The Sciences

Daily Data Dump - Thursday

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanOct 7, 2010 5:12 PM


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Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery. It looks to be a combination of a virus and fungus. The paper itself is open access at PLoS ONE. The READ: Washed Up. A panning of the attempts of Jersey Shore "cast" members to cash in on their fame. I think the reason that JS was such an initial hit is that unlike MTV's other reality television offerings they are taken as they are and there is no attempt is made to "reform" them by opening their minds. In fact they're arguably becoming more extreme in their caricature of the working-class East Coast white ethnic ethos. Why Do We Love Our Dentists? "Why did the cheaper energy drink prove less effective? According to the scientists, consumers are misled by their preconceptions. Since we expect cheaper goods to be less effective, they generally are less effective, even if they are identical to more expensive products." Perhaps this sort of dynamic explains "medicine" for most of human history, when not only was it not effective, but some of the "remedies" may have been worse than nothing. A LESS COHERENT POST THAN I'D LIKE ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF BANKING. I feel that people are starting to get bored by the financial sector. Don't be, we live in exciting times. At least if you've got 10 more years left in you. From Yuck to Yippee! Ron Bailey on how the wisdom-of-repugnance gives way to banality when it comes to new technologies. Does morality have a direction, or is it just arbitrary? How about slavery? Once considered at worse a necessary evil, and at best a morally acceptable institution which allows for the emergence of a refined leisured class, it is now de jure abolished world wide (and to a great extent de facto). Interestingly, according to The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism the British were making a major economic sacrifice when they finally freed their Caribbean slaves and clamped down on the slave trade. Sugar profits had been going up, and free labor simply was not economically as productive in generating profit (not only did they have to be paid, but they couldn't be worked to death to squeeze the maximum amount of labor out of them).

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