Category Archives: Technology and Society


Maybe I should start taking it:

“If we consider our results and then we also consider what results have been achieved in clinical trials with cystic fibrosis patients, we are probably looking at the same mechanism(s), whereby antibiotics are removing inflammatory senescent cells and boosting healthy ones.

“Undoubtedly, our results have significant implications for potentially alleviating or reversing tissue dysfunction and slowing the development of many ageing-associated diseases,” explains Professor Federica Sotgia, a co-lead of this study.

Yes, undoubtedly.

Back To Space

Virgin Galactic just completed the first flight of SpaceShipTwo to space, if one considers the boundary to be 80 kilometers (it reportedly got to 82). At the Galloway Symposium last week, Jonathan McDowell made a good case that this, not the traditional Karman line of 100 km, is the right altitude. If one accepts that, it is the first flight of humans to space from American soil since the Shuttle retired over seven years ago. Here’s hoping that Blue Origin does the same thing next year (except they’re designed to get to 100 km).

[Update a few minutes later]

Here‘s Emilee Speck’s story.

[Update a while later]

Link to the McDowell paper should be working now, sorry.

[Update a while later]

Tim Fernholz has a story up now.

[Update a few minutes later]

And here’s a story from CNN‘s Jackie Wattles.

The Climate Wars

The first shots are being fired in western Europe:

Who pays for environmental virtue?

The gilets jaune revolt begs the issue: who pays to save the planet? The Paris accords absolved the very countries driving emission increases — China and India — from mandating emissions cuts until 2030, leaving the burden largely on the backs of the West’s own middle and working classes.

Yet many of these people need fossil fuels to get to work or operate their businesses. Tourists may gape at the high-speed trains and the Paris Metro, but the vast majority get to work in cars. More than 80 percent of the Paris metropolitan area population lives in the suburbs and exurbs, in an area nearly the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

Like the revolutionaries of 1789, people are enraged by the hypocrisy of their betters. In pre-revolutionary times, French aristocrats and top clerics preached Christian charity while indulging in gluttony, sexual adventurism and lavish spending. Today they see the well-off and well-connected buying their modern version of indulgences through carbon credits and other virtue-signaling devices. Meanwhile, as many as 30 percent of Germans and as many as half of Greeks are spending 10 percent or more of their income on energy, the definition of “energy poverty.” This is occurring while these policies prove sadly ineffective in reducing emissions while the much disdained US leads the large countries in cuts.

It’s not about saving the planet; it’s about the “elites” (who are elite in name only, not in talent or competence or intelligence) signaling their virtue to their peers, while defecating on the commoners and telling them it’s cotton candy.

[Update a while later]

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost exactly nine years since I wrote this piece about the Precautionary Principle. And nothing has changed.