09 November 2010

Today's Finds

While I'm waiting for my class' website to load, I'm happy to announce that I finished my final paper for my second class!  Yay!  I'd like to thank all the History and English teachers I ever had for giving me so much work that I learned to write a 4,000 word paper, complete with research and editing, in 10 hours.  And also for their unending patience with my stubborn reticence to improve my writing, despite their excellent teaching efforts.

Whew!  Now that that's done, let's move on to something more interesting.  Or rather, several somethings:

First up, yet another cool article from Get Rich Slowly.  This one is about how to make car dealerships fight over your business.  Or, at least, how to stop getting ripped off so horribly.  What I got out of this, besides how to make my introverted-self very happy if we ever buy a car from a dealership, was the writer's solution to a gender issue, namely that car salesmen offer better deals to men.  Because after all, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Secondly, a short article about natural versus human-made systems.  This one's particularly concerned with genetically modified food.  My favorite quote:
The fact that cross-species gene transfer happens without human intervention in nature, however rare, provides further justification for viewing transgenic technology not as a Frankensteinian intervention into the natural world, but as yet another method of trait selection, something we’ve been doing with heroic results since the dawn of agriculture.
Believe me, statistically speaking, you wouldn't be here without that intervention.  For info, look up the history of fertilized soil some time.  I'm reposting this article because the underlying lesson is a favorite philosophy of mine: That every choice, even making no choice through non-action, has consequences.  The point is not to avoid them, because you can't, but rather to engineer them to be positive consequences, something that human beings are uniquely suited to do.  In short, don't hate humanity!

Lastly, a few weeks ago I posted my review of Steven Johnson's new book, Where Good Ideas Come From.  As my review implied, I'm completely enamored by this book and have referenced it countless times since I read it just a few months ago.  This article from the UK's Guardian says everything I felt about this book, but in a more journalistic, readable way.  If I'd said it, it would have rambled.

And while I've been typing, my paper is officially submitted!  All done with my second class.  My third class, Project Planning Execution and Closure, starts Sunday.  Too bad I'll be at the Celtic Festival!

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