Today is a good day for cartoons.
This is sad, and true, and entirely representative of human history up until this point. Question is, how do we fix it?
This is also true, but not sad. Annoying, definitely.
Professor of Indeterminate Studies
From Mother Jones:
HB 291, the “Missouri Standard Science Act,” redefines a few things you thought you already knew about science. For example, a “hypothesis” is redefined as something that reflects a “minority of scientific opinion and is “philosophically unpopular.” A scientific theory is “an inferred explanation…whose components are data, logic and faith-based philosophy.” And “destiny” is not something that $5 fortune tellers believe in; Instead, it’s “the events and processes that define the future of the universe, galaxies, stars, our solar system, earth, plant life, animal life, and the human race.”
What the fuck?
The bill is mostly intended to promote teaching of creationism, and is sponsored by self-proclaimed “science enthusiast” Rick Brattin.
Continuing the discussion on legislating sea level rise:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word – Sink or Swim|
Nothing boosts the economy like becoming a national (international?) laughingstock. Right, North Carolina?
I earned a science PhD from a North Carolina university (Duke ecology, 1998). Which makes the current piece of anti-science idiocity coming out of that state particularly appalling. Briefly, NC is trying to legislate the scientific methods that can be used to estimate future sea level rise for planning purposes. Their chosen methods are wrong, and put sea level rise considerably below more nuanced estimates, thus maintaining property values while likely screwing whole segments of the population.
Willfully inaccurate planning means that coastal development, roads, bridges, and people are all at risk. Not to mention research at the state’s many fine colleges and universities: it would apparently be illegal to use any methods other than those specifically legislated to predict sea level rise.
The legislated method: linear extrapolation from sea level records since 1900. That method predicts an 8-inch rise, and NC wants to use 16 inches as their worst-case scenario. The best scientific estimates from the IPCC put likely sea level rise at about 39 inches, if not more.
I see a problem here.
I really wanted to write something witty and insightful about this, but I can’t manage anything but a great deal of ARRRRRGGGGHH. So why don’t you go read Scott Huler’s SciAm rant instead?
ETA: Or Eric’s.
This set of photos from fifty years ago is amazing. 1962 is both not that long ago and incredibly far away.
It’s a wonder that anyone is brave or conceited enough to even try to write science fiction.
Let me tell you how much I’m enjoying the presidential campaign, and how well I think the GOP candidates represent the enlightened spirit of United States democracy. Please note: nothing below this point is safe for work, home, or the brains of any reasonable human being whatsoever.
Let me tell you how much I appreciate having my very competence, my ability to make decisions for myself, questioned. In 2012. By a panel composed entirely of men. By organizations ignoring the most knowledgeable experts. Or my ability and my right to do my job questioned by a leading presidential candidate. Bayer Aspirin? But it was a “joke,” so it’s okay.
Or rather, let me allow Jim to tell you. Since he’s male and all, and I’m just a woman. Or maybe just because he’s funnier and more profane than I am.
Really, it was just because he’s funnier.
Here’s a woman who sums it up pretty well.
Maybe I need a Nehemiah Scudder for President in 2012 bumper sticker.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in bed with the blankets over my head watching West Wing until November. Maybe longer.
That was helpful, not that I give myself any credit for it. Although it’s likely that some of the five hundred or so people who visited one of my sites yesterday didn’t know much about SOPA/PIPA, and maybe they clicked on the EFF link and learned something.
But you know industry’s concerns about the internet aren’t going to go away. This is something to keep a careful eye on, if you’d like to be able to use Wikipedia and YouTube and Flickr and Twitter and Facebook and Google, and this site, all of which are in jeopardy.
Not that I expect my tiny participation in tomorrow’s blackout campaign to have any effect, but I want to add my support. The internet has been crucial to my life in many ways, and all of them could go away. All of the sites I maintain will be down, including the business pages, joining many much more influential sites. Like, oh, Wikipedia, and Reddit, and Boing Boing. (Note: this won’t affect the LJ feed; I have no control over their servers.)
Here’s one way to join in if you maintain a website of your own.
And on second thought, be very alarmed.
Edit: All rumors to the contrary, SOPA is not dead, just tabled until February.
Also, irony is not dead.
Is this tree.
There’s quite a bit of discussion on the Legos for girls I mentioned earlier.
Best bits I’ve seen:
This 1981 ad for Legos. Based on one data point, we’ve come a long way… backward.
And this article by Tansy Rayner Roberts, with my favorite quote on the topic: “Our girls should have toy options other than ‘everything is pink’ and ‘all the characters are boys.’”
You know, like they did in 1981.
My friend Tom left this link on a previous post about science and art: Bathsheba Grossman. I’d looked at her work before, but I don’t think I’d posted it. Science, math and 3D printing- what’s not to like?
Eric’s comment, reprinted to save you from wandering back and forth:
What NaNoWriMo was not good for this year: I did not write anything close to 50k words, generating about 10k if you include a section of notes I drew up.
What NaNoWriMo was good for this year: I figured out some things about my writing and how I ought to be writing, if I can just implement them and make them work. I learned that I probably need to start writing things backwards instead of trying to write one-thing-leads-to-another like George R.R. Martin or someone like that. I learned that I probably need to stop beating myself up if I don’t write any fiction on a day but still managed to leave a long comment on someone’s blog or elsewhere (e.g. a long forum post defending Star Trek, speaking purely hypothetically).
The big one was the “writing backwards” bit, if I can just teach myself how to do it. Though “not beating myself up” may be important, too: I think I’m realizing something similar to what you said about writing every day, and for almost identical reasons.
So I’m sort of feeling like NaNoWriMo was a “win” for me, even if it absolutely wasn’t even close in formal terms.
Eric and I have had long angsty discussions about similar issues before, and especially on the pros and cons of writing every day.
The moral: there’s no one true way.
This is important.
Irrelevantly, and tantalizingly, the day Eric left that comment he also wrote one of the funniest things I’ve read in ages. And no, I can’t share it with you, but if you ask nicely he might be persuaded to revise it for public consumption.
This is a fascinating and brain-hurting example of cherry-picking facts, extrapolating trends outside their proper bounds, and every logical fallacy known to philosophers. A number of the trends cited as evidence for a young earth are actually direct or indirect consequences of anthropogenic global warming, and thus relatively recent, but are warped into justification for recent creation.
And that’s leaving aside the factual inaccuracies, which are legion.
If I were still teaching, I think I’d use this as class discussion material.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m hip-deep in Django today, and kind of having fun with it. I’m evaluating candidates for the obsolete web application that broke when I upgraded my work server. It looks like it would take almost as much time to fix it as it would to switch to something current. Science involves a lot of background stuff that needs to be done just so you can get to the good bits, and data management figures heavily in that category.