As expected, this week's Supreme Court oral arguments on Monsanto had much less to do with the pros and cons of genetically modified (GM) seeds than it did with the ins and outs of environmental regulation.
On that point, the justices who actually spoke seemed fairly skeptical of the Ninth Circuit's decision to completely halt the sale of Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa seed, rather than just sending the question back to USDA to re-decide.
Steven Johnson has shaped my way of thinking about technology more than any other writer. His 2002 Emergence was a revelation for its description of how everything from ant colonies to cities to software share a certain organic interconnectivity that makes them so powerful. That's what has made his recentcelebrations of the iPhone and iPad as triumphs of closed environments so disappointing. On the facts, Johnson has a certain correctness. The App Store is, as he points out, chock-a-block with apps created by a range of developers.
Paulsuggests below that Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is the embodiment of the theory that people who are demonstrably crazy tend to have have far more potential for career advancement in the Republican Party than in the Democratic Party.