1. Working on part 2 of my review of the first issue of Sci Phi Journal (part 1 here), looking at the philosophic essays. Problem is, I need to, you know, understand them in order to say anything intelligent about them. It’s beginning to look like work – fun work, but still – work. Philosophy and Star Trek and the Matrix! Fun!
2. This two part story by Mike Flynn (only part 2 is up at the moment – and you really do need part 1) is both hilarious and insightful – and really weird. I liked it.
3, On the topic of replication of findings being a sure sign of real science (and resistance to replication a sure sign of pseudo-science – Science!): even in the hardest of hard sciences, it is sometimes difficult or impossible to have other researchers independently verify your findings, such as when a unique (and extremely expensive!) device is needed – a superconducting supercollider, for example. In those case in which the findings are generally accepted even though independent validation is not practically available, two things in general to observe:
A. Very large teams are involved. While no guarantee, it provides some comfort seeing that people from all over are working together, which at least provides the possibility of some oversight and ego-checks.
B. The results are weaker. Rather than resenting efforts at replication, researchers are disappointed, on some level, that nobody can independently validate their work. Everybody knows that it would be better if it could be validated.
Without the independent validation, the claims are weaker. That’s a feature of the scientific method. What is absolutely unbecoming is objecting to other’s independent attempts at validation, or complaining that they have a bad attitude when they don’t get the same results. This is no better than phrenology.
4. Here’s something not stupid on minimum wage laws. The major point: it’s not simply moving money from greedy employers to needy employees – there’s a whole lot of variables involved, and just assuming everything will work out to the good because we really really want it to is foolish.
5. Reading the Educational Philosophy or St. John Bosco. That’ll be the next book report, if all goes according to plan.
6. Feast of the Rosary, anniversary of the victory at Lepanto! Pray for peace in the lands of Islam.