I can resist anything, except temptation! (Oscar Wilde)

Monthly archive

February 2013

Developing cities

in education & literacy

The fascinating thing is that the developing cities have as much to teach the developed ones as vice versa. And that’s not always the public perception. If you ask someone on the street, “What do you think we can learn from Addis Ababa?” they’ll likely say, “Not too much.” But what if you then told them about a millennium project where everybody in the city was asked to plant a tree – and that’s millions of people – and they actually did it? And then you asked them whether we could plant three million trees here in Toronto? It makes you think.

Lecturing style

in presentation, expression & visualization

The lecturer started his session by something like this:

I don’t like to have a monologue for 2 hours. Please whenever you have a question or you disagree with something I said and you feel that I said something stupid talk. You don’t need to raise your hand for that. Just initiate talking whenever you feel like it.

Open access: Good or evil?!

in status quo

A sensible argument against open access?

… Following the changes, costs of publication will fall not on the reader but on universities, which will pay “author processing charges” each time they wish to have work from one of their academics published. The new system, according to its critics, will give university managements unprecedented control over their academics’ ability to publish their work, provoking Professor Peter Mandler, president of the RHS, to claim that the government is at risk of sacrificing the cherished values of British [1].

Scientific bias

in education & literacy/philosophy & ethics

Asymmetric scientific publication (favoring successful experiments such as medical trials over failed attempts) may not-only be inefficient  but also unethical.  Good thing about this video is that it is not coming from STS guys but is from a member of scientific community itself.

Why We Took Cocaine Out of Soda?

in history

“The role of racism and social injustice in Coca-Cola’s removal of coca is corroborated by the attitudes that the shaped subsequent U.S. cocaine regulation movement. Cocaine wasn’t even illegal until 1914 — 11 years after Coca-Cola’s change — but a massive surge in cocaine use was at its peak at the turn of the century. Recreational use increased five-fold in a period of less than two decades. During that time, racially oriented arguments about rape and other violence, and social effects more so than physical health concerns, came to shape the discussion.” [1]

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