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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes. Probably no one ever said the WWW or Science... Read More »

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Glen Tickle, a comedian and Senior Editor at Geekosystem, recently received a lovely gift: a note card with a recipe for a chemical-free weedkiller.

A note card recipe! How grandmotherly!

Except there is nothing chemical-free about it. And Dawn dishwashing liquid was nothing my grandmother ever used, when it came out it was so quasi-futuristic and chemical-company new that it might as well have had a platinum blonde in a shiny costume for its advertisements:

 
The Shackled Man Theory says that holding someone back for half of a race and then setting them free later means the shackled racer can never really catch up. 

If so, environmentalists have already poisoned the well to such a large extent in Europe that genetically modified food may never catch on, but at least consumers are not faced with a centralized blanket ban based on nothing but hysteria.

Now they can have centralized blanket bans that at least a politician of their own can be held accountable for.  The EU wants to let individual countries decide whether or not to allow GMOs. That is good news, because now no individual country can weasel out of the issue by saying they have no choice, the EU has made the decision.
Vani Hari, an earnest unqualified pundit who sells a lot of stuff on her website, implies you will look like her if you don't eat foods she cannot pronounce. And now she has gone after pizza.

No big deal. Whereas people who eat at Subway are easily duped and thus it was simple to get Subway to not use a completely harmless additive, the pizza market is another issue entirely.
American science media is constantly going on about evolution and climate change deniers - sometimes even inventing assaults on evolution that don't exist - but when it comes to quasi-religious beliefs about energy and medical science, we get a whole slew of rationalizations about how people just don't trust corporations, or they have ethical issues or whatever.

And then there's food. The intellectual food obfuscation in order to avoid discussing the obvious demographic that embrace food pseudoscience is truly dizzying. American Shamanism is alive and well and its temples are in a Whole Foods store.
Can you imagine how difficult it is to juggle peer review for 10,000 published studies per year? That's 40 every single working day, without the time it took to look at the ones that got rejected.
Imagine a world where the tedious moments of life, cleaning or driving a car or whatever, could be spent visiting the Louvre or meeting new people or learning history. 

The whole universe of information is at your fingertips. The only evidence of intelligence is how well you utilize the system, multitasking and parsing information while chatting and even letting someone ride shotgun in your experiences. Genius itself would be redefined.

Then imagine it all disappeared. Could you remember what people told you without a digital archive of the conversation? How they look? Could you find your way home?