February 2012

In terms of its actions, Canada continues to deeply misunderstand the nature, seriousness, and implications of climate change. What we know about the history of the climate and the nature of greenhouse gases strongly suggests that the continuing build-up of greenhouse gas pollution in the atmosphere is highly dangerous. Since burning fossil fuels is the […]


The Hillis Plot is a beautiful way of displaying the common ancestry of all life on Earth. The Hillis and Bull Lab at the University of Texas has several images of the plot on their website. Included among them is a PDF version with effectively infinite resolution which they say is free for “non-commercial, educational […]


In his engaging essay “Googling the Cyborg”, William Gibson effectively argues that the expectation that ‘the cyborg’ will be a human being with an electronic eye and a robot arm is mistaken. The cyborg – he argues – exists in the physical interactions between human beings and machines: “The electrons streaming into a child’s eye […]


I have really been enjoying Boston. The city has a nice scale to it – Sasha and I have been able to walk everywhere so far. The architecture is pleasant and interesting, and the people have been universally friendly. There are many parks and pleasant watercourses to walk along. I could definitely imagine spending a […]


Sasha and I are exploring Boston. Right now, we are in the Stata Center at MIT. As I find WiFi hotspots, I am uploading preliminary photos from my iPhone to my Flickr feed. Better photos from the 5D will come later.


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Here’s an example of what I mean about the internet creating all sorts of new security vulnerabilities. Twitter has recently confessed to grabbing entire address books from the smartphones of people using the service. As well as being a violation of privacy, this is a practice that could seriously endanger people. Consider all those brave […]


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Earlier, I wrote about whether the phrase ‘greenhouse gas pollution’ is accurate, and whether it might be useful for building political will to do something about climate change. The phrase is accurate – CO2 is an unwanted by-product of various processes and it does harm to people all over the world – and it may […]