Thursday, July 25, 2013

What is it with the anti-tech crowd and the NY Times? and more in the "someone is wrong on the internet" vein

Latest idiocy is from Alison Arieff.  You can read it here:
Or email me for it--I copied it as an example of "someone is wrong on the internet!"
I have to admit, I had trouble making it through the thing--about the time it was clear that she didn't understand how autonomous cars work and was basically just scared of them, I began skimming.  Here's the thing: I've had a major accident that was the result of human (my) error.  It was as a result of not having quite enough focus, but mostly of having two eyes, not the four that I needed.  So, yeah, I know technology fails.  But what we humans have trouble with is recognizing how often we fail--and when technology, most of the time, does better.
And while I'm complaining...A friend posted a link to a TED talk that argued that there was evidence that insulin resistance led to weight gain, not the reverse. Sure, fine. Now make your case.  Which he didn't.  He spent fifteen minutes repeating the sentence above in different ways.  Really not ready for prime time.  And I don't even mind if all he's doing is questioning conventional wisdom--but if you have 3 minutes of something to say, don't take 15 minutes to do it. Made that comment back and another friend more or less reprimanded me for questioning TED talks: "The talks have a time limit to them and TED is a place where people go to be inspired to do more and work together. I found his talk very inspiring and compelling." To which I wanted to reply: "Thank you for explaining the obvious with such beautiful condescension. I'm sorry you have no filter and no taste.  Now go watch Hans Rosling and see if you can tell the difference between empty air and making a point."
All of which is to say, nothing much is happening here. I rewrote my talk yesterday, then Nurit commented and I'll probably tweak it again both for clarity and length--but not until Saturday.  I have other stuff to do and want to let it sit.  
What we both agree on is that our work dovetails so very nicely that we really need to write a paper or two together.  Between one thing and another, I have a lot of writing to do.  Which brings me to...
Book stuff is continuing.  As people are reading my submission, I'm continuing to get interest.  So...there won't be anything sure until I've done the complete rewrite, at which point things get really serious, but in the meantime, people are interested.

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