No Sacred Truths

kuromikowaii asked: Have there ever been any conclusive evidence that GMs are harmful? In terms of human health that is.

edwardspoonhands:

No. In fact there have been lots of studies that have indicated (as one would expect) that a plant that contains literally tens of thousands of proteins is not made dangerous by the addition of a few extra proteins.

shushgabby asked: Although there's no evidence that there are risks to human health, there are still arguments against (some types of) GM crops. Some companies, Monsanto being a big one, modify their seeds so that the seeds of that crop cannot be collected and resown. This means that farmers have to return to the company each year to buy more seeds, and also means that a single (or a few) companies can 'own' our food sources. Is this a legitimate concern, or do most farms tend to buy new seeds each season anyway?

edwardspoonhands:

No company in the US is allowed to genetically modify a crop to produce non-viable seed. However, they can legally forbid farmers from collecting seed and planting from those seeds because farmers do not “own” the genes in the plant that they are planting. 

This is indeed really weird and questionable and I don’t think anyone 100% understands how that is affecting and might continue to affect food systems. So, yeah, I think there are issues with GM crops…they have to do with policy and government and law and economics. But the fight I end up fighting with anti-GM activists tends to be more alarmist “GM Food is Dangerous for Human Consumption” which is just not even a tiny bit true.

vineweaver:

Video games are so weird. Hey you just killed a giant goat man, have a pair of shoes you’re not intelligent enough to wear.

(via enigmaticagentalice)

solongasitswords:

allthingslinguistic:

Writing Skills: XKCD is on point about language again.
Here’s a study from this year on kids who use abbreviations while texting, and here’s a summary of previous studies: 

The first study, published in 2008, showed that 11 and 12-year-olds in Britain who used more textisms — whether misspelled words (“ppl,” instead of “people”), grammatically incorrect substitutions (“2” for “to” or “too”), wrong verb forms (“he do” instead of “he does”), or missing punctuation — compared to properly written words tended to have slightly better scores on standardized grammar and writing tests and had better spelling, after controlling for test scores in other subjects and other factors. A 2009 study, conducted by some of the same researchers on 88 kids between 10 and 12 years old, found similar associations between high textism use and slightly better reading ability.

Hovertext from the xkcd comic: I’d like to find a corpus of writing from children in a non-self-selected sample (e.g. handwritten letters to the president from everyone in the same teacher’s 7th grade class every year)—and score the kids today versus the kids 20 years ago on various objective measures of writing quality. I’ve heard the idea that exposure to all this amateur peer practice is hurting us, but I’d bet on the generation that conducts the bulk of their social lives via the written word over the generation that occasionally wrote book reports and letters to grandma once a year, any day.

Once again we find that texting is not ruining language! Huzzah!

solongasitswords:

allthingslinguistic:

Writing Skills: XKCD is on point about language again.

Here’s a study from this year on kids who use abbreviations while texting, and here’s a summary of previous studies: 

The first study, published in 2008, showed that 11 and 12-year-olds in Britain who used more textisms — whether misspelled words (“ppl,” instead of “people”), grammatically incorrect substitutions (“2” for “to” or “too”), wrong verb forms (“he do” instead of “he does”), or missing punctuation — compared to properly written words tended to have slightly better scores on standardized grammar and writing tests and had better spelling, after controlling for test scores in other subjects and other factors. A 2009 study, conducted by some of the same researchers on 88 kids between 10 and 12 years old, found similar associations between high textism use and slightly better reading ability.

Hovertext from the xkcd comic: I’d like to find a corpus of writing from children in a non-self-selected sample (e.g. handwritten letters to the president from everyone in the same teacher’s 7th grade class every year)—and score the kids today versus the kids 20 years ago on various objective measures of writing quality. I’ve heard the idea that exposure to all this amateur peer practice is hurting us, but I’d bet on the generation that conducts the bulk of their social lives via the written word over the generation that occasionally wrote book reports and letters to grandma once a year, any day.

Once again we find that texting is not ruining language! Huzzah!

(via bapgeek2geekbap)