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1999


 

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Science, Fiction, and points in between

Friday 10 November 2000

Election Day +2 Special

§ Could George W. Bush become President because of a usability bug? All about interface design.

Salon

§ A remarkably prescient headline in The Onion -- it was posted mid-day Tuesday.


Tuesday 7 November 2000

Election Day Special

§ Timothy Noah in Slate points out that, while George W. Bush (and Republicans in general) decry relativism in moral matters, they're perfectly happy to adopt relativism in scientific matters, specifically about whether evolution is taught in the classroom. Quoting the New York Times,

Characteristically, he [Bush] does not believe in evolution he says the jury is still out but he does not actively disbelieve in it either; as a friend puts it, "he doesn't really care about that kind of thing."
Vice President Al Gore was willing to let public schools decide at a local level whether or not to teach creationism until someone pointed out that doing so was prohibited, since it constituted religious instruction, by a 1987 Supreme Court decision.
Slate

§ Bart Kosko, author of Fuzzy Thinking: The New Science of Fuzzy Logic, validates the concept of fuzzy math as something we use every day.

What fuzzy math does is let us and our computers reason with shades of gray. ... Both candidates say that their top priority is education. Both say they favor increased training in science and mathematics. Yet both reflect the sorry state of scientific literacy in this country.

§ Psychology professor and writer on linguistics Steven Pinker explains what the candidates' speech patterns reveal about themselves: why voters don't seem bothered by Bush's malapropisms; Al Gore's habit of speaking in "motherese".


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