Samir’s Selection 04/24/2013 (p.m.)
How Can We Condemn Boston Murders but Excuse U.S. Bombing of Civilians? | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network
[C]onsider this irony: We treat child killers here in the U.S. with more care than we treat children in Afghanistan and other war zones. We excuse the killing of civilians by U.S. troops by saying that in war bad things happen–as if war is like a plague or natural disaster, for which we are not responsible. Killing innocent people is inexcusable, whether they live in Boston or in Afghanistan. Terrorists and criminals and deranged maniacs kill civilians. A civilized nation doesn’t. Or shouldn’t. Ever.
Debt and growth: Reinhart-Rogoff reprise | The Economist
How to Make Kids Smarter—and Ease Existential Terror | Streams of Consciousness, Scientific American Blog Network
[S]ome data suggest that kids’ brains may benefit from playing games like those on the Lumosity site, as I report in the May Scientific American Mind (see “Brain Games Aim to Make Kids Smarter”)…
Like brain training for adults, the version for kids typically involves computer-based exercises designed to sharpen key mental aptitudes: reasoning, attention, self-regulation or working (short-term) memory. School does this anyway, of course, but most classroom lessons and assignments are largely in the service of teaching knowledge and skills. They depend on working memory, attention and reasoning (and thereby stretch them to some extent), but aren’t geared toward burnishing these essential aptitudes.
Ultralong gamma-ray bursts: Hours-long events caused by supergiant stars.
gamma-ray bursts (GRBs)
How are humans going to become extinct? | BBC News
“We’re at the level of infants in moral responsibility, but with the technological capability of adults,” he says. As such, the significance of existential risk is “not on people’s radars”.
Fold, spindle, mutilate | ROUGH TYPE
[M]ost of us, and particularly the young, have been actively complicit in the shift away from personal computing and toward the corporate central-processing station…
The cloud, and particularly its social-networking mechanism, personalizes depersonalization… The apparatus of control wears a new face, and that face is our own.
UK Peace Index highlights rate of fall in violent crime | BBC News
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.