Science

Don't panic about computers

Author: 

Les Hearn

In her book Mind Change1 (reviewed by John Cunningham in Solidarity 342), Susan Greenfield says “We may be living in an unprecedented era where an increasing number of people are ... learning a new default mind-set ... one of low grade aggression, short attention span and a reckless obsession with the here and now”. The key word in that statement is “may”!

The dangers of digital technology have become a major theme of Greenfield’s but what is less known is that this is way outside her area of expertise.

The dangers of digital technology have become a major theme of Susan Greenfield’s but what is less known is that this is way outside her area of expertise.

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Tribute to Alan Turing

Author: 

Omar Raii

Films about scientists are a rare occurrence and films about mathematicians are even rarer; it’s not hard to see why.

For every Good Will Hunting, there are many more films that are quite unbearable to view, such as the vastly overrated A Beautiful Mind about the life of John Nash. But the Imitation Game is a surprisingly well-made take on the life of the father of computer science, Alan Turing.

A review of The Imitation Game, a new film about Alan Turing.

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Is Facebook changing our brains?

Author: 

John Cunningham

Susan Greenfield is a leading neuroscientist and her book on how the new electronic media, “cybertechnology”, impacts brain development and human behaviour, makes for fascinating and alarming reading.

A review of Mind Change: How digital technologies are leaving their mark on our brains, by Susan Greenfield.

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How to be more assertive in politics

Author: 

Lawrence Welch

If workers in the NHS (the area I work in) were able to get more insight into how we all respond to “authority” they would be better able to rely on their own skills and knowledge and be more assertive about resisting the current reforms.

My argument (which could be extended to other workers) is that in order to do this it is vital we extend Marx’s micro analysis of the relationship between the worker and the capitalist in the light of advances in psychological theories and therapies.

The commercialisation and privatisation of the National Health Service at the global political level or in local workplace settings triggers feelings of despair and hopelessness, undermining the vital task of building ways of defending a hugely important service.

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Ebola: Not everything is the fault of evil capitalists

Author: 

Les Hearn

Paul Vallely (Ebola’s victims: “only Africans”?, 8 Oct) runs the risk of weakening a case by overstatement. 

Not everything, including Ebola, is the fault of evil capitalists.

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What is Ebola virus, where does it come from?

Author: 

Les Hearn

From a scary but rare problem, Ebola Virus has exploded into public consciousness as a real disaster in West Africa and a potential threat to anywhere else connected by any means of travel.

The problem has been exacerbated by the lack of local health care infrastructure, distrust of aid agencies and lack of help from the richest countries. Where has the virus come from and why is it now such a problem?

From a scary but rare problem, Ebola Virus has exploded into public consciousness as a real disaster in West Africa and a potential threat to anywhere else connected by any means of travel.

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No pill for these ills

Author: 

Les Hearn

Few of us can remember a time when people could die from trivial injuries or infections which now respond to antibiotics. The World Health Organisation estimates that drugs like penicillin and streptomycin have added some 20 years to our life expectancy.

There really isn’t “a pill for every ill”.

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War and Virgin Birth: Capitalism Drives You Crazy!

Author: 

Sean Matgamna
Now we have the triumphant homecomings. And what do the soldiers come home to, in the country whose fantasies they embody? To a tremendous outcry in the press about artificial "virgin birth"!

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Bloody War and the Threat of Virgin Birth, or, Capitalism Drives You Crazy!

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

During the Gulf war it was hard o avoid the impression that Britain was a country in the grip of a mass psychosis.

From the grey dull little Thatcher-made Prime Minister, with his robotic voice and the grey metallic glint round the eyes, by way of no-guts Neil Kinnock translating Major's pronouncements into a better class of sub-Churchilian rhetoric, all the way down into the sewers of the tabloid press, official society was caught up in a fierce fantasy about fighting a glorious war for freedom and liberty against great odds.

Now we have the triumphant homecomings. And what do the soldiers come home to, in the country whose fantasies they embody? To a tremendous outcry in the press about artificial "virgin birth"!

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Bloody War and the Threat of Virgin Birth, or, Capitalism Drives You Crazy!

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

During the Gulf war it was hard o avoid the impression that Britain was a country in the grip of a mass psychosis.

From the grey dull little Thatcher-made Prime Minister, with his robotic voice and the grey metallic glint round the eyes, by way of no-guts Neil Kinnock translating Major's pronouncements into a better class of sub-Churchilian rhetoric, all the way down into the sewers of the tabloid press, official society was caught up in a fierce fantasy about fighting a glorious war for freedom and liberty against great odds.

Now we have the triumphant homecomings. And what do the soldiers come home to, in the country whose fantasies they embody? To a tremendous outcry in the press about artificial "virgin birth"!

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