Declaration of Independence from Political Rants

Note Added May 2018: Political rants inspired this post in June 2015. This seems a good time to re-publish it. The midterm election season is warming up, and emotional, insulting speech is already circulating. Once again, it’s time for each … Continue reading

Ethics Research & Vampire Destroyers

Ethics is the topic of two fascinating recent research studies. One of these studies will protect you from an evil vampire boss! The other will make you hesitate before buying or even getting into a self-driving car But first: Ethics … Continue reading

VW Cheat: “Dieselgate” Roils Auto World

How could a respected and successful company like VW cheat eleven million of its loyal customers? “Dieselgate” is one name being given to the scandal that is shaming Volkswagen, the world’s highest-revenue vehicle manufacturer. This blog summarizes the facts, then … Continue reading

Charity 1 – Charity Overhead

Charity overhead costs generate outrage, apologies, finger-pointing and, rarely, commendation. Charity Overhead is the first of a two-part post about charities – part two covers Charity Ratings. Intellectually, everyone knows that it costs money to run organization. Charity overhead is … Continue reading

GMO Humans – Science Collides with Ethics

Science Fact: GMO humans – that’s people, genetically modified: the latest collision of science with ethics. If you’re uneasy about eating foods that are GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), how do you feel about people designing their next child from an online … Continue reading

Despotism: Why We Tolerate It

Science Fact: Despotism is one of the world’s most significant inventions. Like other earth-shaking innovations such as the wheel, written language and religion, despotism was independently invented in many lands during the same general period of time. First, however, let’s … Continue reading

Scientific Truth and Other Falsehoods

Science Fact: Scientific truth matters. It’s not just galaxies and atoms. It’s your doctor with the results of a cancer biopsy. It’s your tax advisor telling you not to claim that deduction. It’s your investment advisor telling you whether you … Continue reading

Suicide, Personal Freedom & Values

Science Fact: Suicide is forbidden by law, forbidden by religious precepts, and is often a forbidden subject for conversation. In the previous post we considered the understandable human desire to prolong and preserve life. This post looks at the opposite: the … Continue reading

Nerds, Empathy and Social Conscience

Science Fact: Nerds have graduated in recent times from being a reviled social group to an exclusive club. Nerds are certainly not “hot” (except perhaps for BBT’s Sheldon). However, their role in creating iPhone apps and their earning potential have enhanced … Continue reading

Superstition, Conspiracies and Control

Science Fact:  Superstition is a strong force in people’s lives today, despite the ubiquitous presence of science and technology.  For example, professional athletes are superstitious about their warm-up rituals, their clothing, their accessories, even what they say and do.  Sports … Continue reading

Journal Sting Exposes Bogus Publications

Science Fact:  Science Magazine conducted a journal sting operation and exposed many international publications as money-grabbing operations with no scientific credentials at all. Publications are critical to researchers in many ways: they determine job security and promotion at many universities. … Continue reading