Sunday, September 20, 2015

Australian Indigenous oral histories may have been stable over millennia

Interesting article on how the oral traditions of the Australian Indigenous peoples may literally have been passed down from the last ice age - over 7000 years ago - relating the rise in sea levels. Essentially this was done by a system of intergenerational checking that kept the stories extremely stable over time.

That's pretty fascinating.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Indian Patent Office nixes HepC patent

Gilead Sciences charges $84,000 for their hepatitis treatment Sovaldi. They've worked out patent deals with a lot of countries - but India has denied them an Indian patent. The result: in India, generics will be legal, even for export. Interesting!

Conspiracies versus conspiracy theories

Dave Neiwert writes some really kick-ass stuff. Here's a piece from 2004 comparing conspiracies (which demonstrably exist) with American paranoia in the form of conspiracy theories (which posit global conspiracies that don't exist).

It's pretty good reading! I'd love to track this kind of thing in a conspiracy theory database.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Meme: all terrorists are Muslims

It's difficult even to comprehend somebody honestly saying something this stupid, but our assumptions make morons of us all. Here are some facts, with decent linkage. Muslims account for less than 2% of terrorist attacks in Europe, In the US, it's more like 6%. 42% are committed by Latino groups, 24% by "extreme left-wing actors", whatever that means. More Americans die by being crushed under refrigerators than due to attacks by Muslims. More Americans were killed by toddlers in 2013 than by Muslims, assuming none of those toddlers were Muslims.

Since 9/11, Muslim terrorists have killed 37 Americans. During that time, 190,000 Americans were murdered by other Americans. So you tell me - is it sane to freak out about Islam?

David Brin on clash of memic systems

With reference to Charlie Hebdo, David Brin weighs in with some pretty good thoughts.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

No fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value

Well, this is an interesting legal analysis. Not only is it the stupidest idea ever, the usual excuse that they're legally forced to maximize shareholder value doesn't hold water, either.

Neiwert on the Right's self-distancing from Breivik (2011)

David Neiwert has been posting some of his older work on Facebook lately. This is a great one.