Friday, August 31, 2007

Craig! Craig!

  • I've been forgetting to mention this news...You know that corrupt politician? No, not that one. No, not that one either. No, not either of the two arrested in the bathroom. Ah, right him! Well, turns out that Senator Stevens of Alaska has somehow brought the NSF into the fold.
  • Someone's post recently had the melodious word in the title "tarball." I like that word for some reason. Which reminds me of something I very often do that makes me suspect a mild form of dyslexia. I type fast. Probably, faster than most anyone you know. And I often switch around letters (I even do this on a chalkboard). What's strange is that I somehow know I've made a typing mistake (but not necessarily that I switched letters, just that there was some failure). This happens a lot with options to commands in which the order doesn't matter. So my standard is to type "tar xzvf junk.tgz junk". No real point here, but I thought it was interesting.
  • I'm a bit reluctant to comment on the quickly polarizing arguments traversing the physogosphere. I think I'm pretty much in the middle, thinking I can see both sides...a surefire way to be criticized by all, I'm sure. I'll use bullets to gain an air of authority and objectivity:

    • Some actions by males can really contribute to an unhealthy environment for women. Grabbing some women's backside, for example, would certainly be way over the line. That these comments occur in the context of a public forum on physics (despite his claim to being his private thoughts) puts them certainly on the same spectrum whether or not they are over the line.
    • With that said, it's not clear to me at all that the comments are over the line as so many seem to believe. Do they make women
      uncomfortable being in the realm of physics (at least moreso, than some initial, knee-jerk, PC reaction)? It's hard for me to see that they do.
    • In either of these cases, I'm confident that he meant no harm, and if indeed, he crossed some line, he did so barely. In the limit that women are no less comfortable being physicists than men (maybe we'll reach that point in the next couple of centures), I think any harm from these comments approach their vacuum value, so-to-speak.

  • The IP reads 100% of the things I write. Now, that's the kind of devotion I expect...neh, require! Seriously though, I have also noticed that there seems to be an ideal SNR for a blog. Some folks post lots and gets lots of readers, but presumably don't get read as closely. As the saying goes, "You say nucular and I say nuclear."
  • The NYT just reported the death of P.B. MacCready. I only know he is because I just finished watching a Scientific American Frontiers all about him and his flying machines this morning. What a coincidence. It's a bit dated, but I still liked it.


NONE said...

Yeah, I do read it, but with only 8 posts over the past 3 months, it's kind of difficult not to!

You know, if I wasn't called Incoherent Ponderer, I would like to be known as Angry Physicist - but there are too many Angry Scientists out there, plus most importantly, as I realized at the time, *someone* already has Angry Physics blog.

Also, I think I am actually getting less angry and more philosophical about things, so while anger levels may subside, my incoherent pondering blog style is here to stay... Now where was I?...

Angry said... new advertising campaign: "The IP says my blog is difficult not to read!" :)

Yeah, I'm surprised by the number of angry academic blogs out there. When I started up, I wasn't fact it was because of the huge number of happy-go-lucky posts that I was inspired (in part) to blog.

My anger comes and goes. Certainly people shaft me consistently and I find myself at the mercy of those in power. Lack of control results in anger. But ultimately I can always step back and say, "Hey, even though I didn't get invited to such-and-such, I am tenured, with plenty of grant money and (mostly) left along to do what I want without too much teaching."