I enjoyed The Social Network (with the acknowledged factual flaws) and I’ve watched interviews with Mark Zuckerberg. He seems like a nice enough person. At least he does not come across as arrogant and self-absorbed as the Winklevoss twins. One way of saying that in terms of surface appearance, Mark is someone whose public persona is not as obnoxious as so many others we see on the news. Substance matters, at least it still does to some people. In that regard Zuckerberg has some issues, Mark Zuckerberg’s Self-Serving Immigration Crusade
Zuckerberg wrote that “in a knowledge economy, the most important resources are the talented people we educate and attract to our country.” To that end, FWD.us says on its website it aims to “establish a streamlined process for admitting future workers” and increase the number of H-1B visas that let companies hire high-skilled foreign workers to “continue to promote innovation and meet our workforce needs.”
The implicit argument behind FWD.us is that the U.S. doesn’t have enough high-skilled domestic workers to meet tech companies’ needs. This is a myth, and Zuckerberg and FWD.us are just the latest tech players to promote it. In fact there is no shortage of domestic IT workers, as shown in a new study from the Economic Policy Institute. While there is an unusually low unemployment rate among American tech workers (3%), they haven’t enjoyed the large salary increases that would signal a shortage. There is also little evidence that the foreign workers tech companies hire are any better than Americans. The real reason tech companies want to hire more high-skilled immigrants is that they can pay them less than Americans, since immigrants are in a more economically precarious position. More than 80 percent of workers hired under the H-1B program are paid less than their American counterparts, according to the EPI. This kind of outsourcing benefits tech companies while hurting domestic tech workers.
We might get the immigration reform that Zuckerberg wants. From what I have read so far, it is shaping up to be a fairly good, if imperfect bill. One that is especially humane in regards the kids of immigrants that are already here. It seems to be one of those bills that the malevolent minded, like Zuckerberg plan to exploit to their economic advantage. One assumes because having billions of dollars just doesn’t go as far as it used to.
There have been a few studies over the years warning about wonderful new findings in some basic research using mice. I’ve probably cited a few of those studies. Frequently studies using mice, say in which a new anti-cancer drug shows promise, frequently turns out to be a dead-end as far as human cancer cures. This is not always the fault of scientists per se. They publish their findings and by the time the evening news reports it, the report does not contain all the caveats the researchers stipulated in the original paper – usually something like more research and drug trials are needed to see if it works on humans. With that in mind, Age-defying: Master key of lifespan found in brain (in mice).
Tick tock, tick tock… A mechanism that controls ageing, counting down to inevitable death, has been identified in the hypothalamus?– a part of the brain that controls most of the basic functions of life.
By manipulating this mechanism, researchers have both shortened and lengthened the lifespan of mice. The discovery reveals several new drug targets that, if not quite an elixir of youth, may at least delay the onset of age-related disease.
I think the current world population is slightly below replacement levels – that is that more people die every year than are born. Though because world population is so massive – about 6.5 billion people, we’re likely to have between 8, maybe even 10 billion people before world population starts to decline. If the mouse findings do translate into prolonging life and mental alertness by 20%, are we ready for the repercussions of that.
Vue de Paris prise de Montmartre, 1886 by Van Gogh.