science

The Why Axis
"The “both sides” model of journalism is being exploited by bad actors intent on spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories. “If the weight of the evidence allows you to make a judgment, but instead you go with ‘he said, she said,’ you're behaving recklessly even as you tell yourself you're doing the cautious thing,” as press critic Jay Rosen notes."
Hedging must feel like the safe path for journalists—especially since they wouldn't want to anger Big Dowsing. This is a good example of how baked-in both-sides thinking is. See also.
The Verge
"Excel doesn’t offer the option to turn off this auto-formatting, and the only way to avoid it is to change the data type for individual columns. Even then, a scientist might fix their own data, but as soon as someone else opens the same spreadsheet in Excel without thinking, errors will be introduced all over again."
Spock gripping computer the caption is [Sobbing Mathematically]
ARRL ARRL
Fascinated by this report that the recent earthquakes in California disrupted the atmosphere 13 hours before the quake. It’s the first I’ve heard of ionospheric anomalies before earthquakes.
  • "Counting from the earthquake of 1700, we are now three hundred and fifteen years into a two-hundred-and-forty-three-year cycle." Happy Monday!
  • Oliver Sacks on Migraine Auras: "I was playing in the garden when a brilliant, shimmering light appeared to my left -- dazzlingly bright, almost as bright as the sun. It expanded, becoming an enormous shimmering semicircle stretching from the ground to the sky, with sharp zigzagging borders and brilliant blue and orange colors." I've had these and it's always amazing to read that others have experienced the same thing. [via Ironic Sans]
  • Helpful step-by-step guide to fixing deadlock problems in SQL Server 2005.
  • "Wolfram|Alpha can pop out an answer to pretty much any kind of factual question that you might pose to a scientist, economist, banker, or other kind of expert." A quick description of the new "search engine" by Stephen Wolfram.
  • Cameron expands on the Economist article: "...while the average Facebook user communicates with a small subset of their entire friend network, they maintain relationships with a group two times the size of this core."
  • "...people who are members of online social networks are not so much 'networking' as they are 'broadcasting their lives to an outer tier of acquaintances who aren't necessarily inside the Dunbar circle'..."
  • SBJ's talk at SXSW about the future of news. "...in times like these, when all that is solid is melting into air, as Marx said of another equally turbulent era, it's important that we try to imagine how we'd like the future to turn out and set our sights on that, and not just struggle to keep the past alive for a few more years."
  • "Las Vegas casinos increasingly pay attention to their customers - their likes, dislikes, moods and patterns - in order to create an engaging experience." This was my favorite talk at Gel 2008.
  • "What Bruce Sterling Actually Said About Web 2.0 at Webstock 09."
  • "It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves -- the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public -- has stopped being a problem."
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