H II Regions, 11 September 2012
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I don’t study this issue, but I am interested in seeing how free, online education progresses–we have free courses from Yale and Stanford, some from MIT, and of course there’s Khan Academy. The big news here is that GMU economists Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok have opened the doors to their free education site, Marginal Revolution University. The first course will cover development economics.
I have zero background in economics but as has likely become clear through my writings, the topic fascinates me to no end. Partly this is because of the ongoing economic crisis and all its permutations, but it is also partly because it has become abundantly clear that economics and politics are inextricably linked. In our modern climate, money determines power organizations far more often than direct rule democracy. I have thus found it imperative to follow economics.
In sum: I’ve signed up for MR University and eagerly await October 1. I will certainly blog about my experiences.
They Call Me Mister Higgs
Big science news, although I suspect a lot of us had begun to assume its truth: the Higgs boson papers have passed peer review and entered canonical science. Now, they don’t actually call it the Higgs boson, it’ll take a few more months of testing to determine that. But the papers confirm that the original experiments did yield a new particle. An unknown particle. In all probability, it’s the Higgs. What we do know for sure: We finally have a handle on a previously undiscovered particle.
See Where You Will Be
Text of a speech by Warren Ellis to the Improving Reality crowd, and it’s inspiring stuff for us SF writers. The big takeaway, for those of us who spend a lot of time imagining possible futures, is this: “To improve reality is to clearly see where you are, and then wonder how to make that better.” I try to do that with my SF stories while grounding them with human problems. So yes, we can colonize future planets and bla bla bla, but we’re still greedy impetuous creatures and that still fucks up our social interactions. I’ll try to remember this article when I next dream up future technology.