Events on the world lines of two theoretical physicists, from the horizon to timelike infinity. A scientifically minded blog with varying amounts of entertainment, distractions, and every day trivialities.
Your poster is a fascinating experiment! You need two posters. Science is in place. A graphic arts treatment is needed.The science poster appeals to working minds. Now, let us view what tickles the mob,http://mentalblog.com/depot/ussr0369small.jpg Leninhttp://www.mdrails.com/images/marc_marshal.jpg Homeland Severityhttp://www.allamericanpatriots.com/files/images/barack-obama-hope.jpg Barack Obam (and why not?) http://www.heliosgomez.org/hg_obras/postal5.gif Like this, but with physicsWords are difficult. Content is lethal. "If you have not read this statement, please place an "X" in the box below."BOX
Uncle Al,something like this?Einstein needs you
One big issue science and every endeavor in the 21st Century will have to deal with is Peak Oil (you can just Google for that, and on Wikipedia.) There are similar Hubbert style peaks for other resources; it's just a matter of the details being uncertain. It means that oil supply (in the "flow" sense used in economics, not the "warehouse" sense of the total in the Earth) is leveling off (more or less) while demand rises (think not just more people, but more per capita drivers in China, India, etc.) Over decades the supply will actually go down, barring dramatic events or advances.This won't just be a matter of "How can science help us use energy more efficiently and find new sources." The increasing cost of oil will impact the ability of science to be done, through increased energy costs, and all the indirect impact of petroleum prices.We need an Apollo-program style initiative to tackle this before it gets really difficult and increasingly hard to alleviate. We already lost valuable time since the 70s or so through indulgence and resistance of various kinds. As for information technology, that can help manage energy use since society will need coordination and more use of public transit, etc., smart cards, computing, etc. to compensate for increased energy costs.
Hi Bee,In light of the experience gained in the last post I feel it perhaps to indicate a need to add a new topic to the conferences discussion. That would be “How to distinguish between Mockery and Spoofery?”. That is, even though I conceded to Oleg in having suffered a brain cramp in my judgment as to the sincerity of the Discover article, it does serve to indicate how many are vulnerable (Oleg exempted) to misinformation, rather it be done intentionally or not. The good thing is that many here at least recognized it at minimum as bad writing and reporting. Well at least food for thought, for within your own blog you have conducted some preliminary research on the matter, intended or not. Now that has me to wonder:-)Best,Phil
Hi Neil,Though I agree with you on the importance of sustainable energy sources, this will not be topic of the conference. Hi Phil,Well, if I read the comments to my post and the one at 3quarks daily, nobody of the commenters found this to be a joke. I considered it was a joke, but till now can't figure out what's supposed to be funny about it. If this is meant to be sarcasm, then it disastrously failed. As I said previously, irrespective of what it was meant to be, it's a completely confused piece of writing that will leave many people scratching their heads about what the status of theoretical physics is today. I have no clue why stuff like that gets printed. The question of writing styles isn't a new one. Yes, maybe one should update criteria if the average level of education drops, but I don't think this falls very much into the scope of the conference, it's not supposed to be a writer's seminar. Best,B.
Congratulations on getting the conference off the ground!Do you know what the graph is visualizing? The credit goes here but I couldn't find anything similar.
Hi Rillian,It's a network... I was looking for something that would fit well with all the topics, and networks fall into all of the three areas: Science, Society, and IT. I know who made the picture, I found it by random browsing, we asked Heer for permission to use it. I downloaded it from his website, but it seems he took it off only recently for reasons I don't know. Best,B.
Hi Bee,“As I said previously, irrespective of what it was meant to be, it's a completely confused piece of writing that will leave many people scratching their heads about what the status of theoretical physics is today. I have no clue why stuff like that gets printed. The question of writing styles isn't a new one. Yes, maybe one should update criteria if the average level of education drops, but I don't think this falls very much into the scope of the conference, it's not supposed to be a writer's seminar.”As it is your conference it is of course not my place to decide what has merit or not. However, I do maintain that it’s a mistake to dismiss the subject of misinformation, as it is at the root of the problem in the ever expanding age of information as it relates to society. I would think it pertinent that content, style and intent is relevant when what’s being discussed relates to a magazine whose public persona is that of being factual and informed. As to your criteria of the threshold in regards to the education level of the general populous, this you have addressed in this blog in the past and it has been demonstrated to be dropping at an alarming rate. Part of this has been attributed to just what’s being discussed. In short I would contend that too much weight is being placed on what is called information overload and the connecting premise that we are simply not able (capable) to cope and not enough on misinformation and why many are not able to distinguish. I have offered my own thoughts on this in the past and therefore won’t belabour the fact with repeating it. Best,Phil
Hi Phil,I do not dismiss the subject of misinformation. I meant to say that unintended misinformation is pretty much unavoidable, and it's not my intention to provide seminars for good science journalism. In fact, I think the KITP has had some kind of a program on that lately (check Jennifer Oulette's blog). Yes, I agree that the sheer amount of information is a problem, because it requires us to select somehow. If things run badly, people will just select the first they come across, or sources they think are reliable for whatever reason. Since there is definitely no lack in writing these days, I would really prefer if only useful stuff was printed and distributed. Btw, since I said in a recent post half-jokingly I regard advertisement the source of all evil in the world. Well, it isn't quite as bad. But I think the fact that most magazines finance themselves with ads is very tale-telling. It basically says nobody is willing to buy the stuff otherwise. If the industry wouldn't pump all this money into them dozens of magazines would die. And you know what? I think this would be exactly the right thing to happen. Natural selection. Who on earth needs a hundred different magazines with diet and make-up tips, and lose-your-belly-fat tricks, and SHOCKING-soando-lost-ten-pounds stories, magazines in which you can hardly distinguish between the articles and the advertisements? I'm not saying it's that bad in the pop-sci direction, but we're getting there. Some day they will advertise all the crackpot books and sites, and pseudo-scientific crap just because it's too much of an effort to check on them, and hey these guys pay, and hey, the reader can judge for himself. I guess what I'm trying to say is that such an incredibly blown up advertisement sector totally distorts the 'selection' on the free marketplace (by the buyer), not to mention that it is a deliberate manipulation that is very clearly not to the advantage of the customer. Best,B.
Hi Bee,I noticed that you have Homer-Dixon at the conference that will give you one experts considered perspective. I wonder if you have made an effort to contact perhaps Ray Bradbury or some experts that would represent the Marshall McLuhan take on all this. For instance I recall reading that one of Bradbury’s current interests is to speak out on what he refers to as the “factoid culture” as it relates to what he sees as the true message to be found in his classic sci-fi book “Fahrenheit 451”. You might discover he would jump at such an opportunity and I feel it would definitely broaden the scope of your considerations and experience in terms of history and evolution of the phenomena.Best,Phil
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