Friday, June 1st
Asia strains under Euro crisis "The economies of Asia, both the emerging markets and the more developed countries, are being hit by a double whammy of slowing domestic growth and the impact of the European debt crisis on Asian exports and finance. Signs of distress are proliferating."
In defence of nanny Bloomberg "The Bloomberg administration's plan to ban the sale of most sugary drinks bigger than sixteen ounces in New York City is nanny statism taken to its most ludicrous extreme. It's a violation of personal liberty and the idea of individual responsibility. And it's probably a pretty good idea."
New hope for spine injuries "The report, in the journal Science, provides a striking demonstration of what until recently few scientists thought possible: complete rehabilitation after a disabling blow to the spinal cord. After weeks of training, many of the rats could walk as well as before the injury, and some could run."
Robot ethics "Should a driverless car swerve to avoid pedestrians if that means hitting other vehicles or endangering its occupants? Should a robot involved in disaster recovery tell people the truth about what is happening if that risks causing a panic? Society needs to develop ways of dealing with the ethics of robotics - and get going fast."
False fronts in the language wars "No official ever decided that respectable men and women were permitted to doff their hats and gloves in the 1960s or to get pierced and tattooed in the 1990s - nor could any authority with powers short of Mao Zedong have stopped these changes. In a similar manner, centuries of respectable writers have shrugged off long-forgotten edicts by self-appointed guardians of the language." (Steven Pinker)
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