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Mike Reeves-McMillan
2,624 followers -
Novelist, short story writer, copy editor, book reviewer, nonfiction author
Novelist, short story writer, copy editor, book reviewer, nonfiction author

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"If the glorious technological future that Silicon Valley enthusiasts dream about is only going to serve to make the growing gaps wider and strengthen existing unfair power structures, is it something worth striving for?"
A new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research has deep concerns about the future of work.
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Via +Singularity Hub.

Obviously (as the article notes), stopping plastic pollution in the first place is an important part of the solution, not just cleaning it up after it gets into the ocean. But another key point is that by taking out large amounts of plastic waste before it breaks down into microplastics, this project is preventing a much worse problem than the one we're already facing.
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Interesting. Dickens envisaged something similar to Westworld (or Grand Theft Auto): a place where wealthy young men could behave badly without inconveniencing society at large. The satirical twist is that along with automatons, the poor would be recruited as victims that nobody cared about, and there would be a mock trial at the end in which the privileged young men would get off scot-free.

Sound familiar?
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At this time we are beginning our descent into a world without pilots.

Possibly.
Your Next Pilot Could Be Drone Software https://suhub.co/2K2auLF
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Now, apply this to people living in some other unusual circumstance, like a planet with different gravity or air pressure.
Fascinating adaptation. "Bajau divers been observed plunging more than 200 feet underwater, their only protection a pair of wooden goggles — a physiological marvel.

In 2015, Melissa Ilardo, then a graduate student in genetics at the University of Copenhagen, heard about the Bajau. She wondered if centuries of diving could have led to the evolution of traits that made the task easier for them.

“It seemed like the perfect opportunity for natural selection to act on a population,” said Dr. Ilardo.
[...]
When people plunge into water, they respond with the so-called diving reflex: the heart rate slows and blood vessels constrict as a way to shunt blood to vital organs. The spleen also contracts, squirting a supply of oxygen-rich red blood cells into the circulation.
[...]
When Dr. Ilardo compared scans from the two villages, she found a stark difference. The Bajau had spleens about 50 percent bigger on average than those of the Saluan.

Yet even such a remarkable difference might not be the result of evolution. Diving itself might somehow enlarge the spleen. There are plenty of examples of experience changing the body, from calloused feet to bulging biceps.

Only some Bajau are full-time divers. Others, such as teachers and shopkeepers, have never dived. But they, too, had large spleens, Dr. Ilardo found. It was likely the Bajau are born that way, thanks to their genes."
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Contrary to my own reading preference, prizewinning books are more likely to be by men, about men.
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And why politicians pass legislation close to major sporting events and long weekends?
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I always enjoy seeing writers I've known for years gaining success. Congratulations, +Masha du Toit!
I've just heard that my book "The Real" has been shortlisted for the Ilube Nommo Award for best speculative novel by an African.

Other people on the short list:

Gavin Chait OUR MEMORY LIKE DUST

Deon Meyer FEVER

Tochi Onyebuchi BEASTS MADE OF NIGHT

Deji Olokotun AFTER THE FLARE

Nnedi Okorafor AKATA WARRIOR
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Looks like I need to spend a bit of time polishing up that unpublished novella that's sitting there doing nothing. It might as well sit in Tor.com's slush instead.
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User experience engineering: older than you probably thought.
The ‘Lady Engineer’ Who Took the Pain Out of the Train #MakerEducation
https://blog.adafruit.com/2018/04/17/the-lady-engineer-who-took-the-pain-out-of-the-train-makereducation/

Great feature on Olive Wetzel Dennis, an early 20th Century service engineer, from Atlas Obscura.

If you had ridden the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the American northeast sometime in the 1920s or ’30s, you might have noticed a passenger who seemed unusually invested in her environment. While you snoozed through Cincinnati, or looked out the window at the approaching Chicago skyline, this woman was probably carefully measuring the height of the seats, or laying cloth swatches over them to check the colors.

As you chose your supper in the dining car, you might have seen her sampling every single item on offer. The next morning, when you blearily left your bunk, she might have greeted you, and asked you how you slept.
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