What I'm Reading (Jan. 31)

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Here's what we have this time: How to fund the scientific enterprise ... Our complicated relationship with nuclear power ... Ways to read and enjoy more ... and an overlooked environmental consequence to legalizing marijuana.

“One question is always how things scale,” he continued. “There are certain types of businesses where they work better and better at bigger and bigger scales,” he said, pointing to big tech.. “And, if big tech is an ambiguous term, I wonder whether big science is simply an oxymoron.”

Peter Thiel has made a living with some contrarian views, especially with respect to the value of a college education. Here is Thiel discussing the funding of the scientific enterprise. Perhaps there are a few nuggets worth exploring? From BioWorld, “Thiel calls for improving research grant, regulatory processes to enhance scientific innovation

“Germans have always had a complicated relationship with nuclear power, but the radioactive cloud that swept over Germany following the Chernobyl disaster in the mid-1980s gave new life to the antinuclear policies supported by the country’s Green Party. Following Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant meltdown, Germany’s antinuclear lobby kicked into high gear, and tens of thousands of people took to the streets in protest. The German government quickly passed legislation to decommission all of the country’s nuclear reactors, ostensibly to keep its citizens safe by preventing a Fukushima-style disaster. But a study published last month by the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that Germany’s rejection of nuclear power was an expensive and possibly deadly miscalculation.”

If we are serious about reducing CO2 emissions, then nuclear has got to be in the mix. From Wired, Germany Rejected Nuclear Power—and Deadly Emissions Spiked

Since the beginning of the year, I have noticed an uptick in the number of articles dedicated to reading, how to read more, remember more, pick better, etc. On the other hand, there is a dearth of information on how to pick better, other than knowing that the algorithm is book choices is not necessarily your friend. Here is the guide from Forge, a Medium “production” with only four steps. How to Read

“Pacific fishers, bobcats, northern spotted owls, and San Joaquin kit foxes are all listed as threatened or endangered animals under the Endangered Species Act. But there may be a surprisingly simple fix to their status: Legalize cannabis.”

Yes, everything has an environmental footprint, and it turns out that weed farmers are not necessarily the most environmentally friendly, especially when production remains a black market matter. From Ozy, Legalize Marijuana, Save Wildlife