There she is again. This time the sun came out, and provided you stayed in the sunshine it was warm.
Posts Tagged diary
Another fascinating talk on post-truth, this time by Tim Harford of Radio 4’s “More or Less” fame. The take home message seems to be that people need to care more about the world, and that facts alone aren’t enough to change opinions.
Statistics: Why the truth matters
1953 New York -- John Hill "Doubt is our product"
painted smoke gives mice cancer
[F]acebook [F]act checking -- probably helps a little bit. Helps those who already know some facts.
Pope endorses [Trump]?
Fake news -- is more profitable (advertising) - Click!
* £340M -- Just not true! -- but truth is hard to forget
* Simple facts are more persuasive
* Princeton vs. Dartmouth -- "They saw a game" -- Perception is coloured by feelings
-- And it's WORSE for scientists!
[Flu jab] doesn't cause flu -- accepting this is not enough! Still won't get vaccinated.
Filter bubbles and echo chambers:
Algorithms make it worse, searches are personalised, therefore biased.
BUT people do it naturally.
It's not a problem (today)
-- Filter bubblers don't even read the news!
(China) 50 cent army -- creating distraction.
Sally Prusiner (Nobel prize) for CJD and prions -- funded by tobacco!
most people just aren't paying attention
* Dan Kahan - measuring curiosity
We need to make people care
Hans Rosling (1948-2017) -- we need more like him.
Another interesting talk at the Oxford Skeptics in the Pub meeting — Mark Lynas is an eco-activist who came to the conclusion that GMO is not necessarily bad, and that Organic isn’t necessarily good, using the power of critical thinking. One interesting point he made is that the degree of scientific consensus supporting GMO safety is roughly the same as that supporting climate change. So if you think critically you have to accept both (or possibly neither?)
Trump for a reason - we abandoned reason.
Royal Society - Nullius in Versa
GMO - destruction of crops
Science support for climate change = science support for GMO saftey
Virus resistant cassava
an entire maize crop (drought in Tanzania)
Dosimeter at Fukushima
Golfball sized piece of Uranium
Wind turbines won't be enough
E. Coli from Organic food - kidney failure
1961 technology -- you'd need this much extra land for agriculture [2 x USA]
join Refugees Welcome in Oxford
Gene drive vs. Malaria
40% coal (UK) -> 10% coal
identity bubbles get smaller and smaller
Plea: be an activist on critical thinking.
The very energetic and interesting Dr. Helen Czerski presented “We need to Talk about Physics” at today’s meeting of Oxford Skeptics in the Pub. We learnt why blueberry jam isn’t blue; why the Hubble telescope is like a raw egg; and why there is a lot of physics still to do to understand everyday phenomena (such as how bubbles move in a turbulent fluid.)
I’m afraid the likeness is worse than usual. Dr. Czerski doesn’t do standing still.
graph of time vs size: quantum / cosmos, life in the middle
benedicts' reagent and blueberry jam
slosh damping bubbles -- frequency of slosh depends on size of cup. Walk slower (or faster)
Mexico city eqrthquake: freq(quake) = freq(buildings) Tai Pei 101, pendulum inside resists toppling
Helium powered gas gun -- jelly diamond catcher
toaster: far more interesting* than a distant star -- and it makes toast! (*maxwell's laws, *black body radiation)
"What can you do when you know that?"
body - planet - civilization (life support)
1. raisins in lemonade...
2. watch spilt coffee dry...
3. tap the rim of a tea cup...
4. slide buttered toast off the table...
Yesterday both Karen and I had music gigs at the East Oxford Farmers’ Market. However, she didn’t draw a cartoon of my early music band performing. The character on the small table is Pink Fluffy Monster (friends call him PFM.)
The Albion Beatnik Bookstore (the world’s finest bookshop) yesterday launched two new publications under its own imprint: issue 2 of its occasional magazine The Sandspout; and Baret Magarian’s novella Mirror and Silhouette.
In addition to a lot of top-quality writing, The Sandspout is especially notable for the quality of three illustrations, on pages 51, 54 and 103 by invisibules.org (alone worth the cover price of £3.00.) Take note, because the editor didn’t include them in the index.
He did, however, add a scandalous bio on p51: “Andrew Kay is a mathematician and research engineer: he is actually paid to think about welding Kit Kats to motherboards. His drawing took flight when his vanity on-line comic strip (he studied with Adam Murphy) featuring invisible characters was running out of I-can’t-see-you type gags. He leads bodybuilding workshops, likes hairdressing, plays early music with his recorder – though he himself is always late (his Skeleton Crew early music consort kindly call it syncopation); he once broke his recorder on-stage at the Isle of Wight.”
"THIS IS A BOOK-SHOP
cross-roads of civilization
REFUGE OF ALL THE ARTS
against the ravages of time"
I’m afraid this is what came out of my brain today, whilst on the train back to Oxford after a day in London. I went for a meeting which finished an hour before the National Gallery closed. At the gallery I was inspired by a striking image of St. Michael slaughtering a devil, painted in 1468 by Bartolomé Bermejo:
I mean — Jeepers Creepers, where’d you get those eyes?
I went to see Karen performing as part of a celebration called “Where’s the Art?” for an organisation known as CARU (Contemporary Arts Research Unit.) I didn’t intend to draw her as the largest person on the page, honestly.
Another trip to Whipsnade Zoo. As well as being surprised by a one-day-old baby elephant (born a couple of weeks earlier than expected) we also saw a brown bear having a delicious cooling roll in the grass.