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Edgy Science Roundup

The lifeworld and deathworld meeting and overlapping; viruses evolving into unique protective bodily organs; ethical questions raised by VR communication “with the dead”; a nation’s official insistence that it isn’t building a time machine. In this post, we look at some recent science on the edge — or several edges — of lifeworlds and deathworlds, […]


Going-Where-No-One-Has-Gone-Before Roundup

Human flight is an iconic preoccupation throughout human history. Journey into inner space is lesser-known but still well-established in speculative science and literature. And human augmentation is part of both outward and inward super-travel aspirations. Combine that with the excitement of DNA research and Canadian ice-river rats and you have a cross section of bizarre […]


Minecraft and Statecraft

Outschool, a supplemental class service for ambitious kids from k-12, is offering a course called Metrocraft. In it, students collectively design and build (in Minecraft) a city that they then govern. The class combines architecture, public administration, and politics.  Although the designers of the course likely didn’t intentionally make this connection, the class is similar […]



Why Did Facebook Lift Its Ban on Political Ads for the Georgia Senate Runoff?

Political advertising is both the greatest celebration of democracy and, presently, one of democracy’s most strained relationships. The courts scrutinize government regulation of political advertising more tightly than they do commercial advertising; yet the companies hosting media and social media platforms are themselves under no obligation to allow any kind of advertising at all. They […]



Time Travel Roundup

Fittingly, for a year that many of us would like to fast-forward past or, alternatively, rewind and start different, 2020 has ushered in a massive shift in time travel discourse. Time travel into the past, once thought to be theoretically impossible, became theoretically possible thanks to advanced math and simulations.  Retiring the Grandfather Paradox Thus […]



Will Ransomware Threaten Municipal Election Security?

Lucas Ropek put up a moderately long piece on Governing last week on the threat of ransomware attacks on state and local government websites, and the specific threat such attacks may pose for elections. Ransomware comes from the world of cryptovirology, the use of cryptography to design troublesome and powerful software that can create “trapdoor” […]