The Longest Now

For Blue: W00 in Space
Friday November 30th 2012, 9:59 am
Filed under: fly-by-wire,Glory, glory, glory,international,Uncategorized


Two more for Michael, preserved for eternity (more ComicJK)
Thursday November 29th 2012, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,indescribable,Uncategorized

Thoughtbot writes letters sharing their dreams with the world – fresh from the Bot Cave
Thursday November 29th 2012, 1:50 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,fly-by-wire

Volume 1: November. You can subscribe for updates.

Best Comic Ever? XKCD has a friend named Comic JK
Wednesday November 28th 2012, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When a date starts to go like this…

Some will say this violates Occam’s razor…

The Million Problems project: the world’s best problems in each discipline
Thursday November 22nd 2012, 6:17 pm
Filed under: international,metrics

This is a project I’ve had in mind for some time. From where do you draw your favorite problems? For a bit of inspiration, here is an excellent and insightful essay on why math education is so much stronger in Russia (for instance) than in the US and Brazil (for instance), focusing on the appreciation for and use of word problems.

Word Problems in Russia and America by Andrei Toom (↬ Jacob Rus)

Three Copyright Myths and Where to Start to Fix it – a policy brief

A lovely short policy brief on designing a better copyright regime was published on Friday – before being quickly taken offline again.  I’ve reposted it here with light cleanup of its section headings.

If you care at all about copyright and its quirks, this is short and worth reading in full.

The benefit of passion, focus, poise & wit. For Sebastian.
Tuesday November 20th 2012, 12:53 pm
Filed under: international,meta,poetic justice,SJ

:A pinch of poise, a twist of wit,
:    Suffice to foil the darkest fit of  pique –
:      or set the mind  at  ease when seeking
:              ancient   remedies   for  tweaking  the   e t e r n a l    drive
:                                              to make, sing, see, feel, learn, & thrive.

Take the World’s Smallest (and first two-dimensional!) Political Quiz
Friday November 16th 2012, 8:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

by David Nolan, in 1969; via Jenn Pahlka.


OLPC in Ethiopia: Testing Child Literacy
Thursday November 15th 2012, 9:14 pm
Filed under: fly-by-wire,gustatory,international

An excellent piece on OLPC’s tablet-based literacy experiments in Ethiopia, via the BBC World Service.

Dan Ariely on Classroom Ethics 101: Socialized Cheating
Thursday November 15th 2012, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dan is inspiring here as usual, on the familiar but awkward subject of collective cheating – and notes a strong dichotomy of positive and negative reactions among his own students around cheating.  (Now why this should be correlated to goofing off in class is not reflected on in his post, though he notes the relationship.  I have some ideas, based on how much a class is seen as being ‘for show’.  But that’s for another post.)

John Taylor Gatto’s Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher Manifesto: Read it!
Wednesday November 14th 2012, 10:24 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,international,meta,Not so popular

The 7-lesson schoolteacher.

"I teach school -- and I win awards doing it.  These are the things I teach, these are the things you pay me to teach.  Make of them what you will:"

So begins one of the great essays on the modern school system.

Via Doc Searls.

The Six Symptoms of Pathological Science, by Irving Langmuir
Tuesday November 13th 2012, 8:43 am
Filed under: %a la mod,gustatory,metrics,poetic justice,wikipedia

This overview of pattern-creation in the guise of science and its mob effect on whole fields must be read and relished.

The Six Symptoms of Pathological Science:

  • The maximum effect observed is produced by an agent of barely detectable intensity.  The magnitude of the effect is largely independent of the intensity of the cause.
  • The effect is of a magnitude close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of low statistical significance of individual results.
  • There are claims of great, even extraordinary, accuracy
  • Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested (with enthusiasm)
  • Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment  (this may be contagious)
  • The ratio of supporters to critics rises to somewhere near 50%, then falls gradually to zero.

Also, note that the “Allison effect” and mechanism is the most amazing example given, and may show something different than standard pathological science: it was considered good science for over a decade, and by hundreds of practitioners.

From a talk famously given by Langmuir (1932 Chemistry N’Laureate) in 1953, transcribed by Robert Hall, illustrated by Physics Today, republished and promoted by professors and authors.

“Rolling Jubilee”: Occupy Wall Street buys debt to set people free
Friday November 09th 2012, 3:42 am
Filed under: chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory

The announcement | The event page

George Washington’s political farewell address: such timely advice!
Thursday November 08th 2012, 10:51 am
Filed under: %a la mod,meta,poetic justice,popular demand

The original, and updated to modern lingo.

Jellyfish grow at 100K/m^2 under sea structures ?
Tuesday November 06th 2012, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In some coastal waters, at least.


Enlightening thoughts on nonlocality from the great Serge Haroche
Monday November 05th 2012, 11:56 am
Filed under: Too weird for fiction,Uncategorized

Entanglement, Decoherence, and the Quantum/Classical Boundary

via Johannes Koelman.

Recursive β-Metafunctions In the Case of Polypolice
Friday November 02nd 2012, 7:32 pm
Filed under: Blogroll,chain-gang,citation needed,wikipedia

I just finished reading about how bogus transmogrification conversion on an oscillating harmonic field of glass bells, with green gig and kerosene lamps for diversion, can be solved by beastly incarceration-concatenation. I was reminded of how much the great scienxplorers such as Watterson and others owe to this cloud of novel scientific inquiry from the ’60s and ’70s.

It makes me simultaneously want to immortalize Lem and Kandel in an eternally entangled quantum fringe, and to fire up a Trurlapaucius abstract-generator based on snarXiv code.

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