Sunday, July 08, 2007

More Things From Around the Web

Several things:
  • I like this guy's perspective on the global warming concerts yesterday (even though I'm not sure where he gets his stats): If you ask the 15 million people who are going to die from easily curable infectious diseases next year, the idea that climate change is our top priority seems to be massively overblown. What’s even more important is that you ask: ‘Where can we actually do some good?’ The answer is overwhelmingly: we can do very little good if we focus on climate change policies, whereas we can do immense amounts of good if we focus on some of the many other problems in the world. Climate change is a problem, and it definitely is one that we need to tackle over this century. But to say that this is the first and foremost thing that we need to tackle, as Tim Flannery said in a Financial Times interview a week ago, that this is the one thing we need to focus on in the next 10 years - that is simply ridiculous. We would be doing something that will help people very little - and only in a hundred years from now - at a very high cost. Meanwhile, we would be neglecting the fact that we could do massive amounts of good for less money for a lot of the people living right now - and in the process helping their descendents much more... ...We know how to solve many of these problems, just as we know how to deal with climate change. If you want to stop HIV-AIDS, it’s about information, about providing condoms. If you want to stop global warming, it’s about cutting carbon emissions. My point is that cutting carbon emissions costs a lot and it provides only a small benefit 100 years from now; handing out condoms and information, however, is very cheap and it works for people suffering from HIV-AIDS right now... ...To give one example: Gore points out that with global warming we’re going to see more heat deaths. That is true; we will see 2,000 more heat deaths in Britain by 2080. But at the same time we will also see 20,000 fewer cold deaths from climate change in 2080. It seems to me that only drawing attention to the 2,000 heat deaths and neglecting to tell us about the 20,000 cold deaths is not a good way to inform the democratic debate.
  • This sounds like a fun job -- Usability Professional -- NYT article here. Excerpt: SOMETIMES there is a huge disconnect between the people who make a product and the people who use it. The creator of a Web site may assume too much knowledge on the part of users, leading to confusion. Software designers may not anticipate user behavior that can unintentionally destroy an entire database. Manufacturers can make equipment that inadvertently increases the likelihood of repetitive stress injuries. Enter the usability professional, whose work has recently developed into a solid career track, driven mostly by advancements in technology. Jobs in the usability industry are varied, as are the backgrounds of the people who hold them. The work can involve testing products in a laboratory, watching people use products in the field or developing testing methods.
  • Michael's Museum, which is housed in the residence of this guy named Michael, features a lot of nifty stuff, more organized than my nifty stuff. One day I'll have it how I want it. (The ♥G♥ pointed out the other day that Thomas Jefferson essentially did the same thing at Monticello.)
  • Make sure to check out The Incredible Grafitti-Covered Building (via GoodShit -- NSFW):

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Blogger Get A Life! said...

We would be doing something that will help people very little - and only in a hundred years from now - at a very high cost.

Despite the many common-sense truths in Lomborg’s argument, I still want to address global warming as a priority since it would help animals. Who cares about people?

9:28 PM  

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