A page for people, essays, and other items of interest
Nathaniel Comfort’s Genotopia
Bill Rankin’s Radical Cartography
Larry Moran’s Sandwalk
Alex Wellerstein’s Restricted Data
Nathan Yau’s Flowing Data
Craig McClain’s Science of the South
Thomas Basbøll’s Research as a Second Language
Essays of interest
A short history of Seti@home.
A heartbreaking story of Eudocia Tomas Pulido, a Filipino woman who lived as a slave in the U.S. for six decades.
A story in AeonMag about visiting your leg.
A pretty cool infographic on the history of programming languages.
This essay by Karen Kelsky on leaving academia remains is powerful today as it was in 2011.
NY Times profile of UW sociologist Alice Goffman six months after On The Run kicked up a lot of dirt.
Building computers in Minecraft that obey the laws of physics.
Machines made of water, twin prime theory, and the singular mind of Terry Tao.
Alice Dreger on the branded university.
Sociologist Mark Carrigan has some useful things to say about the “accelerated academy” and the impact of speeding up our thinking to satisfy changing academe over the last thirty or forty years.
Discover Mag has a decent article showcasing the scariness that is prescribing steroids to combat city-induced asthma, and how it almost ended in suicide for one young woman. Psychologists and psychiatrists, take note (paywall).
Here, enjoy this DNA analysis of the NYC subway system and its 48% unknown composition.
Mapping Brazil’s largest slums by hand.
A little bit in the Chronicle on a plagiarism case at the U of Arizona. Will be interesting to see this develop. Hope she gets canned.
A nice piece on Russian smoke jumpers and their history of firefighting at NatGeo:
Stuart Schrader, a PhD Candidate in American Studies over at NYU, has a nice piece in the Jacobin about the almost-symbiotic relationship between domestic policing and empire in American history.
PZ Meyers has a piece over at Pharyngula on taxing Harvard’s 32b endowment. He’s against it. While generally I agree with his logic (costs getting passed on to students, not an effective way of changing higher ed), I have to point out that part of project has to be suggesting alternatives, even if they’re only a little less bad. And it can’t be “suggest donors give their money to smaller school.” So what’s the solution PZ?
When a radiation safety specialist turns to making coffee, you get The Black Blood of The Earth.
Eric Jarosinki, editor of Nein, on the what, the why, and the occasional how.
Excellent read over at Motherboard on the privacy rights of cyborgs.
Magnus Carlsen on the mental processes of chess.
Where does your state’s electricity come from?
My book chapter on the history of athletics drops tomorrow in Robert Sternberg’s The Modern Land Grant University, published by Purdue University Press.
The Amazon Fire is the dirtiest smartphone.
Craig Smith, a security researcher from Theia Labs, has released Car Hacker’s Handbook 2014. Download it for free here.
You could without any additional work replace philosophy with history in this piece. We are at a precipice, and to find a solution we must work together.
Devolution rhetoric is always sexy and mostly always the result of bad science mixed with the bias of a (historically imperial) western gaze.
Darwin’s Beagle library has been posted online, for the world to enjoy. Well done, world.
History of science is taking the neuro turn more and more seriously, according to the most-accessed articles of the last three months in Isis.
Nazi’s “perfect Aryan” poster child revealed to be Jewish, via the Telegraph.
Nautilus Mag has a killer piece on hybridization and the emergence of “grolar bears” and “narlugas” as the arctic environment undergoes radical transformations.
Migaloo, the only known all-white humpback whale, was recently spotted off the coast of Australia!
Every time Steve Fuller gives a talk that gets posted up, I lose an hour of work. Here he is, giving a keynote at the Networked Learning Conference titled, “Lecture 2.0”
Third data server from the sun, again from Nautil.us.
Ettore Majorana, the disappearing physicist, over at Nautil.us.
Chris Renwick, Steve Fuller, and Stephen Casper engage in a wonderful debate surrounding social biology and the development of the welfare state in the July 2014 issue of Philosophy of the Social Sciences.
Steven Bellovin has a great new article out on the chronology of crypto and the invention of the one-time pad.
2013-14 Faculty in Higher Education Salary Survey by Discipline, Rank and Tenure Status in Four-Year Colleges and Universities conducted by The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).
Important considerations for graduate students on the market realities of turning one’s dissertation into their first published book, via University of Illinois’ Program for Research in the Humanities.
Ten-year editor of Isis Bernard Lightman on the 5 most influential Isis articles of all time.
Steve Fuller on the project that is Wikipedia.
Using math to solve all the problems.
Carl Sagan reading from Pale Blue Dot. Doesn’t get much better than that.
A text version of FDR’s fireside chat May 7 1933, outlining the New Deal, is here if you are curious.
A very excellent article by the New Yorker on Soylent by Lizzie Widdicombe, here.
A fascinating article on the tech bubble at xconomy: “Obviously, inequality is the issue of the day. Economist Thomas Piketty’s finding that capitalism, in the absence of progressive taxation, tends toward oligarchy, is now cocktail-party conversation around the world. That’s a good thing—it’s far more useful than debating whether the big banks deserved to be bailed out in 2008-2009. What I’m saying is that technology isn’t necessarily a leveling force, as many of its successful purveyors would like us to believe; in fact, it probably contributes to inequality by undermining wage growth for less-skilled workers.”
A great piece from David Brooks at the NYT on deep reading, big ideas, and living life, when Historian Isaiah Berlin met Russian poet Anna Akhmatova : http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/02/opinion/brooks-love-story.html?_r=0
A perfect read if you want a nuanced and beautifully written representation of what will likely be the next generation of opposition against neo-environmentalism and techno-liberalism. Oh, and an interpretation that’s going to prove completely and utterly mistaken and wrong. Teaser: in the end he sides with the Unabomber.
One of my favorite short stories of all time. Terry Bisson’s 1990 “They’re Made out of Meat.”
Yesterday morning, Paul Ryan introduced a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2015 which eliminates all government funding for the NEA, the NEH and PBS. Here’s the relevant language from page 51: “Encourage Private Funding for Cultural Agencies. Federal subsidies for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting can no longer be justified. The activities and content funded by these agencies go beyond the core mission of the federal government. These agencies can raise funds from private-sector patrons, which will also free them from any risk of political interference.” Now, this has no chance in hell of passing, but still. You’re not going to see a lot of commentary on politics here, but you can bet your beans eliminating funding for the NEH gets a lot of people riled up. What is he, and the party leadership, thinking? Go here if you’re interested in voicing your discontent to whomever is your public official:
So there’s a robot named Baxter developed by Rethink Robotics who just worked 2,160 straight hours on an assembly line in PA. But that’s not the big news. The big news is that Baxter only costs $25,000. Do the math. At $11.57/hour, human workers just became obsolete. Granted, in a specific setting, doing a specific job. But that’s a big deal. The future is now.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY INTERNET. To celebrate, here’s TB-L’s original Information Management: A Modest Proposal