Four short links: 13 August 2010

Scientific Literacy, Load Balancing, Indoors Geolocation, and iPhone Security

  1. The Myth of Scientific LiteracyI’d love it if there was a simple course we could send our elected officials on which would guarantee future science policy would be reliably high quality. Being educated in science (or even “about science”) isn’t going to do it. It’s social connections that will. We need to keep our elected officials honest, constantly check they are applying the evidence we want them to, in the ways we want them to. And if the scientific community want to be listened to, they need to work to build connections. Get political and scientific communities overlapping, embed scientists in policy institutions (and vice versa), get MP’s constituents onside to help foster the sorts of public pressure you want to see: build trust so scientists become people MPs want to be briefed by. (via foe on Twitter)
  2. Three Papers on Load Balancing (Alex Popescu) — three papers on distributed hash tables.
  3. Meridian — iPhone app that does in-building location, sample app is the AMNH Explorer which shows you maps of where you are. Uses wifi-based positioning. (via raffi on Twitter)
  4. Fixing What Apple Won’t — the jailbreakers are releasing security patches for systems that Apple have abandoned. (via ardgedee on Twitter)
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  • Michael H

    There are some problems with the statement on The Myth of Scientific Literacy.

    We need to keep our elected officials honest, constantly check they are applying the evidence we want them to, in the ways we want them to.”

    Who is “we”? (FYI: I’m an American, so *we* don’t have MPs). It seems to imply that scientists always agree.

    I think politicians should be encouraged to seek out reputable sources of information, but they should only hear one side of the story. Decisions aren’t truly informed if they are based on information that is weighted towards one idea. Hearing multiple voices and multiple ideas, then applying some critical thought, is the best way to come up with a well-informed decision.

  • Michael H

    They should not only hear one side of the story.

    That’s what I get for not proofreading.

  • Edward W. Baptist

    Remember the OTA? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Technology_Assessment
    Newt Gingerich’s “Contract on America” killed that so we know where he stands on this issue.

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