The Navy’s Debauchery Problem: An Enlisted Perspective

Source: National Review.

The observations in this story ring true to me, as I have lived and worked among Naval personnel all my life.

I would say, though, that debauchery is almost a Naval tradition and it is not confined to the enlisted rates. Having been to sea on small boats (never in the Navy) I tend to think there is something about the at-sea experience that causes the excesses of at-shore behavior. I suspect, too, that navies everywhere have always known this and always found it more expedient to accept the consequences than to try to prevent them. Some things you can’t change.

MIT Study: Vaccine Hesitancy Is ‘Highly Informed, Scientifically Literate,’ and ‘Sophisticated’

Source: James Fetzer.

This story has been kicking around for a few days now. I share it to refute the irrational speculation that vaccine hesitancy shows a political bias or that only ignorant people are hesitant to be vaccinated.

I personally believe that the vaccines for Covid-19 have been more beneficial than not, but that isn’t saying much. New and unexpected wrinkles in the Covid-19 vaccination story keep occurring. For example, some pundits have been commenting recently on the observation that populations in Europe with the highest vaccination rates are also experiencing the highest infection case rates, and vice versa (low vaccinations/low case rates).

However that particular observation plays out under scrutiny, politicizing a disease like Covid-19 is clearly a mistake.

The Military Origins of Facebook

Source: Unlimited Hangout.

This article tells an origins story you may not have heard. The details look about right to me for various reasons, but I expect the substance will be hard for many to take seriously.

The substance of the story is that Big Tech as we know it today was created by the military-industrial complex. This may or may not be a good thing, but it is something more people should know about.

Neuroprosthesis for Decoding Speech in a Paralyzed Person with Anarthria

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers placed a sensor array in a patient’s brain and were able “to decode full sentences as the participant attempted to say them.”

This is fascinating stuff, but my attention goes to the name of the research sponsor: Facebook.

Speculations of the tinfoil hat variety are irresistible. Once it becomes possible to decode brain waves into information, encoding information into brain waves should also become possible. Will Facebook get the patent on that?

Urbanisation and the Onset of Modern Economic Growth

Source: The Economic Journal.

This paper dovetails with the premise of a post I wrote in the Forum awhile back about Göbekli Tepe. The archaeological site appears to confound the standard theory that cities (civilization) emerged from agricultural communities. Göbekli Tepe was an advanced city 10,000 years ago, but there is no evidence of prior or contemporary agriculture in the area.

Here’s the paper’s abstract:

Continue reading “Urbanisation and the Onset of Modern Economic Growth”