Bharat’s Pocket Scraps August 12

What I found interesting this (short for me) week.

The vacation, pre-Charlottesville edition.

CRISPR fixes disease gene in viable human embryos

An international team of researchers has used CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing — a technique that allows scientists to make precise changes to genomes with relative ease — to correct a disease-causing mutation in dozens of viable human embryos.

To me, it’s not a question of if, but when certain diseases can be excised “crisply”. So, as a society, we need to confirm that these fixes are available to all, and not just those who have the money. The science will make the work happen, but the rest is up to us.

Read CRISPR fixes disease gene in viable human embryos

Looking for ‘city’ living in the suburbs? Some are finding it in aging office parks.

From the rooftop terrace of their new townhouse, Keisuke and Idalia Yabe take in their suburban Maryland neighborhood: a staid, 1970s-era office park of glass office buildings and concrete parking garages.

Read Looking for ‘city’ living in the suburbs? Some are finding it in aging office parks.

Okay, so more on the company town dystopia theme. North America’s office parks are depressing, really, people want to live here?

Partition, 70 years on: Salman Rushdie, Kamila Shamsie and other writers reflect

More than a million were killed and many millions more displaced by Indian partition. Authors consider its bloody legacy and the crises now facing their countries To think about partition on its 70th anniversary is to think, unavoidably, about the extraordinary crisis in India today.

It’s India and Pakistan’s independence days next week, and the “partition” should always be on people’s minds. Some of South Asia’s most prominent English writers have something to say…

Read Partition, 70 years on: Salman Rushdie, Kamila Shamsie and other writers reflect

Chaos and horror in the fiction of Partition

In recent decades, scholars such as Gyanendra Pandey and Yasmin Khan have helped to unravel the complex role the British played in encouraging the religious discord that still beleaguers South Asia today, and yet the tendency to downplay the role of the colonizer in Partition persists in many English-language texts.

Yes indeed, modern India and Pakistan’s minority oppression are in most ways, self-propagating now. But, as this article points out, the British did have a lot to do with lighting those fires.

Read Chaos and horror in the fiction of Partition

The Purges Are Coming

On Monday, it dropped its objections to Ohio’s voter purge procedures, which kick voters off the rolls for skipping elections. The DOJ is now arguing that such maneuvers are perfectly legal.

The US as a democracy without an independent election organizing body has always struck me as unusual. No other country taken seriously as a democracy has such a comically partisan organization of elections.  Sad.

Read The Purges Are Coming

The rise of the evolutionary psychology douchebag

They believe that certain groups of people are inherently smarter than others. They write books about how rape is a natural part of human evolution.

Thank you, Annalee Neuwitz, exactly right on the ridiculousness of  the evo-psych field that the fired google dude quoted extensively from.

Read The rise of the evolutionary psychology douchebag

Forget all the other reasons you should be riding a bike. This is the one that matters

A new study offers perhaps the most definitive reason yet why society should be doing more to encourage cycling, and serves as another reminder that the health benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks.

Clickbait, don’t worry about THE ONE REASON. Just go out and ride your bike, it’s fun and healthy!

Read Forget all the other reasons you should be riding a bike. This is the one that matters

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