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Joel Eissenberg

Articles by Joel Eissenberg

Oak Ridge and desegregation

14 days ago

I grew up in Oak Ridge TN, where the uranium was enriched for the Hiroshima bomb. There’s a recent piece on the NYT on Oak Ridge and desegregation. One of the local players at the time was Waldo Cohn, a chemist and symphony conductor, who was on the school board at the time. Here’s his account:MR. COHN: So, this Advisory Town Council met every week, every second week with him. There were seven people. I was interested in not only community affairs, but I was also interested in politics, and I was not on the original one at all. Before one of the elections would come up, which was every two years, some of the people who were interested in who would run for it, asked me to run. I believe the person who asked me to run for it was Evelyn Snell, wife of

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Ammosexual fantasy vs real life

28 days ago

Ammosexual amateurs think a gun gives them superpowers. In reality, trained law enforcement only hit their target ca. 30% of the time on average at close range in an active shooter event. And that’s with training and regular practice. Unless you’re training regularly, you’re not going to protect yourself with a gun, and you’re likely to kill a bystander and/or just make yourself a target.Don’t believe me? Watch this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QjZY3WiO9s

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Tags: Hand Guns (Pistols)

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Review of “The Prophet” by Isaac Deutcher

May 21, 2022

“Until we are done with the ironies of history (because they will never be done with us), the image of Trotsky will not dissipate.”~Christopher HitchensI’ve had a lifelong fascination with socialism, communism and the Cold War. This probably springs from having grown up during the Cold War at nuclear ground zero for World War III. Also contributing was that I came of age near the end of the Vietnam War, a proxy war between the US and the USSR into which I very nearly was drafted. My quest to understand this 20th century bipolar world into which I was born has most recently brought me to Isaac Deutcher’s monumental biography of Leon Trotsky, “The Prophet.” In fact, The Prophet is really three volumes published separately: “The Prophet Armed” (1952, 540

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Making the physician sausage

May 7, 2022

I started teaching medical students in 1988 and have been an instructor and course director for one or more first-year med school courses continuously since 1990. When I started, there were two full years of pre-clinical course-work. Now we’re down to a year and two-thirds and there are plans to shrink further. Some medical schools in the US already only have a single pre-clinical year.

Personally, I thought the pre-clinical lectures and exams were excessive in the beginning, particularly in courses like Medical Biochemistry (my course) and Human Anatomy, but probably also in most courses. Some of those lecture hours could have been replaced by flipped classroom problem-solving and other forms of problem-based learning. I ran PBL in my course for

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Review of “Lenin: A Biography”

March 16, 2022

I just finished Robert Service’s biography of Lenin. The “Marxism” of Lenin was not Marxist at all. Classical Marxism holds that capitalism must achieve a high level of industrialization before the workers can overturn the landlords and factory owners and collectivize the fruits of labor for the benefit of workers. Like Mao, Lenin retrofitted socialist revolution to the circumstances. Since Russia at the end of the Romanov dynasty was still a semi-feudal rural society, Lenin decided to dispense with Marx’s preconditions and asserted that Russia was ripe for socialist revolution. While he was certainly right that the people were ready to overthrow the Czar, Lenin had to destroy any attempts at a democratic successor government to ruthlessly impose

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Can Bill Gates bring nuclear power back to the US?

January 29, 2022

Usually, discussions of decarbonizing energy production involve solar, wind, tidal and geothermal. But nuclear power generation doesn’t generate greenhouse gas (though the large amount of concrete in conventional nuclear power plants does). Nuclear power generation has a bad name after Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. While there is debate about whether the Three Mile Island and Fukushima accidents really endangered many lives, there’s no doubt that solid fuel light water nuclear power reactors have an image problem. Bill Gates is hoping to overcome that image problem by co-funding a nuclear power reactor. Gates’ company, TerraPower, has announced the siting of a 345 MW demonstration plant in Kemmerer WY, an old coal town. This plant is a

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