The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on July 24, 2011

  • He’s so right.
    Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich said he could explain the problems with the economy in less than 2 minutes, 15 seconds—and he did it (with illustrations to boot). It’s great! Check it out.

    tags: moveon economy robert_reich video recession

  • Title says it all.
    The findings add to a growing awareness that manufacturing plays a critical role in driving innovation. Harvard Business School professors David Pisano and Willy Shih argue, for example, that innovation capacity often disappears if a country loses its manufacturing sector, because the knowledge and abilities needed to develop new technologies are often closely linked to the skills and expertise associated with manufacturing (see “Innovation Depends on a Robust Manufacturing Sector”). Fuchs builds on this idea by showing that regional manufacturing differences can cause the most advanced technologies to fall by the wayside. “Manufacturing locations can affect the evolution of technology globally,” she says.

    tags: mit_techreview manufacturing erica_fuchs globalization innovation

  • James Fallows makes a compelling case. Refreshing to read amidst the currently fashionable jeremiads.
    As the one truly universal nation, the United States continually refreshes its connections with the rest of the world—through languages, family, education, business—in a way no other nation does, or will. The countries that are comparably open—Canada, Australia—aren’t nearly as large; those whose economies are comparably large—Japan, unified Europe, eventually China or India—aren’t nearly as open. The simplest measure of whether a culture is dominant is whether outsiders want to be part of it. At the height of the British Empire, colonial subjects from the Raj to Malaya to the Caribbean modeled themselves in part on Englishmen: Nehru and Lee Kuan Yew went to Cambridge, Gandhi, to University College, London. Ho Chi Minh wrote in French for magazines in Paris. These days the world is full of businesspeople, bureaucrats, and scientists who have trained in the United States.

    tags: james_fallows atlantic_monthly america

    Nothing should make a futurist more wary than looking at the history of the profession and seeing how hilarious its mistakes have been.
    Exactly. That’s why futurologists (whether of the happy-happy or the often *much* more profitable doom-and-gloom school) give me hives.

    tags: singularity_hub video predictions futurismo

  • Ok, remember to kick the depression if you want those synapses to fire well into old age…
    … a mathematical model to estimate how the seven risk factors affect the likelihood of someone developing the disease. The factors are:

    Low education
    Too little exercise
    High blood pressure in mid-life

    In the U.S., inactivity has the biggest impact on the number of cases because a third of the population is sedentary, Deborah Barnes, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California and lead author of the study, told The Associated Press.

    Depression is also a key factor, followed by smoking and high blood pressure.

    tags: depression mental_health alzheimer ctv

  • Lovely series of photos of New York City, mostly from the 1940s, some from the 60s.
    Amateur photographer Charles W. Cushman traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad capturing daily life from 1938 to 1969.

    His works have been donated to and maintained by Cushman’s alma mater Indiana University, which has kindly given us permission to publish his gallery of New York City photos taken in 1941, 1942 and 1960.

    tags: nyc charles_w_cushman photography street_photography manhattan

  • Interesting hypotheses to tease out genetic aspects of how homosexual “reproduction” might work:
    Overly simplified, this “tipping-point” model (originally introduced by G. E. Hutchinson in 1959, and then later popularized by Jim McKnight in 1997 and Edward Miller in 2000) posits that genes associated with homosexuality confer fitness benefits in their heterosexual carriers. If only a few of these alleles are inherited, a males’ reproductive success is enhanced via the expression of attractive, albeit feminine traits, such as kindness, sensitivity, empathy, and tenderness. However, if many of these alleles are inherited, a “tipping point” is reached at which even mate preferences become “feminized,” meaning males are attracted to other males.”

    tags: homosexuality psychology evolutionary_psychology psychology_today johnny_depp

  • Admittedly, I ignored this post when it first came out because, given my current interests, I didn’t think I’d find anything worth reading from a Canadian journalist. Wow, was I wrong. This essay is brilliant and a must-read. Nagata is not your average 24-year-old or average anything.
    Consider Fox News. What the Murdoch model demonstrated was that facts and truth could be replaced by ideology, with viewership and revenue going up. Simply put, you can tell less truth and make more money. When you have to balance the interests of your shareholders against the interests of the viewers you supposedly serve, the firewall between the boardroom and the newsroom becomes a very important bulwark indeed. CTV, in my experience, maintains high standards in factual accuracy. Its editorial staff is composed of fair-minded critical thinkers. But there is an underlying tension between “what the people want to see” and “the important stories we should be bringing to people”.

    tags: kai_nagata canada politics journalism ctv cbc press

  • Fascinating.
    Dr. Suzanne Simard writes:
    Graduate student Kevin Beiler has uncovered the extent and architecture of this network through the use of new molecular tools that can distinguish the DNA of one fungal individual from another, or of one tree’s roots from another. He has found that all trees in dry interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca) forests are interconnected, with the largest, oldest trees serving as hubs, much like the hub of a spoked wheel, where younger trees establish within the mycorrhizal network of the old trees. Through careful experimentation, recent graduate Francois Teste determined that survival of these establishing trees was greatly enhanced when they were linked into the network of the old trees.Through the use of stable isotope tracers, he and Amanda Schoonmaker, a recent undergraduate student in Forestry, found that increased survival was associated with belowground transfer of carbon, nitrogen and water from the old trees. This research provides strong evidence that maintaining forest resilience is dependent on conserving mycorrhizal links, and that removal of hub trees could unravel the network and compromise regenerative capacity of the forests.

    tags: trees ecology fungi communication gaia biosphere forests networks suzanne_simard

  • Several studies recently, one claiming that cities aren’t so green (whereas this one counterindicates it). I like this article because it argues for more trees.
    While this news may just be common sense (trees are good!), it’s another important argument for why urban planning needs to incorporate green space, particularly the shady kind. The human population is on track to add more than two billion people to our ranks in the next fifty years. Much of that growth will happen in urban areas, which currently shelter more than half of the globe. We’ll need that urban land to absorb as much carbon as possible if we have any hope of fighting climate change.

    tags: good_mag cities environment carbon_sequestering ecological_urbanism

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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