Most of you know about The Insight, my podcast with Spencer Wells. Some of you may not know about the BrownCast, associated with the Brown Pundits. I’m on about two out of every three podcasts, but it’s a group effort. We cover a diverse array of topics. The latest episode was a conversation between myself and Carl Zha, and we talked about Chinese colonialism (or lack thereof), casual racism among Asians, religion, and what American publications cover China well.
Because editing and hosting the podcasts cost some money, we set up a Patreon page. One podcast that I recorded this weekend has already been posted there for “patrons”, involves discussion with a Hindu nationalist about their viewpoints. We didn’t resolve anything, but it was nice to get to the point of understanding the sort of questions that need to be asked in the first place!
That cast will probably drop by the end of this week.
In the near future, I will be having a chat with Zack Stentz. Though most of you might think “oh, he was involved in the screenplay for X-Men: First Class,” I’m more excited about the fact that he was involved in Andromeda!
The New York Times has an op-ed up, Why You Should Be Careful About 23andMe’s Health Test. It’s not a bad op-ed, though I think it definitely is slanted. But this sentence jumped out at me: “But doctors and geneticists say that the tests are still more parlor trick than medicine.” First, unless the M.D. works in genetics who cares? But the term “parlor trick” has too strong a connotation for me, and I think most geneticists would agree. I think this part of the op-ed is plain misleading to the general reader. Steve Salzberg probably reflects the views of most geneticists, NY Times, Why Are You So Worried About 23andMe’s Genetic Tests? He has the exact same issue that I do: ‘Who are these geneticists who call DNA testing a “parlor trick”?’
Many years ago I read the book The Cultural Creatives. One aspect of the book was how old people have a lot of information and knowledge that Western cultures ignored. I thought it was funny at the time. But perhaps because I’m getting older…I appreciate it more. I think part of it is the fact that so many older scientists are now dying who are taking with them a lot of knowledge.
Speaking of old scientists, Robert Trivers’ Twitter account is lit.
I predict that by next weekend it will become clear that what we were told happened to Jussie Smollett is not what happened. The press won’t care, and neither will the politicians.