Society

Category archives for Society

When I wrote about Benjamin Bratton’s anti-TED rant I only talked about the comment about the low success rate of TED suggestions. That was, admittedly, a small piece of his article, but the rest of it was so ludicrously overheated that I couldn’t really take it seriously. It continues to get attention, though, both in…

The Sagan Thing

I am crushingly busy right now– massive book rewrites needed, papers to grade, etc.– so I’ve actually been fairly happy with the general lack of topics that inspire a deep desire to blog. which of course, was promptly upset this morning, when a brief outburst of hating on Carl Sagan erupted on Twitter just as…

On Private Science Funding

A couple of weeks back, DougT won this year’s Nobel betting pool, and requested a post on the subject of funding of wacky ieas: could you comment on this: http://www.space.com/22344-elon-musk-hyperloop-technology-revealed.html and the phenomenon of the uber-rich funding science in general. It seems to me that there used to be more private funding of science, and…

What Does Science Online Want to Be?

The ongoing mess over Bora Zivkovic’s harassment of women writers in connection with his editorial role at Scientific American and Science Online has moved into the “What is to be done now?” phase. The most prominent and linkable of these are from Maryn McKenna and Kelly Hills, though I’ve also seen the edges of more…

Men, Women, and Graduation Statistics

There was a great big New York Times article on women in science this week, which prompted no end of discussion. (I also highly recommend Bee’s response at Backreaction.) It’s built around the personal story of the author, Eileen Pollack, a physics major at Yale who decided not to go to grad school, and her…

On Corrective Incentives

SteelyKid’s kindergarten teacher is big on incentives and prizes– there are a number of reward bags that get sent home with kids who excel in some particular area. I’m not entirely sure what’s in these, because SteelyKid hasn’t gotten any yet. This isn’t because she misbehaves– from all reports, she’s very good– but she’s in…

Sheldon Cooper and Alfred Nobel

Last week, before we headed out for the weekend, I had a brief exchange with Ben Lillie on Twitter, prompted by the following set of tweets: OK, here's a thing. I'll often hear people complain that Hollywood gets science wrong because there's *1* scientist who does everything 1/3 — Ben Lillie (@BenLillie) September 27, 2013…

On Class and Skills and Education

In a comment to yesterday’s post about the liberal arts, Eric Lund makes a good point: The best argument I have ever heard for doing scholarship in literature and other such fields is that some people find it fun. I single this out as a good point not because I want to sneer at the…

Gender Gap Update

The JCC day care is closed today for one of the fall cluster of Jewish holidays, which means I’m spending the morning with The Pip before Kate comes home to take the afternoon shift so I can teach my class. Thus, this is more of a tab clearance sort of exercise than a thoughtful examination…

Education Is Chaotic

While I’m quoting other people saying smart things, Timothy Burke has another great post on the failures of economic models of higher education There is a lot of information that you could acquire about courses or about colleges that you could reasonably use to assemble a decision matrix. What size is the class or the…