By mid-century, 10 million people a year are projected to die from untreatable infections. Can Cassandra, an ethnobotanist at Emory University convince Steve that herbs and ancient healing are key to our medical future?
Permafrost contains microbes, mammoths, and twice as much carbon as Earth’s atmosphere. What happens when it starts to melt?
— Read on www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/01/17/the-great-siberian-thaw
We have been hearing warnings about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest for decades, but experts say a catastrophic tipping point is now just over the horizon. Are they right? And if so, what can we do to pull things back?
— Read on www.newscientist.com/article/mg25233640-800-the-amazon-is-turning-into-savannah-we-have-5-years-to-save-it/
Scientists have carefully collected spawn bundles by moonlight in a bid to help save the reef
— Read on www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/26/great-barrier-reef-how-a-spectacular-coral-spawning-event-is-helping-to-breed-heat-tolerant-corals
The environmental debate over meatless meat, explained.
— Read on www.vox.com/22787178/beyond-impossible-plant-based-vegetarian-meat-climate-environmental-impact-sustainability
There are almost certainly people from every walk of life, in every industry, at every school, in every police precinct, and working for just about every news outlet who believe things about artificial intelligence that are simply not true.
Let’s make a short list of things that are demonstrably untrue that the general public tends to believe:
Big tech is making progress mitigating racial bias in AI
AI can predict crime
AI can tell if you’re gay
AI writing/images/paintings/videos/audio can fool humans
AI is on the verge of becoming sentient
Having a human in the loop mitigates bias
AI can determine if a job candidate will be successful
AI can determine gender
AI can tell what songs/movies/videos/clothes you’ll like
Human-level self-driving vehicles exist
And that list could go on and on. There are thousands of useless startups and corporations out there running basic algorithms and claiming their systems can do things that no AI can do.
Those that aren’t outright pedaling snake oil often fudge statistics and percentages to mislead people concerning how efficacious their products are.
— Read on thenextweb.com/news/why-flat-earthers-clear-present-threat-ai-powered-society
‘We’ve got to get everybody around the world to say — we will not be defeated by climate change, we will not be defeated by loss of biodiversity. We will defeat covid, we will fight to prevent another pandemic.’
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2021/10/19/jane-goodall-book-climate-change/
David Wiley has proposed that the federal government take the intellectual property of academic publishers using the power of eminent domain. The fees that public universities have already paid (the University of California system alone paid $13 million to Elsevier in 2021) could go quite a ways towards the “just compensation” for property seizure specified in the Fifth Amendment.
Recently, supporters of Sci-Hub have begun creating copies of the site’s immense archive in case it is taken down. Their hope is to make Sci-Hub “un-censorable.” But it is still worth contemplating a world without Sci-Hub—that is to say, a world in which Sci-Hub would be unnecessary. The “effective nationalization” proposed by Wiley and by the academic publishers themselves might just pave the way there. Imagine it: a 21st-century Library of Alexandria, a truly utopian creation, gifted to the world by Uncle Sam.
— Read on palladiummag.com/2021/09/24/a-world-without-sci-hub/
The animals and one plant had been listed as endangered species. Their stories hold lessons about a growing global biodiversity crisis.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2021/09/28/climate/endangered-animals-extinct.html
The shape of things to come.
From the frigid peaks of Patagonia to the tropical wetlands of Brazil, worsening droughts this year are slamming farmers, shutting down ski slopes, upending transit and raising the price of everything from coffee to electricity.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/09/24/argentina-brazil-south-america-drought/