Category Archives: Technology and Society

My New Road Computer

Some may remember a couple months ago, when I was in Florida, I was trying an iPad with bluetooth keyboard and mouse, to see if it was acceptable. It turned out that Apple frowns on mice with iPads. Monday, I went out and bought an ASUS ZenPad 10, with Android 6.0, and it seems to be working, but there is a weird problem. The right button on the mouse doesn’t give a menu; it acts like a back button. Which makes it impossible (for example) to open a link in a new tab. Anyone have any idea what the deal is?

The Value Of Argument

Kids, would you please start fighting?

The Wright brothers weren’t alone. The Beatles fought over instruments and lyrics and melodies. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony clashed over the right way to win the right to vote. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak argued incessantly while designing the first Apple computer. None of these people succeeded in spite of the drama — they flourished because of it. Brainstorming groups generate 16 percent more ideas when the members are encouraged to criticize one another. The most creative ideas in Chinese technology companies and the best decisions in American hospitals come from teams that have real disagreements early on. Breakthrough labs in microbiology aren’t full of enthusiastic collaborators cheering one another on but of skeptical scientists challenging one another’s interpretations.

If no one ever argues, you’re not likely to give up on old ways of doing things, let alone try new ones. Disagreement is the antidote to groupthink. We’re at our most imaginative when we’re out of sync. There’s no better time than childhood to learn how to dish it out — and to take it.

Beyond the danger to free expression, this is a large part of the danger of political correctness and groupthink on campus.

Military In Space

Nothing really new here for people who follow this sort of thing, but here’s as good an overview of Pentagon plans as you can get without a clearance. I think that if BFR and Blue Origin’s vehicles come to be, they’ll dramatically open new capablities and change a lot of doctrine and strategy.

[Update a few minutes later]

This seems related. A new report, titled Escalation and Deterrence in the Second Space Age. Looks interesting.

[Via Leonard David]

About That Federal Climate Report

It’s “the usual mix of half truths, exaggerations, omissions and outright lies.”

In other words, what we’ve come to expect from government climate reports.

[Tuesday-morning update]

Oops, Naomi Oreske caught with biased numbers on “Exxon knew.”

Gee, it’s almost as thought they have a political agenda.