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The cost of ethics: Influence peddling in the blogosphere

Several events have sparked a debate about whether an ethical threshold has been crossed: the decision by Marqui, a company in Vancouver, to pay bloggers to mention the company; Newsweek‘srevelation that a group of 100 technologists in Silicon Valley accepts free products and services in return for word-of-mouth endorsements (or not); and the news that BzzAgent, a 3-year-old Boston company, has enlisted thousands of volunteers to generate buzz for clients?…

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Basically, the [Mars] story is, now get this, a fabrication.

The two researchers, Carol Stoker and Larry Lemke, do think they may have evidence for methane in Mars’ atmosphere. Methane cannot last long without being replenished, and it’s not easy to replenish it. There are non-biological ways (for example, sunlight + C02 plus water, which can be found on Mars), but life is the easiest way we know of. As the story went, they had a secret meeting — with…

The Decay of Lying

Paradox though it may seem–and paradoxes are always dangerous things –it is none the less true that Life imitates art far more than Art imitates life. We have all seen in our own day in England how a certain curious and fascinating type of beauty, invented and emphasised by two imaginative painters, has so influenced Life that whenever one goes to a private view or to an artistic salon one…

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All for One (Grade)

“What if I were to collect your papers without names on them, and then — after grading them all individually — averaged the grades and gave everyone the same class average grade? How would things change?” At first, the response was incredulity. “That wouldn’t be fair,” sums up the initial reaction. Naturally, those who assumed that they would get A’s and B’s were hostile to the idea, because the “average”…

What Larry Summers Said

Bowing to faculty demands, Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers on Thursday released a transcript of his controversial remarks on women and science. He did so while releasing yet another apology for those remarks and as the head of the Harvard Corporation released a statement backing Summers. –Scott Jaschik –What Larry Summers Said (Inside Higher Ed) I’m blogging this not only because it’s timely and this blog has hosted discussions on women…