Steven Johnson

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Innovations in epidemiological statistics, artificial fertilizer, sanitation, and vaccines have allowed billions of people to flourish until old age, says @stevenbjohnson reason.com/2021/09/15/aut…
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California recall fails; Gov. Gavin Newsom stays in office. apnews.com/article/a59078…
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I spent 2000 trying to help defeat Al Gore. But lately I’ve been thinking about the courage, decency & patriotism he showed after 2000 election. Seems to me we took that too much for granted & recent events have proven how fortunate we were that he put country first.
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“There is a reasonable path to taking that state you’re in when you are 25 or 30—when your body has stopped developing, but it hasn’t started aging yet—and extending it indefinitely.” @stevenbjohnson #podcast #vaccination nextbigideaclub.com/magazine/might…
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Fascinating chart from the new Case and Deaton paper. Partisan voting correlates closely with life expectancy now. What happens when one party represents increasing despair, poor health, lower education, and dying? Does this explain COVID divergences? nber.org/system/files/w…
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I’ve given a lot of public talks over my career but this clip has got me thinking I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. twitter.com/ronfilipkowski…
hey Twitter, is there a good public demo of GPT-3 online where I can feed it a paragraph and have it suggest a final sentence. (I can write the final sentence myself, thank you very much, just want to experiment with the tool for something I'm working on.)
At the United 93 Memorial in Shanksville, George W. Bush warns, "We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come, not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within," calls violent extremism abroad & domestic "children of the same foul spirit."
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This is the face of Colonel John Stapp in 1954, decelerating from 630 mph to a standstill in a matter of seconds, onboard the legendary "rocket sled" Sonic Wind 1, built to test the impact of radical deceleration on the human body.
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And of course there's a whole chapter about the past and future of auto safety in the book version -- Extra Life: A Short History Of Living Longer. penguinrandomhouse.com/books/594501/e…
I talk about Stapp and auto safety -- along with many other breakthroughs behind our radical increase in life expectancy -- in the latest episode of the @NextBigIdeaClub podcast. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…
The mortality risk from driving has declined 4X since Stapp took that ride on the rocket sled, and car accidents aren't even in the top ten causes of death in the US anymore.
It took people like Stapp to prove that the human body could survive far more intense episodes of deceleration, if it was properly protected -- starting with the three-point seat belts later developed by Volvo, then air bags, and crumple zones, etc.
But the main factor making cars unsafe at the time was not so much technical as it was conceptual: the auto industry simply didn't believe cars could be made safe. If two vehicles collided at 50 mph, the physics seemed to dictate that passengers would inevitably perish.
In Stapp's era, automobile accidents were the third leading cause of death in the United States, and a major factor in dragging down overall life expectancy, because they killed so many young people.
While he was celebrated at the time as the "fastest man on earth," Stapp is an under-appreciated hero in the story of 20th-century longevity. He played a key role in combating one of the great killers of his age: automobiles.
This is the face of Colonel John Stapp in 1954, decelerating from 630 mph to a standstill in a matter of seconds, onboard the legendary "rocket sled" Sonic Wind 1, built to test the impact of radical deceleration on the human body.
In the last 48 hours: - BioNTech announced human trials for cancer vaccines using mRNA technology - Moderna announced promising data on a 3-in-1 respiratory vaccine—a FluRona shot that also protects against RSV LFG 🚀 🚀 twitter.com/moderna_tx/sta…1Xh
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A documentary about my hero, Stewart Brand, has been made. To release it to the public the makers of "We Are As Gods" are launching a set of innovative NFTs, some with analog rewards. If the crowdfunding works, the film will be free. @StewartBrandDoc weareasgods.mirror.xyz/crowdfunds/0x6…
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The average human lifespan doubled over the past century. On the podcast, @stevenbjohnson discusses how inventions like vaccines and seatbelts made the world safer. And whether aging might become a thing of the past. Apple: apple.co/3A2kiPd Spotify: spoti.fi/3ttW3Hh
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The four most important charts in science & technology (note: all y-axes are log scale)
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"It is true that Mr. Sirhan has been incarcerated for a long time. For 53 years, to be exact. That is an easy number for me to track. It is the same number of years that my father has been dead. It is the age that I turn on my birthday this year." nytimes.com/2021/09/01/opi…
Hey California. For God’s sake vote NO on the recall. If the recall passes, Elder will become our Governor. twitter.com/ezraklein/stat…
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Fascinating profile of the legendary @alvyray, Pixar co-founder. There’s some mind-bending CompSci/Art history in his new book too. Great example of how new ideas emerge from the collision of different domains… twitter.com/StevenLevy/sta…
Just amazing how "our major national public investment in levee infrastructure has paid off by keeping Orleans & Jefferson Parishes from flooding in the face of incredible Cat 4 storm surge" isn't going to be a bigger story.
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This is a 393-years old Greenland Shark that was located in the Arctic Ocean. It's been wandering the ocean since 1627. It is the oldest living vertebrate known on the planet. Photo by Julius Nielsen.
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Please read and share statement from my family regarding today’s recommendation of parole for Sirhan Sirhan.
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Sunday reading tip—if you’re in #publichealth #globalhealth or are “merely” an intellectually curious Homo sapiens, do yourself a favor & get @stevenbjohnson’s new book, Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer. I devoured it & am reliving in his voice on Audible. Brilliant!
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I’m excited to announce that I’ll be leading @bluesky, an initiative started by @Twitter to decentralize social media. Follow updates on Twitter and at blueskyweb.org
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Fascinating recounting of how our life expectancy doubled in the last 100 years. Yes, vaccinations play a leading role. #GetVaccinated Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer by Steven Johnson amazon.com/dp/B08H18J8S4/… via @amazon
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Educators 👩‍🏫👨‍🏫— Check out this on-demand webinar featuring a conversation moderated@stevenbjohnsonnson in which educators share their experiences using #ExtraLifeProjectject in their classrobit.ly/3xnxNqLVZwqo
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Classic photograph of Nixon’s last White House lunch, upstairs in private family kitchen, yesterday 1974:
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Among the early guests: -- @PeterBlairHenry on developing-country economics -- @mhugolopez on demographic change -- @mkonnikova on the psychology of decision-making -- @stevenbjohnson on policies that extend our lives -- @sindap & @maxfrumes on an epic vulture-PE clash
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ANNOUNCEMENT -- Please subscribe to @AimeePKeane's and my first new podcast, "The New Bazaar", at the usual podcast places! A trailer is already up and the first episode drops this Thursday, August 12th. Spotify: spoti.fi/3yzMjNs Apple: apple.co/2VGJOKI
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Do you have a wandering mind? Good! In today's #HoorayforMonday post @AletaMargolis shares insights from popular science author @stevenbjohnson: we can travel anywhere in time and space in our minds, and doing so is good for our brains. @alda @nytimes inspiredteaching.org/time-traveling/
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Moderna's stock symbol is MRNA. Well played.
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Fascinating column as usual from @TimHarford. Someone should write an alt-history novel where randomized controlled experiments become widespread in 1800 instead of 1948. twitter.com/timharford/sta…
This woman is 57 years old, which means her grandparents were likely born in the 1910s. US life expectancy (even before the 1918 flu) was about 54 then, more than 20 years shorter than today. 20% of all children died before they reached adulthood. twitter.com/BGrueskin/stat…
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Mandatory vaccinations for US flights could be a real inflection point. I would fully support this plan. The threat to your personal liberty from terrorism is a tiny fraction of the threat posed by COVID. (More from the airport than the flight BTW.) theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
Needless to say, it was combatting exactly this kind of historical amnesia that led me to write Extra Life, and help create the PBS series. Forgetting the realities of past health threats has real consequences in the present. penguinrandomhouse.com/books/594501/e…
Not understanding the prime movers of real progress makes it so much easier for anti-vax and anti-mask (and anti-science generally) movements to thrive.
This kind of ignorance is partly the result of the fact that we don't teach the story of public health and medicine as a primary arc in standard history classes, despite the fact that it is arguably the most meaningful change in people's lives over the past century or two.
This woman is 57 years old, which means her grandparents were likely born in the 1910s. US life expectancy (even before the 1918 flu) was about 54 then, more than 20 years shorter than today. 20% of all children died before they reached adulthood. twitter.com/BGrueskin/stat…
His name was Henry Every. He had the biggest single score in the history of piracy and he also got away with it.England still hasn't forgiven him. Both spiritually and legally. My review of The Enemy of All Mankind by @stevenbjohnson. historynerdsunited.com/.../enemy-of-a…
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Simple caution: If you’re hearing moon “wobble” stories, and you get the impression there’s something new—there isn’t. “Wobble” is irresponsible clickbait. The moon is where it always is. Its orbit hasn’t changed. What’s changed is global warming.
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Consider yourself a history buff? It may be time for a little extra reading. nextbigideaclub.com/magazine/5-new…
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Too few NYers know: ==> In-home vaccination is now available in NYC to *everyone* aged 12+. You can select any of the 3 vaccines. No cost. No questions about immigration status. To request your in-home vax: nyc.gov/homevaccine or call 877-VAX-4NYC Help spread the word.
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@stevenbjohnson thinks more people should celebrate our scientific achievements in the field of health. "Every kid knows about the moon landing, but how many of them know we eliminated this ancient curse from the face of the Earth?"
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"Life expectancy was 30 to 35. A lot of that was because children died at an alarming rate," said @stevenbjohnson.
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