The Atlantic just published an in dept look at the Tech team behind the Obama campaign. It’s a little personality heavy, because they are trying to make tech interesting to the average reader, but putting that aside, there is quite a bit of detail on the team and tech structure behind the campaign.
Contrast that with what happened in the other campaign, where this was clearly not a core part of what they were doing.
The folks at Next Big Future did an analysis of deaths per unit energy produced back in 2008, which was republished recently due to the media’s focus on the Japan reactor. (There is also a many eyes visualization of the data.) World wide Coal kills 4000 times as many people each year as Nuclear. In the US things are a bit better than world wide, and it’s only killing about 1/2 as many as Oil, but it is still a big killer.
I think people are reacting to this safety issue much like they do flying vs. driving. Flying on an airplane is far safer than driving, but if it goes wrong a lot of people all die in one place at one time. The real killer takes us in ones and twos every day in every corner of this country.
(Image courtesy of Seth Godin)
* Godwin’s Law was an observation from 1989 that the longer an internet argument goes on, eventually hitler or nazis will be invoked. 20 years later it gets invoked in meat space quite often.
The folks over at Reddit, who got the ball rolling on trying to get Colbert to hold a Restore Truthiness rally in DC in October, found a new way to get his attention. Colbert is on the board of Donors Choose, a charity that helps get school teachers supplies for projects in their classrooms. On Reddit a thread was started to get people to donate to Donors Choose in the name of the rally.
Slightly over a day later it has pulled in slightly over $90,000 to the effort. It came in fast enough that is broke their tally system last night. So help a teach, and restore truthiness at the same time.
“This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.
“Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play into our enemies’ hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that.
“For that reason, I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes, as important a test. And it is critically important that we get it right.
His speech has shown up many places, this transcription is on Salon. It’s really worth reading in it’s entirety.
That pretty much wraps it up.
There is a good posting on the Real Climate blog about the IPCC AR4 blow back that is happening. I think this gets to the heart of it:
To those familiar with the science and the IPCC’s work, the current
media discussion is in large part simply absurd and surreal.
Journalists who have never even peeked into the IPCC report are now
outraged that one wrong number appears on page 493 of Volume 2. We’ve
met TV teams coming to film a report on the IPCC reports’ errors, who
were astonished when they held one of the heavy volumes in hand, having
never even seen it. They told us frankly that they had no way to make
their own judgment; they could only report what they were being told
about it. And there are well-organized lobby forces
with proper PR skills that make sure these journalists are being told
the “right” story. That explains why some media stories about what is
supposedly said in the IPCC reports can easily be falsified simply by
opening the report and reading. Unfortunately, as a broad-based
volunteer effort with only minimal organizational structure the IPCC is
not in a good position to rapidly counter misinformation.