Thoughts and Notes

Values, rules, patterns and theories of social causation

BBC NEWS | Politics | 'A third of pubs' to open longer About one-third of all the pubs, clubs and shops in England and Wales licensed to sell alcohol are to get longer opening hours, BBC research suggests.

Now, this news is really interesting because of the folk-models of social causality that get employed on both sides of the argument.

The pro side makes the following arguments:

Marx's and Darwin's accomplishments: Finding the mechanism of evolution and social change?

Here's definitely a podcast worth listening to! Niles Eldredge and Edward J. Larson discuss the upcoming Darwin exhibit and Darwin's legacy. Particularly their discussion of Darwin's contribution of the mechanism of 'natural selection' to an existing idea of 'evolution' is illuminating.

Thatcher's role for women and the influence of women in politics on women's rights

BBC NEWS | Politics | Thatcher's role for women Patricia Hewitt, a minister Tony Blair's Cabinet, told the BBC News website: "Margaret Thatcher broke through the glass ceiling in politics. But it is a tragedy that, having become the UK's first women prime minister, she did so much to undermine the position of women in society.

Socio-economic trends in interaction

BBC NEWS | In Depth | The Thatcher years in statistics It is 15 years since Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister. Use this graphical guide to see how life in Britain changed during her time in power.

Ad-hoc metaphors as cohesive devices

Bring Democracy to Congress Perhaps we should redeploy the democracy experts we have sent to the Middle East and ask them to work on our Congress. The past few days have confirmed that our national government is dysfunctional.
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Laws of social and natural sciences

Senators are blowing smoke on gas - Los Angeles Times  Unless they can repeal the law of supply and demand, they can't do a thing about prices.
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Gas, like everything else, has its price set by supply and demand. No company charges what it thinks is fair. They charge as much as they can get away with.
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Prices fluctuate. That's the deal with this capitalism thing.
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Possible cognitive and affective implications of the new media paradigm shift

A Library for The New World

Digitized, instant communication is the great technological revolution of our time. It has streamlined business and delivered more information more quickly to more people than ever. And it has accelerated basic and applied research. Both the problems and the researchers who work on them are scattered around the world, but they come together in a common focus on the Internet.

Oral vs. written tradition and new technologies

Portable Media Expo and Podcasting Conference Saturday Sessions
Audible's CEO Don Katz's keynote address at the Podcast Expo brought together very many interesting points regarding the relationship of the oral and written tradition and the role of new technologies in giving new importance to the ultimate pre-technological medium: storytelling. (Audio here)

More on theory and fact (medicine and ritual)

There was an interesting discussion on the BBC's Today Programme (click for audio) over some recent Lancet-published study doubting the efficiency of homeopathic treatments vs. a study conducted at the Bristol homeopathic hospital showing that about 70% of patients report some improvement in how they feel.

The Bosnian Example for Iraq

It's hard to avoid the comparison between the country [Bosnia] deemed a quagmire in the 1990s and the one where the United States is bogged down today.

Some misconceptions by the defenders of the Theory of Evolution

Evolution is, in fact, the foundation of the entire science of modern biology and much of modern medicine. No, there is no absolute ''proof" of evolution, but that's not how science works. The evolutionary theory of origin of species is supported by abundant evidence from the fossil record and genetics research—indicating, for instance, that both humans and modern apes are related to primates who lived millions of years ago or that modern birds are related to dinosaurs.

Welcome to Dominik's Week in Thought

This is a blog (with the prospect of a podcast) that will track my thoughts on a variety of subjects as they come to me in my online life.