Quote of the day

"An ethicist is someone who sees something wrong with whatever you have in mind"
Marvin Minsky

Overdose Of Technology

The shift to computerised information systems has simplified hospital management and reduced the quantity of errors in health records, but it also creates opportunities for new and more spectacular mistakes. Here is how a child in a San Francisco hospital received 38½-times the intended dose of a routine antibiotic. “This is a huge dose. Oh my God, did you give this dose?” “Oh my God. I did.” (2,400 words)

On Board Virgin Galactic’s Space Flight

A 90-minute flight will carry six passengers to a height of 100 kilometres; but not without risk. “After a pilot gives the OK, they can push a button, free themselves from their straps, and go floating around. They can do somersaults in midair, assume yoga positions, think lofty thoughts about life on earth. We have also entered here into the realm of projectile vomiting. Virgin Galactic insists that this will not be a problem” (1,800 words)

Why I Converted To Islam

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explains that he converted to Islam because he felt that the Christian churches had been complicit in slavery: “I was rejecting the religion that was foreign to my American culture and embracing one that was part of my black African heritage.” He gave up his birth-name, Lew Alcindor, because it came from slavery: “Alcindor was a French planter in the West Indies who owned my ancestors” (1,960 words)

Race In The Modern World

The advancement of science over the past century has changed our understanding of race without eradicating its divisive force. We have come to see race primarily as a cultural construct, not as a biological fact. But equally, once racial divisions are in place, they sink deep into human society, and psychology, and politics. To eliminate them would require an immense educational effort over a very long period of time (3,320 words)

Conspicuous Construction

Time Warner Center raised the boom on New York’s current wave of midtown skyscraper condos aimed at foreign plutocrats seeking to shelter their wealth more than themselves. “The more expensive the object, the more money can be shifted internationally in one transaction”. Christian de Portzamparc’s One57 is a “tower of monetary power”. Rafael Viñoly’s skinny spire at Park and 56th is “a three-dimensional balance sheet” (3,980 words)

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