Ezra Klein: So what should we be afraid of?
BS: Car crashes. Global warming. It feels insensitive to say it so close to the tragedy, but it’s true. What people should worry about are things so common that they’re no longer news. That’s what kills people.
… but Techcrunch do. By leading his story with the default view (change in greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2006) rather than the actual emission figures (as shown here)
Erick Schonfeld managed to construct an argument that somehow Sweden and Canada were causing more climate change than the US, despite their lower per-capita emissions (and of course far lower populations). He went on to ignore (and ridicule) comments pointing this out, despite being the sort of site you’d expect to champion the idea that the audience might know better. (via gilest)
Ben Ward’s call to stop interacting with TechCrunch - and both its major editors - makes more sense all the time.
Subheaded “Satire? No - a genius really has concocted a tax proposal to put our aid budget in the hands of the super-rich”, this is a great read which can’t be quoted from in chunks. Just go and read it.
“I first heard about climate change in the 80s. We called it global warming then and I remember thinking ‘that sounds dangerous’. But I never had a eureka awareness moment. It was a gradual build-up. Then I read zoology at University College London and my thesis was ‘Is the human species suicidal?’ I read it again recently. It was the blueprint for this film.”
They bypassed the banks and went straight to ordinary people for cash, developing the idea of “crowd-funding”. The first £50,000 was raised in a London bar on a single night in December 2004, and the £530,000 raised so far has come from 228 people who have invested between £500 and £35,000 each. There are still seven £10,000 shares available.
A short review of what sounds like an interesting book.
In November 1688, Prince William of Orange, of the Dutch Republic, landed in Devon with an invasion force of 500 ships and thousands of men and marched on London, whereupon King James II fled. William and his wife Mary (James’s daughter) were offered the throne, and London remained under Dutch military occupation until 1690. How did this “invasion” come to be known as the “Glorious Revolution”, a peaceful restoration of order?
A somewhat longer, much more critical, review, of Toby Litt’s new science fiction novel (at least he admits in, unlike some), set on a generation ship (and gives away the plot, if you care about that sort of thing):
Though ship-born, they are obsessed with Earth, with weather-words and landscapes. A younger brother imagines birdsongs in the creaks and squeaks of various mechanisms - a touching thought. But has the ship’s library no recordings of actual birds? No nature films?
The theme of the ship of fools is old and tried, and has provided matter for many a good story; but this is a ship of blockheads. Perhaps it’s a good thing to remind us of the dangerous stupidity of our species, but if there’s no end and no contrast to the stupidity, the story itself sinks into the inane.