Gongol.com Archives: December 2009
Brian Gongol

December 29, 2009

News It's time we stopped pretending like "psychics" should ever be quoted
Someone claiming to have "psychic" visions in Canada says she sees a "dark aura" around President Obama, and then proceeds to suggest she thinks an attempt will be made on his life. There should be no mistake made about this: Nobody has psychic visions of the future. There are people who can be very adept at forecasting trends and events that are likely to occur, but they are known as futurists. Ian Pearson, for instance, has spent years making predictions based upon evidence, and he writes down his predictions and his explanations for those predictions for all the world to see. Anyone claiming to be a "psychic," by distinct contrast, is a crook seeking to exploit their fellow humans' uncertainty about the future. Nothing about being a "psychic" should exempt a person from scrutiny for making outrageous statements -- nor should it qualify them to get any more attention than some lunatic ranting at the drive-thru window of a fast-food restaurant. Anyone publishing "psychic" predictions as news ought to be ashamed of themselves.

News Predictions for the future of print journalism
...from a columnist whose industry trade publication (Editor and Publisher) is being shut down. Newspapers can survive and be profitable for quite some time to come, but they can't act like it's still 1985.

Science and Technology White peacocks exist: Who knew?

Computers and the Internet Those predicting the end of the netbook are too early
The netbook still has a place in the consumer landscape -- and as faster chips keep reaching the market, the demand for what is, in essence, a low-end laptop surely won't go away

Humor and Good News Really bad Russian covers of "Let it Be"

Water News Why worry about pharmaceuticals in the water?
Excessive alarm about trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in drinking water seems misplaced when the public and the political class refuse to acknowledge all of the work that needs to be done just to maintain current levels of water treatment, much less the expensive new processes that may be required to address pharmaceuticals, too. It's like a three-pack-a-day smoker in Minneapolis worrying more about catching some exotic tropical disease than about lung cancer.

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