Saturday, August 29, 2009

Links ...

  1. Featured link: Drake Bennett in Boston Globe: Happiness -- A Buyer's Guide: Money can improve your life, but not in the ways you think. Here's the money quote [pardon me for the unintended pun]: “Just because money doesn’t buy happiness doesn’t mean money cannot buy happiness. People just might be using it wrong.” The quote is from Elizabeth Dunn, a social psychologist and assistant professor at the University of British Columbia.

    See also: Jonah Lehrer's comments on this article.

  2. Eric Wargo: The New Genetics:

    The metaphor Champagne uses is a library. A library contains many books, but they don't do anything by themselves; in order to have an impact, to instruct and inspire, they have to be actually taken down from the shelves and read. The genome is the same way: Whatever information it contains, it has no effect on anything unless and until it gets transcribed (by messenger RNA) and translated into protein. "DNA, in order to be read, must be accessible; it must be unwrapped from the very condensed form in which it is stored in cells," she explained.

  3. Janet Stemwedel in Adventures in Ethics and Science: A [favorable] ruling [a harassment case] but no remedy: what to do when a university grievance process has failed you. Lots of useful suggestions in the comments section. What's interesting for me is the variety of laws and institutions in the US that one could turn to for help.

  4. Ethan Zuckerman at My Heart's In Accra: Cute Cate Theory of Digital Activism [and its perennial battle to overcome censorship].

  5. Joshua Hortshome in Scientific American: Does Language Shape What We Think? A new study looks at what happens when a language doesn't have words for numbers.