Category Archive: Media

Jan 14 2014

Where a rational conversation about guns ought to start

The newspaper of record reflected the disease last night. They had an article about the man killed over texting during the previews at a movie that included this ridiculous paragraph. The killing underscored the increased debate about when to use smartphones in public. In October, the singer Madonna was spotted texting during the Lincoln Center …

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Dec 23 2013

We were more free under Nixon than we are under Obama

Edward Snowden has been unfavorably compared to Daniel Ellsberg: both leaked classified documents that exposed government wrongdoing, but Ellsberg was brave enough to stand and face the legal system. Now Ellsberg himself repudiates that argument. America has changed over the last 40 years. We now live in a country that actively suppresses whistle-blowers, with a …

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Dec 17 2013

David Brooks still has a job?

The web has been resounding with a mighty echoing “WTF?” — David Brooks has written another column in the New York Times, and it’s weird, even for Brooks. He’s sneering at “Thought Leaders”, apparently this new generation of pundits who are beneath his contempt. At first I thought maybe it was entirely autobiographical, and that …

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Dec 13 2013

Megyn Kelly gets DailyShowed and WaPoed

Don’t feel bad for Megyn Kelly. Jon Stewart exposes her stupidity with wonderful thoroughness… And you might be thinking, “No way can she show up in public without the pointing and laughing,” but keep in mind that she’s a Fox News host. Blithering obliviousness is part of the job description. Besides, on the same day …

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Dec 11 2013

Seriously, Time magazine?

They’ve announced their person of the year, and it’s…Pope Francis, The People's Pope. You have got to be fucking kidding me. They’ve got this great pulpit with mass media attention to actually highlight the important events and people on the planet, and they pick the pablum-spewing head of an antique organization that demands its followers …

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Dec 10 2013

A new journal

It’s true that science publishing has some serious problems — can you access the latest results from federally funded research? Do you think Science and Nature are really the best science journals in the world? — so it’s good that some people are taking the lead in changing their approaches and developing alternative publishing models. …

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Dec 03 2013

Media bias!

OK, so that Daily Mail piece that talked about my refutation of the MFAP hypothesis — the idea that humans are ape-pig hybrids — has been getting a fair amount of attention. The article actually did quote me tearing into the idea fairly thoroughly, although it did also give far too much attention to a …

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Dec 01 2013


So I watched this show with Anderson Cooper’s name on it; he didn’t bother to show up, so maybe he has some sense of shame. It was dreadful. It was three anecdotes about people who had experienced serious trauma, and then invented lovely narratives about a happy afterlife to make themselves feel better, or to …

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Nov 09 2013

It’s the silences, the neglect, the moving on to more important matters

Chart showing that many more men than women use reddit

What if the National Association of Science Writers convened a panel on sexual harassment and discrimination, and no one cared? This report on sexual harassment and science writing at NASW is strangely, delicately neglectful, from the beginning where it irrelevantly claims that the Bora Zivkovic story no longer dominates science blogs (So has sexual harassment …

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Nov 09 2013


Science is always working a tough room. It’s inherently progressive — we’re constantly achieving incremental improvements in our understanding, with occasional lurches forward…and sometimes sudden lurches backward, when we realize that we got something wrong. We’re performing for a crowd, the general citizenry and most importantly, the funding agencies, that expect us to fix problems …

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