Back to Blogger I go…

I’ve moved this blog back to Blogger.  The new URL is http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/.  The new blog blends together all the topics I’ve written about in the past.  Generally, they fall under the following rubric: Design, Humanism, and Productivity.  Each topic has its own section in the new blog.  If you want to only follow one topic, you can look up the topic-specific RSS feed at http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/p/feeds.html.

This blog will remain as an archive for the foreseeable future, but don’t expect new posts here.

Advertisements

Sexism and shirts

The infamous shirt.

The infamous shirt.

I’ve waited a while before posting this because I didn’t want to be caught up in the unholy craziness that surrounded “ShirtGate” when it first happened.

Genital mutilation.
Rape culture.
Religious misogyny.
Unnecessary, invasive, medical procedures.
Wage disparity.
Women treated like chattel.
Irrational body image expectations.
Whole industries devoted to telling women what to be and how to be it….

…and Matt Taylor’s shirt.

One of these things is not like the others.

Continue reading

Mike Moffatt needs an ethics refresher course

David Suzuki calls it like he sees it. (Image source: Globe and Mail)

In 2012, Mike Moffatt, and economist at UWO, wrote a piece called “David Suzuki needs an economics refresher course.” Well, no, actually he doesn’t. Indeed, it’s Moffatt who needs a refresher course – in the ethics of economic decision-making and of public debate.

Continue reading

Intentionally missing the point

The advocates for the Energy East pipeline are, in my opinion, acting unethically because they’re trying to sway public opinion in their favour by means that are not authentic.

Evidence-based policy-making is the best known way to make policy. But it’s not enough to depend on evidence, even if the evidence were fully recognized by all participants.  The agents who develop evidence – discover, measure, and communicate it – are biased by their value system.  Beyond that, policy-making itself has its own biases independent of the nature and quality of the evidence used.
Continue reading

What is a “scientific consensus”?

This is NOT “scientific consensus.” (Click on image to enlarge and see original source.)

Scientific consensus isn’t the same as consensus in politics, in business, or in deciding where to go for dinner.  The conflation of the scientific and lay senses of the term are, I think, a primary cause of much of the general public’s distrust of the conclusions that scientists draw from their work.

Continue reading

The problem with industry-supported research

Industry funded academic research is a problem.

Industry-sponsored academic research often ends up in the hands of single corporations. I think this defeats the overall goal of academic research, which is to improve everyone’s lot in life.

There’s a growing trend, in many areas of academia (such as engineering), to expect industry to at least partially match government research funding. The advantages, they say, are that industry involvement creates greater opportunity for knowledge and technology transfer, and academia can identify industry-relevant problems faster and easier. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the financial burden of research is partly transferred away from government; in this way, governments can be seen as “saving money.”

Continue reading