, provided they do not pose a threat of physical harm to American workers, I'd love to throw open the gates.

One reason is that population growth leads to economic growth. More people earning wages and buying more things is how the country works. People want to come here for a better life, and their coming here would make a better life for all of us.

This New York Times article gives a couple hard facts along these same lines.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Billy Graham In Twilight

That's the name of a Newsweek cover that I saw. I couldn't help but think that the magazine is horribly backwards. It is not near the sunset of life for this man; on the contrary, it is just before sunrise, on a day which will last forever.

28

As of about 3:15 yesterday, I started working on my 29th revolution around the sun. The last one sucked. This one doesn't look much better, but I'm going to go home and have leftover ice cream cake, leftover chocolate cake, watch an episode or two of Animaniacs and then wipe out an opponent's armies with a swarm of Chinook helicopters. To waste another year wishing I could alter time and space and not waste so many years trying to get to know a girl that wanted nothing to do with me while watching one who actually appreciated my company marry someone else is something I don't plan on doing. What's done is done, and I accept that I'm a damned fool. If I'm going to waste more time, it's going to at least be while doing something enjoyable.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Who Wants to be a Superhero

Do you love over-the-top superheroes? Can you occasionally find a reality show that you like? Then get this.

Stan Lee is the host and judge. People audition in their own costumes, 12 (ish) get picked, they are put through challenges, they get eliminated. Pretty basic reality fare. But it's worth it to watch people prance around in spandex using cheesy superhero one-liners.

If you have iTunes, you can download the pilot for free. There's been two episodes so far, the third is next Thursday. The website is here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Sign of the Times

Does it say something about our society that if I ask you what horrible thing Mel Gibson did this weekend, you will probably say "He said naughty racial things about Jews" before you say "He was drunk and speeding through his neighborhood in his car."

Two actions. One insensitive and possibly an indicator of deeper racial prejudice. One that could result in real death and destruction. The former has society up in arms. The latter is hardly noticed.

Strings and Branes

The current rage in physics is String Theory, where the fundamental particles of matter and energy are all multi-dimensional strings. There was a show about it on PBS last night. It is head-melting stuff, like M Theory which united the 5 versions of string theory into a single explanation. The only difference is that, unlike the 5 versions which allowed strings freedom of movement in 10 dimensions, this used 11. In this extra dimension, strings can stretch and stretch into a sort of 11-dimensional membrane, which is how the seem to view the structure of our universe - a giant 11-dimensional membrane, as thin as 3-dimensional space. We are anchored to this membrane (stuck in only 3 dimensions) because most particles and energy are open-ended strings, whose open ends are tied to the Brane.

Gravity, however, is seen as a closed string, like a rubber band. With no loose ends to anchor it, gravity is free to move in more dimensions than other things. In an attempt to validate this theory, physicists smash atoms, hoping to observe a graviton leaving our known dimensions.

A Democratic congressman, in a recent attempt to liken global warming to gravity (As an obvious and incontrevertible fact) accused a statistician at a recent hearing for having an agenda, because "since Newton published his Principia, we don't go around questioning gravity, do we? (point: gravity is obvious, and we don't waste our time studying it, neither should we with global warming)" As a retort, a Rebublican asked a physicist in attendance whether anyone actually studies gravity anymore. He replied that they, in fact, do - and that it is a thriving area of research where questioning accepted ideas is welcome. This PBS show helped me understand why.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Not Alone In The World

Ideologically, at least.

New York Times Article