I’ve got a file on my desktop that includes all the stuff I want to write about on Nuketown, but never seem to get to. With a nod toward Uncle Bear’s Random News Tables, I’ve decided to resurrect Nuketown’s Netheads as an irregular column about irregular things. Expect parenting tips, science fiction goodness, and general geekery.
Washington Post: In Praise of Skinned Knees and Grubby Faces
Conn Iggulden, co-author of The Dangerous Book for Boys praises the diverse upbringing that he and his brother got, including everything from learning to use pocket knives to stories of Artic explorers to sports you could actually win. Inggulden rails against a society that threatens to make our kids too safe, denying them the pleasure of launching a model rocket or carving their initials in trees because of the eternal, intangible menace of the worst case scenario.
Having a hard time picking a baby name? Hire someone to do it for you.
She’s smart, fearless and willing to take on almost anything … so why aren’t today’s girls into Nancy Drew? Personally I enjoyed these books (and the Hardy Boys, and the Three Investigators and … well, the list is pretty extensive) because they made you think … and had meddling kids who didn’t always do what they were told. (Are you noticing a theme in this edition of Netheads?
New York Review of Books: Our Biotech Future
Freeman Dyson speculates on how biotechnology has supplanted physics as the reigning science of commerce and discovery in the 21st Century … and what that might mean for applied technology (and ethics) as they enter common usage in the world’s households. Here’s a taste:
Domesticated biotechnology, once it gets into the hands of housewives and children, will give us an explosion of diversity of new living creatures, rather than the monoculture crops that the big corporations prefer. New lineages will proliferate to replace those that monoculture farming and deforestation have destroyed. Designing genomes will be a personal thing, a new art form as creative as painting or sculpture.
The strange allure (and false hope) of email bankruptcy
Ever dream of deleting your inbox and starting over from scratch? I do, and apparently, so do a lot of others. The problem is simply declaring bankrupcty and deleting your old, unresponded to e-mails isn’t enough, because if you don’t adopt more aggressive techniques for dealing with your e-mail or things will just accumulate again.
Reason recaps the literary career of the science fiction grandmaster who gave us the libertarian SF masterpiece The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and the influential, if more authoritarian, Starship Troopers.