What I'm Reading (Feb. 18)

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Feb 18, 2021
Geology tells a story of Earth's long history of climate change, the Supreme Court - of Facebook, searching outside the algorithm has replaced searching outside the box, and California rarely walks its political talk.
Image courtesy of Frantisek Krejci on Pixabay

“Since about the time of the American Civil War, CO2’s crucial role in warming the planet has been well understood. And not just based on mathematical models: The planet has run many experiments with different levels of atmospheric CO2. At some points in the Earth’s history, lots of CO2 has vented from the crust and leaped from the seas, and the planet has gotten warm. At others, lots of CO2 has been hidden away in the rocks and in the ocean’s depths, and the planet has gotten cold. The sea level, meanwhile, has tried to keep up — rising and falling over the ages, with coastlines racing out across the continental shelf, only to be drawn back in again. During the entire half-billion-year Phanerozoic eon of animal life, CO2 has been the primary driver of the Earth’s climate. And sometimes, when the planet has issued a truly titanic slug of CO2 into the atmosphere, things have gone horribly wrong.”

Put your feelings about climate change aside and take this journey back into our geologic time. From The Atlantic, The Terrifying Warning Lurking in the Earth’s Ancient Rock Record

“The fifth most valuable corporation in the U.S., worth over seven hundred billion dollars, a near monopoly in its market niche, has restricted a political figure’s speech to his thirty million followers,” Eugene Volokh, a law professor at U.C.L.A., said. “Maybe that’s just fine. Maybe it’s even a public service. But it’s a remarkable power for any entity, public or private, to have.”

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, described Trump’s removal from Twitter as “problematic,” and Alexey Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, tweeted, “I think that the ban of Donald Trump on Twitter is an unacceptable act of censorship.”

Facebook is grappling with our political speech and has developed an internal board of outsiders to decide what needs to come down. The New Yorker provides a glimpse inside its origins, deliberations, and downstream effects. Inside the Making of Facebook’s Supreme Court

Your output depends on your input, so one way to make your output more original or interesting is to make your input more original and interesting.

This sometimes requires actually staying intentionally ignorant of what everybody else is tweeting and posting about and getting outside the algorithms of social media.”

Digital input can come from many sources, as Austin Kleon briefly notes in his blog, Searching outside the algorithm. By the way, if you see yourself as creative, and in reality, we all are or can be, take a look at Kleon’s first book, Steal Like an Artist.

“You may have heard that San Francisco’s Board of Education voted 6 to 1 to rename 44 schools, stripping ancient racists of their laurels, but also Abraham Lincoln and Senator Dianne Feinstein. The history upon which these decisions were made was dodgy, and the results occasionally bizarre. Paul Revere, for instance, was canceled for participating in a raid on Indigenous Americans that was actually a raid on a British fort. …

But San Francisco’s public schools remain closed, no matter the name on the front. “What I cannot understand is why the School Board is advancing a plan to have all these schools renamed by April, when there isn’t a plan to have our kids back in the classroom by then,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.”

Ah, California, my home state. Ezra Klein captures California’s underlying problem – it rarely walks the progressive walk it talks. From the New York Times, California Is Making Liberals Squirm

Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA

Director of Medicine

Dr. Charles Dinerstein, M.D., MBA, FACS is Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. He has over 25 years of experience as a vascular surgeon.

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