Thursday, September 25, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The Credit Crisis: What’s Happening and What the Government Should (and Shouldn’t) Do About It Some faculty perspectives from the Chicago GSB “lunchroom”
When water was discovered on Mars, people got very excited.
Where there is water, there may be life.
Scientists are planning new missions to study the planet up close.
NASA’s next Mars rover is scheduled to arrive in 2010.
In the decade following, a Mars Sample Return mission might be launched, which would
use robotic systems to collect samples of Martian rocks, soils, and atmosphere,
and return them to Earth. We could then analyze the sample to see if it contains any
traces of life, whether extinct or still active.
Such a discovery would be of tremendous scientific significance.
What could be more fascinating than discovering life that had evolved entirely
independently of life here on Earth? Many people would also find it heartening to
learn that we are not entirely alone in this vast cold cosmos.
But I hope that our Mars probes will discover nothing. It would be good news if we
find Mars to be completely sterile. Dead rocks and lifeless sands would lift my
Friday, September 19, 2008
Because we're pushing through the boundaries of science, working against assumptions and perceptions that have been fixed. A lot of people hold this idea that well, when you die you die, that's it. Death is a moment, you know you're either dead or you're alive. All these things are not scientifically valid but they're social perceptions.
However, ultimately what matters is, What's going on to a person's mind? What happens to the human mind and consciousness during death? Does that cease immediately as soon as the heart stops? Does it cease activity within the first 2 seconds, the first 2 minutes? Because we know that cells are continuously changing at that time. Does it stop after ten minutes, after half an hour, after an hour? And at this point we don't know.
I was really into this type of question during college.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Enjoying being back at MIT after a trip down to Duke and then out to Stanford for a conference on tech. entrepreneurship. Also got to see Kristin and Michael while in San Francisco for a night.
Will be here and busy on my job market paper for a while, but then probably at Georgia Tech in Nov. for a conference and back out to San Francisco Jan. 2-5th for the AEA.
This is a photo from a great picnic in Duke Gardens!