25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 A Sick Burn

Yet your prison without coherent design continues to imprison you. How can this be, if it has no strong places? The rational prisoner exploits the weak places, creates order from chaos: instead, collectives like the FSF vindicate their jailers by building cells almost compatible with the existing ones, albeit with more features. The journalist with three undergraduate degrees from MIT, the researcher at Microsoft, and the senior scientist at Apple might volunteer a few words about the regulat...
Folksonomies: insults
Folksonomies: insults
  1  notes
25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 It Takes a Network to Defeat a Network

...the 9/11 attacks were carried out by one network on another network: al Qaeda against the U.S. financial and political system. Yet it was not the immediate damage of the terrorist attacks that inflicted the real cost on the United States so much as the unintended consequences of the national security state’s response. Writing in the Los Angeles Times in August 2002, before it was even clear that Iraq was to be invaded, the political scientist John Arquilla presciently pointed out the fla...
Folksonomies: networks ideology war
Folksonomies: networks ideology war
  1  notes
30 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Magnus Speaks on Knowledge

Magnus turned from Mortarion and walked to the centre of the amphitheatre, lifting his hands out to his sides and slowly turning on the spot as he spoke. “Imagine the Imperium of the future, a golden Utopia of enlightenment and progress, where the scientist and the philosopher are equal partners with the warrior in crafting a bounteous future. Now imagine the people of that glorious age looking back through the mists of time to this moment. Think what they will know and what they would mak...
Folksonomies: enlightenment knowledge
Folksonomies: enlightenment knowledge
  1  notes
 
09 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 Childhood Fascination with What Adults Consider Mundane

If you know kindergartners, you know that a thread on the carpet can become one of the most fascinating objects on the face of the earth. The child will pick it up and run her fingers the length of it, scrutinizing every centimeter of that thread. She might hold it up in the sunlight to get a better look and then lay it on her lap to continue the intense observation of the thread. Those who are sitting close to the thread scientist may notice this intriguing object and want in. So they’ll ...
Folksonomies: cognition learning
Folksonomies: cognition learning
  1  notes
 
31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The Evolving View of Science and Evil

Daedalus begins with an artillery bombardment on the Western Front, the shell bursts nonchalantly annihilating the human protagonists who are supposed to be in charge of the battle. This opening scene epitomizes Haldane's hard-headed view of war. And likewise at the end, when the biologist in his laboratory, "just a poor little scrubby underpaid man groping blindly amid the mazes of the ultramicroscopic," is transfigured into the mythical figure of Daedalus, "conscious of his ghastly mission ...
Folksonomies: evil inequality war science
Folksonomies: evil inequality war science
  1  notes
 
30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The Myth of Pure Evil

The myth of pure evil gives rise to an archetype that is common in religions, horror movies, children’s literature, nationalist mythologies, and sensationalist news coverage. In many religions evil is personified as the Devil—Hades, Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Mephistopheles—or as the antithesis to a benevolent God in a bilateral Manichean struggle. In popular fiction evil takes the form of the slasher, the serial killer, the bogeyman, the ogre, the Joker, the James Bond villain, or depe...
Folksonomies: mythology evil
Folksonomies: mythology evil
  1  notes
 
30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Pessimism in Predictions and the False Sense of Insecurity

You would think that the disappearance of the gravest threat in the history of humanity would bring a sigh of relief among commentators on world affairs. Contrary to expert predictions, there was no invasion of Western Europe by Soviet tanks, no escalation of a crisis in Cuba or Berlin or the Middle East to a nuclear holocaust.1 The cities of the world were not vaporized; the atmosphere was not poisoned by radioactive fallout or choked with debris that blacked out the sun and sent Homo sapien...
Folksonomies: perspective pessimism
Folksonomies: perspective pessimism
  1  notes
 
28 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 How Scammers Distort Science

So why should you care? People who are desperate for reliable information face a bewildering array of diet guidance—salt is bad, salt is good, protein is good, protein is bad, fat is bad, fat is good—that changes like the weather. But science will figure it out, right? Now that we’re calling obesity an epidemic, funding will flow to the best scientists and all of this noise will die down, leaving us with clear answers to the causes and treatments. Or maybe not. Even the well-funded...
  1  notes

A case study where a scientist fooled the media, muddying the waters of nutritional information.

25 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Buddhini Samarasinghe: Scientists Should Stick to Science

It is a statistical fact that you are more likely to die while horseback riding (1 serious adverse event every ~350 exposures) than from taking Ecstasy (1 serious adverse event every ~10,000 exposures). Yet, in 2009, the scientist who said this was fired from his position as the chairman of the UK's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Professor David Nutt's remit was to make scientific recommendations to government ministers on the classification of illegal drugs based on the harm they c...
  1  notes
06 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Trick of Magnifying Normal Creatures

The trick of magnifying a normal creature to menacing size is all too common. The giant amoeba is a familar example; monster insects (or whole populations of them) even more so. It might pay an author with this particular urge to ask himself why we don't actually have such creatures around. There is likely to be a good reason, and if he doesn't know it perhaps he should do some research. In the case of both amoeba and insect, the so-called "square-cube" law is the trouble. Things like streng...
Folksonomies: physics biology speculation
Folksonomies: physics biology speculation
  1  notes