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Technology & Innovation

This Week in Comments: October 30th—November 5th, 2017

This week’s Comment of the Week is about an interesting divide between political reality and our technology. See what else we liked! Did you make the cut? 

Hello again! And welcome to another scintillating edition of Comment of the Week. 

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Award Winning Map Shows a More Accurate World

Daniel Boulet:Essentially, if not actually, every map in existence was created with some purpose in mind. This necessarily leads to the mapmaker making tradeoffs between what the map illustrates and emphasizes vs what the map downplays or even ignores. These tradeoffs are an absolutely necessary part of designing a map. To pretend that there is some particular type of map which is universally more accurate than all other maps is nonsensical in all but one sense (see last paragraph below for more on this point).

When one sets out to discover/learn something via the use of maps, it thus becomes necessary to ensure that one selects the correct map for the task at hand. For example, if you want to understand international borders then pick a map which shows international borders. On the other hand, if you want to understand wildlife migration routes, then a map which shows international borders but which downplays physical terrain features isn’t likely to be all that illuminating.

Finally, the Earth itself can be considered to be a map of itself. In that sense, the Earth is the only map of the Earth in existence which is, by definition, completely accurate. Needless to say, the Earth as a map of itself is a pretty useless map in practically all situations.

How Marijuana May Help Stop the Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Lee Prew:But Jeff Sessions says they’re both as bad as each other. I mean, just look at all the deaths caused by weed and all of the ‘addicts’ forced into rehabilitation by the cops. It’s reefer madness I tells ya!
Bruno Manuel CamposBut.. we’re gonna end up with more fatso’s with the munchies eating cookies in the store!.. shit dude.. but it will be awesome. 

The Politics of Disgust 

Deborah Lynn:This is timely. Our office has old plumbing and sometimes not everything goes down on the first flush. I walked into a stall with a nugget floating, ew, and flushed the toilet, did my business, flushed my business and went back to work. The other day one if the conservatives walked into a stall with a nugget, ran out of the bathroom going on and on about how she’s going to throw up. It prompted an email about flushing, which prompted the other super conservative to reply all to the email and go on and on and on. My take away: the difference between a liberal and conservative is the liberal just deals with the issue and gets on with their day and the conservative has a complete meltdown.

Elon Musk Announces New “Big F$cking Rocket” and Ambitious Mars and Moon Plans

Matthew Samuelson:Isn’t it crazy that a billion-dollar corporation using 2017 technology can barely launch a rocket but somehow the U.S. government went to the moon numerous times in the 60s using technology less powerful than your standard calculator?


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