Francis Crick

I didn’t have time to blog it on Wednesday, but the co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, Francis Crick, passed away a couple of days ago.
One half of the most brilliant scientific duo in modern history (outside the Curies, perhaps).
Rest in peace.

The outrageous cost of College

Via Brad De Long…
Tom Ridge, Homeland Security Director is stepping down.
No, not to spend more time with his family
It’s so he can put his two children through college–he needs a job that makes more money in the private sector.
And how much does he make now, that he is crying College Cost Poverty?
$175,000.
Isn’t there a better way? Really? When Tom Ridge can’t pay for his children’s education on a nice high governmental position salary, isn’t that a canary in the coal mine that College tuition has reached the cliffs of insanity?
Do we want only the wealthy to have a college education? Is Plutocracy what we truly want in the country?

The other half of the Nantucket Event

S.M. Stirling has written three novels and a couple of short stories set in in his “Nantucket Event” world, where the island of Nantucket and its inhabitants are transported back to 1250 BC. Now what do you do if you are the Nantucketers?
It’s a wonderful series and I highly recommend it, beginning with Island in the Sea of Time
Anyway, did you ever wonder what happened to the modern world after the Nantucket Event? Stirling has seeminglynow written the novel, due out shortly, called Dies the Fire
In Hardcover, too, which suggests he is doing better and better. He used to debut just in paperback.

Reading is declining…again?

Kevin Drum (yes, I’m hooked on him as of late) points up to a cranky Harold Bloom editorial in the LA Times bemoaning the degrading effects of computers on reading.
Harold Bloom, IMHO, is a complete and utter idiot.
The New York Times, the other day, published an Op-ed by Andrew Solomon also lamenting the decline of reading for pleasure. He doesn’t blame computers for it like Bloom, though.
There have *always* been alternatives to reading, and much of what I do on a computer is reading and writing anyway. Sure, there are those who only use the computer to play Doom XIV, but what about blog writers and readers? And those who hunt amazon.com’s bookstore for something tasty?
I don’t think we are becoming a more illiterate society.