January 2012

From Daniel Yergin’s The Quest: To demonstrate environmental sensitivity [at the negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol], the Japanese organizers turned down the heating in the conference center. But this created a new problem as Kyoto in December was cold. To compensate, the Japanese decided to distribute blankets to the delegates. But they did not have […]

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One sign that a person has had a genuinely novel idea is that they are in no particular hurry to publish it. When Idea A and Idea B are all over the place already, it is obvious that Idea A+B will be thought up by dozens of clever people in short order. There is less […]

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Senns

2012-01-31

in Photo of the day

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Back in 2010, I described what I called the ‘first rule of the internet‘: Against a sophisticated attacker, nothing connected to the internet is secure. To this, I feel like I should add a second item: Everything is internet now. While there were once large numbers of electronic systems entirely disconnected from the internet, nowadays […]

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U.S. Admiral Hyman Rickover, father of the nuclear navy, wrote a good plain-language description of what is basically Immanuel Kan’t categorical imperative: I believe it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world depended on him. Admittedly, one man by himself cannot do the job. However, one […]

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As usual, Bill McKibben is saying sensible things and calling for appropriate actions. He is a non-Canadian who is concerned about the ethics of digging up and burning the oil sands, in a world where the climate is changing at a frightening pace. He is asking Canadians to sign a petition: “As a Canadian, I […]

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Ossington

2012-01-26

in Photo of the day

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One of the big reasons for opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is because of how 200 oil tankers a year would threaten the coast of British Columbia. I think everyone who has seen that coastline understands its beauty and ecological importance. At the same time, I suspect the idea can be made more salient […]

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