johngribbinscience

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Seven years after Richard Feynman died, I visited Caltech for the first time. One reason for the visit was to give a talk about the transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics, which draws so strongly on Feynman’s own unusual ideas about the nature of electromagnetic radiation, now more than half a century old. It was, to say the least, an unusual feeling to be talking not just from the spot where Feynman himself used to lecture, but about his own work. And when, during the question period at the end of the talk, the discussion moved on to QED, the dream-like quality of the occasion intensified — an audience at Caltech, of all places, was asking me to explain QED to them!
But the main purpose of the visit was to fill in the background to the Feynman legend in preparation for writing a book, visiting the places where he used…

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TO THE BRINK

I enjoy a habit of contrarian-poking at overused assumptions. Especially the hoary nostrum that humanity is not improving. Elsewhere I take on one aspect of this cynical calumny, where folks sadly shake their heads over how “our ethics haven’t kept pace with technology.” What malarkey. What stunning ability to ignore all we have done in the last 60 years.

FlynnEffectOh, I’ll avow we may not be getting better fast enough to save ourselves or the planet.  That tense race is central to my novels EARTH and EXISTENCE. I’m no complacent polyanna. Rather, the fact that we’ve improved a bit demands we redouble our efforts! It is cynics who are at best lazy and unhelpful.

Putting ethics aside, what other areas of improvement might do the most good? How about making everybody smarter?  Better able to grasp complex situations and knowledge. Better equipped to understand diverse views and…

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Ann Coulter gets served

Beautifully done.

The World of Special Olympics

The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate.

Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow.  So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.  I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you.  In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child…

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Dell® collaborates for IT education in schools

http://supportfordell.iyogi.com/news/dell-collaborates-it-education.html

A PR stunt to cover up for the tens of millions of broken computers that Dell Business sold knowing that they were broken and then blaming the customer for any flaws…of course the businesses had to know something was up and that there had to be something weird going on for dell to underbid that much.