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Showing posts from August, 2011

G+ and anonymous posting

Founding Fathers found obvious pseudonyms necessary to public discourse; e.g., Publius, the Federalist Papersnom de plume of Alexander Hamilton.

Samuel Clemens wrote under the pen name of Mark Twain; Robert A. Heinlein published under Anson MacDonald, Lyle Monroe, and others. Even the currently reactionary Supreme Court defines anonymous speech as constituionally protected.
All would have been banned from G+ under Google's no pseudonyms policy. This flies in the face of American rights to anonymous free speech. Yes, one can always 'go elsewhere', but when 'Google' is used as a verb, day in, day out, as I've observed in providing tech support to the public, I feel Google must support our constitutional rights.
Oddly enough, their policy is waived for Google Exec “Vic” Gundotra.

Radiation Hormesis challenge to Linear No Threshold theory

I've been following with some interest a discussion which started on Google+ and has spread to PRI's The World and The Economist, of the radiation levels caused by bad engineering and profits-over-people thinking in Japan.  The good news is, the radiation levels and types of radiation found outside the plant gate are almost all less dangerous than the natural radiation people face every day in multiple locations on Planet Earth.

There are places (such as Ramsar, Iranhttp://www.ecolo.org/documents/documents_in_english/ramsar-natural-radioactivity/ramsar.htmlhttp://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull332/33205143638.pdf ; Kerala, India http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19066487, and Brazilian beaches of monazite sand http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/natural.htmhttp://www.jstor.org/pss/3574425) where people naturally are exposed to many times the 'safe' radiation limit, often from radium (which is a nasty, nasty bone-seeking element, far worse than the cesi…