A lot of people have heard about Aaron Swartz in the past week, but his death really wasn't about Reddit. In fact, his death is far more than the death of a single person, but almost as a martyr for a cause. This cause is referred to in many ways, but perhaps "open Internet" is the best.
A couple of weeks ago someone asked me why I think studying science is so important. I began to answer their question with my usual answer, "It teaches people to think critically and to solve problems." However, as I thought about it, I realized that was not a good reason to learn anything. It is a beneficial outcome of learning science, but not the reason why people should want to begin studying it.
While few may pay attention to what goes on in Nebraska's legislature, fairly big news was announced just the other week in the Omaha World-Herald. State senator Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha was picked up for a DUI. His blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit, and he accepted full responsibility for what he had done.
A year ago, this story wouldn't have bothered me a whole lot. I mean, politicians behaving badly is a nightly reality show we call the news. However, this incident reminded me of that little saying: "What goes around, comes around."
Let me tell you the story.
Early this semester, the worst snowstorm of the year swept across Omaha. Weather forecasters predicted over 12 inches of snow overnight, with more expected the next day.
Two weeks ago, at an Indiana Senate debate, Eric Turner, Republican state representative, delivered comments that angered many. While discussing an amendment to an anti-abortion bill that would allow women whose pregnancy is the result of rape or incest to undergo the procedure, he implied that women who want an abortion could simply lie about being a victim.