Archive for July 15th, 2014

Quote notes (#95)

Nicholas B Stevenson twitting longer:

100 years ago, Einstein, Bohr, Edison, H. Ford, Tesla, etc. were alive on the earth. Today, the earth’s population is about 4 times greater. There should be all of those great minds alive today times 4. Where are they?
A) Incentive structures prevent the truly brilliant from contributing to great epoch-making discoveries; or
B) The human race getting dumber on a genetic level; or
C) both
Any of these answers is quite frightening if you have a long term concern for the human race.

… or even if you have a long-term concern for anything other than accelerating idiocracy.

ADDED: If it looks as if all the “we’ve plucked the low-hanging fruit” comments are ignoring each other — the fault lies at this end. A wave of these remarks were released simultaneously from the securomaniac Outside in spam filter this morning. Apologies for the resulting impression of redundancy. — Admin.

July 15, 2014admin 42 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Misbehaving Science

Comedy gold at New Scientist — it really needs to be read to be believed. Kate Douglas reviews Aaron Panofsky’s book Misbehaving Science: Controversy and the development of behavior genetics, rising to a glorious crescendo with a restatement of Lewontin’s Fallacy (without giving any indication of recognizing it). If this book and review are panic symptoms, which seems highly plausible, Neo-Lysenkoism has to be sensing the winter winds of change. In any case, it somehow all went wrong for them:

The founding principles of social responsibility suffered, usurped by a responsibility to the discipline itself and to scientific freedom. And controversy bred controversy as the prospect of achieving notoriety attracted new talent. In short, the field became weak and poorly integrated, with low status, limited funding, and publicity the main currency of academic reward. This, according to Panofsky, is why it is afflicted with “persistent, ungovernable controversy” …

As a guide to what regional Cathedral breakdown looks like, this works quite well.

July 15, 2014admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Pass the popcorn
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