Reviews

A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The 32 Lost Years of Antibiotics

We live in a culture of “research” and “planning.” I’m not against honest research (which is rare), but mortally opposed to “planning.” The best it can ever achieve is defeat, when its ham-fist efforts fail to prevent some beauty, truth, or good from emerging. Countless billions, yanked from the taxpayers’ pockets, and collected through highly professional, tear-jerking campaigns, are spent “trying to find a cure” for this or that. When and if it comes, it is invariably the product of some nerd somewhere, with a messy lab.
-- David Warren, "That's funny."

The 32 Lost Years of Antibiotics

9 comments:

  1. I share your suspicion of "charity", as applied to an organization that allegedly does good works. I do want to posit a counter-example of a case where a charity might actually have cured a disease. Dr. Jonas Salk was receiving funds from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (a.k.a. "March of Dimes") when he performed the research that led to the first successful polio vaccine (or at least that is what I am told here:
    https://www.salk.edu/about/history-of-salk/jonas-salk/).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but that was back in the '50s before the rot had set in. I read somewhere that Norman Borlaug said that he couldn't do the research that led to the Green Revolution any more, as the various foundations would unite to prevent it. Given how the foundations of today have united to prevent golden rice from being distributed (because GMOs), I don't doubt it.

      Delete
  2. I'm worried .....

    I'm starting my 2nd undergrad degree in Physics and Mathematics this fall but looking through the syllabus I'm already consigning myself to 6 years (part time degree) of gritting my teeth and toeing the party line. I really want to explain why the Copenhagen interpretation of QM doesn't entail that the freaking cat is both alive and dead and why bad science is just as much about bad philosophy than bad experimental methods........ grrr.

    But then again I want to teach science in a Catholic School one day and my wife has already been through the machine, so I guess I need to as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I know, your interpretation of the Copenhagen Interpretation is the mainstream one. Anyone who thought it really did mean the cat was both alive and dead would probably be a bad physicist, who got their understanding of their own field from popular culture.

      Delete
    2. Dear Sophia

      I worry only because at nearly EVERY popular QM event that comes up on my FB page (given by physicists) and course preview talks about SC's cat being both alive and dead. I appreciate that the Paradox originated as an attempted reductio ad absurdem of Bohr's interpretation (as opposed to Heisenberg's), hence why most physicists I know prefer Everett's Wave as it allows them to maintain a deterministic view of reality that maintains both locality and realism (in a deterministic not a metaphysically real manner).

      I talked to my wife and she said that my worries confirmed (to her anyway) that I'm ready to study for a Masters already :)

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That just means the anti-biotics would have started not to work so well in time for the Vietnam war.

    ReplyDelete

Whoa, What's This?

adam amateur theology aphorisms Aquinas argument from motion Aristotelianism art atheism autumn of the modern ages books brains breaking news captive dreams cartoon charts chieftain clannafhloinn comix commentary counterattack crusades culcha dogheads easton stuff economics eifelheim evolution factoids on parade fake news fallen angels Feeders fir trees in lungs firestar flicks floods flynncestry flynnstuff forecasts forest of time fun facts gandersauce gimlet eye global warming glvwg headlines henchmen high frontier history home front how to lie with statistics humor hush-hush hypatia in the house of submission irish Iron Shirts irrationalism january dancer jihad journeyman kabuki kool letter lion's mouth lunacon maps mayerling medieval metrology miscellany modern mythology moose zombies music new years nexus odds odds and ends paleofuture passing of the modern age philosophy philosophy math poetry politics psyched out! public service quality quiet sun quote of the day razor's edge redefinition of marriage religio reviews river of stars scandal science science marches on scientism scrivening shipwrecks of time shroud skiffy skiffy in the news skools slipping masks some people will believe anything stats stories stranger things the auld curmudgeon the madness continues the new fascism the spiral arm the writing life thomism thread o' years tofspot topology untergang des abendlandes untergang des morgenlandes up jim river video clips vignettes war on science we get letters we're all gonna die whimsy words at play xmas you can't make this stuff up