“This Week in Law” has a reasoned discussion about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that Congress is debating and could have a big impact on all of us. A couple other topics are included in the podcast which is at http://twit.tv/twil under the title “Bieber’s Going Down” A longer discussion with more participants done at Stanford Law School at http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/6770 on 7 Dec, 2011 is described with this quip: “A growing chorus of opposition has emerged around the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) now pending in the House, as well as its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT-IP Act. If enacted, SOPA would provide unprecedented power for law enforcement and private actors to force service providers to block access to internet sites or shut off revenue streams. This panel will explore the potential impact of SOPA on Silicon Valley, the concerns that have been voiced by legal scholars, technology companies, entrepreneurs, engineers and venture capitalists, and what the technology sector can do to make a difference in the outcome of this.”
NPR’s “Planet Money” Episode 331 focused on how knowledge of Greece’s debt was discovered and in classic fashion how the messenger was blamed. “Andreas Georgiou is the technocrat charged with running the Greek statistics office — the same office that, in the years leading up to the financial crisis, produced wildly distorted reports of Greece’s finances. So far, though, his efforts have been met with resistance, strikes and a criminal investigation that could lead to life in prison for Georgiou.” It’s at http://n.pr/vsHmGP. So that’s a form of corruption in Greece. Older podcasts about corruption in Chicago, India, Somalia and Sweden help define the concept and are available respectively from the BBC at http://bbc.in/vxeSgO, http://bbc.in/rvtsaF, http://bbc.in/ubAKig and http://bbc.in/vsF4dd. Mike Munger’s discussion about stories that explain profits with Russ Roberts on EconTalk at http://bit.ly/tuBTGM mentions greed that also seems relevant to any discussion about corruption.
Medical professionals spend very little time explaining things to patients who oftentimes are stressed and poorly focused on what is being said. Therefore listening to discussions amongst professionals about their work can help us understand what’s going on and why. Episode 160 of “This Week in Virology” presents almost two hours of four experienced experts from several professions talking with Patrick Moore about his discovery, with Yuan Chang, of two human tumor viruses, Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus and Merkel cell polyomavirus. Dr Moore’s experiences in and with the Epidemic Intelligence Service are also interesting. TWIP episodes usually run one hour, so this longer version allows thorough coverage: http://bit.ly/vrgVMK.
Copyleft is a new effort to deal with copyright by making literary efforts free. An excellent in-depth British discussion of this and other aspects of publishing is available at http://bit.ly/slUEZS. A Canadian take on the state of books is at http://bit.ly/sEty5Q and from the standpoint of the science fiction community at http://bit.ly/u0MMNH.
Farming salmon in open water causes pollution while doing it on land does not, and it’s profitable. About five minutes of discussion about this are at the forty-nine minute mark of an hour-long podcast about the ocean’s health with Dr David Guggenheim at http://bit.ly/safUnE. He also talks about new deep ocean oil drilling off Cuba, if that brings to mind memories of the Deep Water Horizon spill.
How do we get rid of a virus? A professional talking to other professionals about this for an hour is less interesting to a lay person than the previous podcast from “This Week in Virology” but you can still learn from it. It’s a service from the National Institutes of Health. You can watch and listen at http://bit.ly/udxkOK. The video or audio can also be downloaded by right clicking on the link and click on “save link as”. If you download this, the playback speed can be adjusted with the Windows Media Player.