But there's still a very long way to go.So let's sum up:The Promise: An end to physical disabilities, with bionics replacing lost eyes, ears, and limbs—and the prospect of enhancing the able-bodied with super-human strength, speed, and stamina.The Questions: Would people eventually feel pressure or temptation to remove healthy limbs or organs in favor of enhanced bionic replacements, and would that be a good thing?One of the biggest challenges is to coordinate our bionic or robotic augmentations with the brain—to send signals back and forth across the barrier between our mechanical enhancements and our biological nervous system—so that you will be able to pilot a robotic exoskeleton with the same ease with which you move one of your own limbs.The need for such an interface leads us to the next major category of human augmentation.2.
Third, even the first two sentences, which basically say "they're addicted because a) they use it despite problems from it, and b) they spend time and money getting it", are beyondabsurd. Part (a) assumes nontrivial problems that--as we have seen--are wildly unlikely to exist; it is classical begging of the question. Moreover, if they know so much aboutthese people--that they are experiencing "physical problems" and "negative effects on social relations"--how come they don't know, and can't even estimate, how many of them thereare? What, the authors read it in tea leaves?
Consideration of nothing else but the numerical fact that even the best home-run hitters produce an average of one home run every three games ought to discourage this belief, but a closerexamination, as presented here on a separate page, , morethoroughly dispels this folly. First, the consensus of medical opinion seems clearly to be that there is not a "healing effect" of the sort imagined by players and others, that is,some chemical magic that enables strained or torn muscles or ligaments to recover more quickly. Second, average playing time for regulars has decreased through the so-called"steroids era", the exact reverse of what the "more playing time" argument postulates.
If you jump out of an airplane with a parachute, you are taking a risk; if you jump out of an airplane without a parachute, you encounter not risk but definite consequences. It is follyto confuse the two situations--but such confusion is what one sees in most nonspecialist articles about the supposed side effects of steroids. If one is intent, for whatever privatereasons, on demonizing steroids, then it behooves one to blur or even erase the distinction between risks and definite consequences, and to present the risks as if they weredefinite consequences. So statements typified by "known side effects of —— include . . ." are misleading--whether by intent or not is immaterial--because theypresent possibilities as virtual certainties. Someone reading such a listing or tabulation is highly likely to conclude, wrongly, that using substance —— will bring on the entire (usually frightening) catalogue of woes set forth. The reality is that each of the side effects listed (well, not each--some are just made up) is apotential consequence: the degree of risk it represents needs to be evaluated on a three-dimensional matrix of actual probability of occurrence, severity of harm if itdoes occur, and transience (whether it goes away if the dosage is stopped). Such data are almost invariably lacking in most presentations.
Good or Bad?
Steroids even those legally available, are addictive and should be banned from sports.
Good or Bad?
Though many people dismiss hip hop as offensive, hip hop music offers urban youth an important opportunity for artistic expression and allows them to articulate the poetry of the street.
Good or Bad?
Pollution is bad for the environment.
Good or Bad?
Drug use is detrimental to society.
Good or Bad?
Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence, decreases livelihood, and destroys neighborhoods.
Good or Bad?
Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today.
Good or Bad?
Racism is bad because people should not hate one another.
Good or Bad?
Living in an apartment has many advantages.
No country accidentally benefited more from the Netscape moment than India. "India had no resources and no infrastructure," said Dinakar Singh, one of the most respected hedge-fund managers on Wall Street, whose parents earned doctoral degrees in biochemistry from the University of Delhi before emigrating to America. "It produced people with quality and by quantity. But many of them rotted on the docks of India like vegetables. Only a relative few could get on ships and get out. Not anymore, because we built this ocean crosser, called fiber-optic cable. For decades you had to leave India to be a professional. Now you can plug into the world from India. You don't have to go to Yale and go to work for Goldman Sachs." India could never have afforded to pay for the bandwidth to connect brainy India with high-tech America, so American shareholders paid for it. Yes, crazy overinvestment can be good. The overinvestment in railroads turned out to be a great boon for the American economy. "But the railroad overinvestment was confined to your own country and so, too, were the benefits," Singh said. In the case of the digital railroads, "it was the foreigners who benefited." India got a free ride.
One more wrinkle, upon which I’m agnostic. The Thursday after the all-star game there will be a single, nationally televised day game—Cardinals-Cubs—before everyone else gets back to work on Friday. That’s fine, more baseball is good, but I’d really prefer that everyone come back on Thursday, the way it used to be. Those two full days without any baseball or all-star events are killer, even if the players undoubtedly value the time off.
Indeed, this breakthrough in people-to-people and application-to-application connectivity produced, in short order, six more flatteners -- six new ways in which individuals and companies could collaborate on work and share knowledge. One was "outsourcing." When my software applications could connect seamlessly with all of your applications, it meant that all kinds of work -- from accounting to software-writing -- could be digitized, disaggregated and shifted to any place in the world where it could be done better and cheaper. The second was "offshoring." I send my whole factory from Canton, Ohio, to Canton, China. The third was "open-sourcing." I write the next operating system, Linux, using engineers collaborating together online and working for free. The fourth was "insourcing." I let a company like UPS come inside my company and take over my whole logistics operation -- everything from filling my orders online to delivering my goods to repairing them for customers when they break. (People have no idea what UPS really does today. You'd be amazed!). The fifth was "supply-chaining." This is Wal-Mart's specialty. I create a global supply chain down to the last atom of efficiency so that if I sell an item in Arkansas, another is immediately made in China. (If Wal-Mart were a country, it would be China's eighth-largest trading partner.) The last new form of collaboration I call "informing" -- this is Google, Yahoo and MSN Search, which now allow anyone to collaborate with, and mine, unlimited data all by themselves.
There is another side of this issue of authors suggesting reviewers. If the paper challenges orthodoxy in the field, it is hard to get an unbiased review of the paper, no matter how good it is. Speaking with the editor about this and letting the author suggest at least one of the reviewers is not such a bad thing. Editors, I have found, are often very squeamish about making their own assessments of the quality of a paper or going against even the most obviously biased reviews full of ad hominem attacks on an author, especially if the review is by someone well known in the field.
working on a documentary for the Discovery Times channel about outsourcing. In short order, I interviewed Indian entrepreneurs who wanted to prepare my taxes from Bangalore, read my X-rays from Bangalore, trace my lost luggage from Bangalore and write my new software from Bangalore. The longer I was there, the more upset I became -- upset at the realization that while I had been off covering the 9/11 wars, globalization had entered a whole new phase, and I had missed it. I guess the eureka moment came on a visit to the campus of Infosys Technologies, one of the crown jewels of the Indian outsourcing and software industry. Nandan Nilekani, the Infosys C.E.O., was showing me his global video-conference room, pointing with pride to a wall-size flat-screen TV, which he said was the biggest in Asia. Infosys, he explained, could hold a virtual meeting of the key players from its entire global supply chain for any project at any time on that supersize screen. So its American designers could be on the screen speaking with their Indian software writers and their Asian manufacturers all at once. That's what globalization is all about today, Nilekani said. Above the screen there were eight clocks that pretty well summed up the Infosys workday: 24/7/365. The clocks were labeled U.S. West, U.S. East, G.M.T., India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia.
First off, it establishes no logical connection between its assertions that some "undetermined" fraction of users might be "addicted" and its statements about various symptomsthat some users may experience when discontinuing steroids. The authors--notably anonymous, this being no piece of science--didn't have the guts to make a flat statementthat discomfort on discontinuation demonstrates (much less proves) "addiction" because they'd have been horselaughed to the Moon if they did; so they try instead to get the reader to makethat leap for them, by putting the two basically unrelated statements in one paragraph, in sequential sentences, as if the second claim somehow validated the first, instead of standing quiteapart from it.