has issued an expression of concern
about a study it published where Facebook attempted to manipulate the emotions of members by controlling their news feed (10.1073/
pnas.1320040111). But they only bothered to notice and say anything after the outrage after the fact.
So the USA lost to Belgium in the World Cup elimination round. I predicted a win for the US for a simple reason - Belgium, I said, does not know how good it is, whereas the US does.
That's fuzzy logic, right? Well, that is what a lot of sports analysis is, because analysis at its heart relies on subjective scouting. Pundits can pretend to science it up all they want, but they are just doing a Bayes analysis based on real results after they happen. Something like a 68% chance of a victory is useless in the real world unless you are a bookie. It sounds science-y, but sports is a 0 or a 1. Anything in between is a waste of time.
Reading Robert Walker's article on what extraterrestrial mathematics might look like
has the wheels in my head a'turning. We live in a digital civilization, one that specifically evolved toward a binary representation of a decimal-based mathematics. Our computers count by 1s and 0s, whereas we tend to count by 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, and 0s. And that is just our conscious countatiousness. Our bodies count in ways we have yet to enumerate. I think it's quite likely that any complex biological organism like a jelly fish uses some sort of internal mathematics to regulate itself.
of recorded music just keeps on increasing. This is what the music press and concerned fans refer to as the “loudness war”. Since digital audio has an absolute
upper level limit, it is therefore unavoidable that the dynamic
Generally, people on the autism spectrum tend to be personally cautious and socially withdrawn. As you would expect, previous research shows that people with autism tend to have low rates of substance abuse – the preference for low risk and avoidance of social situations means less drinking or drug use. But new research from the Washington University School of Medicine found the opposite: in their study of 3,080 Australian twins, people with symptoms of autism were more likely than people without symptoms to abuse alcohol and marijuana. The interesting reason why and perhaps implications for protecting both autistic people and those who happen to be socially withdrawn are inside their fascinating research.
How deep is science writing these days? Pretty darn deep.
Way back when Science 2.0 started there were not a lot of great science writers. There were well-known ones, but not great ones. Journalism was in flux and mainstream media didn't respect it much, and scientists respected science journalism even less than media corporations did. The best writers just didn't go into science journalism. One of the reasons that a pillar of the Science 2.0 mission was revamping science 'communication' was because the public had stopped respecting journalists and scientists felt like they got a lot of things wrong. If science journalism couldn't win Pulitzer Prizes, at least it could be accurate and that meant making scientists the journalists.
A world food crisis brewing and we face a horrific future unless something can be done.
ZOOLOGISTS ANNOUNCED THE discovery of a tiny, super-cute new primate which can kill a human by licking its elbow. I am not making this up.
The new species of loris found in the Philippines has a poison gland at its elbow, says the American Journal of Primatology. If the creature feels threatened, it attempts to grabs a slurp of poison before biting the attacker.
Generally speaking, when a politician goes on television and says he is creating a special task force to look at a product, you know what happened; someone wrote about it in the New York Times and someone did a poll and someone else told him it would look presidential to be bold.
Want to scare people about a pesticide? Compare it to DDT. 40+ years after it was banned in a bit of scientization of politics, people have still heard of it. DDT may be the only pesticide many people have ever heard of. Environmental groups love to invoke it for that reason.
But if you are a fan of science, when you see a DDT comparison, you know evidence has left the building. DDT, when misapplied, was bad, just like every other compound, including water, can be bad. There was nothing exceptional about it other than the fact that it could have saved millions of kids from malaria if activists were forced to do studies before issuing press releases. But once you get a Joni Mitchell song written about your product, someone in Congress is going to take action.