Blog

EuEpigenetics

I get an email from Aporia Magazine titled "You're probably a eugenicist" -- provocatively suggesting that we all favor good genes, and that we, all-knowing moderns, imbued with science, know what good genes are. I take umbrage with Aporia for their short-sightedness....

Software Enshittification

I would love to exit the Mac/Apple ecosystem. But I haven't found anything else reliable. It is a catch-22: use an overly expensive, bloated software and hardware monopoly that gets worse with every iteration, or go to an unsupported Linux ecosystem which doesn't have...

Students are not Customers

There is a difference between a student and a customer. Yet universities, driven by profit motives, and doubting their own values, often treat students as customers. This comes with "the customer is always right" fallacy, that actually precludes and prevents...

Bass Ackwards Problem Prolonging

Instead of trying to force drugs down people's throats, why don't we address smoking, diet, and lobby against air pollution. Especially if you're a drug company. #Demarketing What these tricksters can do is put all their money into upstream prevention, not try to get...

Finding ‘middle’ requires exploring extremes

Every time I encounter people afraid of scientists being 'alarmist' I see fear masquerading as 1001 justification for negligence, false moral superiority, and license to check out and deflect responsibility. If you are an archer and trying to hit the bullseye, and you...

Denial of Death?

“Burnout is nature's way of telling you, you've been going through the motions your soul has departed; you're a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.”? Sam Keen, Fire in...

The AI Oracle

Searching for oracles to take the responsibility of judgment off our shoulders is as old as humankind itself. Whether it is the ergot-infused Oracle at Delphi, reading the tea leaves, the stars and their astrologics, the Tarot, ayahuasca and a tribe's totem animal...

Ecological Sisyphus

I feel like this as an environmental professional: expected to educate why we need to make sustainable change to all those convinced that everything's fine. One must imagine Sisyphus happy... (Camus) I cannot imagine how it is for climate and environmental scientists...

Semiofest meets Biosemiotics

Semiofest, the largest meeting and organization professional semioticians (working commercially rather than academically) just had a session biosemiotics. In many ways, it was also sustainability 2.0, tackling the issues of performativity and power in how we make...

Life From Plato’s Cave Podcast Interview

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of hanging out with Mario Veen and talking with him on his Life From Plato's Cave podcast. It was a rollicking good time and enabled us to enter into some crevasses of why our world is so stuck, and how we can make it more likely...

It’s not about the Animals

(This is a contribution to the Great Transitions Initiative's discussion - this month, on Eileen Crist's essay on animals.) What we have done to animals is a crime with a motive that has nothing to do with animals. It has to do with what we have done to each...

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Billionaire Bunkers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s12KMTj1RE Image all these resources were actually used to make the world a better place. This company would be out of business. To apocalypse, no Oppidum. Self-fulfilling prophecy to the max. “They are places of serenity and absolute...

It’s as if Anti-Trust never existed

We have a handful of transnational corporation more powerful than almost every single government in the world. Amazon, Google, Facebook (I refuse to call them by their wannabe name), not to mention Vanguard and Blackrock, the ginormous hedge funds that control most of...

Alienation’s Apotheosis

There are some presentations at our second cohort at the biomedical ethics residency today that made me queasy because of how backwards causation they were. The whole point of having biomedical ethics is to avoid blinding ourselves to the various factors that create...

The Tech Megamachine

As annoying as I find Russell Brand on occasion, in this case he makes a good point. The marriage of corporate and state power - technology and the monopoly on violence - which Mussolini called 'fascism' and Lewis Mumford called the megamachine, is getting closer and...

Presentation day at the Brocher Foundation

We've been waiting 2 years for this. We applied in 2019 for 2020 summer, and then covid hit. Well here we are, finally, on beautiful Lac Leman. Today the fellows resident at the Fondation Brocher give our presentations. The biomedical ethics foundation, located in...

Cigarette Litter as Environmental Pollution

At Erasmus University Rotterdam, there appears to be a gap in the official rule about smoking on campus. This environmental pollution from littered butts is an indicator of both the environmental and health costs of smoking. Right behind the building where I work, I...

Downstream trashiness

If you've been keeping up with my work, I'm into upstream solutions. Here's an example from The Ocean Cleanup which is a very necessary, but very downstream solution. While I applaud such actions, why do these get so much airplay (and funding)? While getting rid of...

On ‘Anti-Environmentalism’

There's a new Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism, which is a new term to me. It seems it should be commonplace. For it articulates the madness which we have experienced in the 20th and 21st centuries, descending on us like a dark, inarticulate cloud. The delay and...

How Science can be Manipulated by Industry Podcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJG-nJEJWts In a 90 minute interview with Ari Whitten, we explore philosophy of science and public health, focusing on how industry can undermine the quality and public trust in sincere science. I reference the @justsaysinmice twitter...

Platforming Anti-Eco Trolls is Stochastic Terrorism

You would think that at Erasmus University, that those trolls wishing the end of the world so that they don't have to examine their own lives would have the good sense to keep their mouths shut. Unfortunately, that seems to be an unfounded belief. The me-first trolls,...