Ed Burnette has nice transcript of the panel that I moderated yesterday.
It was a fun panel… mostly because I hardly had to do anything. Aside from a couple of primer questions, I got to sit back and watch a very enthusiastic audience take the discussion where it wanted to go.
That’s probably a good thing as I’ve started to realize that my speaking skills suck pretty hard.
Note to self: join a Toastmasters club when you get back home.
The power of the unaided mind is greatly exaggerated. It is “things” that make us smart, the cognitive artifacts that allow human beings to overcome the limitations of human memory and conscious reasoning.
And of all the artifacts that have aided cognition, the most important is the development of writing, or more properly, of notational systems: number systems, writing, calendars, notational systems for mathematics, engineering, music and dance. So when I was asked by Forbes to help them “rank the 20 tools which have had the biggest impact on human civilization,” I was ready.
“Writing,” I proclaimed.
I would have to think that language has to be up there, too, although it’s obviously not an artifact.
The Civil Society Institute and 40mpg.org are reporting the results of their survey:
With concerns up sharply about global warming, Americans of all political beliefs are disgruntled about weak federal leadership on global warming and energy issues, while lining up solidly behind the growing number of state and local efforts to rein in climate change problems and to tap alternative fuel sources, according to a major new Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) national survey released today by the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI) and 40mpg.org, which is a project of the CSI think tank.
Tip of the hat to Alternative Source.
This looks useful, Amazon S3:
Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.
Tip of the hat to TechCrunch
Philips develops a woodstove that saves lives and preserves energy resources:
Philips Research today announced the end of successful trials of a woodstove for cooking in communities currently relying on less efficient means. The stove cuts the smoke and toxic emissions which are claimed to cause 1.6 million deaths a year. It also burns more efficiently to reduce the load on the existing energy supply chain, without involving dependence on non-renewable energy sources. The stove could benefit up to 300 million families in the world’s poorest regions.
It may surprise readers from outside of Canada that plenty of Canadians complain about the cold winters. It annoys me, especially this winter, which, according to CBC News, has been the warmest Canadian winter on record:
It isn’t final proof that the world is heating up, but federal climatologists say this has been the warmest Canadian winter since nationwide record-keeping began in 1948.
CBC News is reporting that Senator Russell Feingold has put forward a resolution to censure Bush:
The move is considered largely symbolic since the Senate is controlled by the Republicans and the motion has no chance of passing.
It’s nice to see those Republicans covering for each other. Doesn’t it just give you a warm fuzzy?