Skip to content

{ Category Archives } Academia

What we know, how we know it, and how we share what we know in the academic sense where the knowledge is more the goal than the use of it.

From physical standards to universal constants

The standard system of weights and measures is slowly advancing in its definition of official reference standards. From such things as the size of the King’s foot to the length of the forearm, the reference moved to platinum weights and bars. Now it is moving to universal constants of nature. Lubos has his take as […]

Wildfires started by plinkers?

‘Tis the season: range grass is drying out and fires are a concern. The latest fad is to blame such fires on those out target shooting. To support this, there is a Forest Service study of ignition by rifle bullets. It is interesting and has data and theory worth considering. Careful reading also provides insight […]

The problem with science is people

This is a book review. The field is medicine but the concepts apply to any ‘fuzzy’ research (including climate change and weather). Rigor Mortis: What’s Wrong with Medical Science and How to Fix It by Harriet Hall — “Medical research has been plagued by less-than-rigorous practices and a culture that rewards quantity over quality. In a […]

N1GNV Christmas Message

John Bee, N1GNV, of Quicksilver Radio Products  sent a Christmas greeting that contains good advice for the Amateur Radio enthusiast and some ideas everyone should think about for making and enjoying happy and prosperous I just want to take a minute to wish you and yours the very best for the Holiday Season.  May it be […]

Torvalds priorities say a lot about success

At the Register: Linus Torvalds on security: ‘Do no harm, don’t break users‘ By Simon Sharwood — “Fixing for the sake of security alone means ‘all your work was just masturbation’“ Torvalds was angry that developers wanted to kill dangerous processes in Linux, a measure that would have removed potential problems but done so in ways […]

Self defense and Parakeets: Culture and history speaking

Two stories uncovered today provide a lot of insight into who we are and how we got that way. One is about The American Indian foundation of American gun culture by David Kopel. This is on Wapo in the Volokh Conspiracy, a lawyer’s blog so it’s got reader harassment and bias to watch out for. The essay […]

Bitcoin seduction

It started with an observation based on the Equifax fiasco by Hao-Kai Pai: Defanging identity fraud by verifying identities – “part of the damage here stems from organizations assuming that Social Security Numbers are secret … another part of the problem is that some businesses are startlingly lax about confirming who they are extending credit to.” That is […]

Mob recruitment and leading: Python development

He says they are ‘hiring’ … and it’s an ad hoc group of volunteers trying to make Python better. The problem is significant: how do you encourage and motivate volunteers to join in and add to, rather than detract from, a project such as Python. Hettinger has some rather harsh words about the need to […]

Six Fresh Ways to Think About Retirement Savings

Trent Hamm has a good summary in his Six Fresh Ways to Think About Retirement Savings at the Simple Dollar. From the social security network to retirement fund withdrawal rules of thumb and from basic subsistence levels to choosing a location for cost of living reasons, he provides a good over-view of issues that many don’t […]

Gnome approaches majority (legal age to vote and drink!)

Alan Day ponders The Gnome Way and that gains a special interest as Canonical is folding up Unity and its dreams of integration of the user interface across all platforms. Day notes that the Gnome project has been able to maintain its core identity, expressed in fundamental principles, for 20 years. When I first got […]