Carnivalia, and an open thread

Here are a few carnival announcements, but mainly what I’ve got is announcements of impending carnivals—there’s going to be a bunch coming out next week, I guess.

Discuss the imminent dissolution of the blogosphere into collections of links linking to other collections of links, which will lead either to irrelevance and destruction, or reach a critical level of self-reference that will generate consciousness as an emergent property. Or whatever else you feel like.


  1. #1 Blake Stacey
    October 6, 2006

    New Scientist magazine gets called out for supporting pseudoscience, then shows an inability to take criticism.

    I’ve heard quite a bit from physics people about this. Most statements fall into the “Oh. Their. God” category; what do the folks elsewhere in science-land think of New Scientist?

  2. #2 Warren
    October 6, 2006

    Discuss the imminent dissolution of the blogosphere into collections of links linking to other collections of links…

    Funny you should mention that. This morning a colleague said, “So what’s the word?” … and the first thing that came to mind was “Opposition congress”, which led me to make this post linking terms with somewhat oblique references. Almost a free-association, but not really. More like an agenda’d-associaton.

  3. #3 charlie wagner
    October 6, 2006

    No, I haven’t died….

  4. #4 charlie wagner
    October 6, 2006
  5. #5 charlie wagner
    October 6, 2006

    Or gotten committed to a mental hospital…


  6. #6 Lab Cat
    October 6, 2006

    I’ve been reading New Scientist nearly all my life as my parents*, non-scientists, got it It is probably one of the influences that caused me to become a scientist.

    Recently, however, I have been getting irritated with it and even considered not renewing my subscription.

    I didn’t read the article mentioned above, but they have had a few articles recently that just aren’t as scientifically strong as I would expect. There was one on water last April that really was about new age attitudes to water including Massru Emoto’s work on the effect of thoughts on water crystal shape. The article strongly implied that there might be something in the new age theories by using scientific studies, but this actually spoilt the article for me. The studies reported are probably very valuable and important, but it doesn’t mean that the pseudoscience is right. Considering how little is known about the chemistry of water – it was disappointing to see how much space was wasted on new age theories.

    *My parents stopped getting about a year ago.

  7. #7 Jeremy Henty
    October 6, 2006

    Re. New Scientist – stick a fork in it, it’s done. I stopped reading it years ago because of its habit of sticking hysterical headlines over mundane articles. Now its addiction to hysteria has infected the articles too.

    Discuss the imminent dissolution of the blogosphere into collections of links linking to other collections of links,

    I remember the start of the Web and this is what it was originally like. People were so excited about their magical ability to link to other web pages that everyone and their tadpole put up a page of links to … other people’s pages of links. I kid you not, only 1 in 10-20 web pages had any content. At least blogging focusses peoples minds on, you know, actually writing shit. The scary thing is the arrival of RSS feeds that are aggregrates of other RSS feeds, which paves the way for the Web to return to its roots and provide nothing but links to links to links to links to …

  8. #8 David Harmon
    October 6, 2006

    I’ve rarely read New Scientist, but I’ve been losing patience with Discover, myself. I’m a bit unhappy with the recent changes to Scientific American either, but not so much as to cancel my subscription, which I’m seriously considering for Discover.

  9. #9 Mags
    October 6, 2006

    New Scientist = The Star (or the National Enquirer for the USA based people) of the science world.

    ‘Nuff said.

  10. #10 quork
    October 6, 2006

    Expect to see less from me on your blog. My IP has been banned three times in the last two weeks, allegedly because I have posted spam some time in the past. This means that I unknowingly tried to post a link with text containing a word from their top secret list, and the security breakdown a couple weeks ago has caused them to move to a zero-tolerance policy. Either that, or they don’t have a clue about what they’re doing. I’m leaning toward the second option.

    Anyway, I can take a hint and I am tired of writing them asking nicely to be reinstated.

    I am posting this from an alternate IP address.

  11. #11 PZ Myers
    October 6, 2006

    My apologies. I’m finding that Moveable Type’s tools for dealing with spam are pathetic and annoying — our developer is trying new plugins for doing this stuff, and I think that might be the reason for some of the recent unsettled behavior.

    This stuff shouldn’t be hard. On the old site, a captcha caught virtually all of the automated spam, and I had complete control of a blacklist and a whitelist (that was important — it made it easy to correct conflicts). MT’s spam handling is needlessly convoluted and often ineffective.

    MT is the microsoft of the blogging world, I think: security is a low priority.

  12. #12 quork
    October 6, 2006

    Over at Bill “Fig Newton of Information Theeory” Dembski’s new site for kids, Overwhelming Evidence, I found this:

    An atheist in support of ID
    posted by someone identified as “EJ Klone”

  13. #13 David Harmon
    October 6, 2006

    Charlie: “… Or gotten committed to a mental hospital…”

    Don’t worry, you can do it! Just keep trying!

  14. #14 MikeM
    October 6, 2006

    Why don’t woodpeckers get headaches?

    No, really. I want to know.

    Maybe this will clue me in:

    (Now that’s a cool outfit.)

  15. #15 Caledonian
    October 6, 2006

    This is a good a place as any for this, I suppose.

    There are loads and loads of people in this country who simply don’t bother voting. They can be a potent resource for Democrats in this coming election, but the standard technique Ds use to lure undecided voters simply won’t work on them. It’s not a matter of being undecided whether to vote Republican or Democrat – talking about how unappealing Republicans are are effective in that case – but in persuading people to vote at all. If you tell such people that voting for Republicans is disasterous, it won’t motivate them to vote. Genuine positive arguments are needed – and not ‘positive’ in the interpersonal sense but the logical sense. Democrats must give people a reason to bother voting. It’s not enough to just make your opponents look bad – you have to make yourself look good in an absolute sense, not merely relatively.

    And this will be the last time I talk about that.

  16. #16 Greg
    October 6, 2006

    It would be better if Democrats could _be_ a reason to bother voting.

  17. #17 Alon Levy
    October 7, 2006

    I’ve made a few remarks about that, Caledonian, though I concentrated more on emphasizing differences in agenda than on positive campaigning. But you’re exactly right: the Democrats need to inspire people.

  18. #18 CCP
    October 8, 2006

    Some of you might care about this:
    I am more saddened than I would have predicted to learn of the death of my personal intellectual hero, George A. Bartholomew. Bart founded the field of ecological physiology (along with Scholander and Schmidt-Nielsen) and was an exemplary mentor, teacher (at UCLA) and scientist. He was inspirational, and he was also very nice to me, as a callow and naive grad student. I haven’t seen him in more than a decade but I found myself crying this morning when I heard of his death.

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