Michelangelo’s David With A Rifle: A Right To Bear Arms

ArmaLite’s ads broke the unwritten rules. Instead of highlighting the hero’s body, they emphatically made him a warrior. Hence Franceschini’s objection to an “armed David,” even though every David is armed. “David famously used a slingshot to defeat the giant Goliath, making the gun imagery, thought up by the Illinois-based ArmaLite, even more inappropriate,” writes Emma Hall in Ad Age.

To the contrary, the gun imagery, while incongruously machine-age, was utterly appropriate. David did not use a “slingshot.” He used a sling. As historians of ancient warfare — and readers of Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, “David and Goliath” — know, a sling was no child’s toy. It was a powerful projectile weapon, a biblical equivalent of ArmaLite’s wares.

Nor did Florentine patrons commission statues of David because he looked good without his clothes. They commissioned statues of David because he was a martial hero who had felled an intimidating foe. They made him a beautiful nude to emphasize his heroism, not to disguise his bloody deed. (Donatello’s David has his boot triumphantly on Goliath’s severed head.) Michelangelo’s giant was meant as an inspiration to locals and a warning to would-be invaders. He wasn’t an underwear model. He was a Minuteman. Putting a gun in his hand may look weird, but it’s a lot truer to his original meaning than a souvenir apron.

via Michelangelo's David Has a Right to Bear Arms – Bloomberg View.

Don’t Confuse Money Flows With Real Resources

While it is true that we spend more than other countries [on medical care] in an accounting sense, we actually use fewer real resources: fewer doctors, fewer nurses, fewer hospital beds, shorter lengths of stay, etc. That means that from an economist’s point of view, we aren’t necessarily spending more than other countries.

Fuchs says that with an extra $1 trillion, we could have more bridges, more highways, more teachers, more R&D, etc. But once again, this confuses money flows with real resource use. We can’t devote more real resources to non-health care unless we use fewer real resources in health care. But if we copy other countries, the resource flow will go in the opposite direction. That is, in order to have more doctors, nurses, hospital beds, etc., we will have to have fewer teachers, fewer roads, less R&D!

via A Better Way to Save $1 Trillion | John Goodman's Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org.

Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers

The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense.Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has catalogued computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers IEEE, based in New York. Both publishers, which were privately informed by Labbé, say that they are now removing the papers.

Just because something is published under the banner of “SCIENCE!” does not mean is it actually scientific. Via Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers : Nature News & Comment.