Monday, January 30, 2012

Digital Lysenkoism

Digital Lysenkoism, article.

Lysenko believed, incorrectly, that you could create heritable characteristics by changing a parent organism—that is, if you cut off one of a frog’s legs, a certain number of its offspring would be born with three legs.
Lysenkoism was a disaster. When it was applied to food cultivation it led to ghastly famines that killed millions. So, when Soviet scientists met their Western counterparts, everyone knew that Lysenkoism was an awful absurdity. But the Soviet scientists had to pretend it wasn’t.

[...] And I’ve recruited enthusiastic contributors from all of the big six publishers for the Humble E-Book Bundle—that is, all except one, which has an all-DRM-all-the-time policy and won’t consider publishing anything without DRM in any of its divisions.
Because of its insistence on DRM, this one publisher is going to miss out—along with its authors—on hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales, and some great exposure. Needless to say, every author I’ve approached from that publisher is now trying to figure out how to get out of their contracts for future books.

Not being able to change you mind in the face of new information is a trait of phychosis, mild or bad.

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