After a trip to San Diego this weekend (planned) and a trip to Iowa in the first half of this week (unplanned, a death in the family), I'm getting back in the saddle with a pretty good backlog of links to share. Picking the relatively uncontroversial items to post today given my lack of time for a good ole fashioned back-and-forth in the comments...

Links below.

China’s New Aircraft Carrier Is Already Obsolete (Foreign Policy)

After spending a good part of Saturday on the USS Midway, any country that can put together a carrier has reached a decent level of achievement on their tech tree.

That said, I was greatly amused by this opening:

China’s first home-built aircraft carrier, which was seen Monday being towed from berth, will begin sea trials imminently. When the new vessel enters service some time in 2019 or 2020, China will become the world’s second most powerful operator of aircraft carriers, with a grand total of two. It is a position from which it will never be dislodged.

The first most powerful carrier fleet? The United States, with 11 in service. Keep working at it, China!

Communist robot dreams (Aeon)

An interesting history of robot science fiction (and the context in which it arose) behind the Iron Curtain in Bulgaria.

A Trump Nobel Peace Prize? South Korea’s Leader Likes the Idea (New York Times)

If Obama could win a Nobel Peace Prize for simply not being George W. Bush, I don't see any harm in awarding one to Trump if the current conversations of peace on the Korean peninsula become reality.

Victims of Communism Day 2018 (Reason)

Captures my thoughts regarding 20th century Communism and Socialism. The first question that proponents of these ideologies need answer isn't related to equality or fairness, it's why they think that any newly enacted Communist or Socialist system of gov't won't exhibit the same structural flaws that lead to these deaths in past implementations.

Now, I'm not unaware of the issues that Capitalism poses in its implementations, but I'm hard pressed to think of anyone (including fans of Socialism in my own circles) who would choose existence in a 20th century socialist country over the capitalist West at the same point in history.

(If I'm wrong and you'd choose East Germany, Mao's China, or any iteration of the USSR over its capitalist equivalent, please let me know in the comments.)

Scott Pruitt’s new ‘secret science’ proposal is the wrong way to increase transparency (The Verge)

A follow-up article to Scott Pruitt's suggestion that the EPA should only make policy decisions based on science where the underlying data is available. Does a good job elaborating on the challenges of making data public.

My thinking on this hasn't shifted, and I disagree with The Verge's take on some things, including absolving scientists of the responsibility of making data available (this should be incorporated into the study design as a requirement) and whether transparency in funding will solve the issue (I presume that the studies that the EPA would use in a policy-making context are largely publicly funded and we know who paid for what).

I have a longer piece brewing on this topic, so I'll save any further commentary for that blog post.

The End Of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is What Happens When Money Writes Movies (The Huffington Post)

Or: "When meta-knowledge about the factors of production ruin your plot twist"...

(Spoiler alert, obviously.)

Image credit: Bill Wilson @ Flickr

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