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Evolutionary Forecasting. Because your money AND your life.

Posted 12-Nov-2014 at 10:35 PM (22:35) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 12-Nov-2014 at 11:02 PM (23:02) by Gurdur

Evolutionary forecasting is the new name given to predicting what genetic changes might happen to a whole population. So it's looking at how statistically a total population changes, at what bundle of traits might change with respect to the percent of each trait, and at what new traits might come into being, and what other traits might die out. Is it important? Only if both your money and your life matter to you!

In the years 1918 to 1921, no less than at least 50 million people died...
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Old

Spoiling the narrative: #Gawker, lizzyf620 and #SockpuppetConfessions

Posted 04-Nov-2014 at 11:45 PM (23:45) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 05-Nov-2014 at 12:48 AM (00:48) by Gurdur

This is the second in a highly non-connected series of posts I'm doing on narrative. We are Pan narrans, the story-telling chimpanzee; if you or I work really hard at it, we might make it to being Homo sapiens. And yes, narrative is highly important - more than you know - to both science and to the history of science as it is presented. Even unto the neurophysical side! Narrativium rules OK! But let's leave the baffling-with-science bit for the next blog post, and let's look at competing narratives,...
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Old

Unexpected narratives: sadnesses

Posted 04-Nov-2014 at 08:09 PM (20:09) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

I have to blog on the narrative, and what it means for people; it's much more important than many think to life, and to anything human, including history of science. So the next few blog posts of mine will be, in different ways, all about narrative and narratives - as well as control by narrators. First up though is an almost accidental thing; having bought the entire set of Breaking Bad episodes (5 seasons), I watched them all to the end. The very last scene of the last episode of the last season...
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Old

Cathy Young, Anita Sarkeesian, and The Hunger Games

Posted 02-Nov-2014 at 07:38 AM (07:38) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-Nov-2014 at 08:00 AM (08:00) by Gurdur

Just out of the blue my eye was caught by an article by Cathy Young (@CathyYoung63) on literary criticism by Anita Sarkeesian (@femfreq) of The Hunger Games (a trilogy of books by author Suzanne Collins, @_SuzanneCollins, which have partly and will be fully rendered into movies). Cathy Young's article is well-written, and presents many worthy points, but I would like to add some points of my own to all this, and there are certain themes that need to be drawn out of the subject - a subject I have...
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Old

Threats and gender-treason: #GamerGate goes weird.

Posted 31-Oct-2014 at 09:11 AM (09:11) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 31-Oct-2014 at 10:27 AM (10:27) by Gurdur

Most of you know about #GamerGate, the huge fuss going on inside the gamer communities. It's a controversy on which I've blogged before. Less than half a day ago, it got worse. Over Twitter and on his blog, Bobby Oliveira - @bobbyo1967 - accused the feminist scholar Christina H. Sommers of "gender treason", and threatened to keep on harassing her until Sommers denounced #GamerGate. If Bobby Oliveira could accomplish that, he threatened then to go further and to harass others until they too denounced...
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Old

The bizarre smears used against Michael Nugent by PZ Myers & co.

Posted 11-Oct-2014 at 05:03 AM (05:03) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Oct-2014 at 09:13 PM (21:13) by Gurdur

PZ Myers, an associate professor at a small college, and a minor albeit populist and influential figure in the world of atheism, bravely stood up to Mick Nugent, and broadcast that commentators on Nugent's blog included a whole lot of rapists. PZ Myers wasn't able to name one single rapist, not one single one, which made it all a bit of a mystery. But if PZ Myers claims there are rapists running rampant among the commentators on a blog, he must be right, or? It's just not possible PZ Myers could...
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Old

A very sad day for #scicomm: Science Online to close down, cancels #scio15

Posted 10-Oct-2014 at 03:20 PM (15:20) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

In a fairly short statement, the Science Online board have said they will be closing down ScienceOnline, and cancelling the #scio15 conference planned for February. The statement is up here. While not totally unpredictable, this is a very sad day; most of us very much wanted #scioX to go on and go well.

Financial insolvency, and the inability to raise enough funds for a paid position of executive director, are among the grounds given. Of late the #scioX community at large was much...
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Old

Ophelia Benson finds it "a little sickening"

Posted 10-Oct-2014 at 12:33 PM (12:33) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 10-Oct-2014 at 05:57 PM (17:57) by Gurdur

Ophelia Benson decided to take exception to a tweet of Christina H. Sommers'. Benson just didn't approve of what Sommers (@CHSommers) had sent out. Benson (@opheliabenson) in her blog post had the following to say:
Quote:
"Christina Hoff Sommers is congratulating herself on playing a part in #GamerGate.
... [screen-capture image of Sommers' tweet snipped] ...
@Nero is an associate editor at Breitbart. Here’s what Anita Sarkeesian thinks of #GamerGate:
... [quote snipped] ...
...
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Old
Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.

What on Earth, Center For Inquiry? CFI-DC Melody Hensley calls for boycott of Peter Boghossian over issue of PTSD from Twitter

Posted 25-Sep-2014 at 09:19 AM (09:19) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 26-Sep-2014 at 12:48 PM (12:48) by Gurdur

Melody Hensley (@MelodyHensley; please do not tweet at her unless you are sure your tweet is acceptable to her, since harassment of any kind is not tolerable) is the Executive Director of the Washington, D.C. branch of the Center For Inquiry, which says about itself that the "mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values". So we know where we stand, then. Last night, Melody Hensley called for all atheist and humanist...
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Old

What Scotland's independence vote tomorrow - and the UKIP - could mean for science

Posted 18-Sep-2014 at 12:44 AM (00:44) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

Scotland votes tomorrow whether to go for eventual full independence, or to stay in the Union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. What does it all mean for science, especially science in Scotland? The science world is worried; some are putting off takig up professorial or research positions in Scotland until the result is known. There is also some discussion of it all in the science press, as for example here.

What I haven't yet seen is any discussion of the Scot independence...
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Old

Why doesn't Žižek understand Orwell's 1984, or freedom?

Posted 17-Sep-2014 at 09:31 PM (21:31) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 17-Sep-2014 at 10:40 PM (22:40) by Gurdur

Slavoj Žižek misunderstands freedom and control. He doesn't get George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984). Why is that, and why is it important, and what does it say about us all? Žižek (you can just call him Zizek) is one smart guy; he's a philosopher and culture critic who has quite often written on theological issues. He's quite famous these days (VICE magazine calls him a superstar), and he's proud of thinking dangerous ideas. We as a public need to be confronted with dangerous ideas, we need...
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Old

Personal update

Posted 17-Sep-2014 at 09:05 PM (21:05) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 17-Sep-2014 at 09:11 PM (21:11) by Gurdur
Tags

I was very ill. I am now somewhat better. At least I have avoided so far needing to have any major operation done, which I find to be quite an accomplishment, since the past four years have been marked by needing to have at least one major operation done on me each year, along with more minor ops (still done though under general anesthetic).

It's going to take me a while to catch up with everything. I am sorry I have been absent for such a long time. Please bear with me as I slowly...
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Old

Questions for the Longitude Prize

Posted 18-Jun-2014 at 09:45 PM (21:45) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

I have written - elsewhere, on Medium - a post on some of the reaction to the Longitude Prize. I do have some questions for those managing the Longitude Prize; chiefly,
Is the public impact of the Longitude Prize being measured, and its impact over social-media being mapped (for example with Gephi)?

This seems to me to be an important part of measuring and enhancing the positive accomplishments of the Prize.




        


              

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An #ff for @RazaRumi - journalism, literature and culture in Pakistan

Posted 20-May-2014 at 12:44 AM (00:44) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 20-May-2014 at 01:12 AM (01:12) by Gurdur

Raza Rumi is one of the courageous journalists in Pakistan who risks being murdered daily. He is also an editor and networker who has helped a good many other journalists and activists in Pakistan, and he has stood up at all times in the defence of minorities inside Pakistan, whether Ahmadis, Christians or whomever. Through his writing and his use of social media, he has consistantly promoted others and their own efforts. others such as Sana Saleem, and he has consistantly promoted Pakistani culture,...
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Old
Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Nerdist throw astrophysics in the crab-bucket?

Posted 14-May-2014 at 01:13 AM (01:13) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 14-May-2014 at 06:29 AM (06:29) by Never (fixed typos)

Astrophysics, what use is it? The stars are far away, and as Cassius in Shakespeare's play says, the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings. You could add the fault is in ourselves, not in our stars, when we are ignorant, or simply stupid. Put all that in a different way: when I was a teenager, working in cruddy factories and on worse building-sites, reading a book was seen socially as a bad thing, akin to Communism or being gay. Reading a book was a major no-no. Oddly...
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Old
Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Understanding life through the Strandbeest art of Theo Jansen

Posted 11-May-2014 at 07:28 PM (19:28) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 11-May-2014 at 09:25 PM (21:25) by Gurdur (fixed typos)

On Saturday May the 3rd, I drove up to the Hague. It was easier than I had thought; it only took three hours. I was enormously lucky to catch the last day of an exhibition of the Strandbeest art of Theo Jansen in the Electriciteitsfabriek in the Hague (Den Haag), in the Netherlands. The building is a former power-station - its name in Dutch translates to "Electricity factory". The building is huge; it was very suited to the exhibition, done up there as a mock dig for fossils, with several of his...
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Old
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Science-communication (#scicomm) in East Africa - Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda

Posted 08-Mar-2014 at 12:10 PM (12:10) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 09-Mar-2014 at 07:27 AM (07:27) by Gurdur

There's far more dedicated #scicomm in East Africa than you might have ever thought. It more than deserves recognition, interest and support outside East Africa. Unfortunately it simply doesn't get any interest or recognition outside Africa almost all the time. One of the major sources for observing and interacting with science-communication in East Africa is the site SciDev.Net. Just to pick four to follow on Twitter: there's @SciDevNetSSA, the Twitter account for SciDev's "Sub-Saharan Africa" section;...
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Old
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Various initial and unsorted thoughts about the #scio14 conference

Posted 06-Mar-2014 at 12:48 AM (00:48) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 06-Mar-2014 at 01:13 AM (01:13) by Gurdur

The #scio14 conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, 27 February to 01 March inclusive, went pretty much as you could expect of a #ScioX conference. That being reasonably well within certain parameters or limits. It was a lot more successful than certain flamers beforehand opined it would be. It could have done better on certain aspects. Overall, it functioned mostly as it should. The conference schedule opened with a day of non-conference field-trips and the like organized by others, on Wednesday...
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Old

Dedicated to having and making a good #scio14 conference

Posted 28-Feb-2014 at 08:42 AM (08:42) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 28-Feb-2014 at 08:47 AM (08:47) by Gurdur

A couple of tweets today (Thursday) came mighty close to deriding some for attending one #scio14 session and not another. Other tweets derided the ScienceOnline board for not doing whatever the flamer thought they should be doing, or for being what they are rather than something else completely. Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door, to explain in minute detail endlessly why your better mousetrap is something they scorn.

The ScienceOnline board have...
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Old
Rating: 13 votes, 5.00 average.

#Scio14 in (Ki)Swahili

Posted 25-Feb-2014 at 08:04 PM (20:04) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 25-Feb-2014 at 09:19 PM (21:19) by Gurdur

I will be doing the best I can to do reports in (Ki)Swahili on the #Scio14 science-communication (#scicomm) conference, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, February 27 to March 01 inclusive this year, i.e. in a couple of days' time. I will make a new Twitter account, maybe, to do the Swahili tweets. I will also tweet in (bad) German occasionally. One first part in KiSwahli is below. I will be doing my best to promote Tanzanian scicomm and science-reporting people, and to make them known to the scicomm...
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