15 OCT 2014 by ideonexus

 Bacillus Vampiris

Bacteria could be the answer to the vampire. Everything seemed to flood over him then. It was as though he’d been the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, refusing to let the sea of reason in. There he’d been, crouching and content with his iron-bound theory. Now he’d straightened up and taken his finger out. The sea of answers was already beginning to wash in. The plague had spread so quickly. Could it have done that if only vampires had spread it? Could their nightly marau...
Folksonomies: science fiction horror
Folksonomies: science fiction horror
  1  notes

A bacteria that fuels the muscles even after the heart stops pumping blood, that instills a repulsion of the sun and garlic to survive.

03 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 Religion is More than the Supernatural

Most developers are religious about technology   It’s true.   Don’t be ashamed, you are not alone.  Myself, and just about everyone else, is with you.   Some of use are recovering from our self-imposed brain washing.  Others of us are blissfully unaware of our predicament.  But most of us have at least one religion we’ve managed to craft ourselves.   It is perfectly natural because most programmers got into the field of software development because they were passionate about it....
  1  notes

Programmers are religious about their technology choices. What other biases are we religious about?

07 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Research is Like Oil Prospecting

Research is industrial prospecting. The oil prospectors use every scientific means to find new paying wells. Oil is found by each one of a number of methods. My own group of men are prospecting in a different field, using every possible scientific means. We believe there are still things left to be discovered. We have only stumbled upon a few barrels of physical laws from the great pool of knowledge. Some day we are going to hit a gusher.
Folksonomies: metaphor research
Folksonomies: metaphor research
  1  notes

You will strike a new idea somewhere.

17 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 A Mechanic Should Sit Down Among His Tools

As the component parts of all new machines may be said to be old[,] it is a nice discriminating judgment, which discovers that a particular arrangement will produce a new and desired effect. ... Therefore, the mechanic should sit down among levers, screws, wedges, wheels, etc. like a poet among the letters of the alphabet, considering them as the exhibition of his thoughts; in which a new arrangement transmits a new idea to the world.
Folksonomies: invention
Folksonomies: invention
  1  notes

And consider them the way a poet considers the letters of the alphabet.

19 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 A Brief History of People Resisting Technological Advance...

Look at how often change is fought in history. Here’s an example that always tickles me. The chain of events back in the twelfth century that set Europe going economically after the Dark Ages was essentially the textile revolution. A new loom came in from Arab Spain. It had foot pedals, which left the weaver’s hands free to weave faster and make more cloth cheaper. The Dutch weavers smashed the thing up because it would have put people out of work. (That was a new idea in the twelfth cent...
  1  notes

Even though the advances ultimately benefit society as a whole, people resist and riot because they are put out of work or may lose power from the change.

18 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Skepticism is Not Enough

As I've tried to stress, at the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes - an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive, and the most ruthlessly sceptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. The collective enterprise of creative thinking and sceptical thinking, working together, keeps the field on track. Those two seemingly contradictory attitudes are, though, in some ...
Folksonomies: science openness iconoclasm
Folksonomies: science openness iconoclasm
  1  notes

We must also be open to new and challenging ideas.

17 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 The Baloney Detection Kit

In science we may start with experimental results, data, observations, measurements, 'facts'. We invent, if we can, a rich array of possible explanations and systematically confront each explanation with the facts. In the course of their training, scientists are equipped with a baloney detection kit. The kit is brought out as a matter of course whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. If the new idea survives examination by the tools in our kit, we grant it warm, although tentative, ...
  1  notes

Bullet points for the baloney detection kit according to Carl Sagan.