The Loony Bin Called Academia

The Quantum Pontiff

Category archives for The Loony Bin Called Academia

Science is dynamic. Sometimes this means that science is wrong, sometimes it means that science is messy. Mostly it is very self-correcting, given the current state of knowledge. At any given time the body of science knows a lot, but could be overturned when new evidence comes in. What we produce through all of this,…

Items sharing a similar topic, meandered onto in the depths of a major outpouring of procrastination… The path less traveled by Andrea Schweitzer (via @mattleifer) on a different way to have a career as a scientist. And for a description of one of the most successful scientists from quantum computing, an interview with Ignacio Cirac…

“Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory” – Emily Post(er) As a literature major physicist, one of the biggest culture shocks I’ve encountered when attending theory computer science conferences (STOC and FOCS) is the…

The 1/6th People

@EricRWeinstein is at it again in twitterland, this time on the subject of the funding of science. For an intriguing read about the glut of Ph.D.s versus science funding, he links to his (circa 1998?) article titled: “How and Why Government, Universities, and Industry Create Domestic Labor Shortages of Scientists and High-Tech Workers.” An interesting…

Gell-Mann on Conventional Wisdom

Via Asymptotia, an interview with Murray Gell-Mann (who just turned 80. Happy Birthday Murray!) I particularly like the comments at the end of the article: Battles of new ideas against conventional wisdom are common in science, aren’t they? It’s very interesting how these certain negative principles get embedded in science sometimes. Most challenges to scientific…

Diary of a Sad Physicist

Writing a blog is for me (1) amusing and (2) amusing. Can anyone take anything that I write on a blog seriously? Well sometimes people do. Many eons ago (okay, I lie, it was 2005), I wrote a post about the then new “h-index.” The h-index is an attempt at trying to find a better…

Slow Science

The “slow movement” is a vast beast: there’s Slow Food, Slow Travel, Slow Money, and even, I kid you not, Slow Reading. These movements all begin with the premise that modern culture emphasizes ever increasing speed and convenience (cue the Eagle’s: “Listen, baby. You can hear the engine ring. We’ve been up and down this…

The Secret Order of the ArXiv

The astro/physics blogosphere is all atwitter about papers the Nature embargo policy (See Julianne If a paper is submitted to nature does it still make a sound, the cat herder Hear a paper, see a paper, speak no paper, and he of less than certain principles Unhealthy obsessions of academia. He of uncertain principles loses…

One of the more interesting “problems” in Science 2.0 is the lack of commenting on online articles. In particular some journals now allow one to post comments about papers published in the journal. As this friendfeed conversation asks: Why people do not comment online articles? What is wrong with the online commenting system[s]? I think…

Too Few Wrong Papers?

After watching Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk* it occurred to me to go back and look at my own scientific papers and try to assess them for how creative they were. Some things you should just never do, I guess, but it did lead me to an interesting question. * The first 2/3 of the…