Over at BlogHer, Marianne Richmond has tagged everyone with a meme on personal media consumption. Given that I've already self-identified as a Luddite, I figured a little self-examination of my media habits might be worthwhile.
Archive for: February, 2007
It's my birthday today.
My numerically obsessive parents opted to mark the occasion by sending me Jack Benny and a Hitchcock film.
My offspring had a different idea about what sort of gift was appropriate:
My humble haiku,
Clobbered in the poll -- Unless
You vote, intervene.
Voting closes February 26, 11:59 PM EST -- so act now!
(If you want to be sure you're voting for mine, I reproduce them below the fold.)
Skookumchick has declared a new blog carnival, Scientiae, organized around the broad topic of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM, for those who like acronyms). She's soliciting posts that fall under one or more of the following:
- stories about being a woman in STEM
- exploring gender and STEM academia
- living the scientific academic life as well as the rest of life
- discussing how race, sexuality, age, nationality and other social categories intersect with the experience of being a woman in STEM
- sharing feminist perspectives on science and technology
- exploring feminist science and technology studies
Both men and women (and anyone in-between) are welcome to contribute to the carnival as long as the topics are relevant and respectful.
Full details on how to submit one of your posts (or nominate a deserving post on someone else's blog) can be found here, but submissions are due February 27, so don't dilly-dally! The first edition of the carnival will be published March 1.
The first problem I have was with "belief". I have seen, and forgotten, that it is used in two senses in english - for trust, and for conviction. Rather like for theory, the weaker term isn't appropriate here. I would say that theories gives us trust in repeatability of predicted observations, and that kind of trust counts as knowledge. In fact, already the trust repeated observations gives count as knowledge.
The second problem I have is with "the problem of induction". Science has a set of procedures that observably generates robust knowledge, and the alleged problem is seldom seen. When the terrain and the map doesn't agree, junk the map.
The third problem I have is with the specific diagrams. Real scientific knowledge production will not yield to any one diagram. So for the philosopher that raises a hypothetical "problem of induction" we could turn around the question and ask why the obvious "problem of description" (which ironically is a real problem of induction 🙂 isn't bothersome. The scientist answer would probably be as above: "e puor si muove".
... Without feeling like testability is the end-all of science the diagram is slanted away from testing towards a weaker and in the end nonfunctional descriptive science. Whether we call tested knowledge "a conclusion" or "a tentative conclusion" is irrelevant IMHO, it is a conclusion we will (have to) trust in.
The fourth (oy!) problem I have is with the conflated description the diagram alludes to. In the text there is a distinction between individual scientists and the scientific enterprise. Different entities will obviously use different approaches to knowledge, and if the individual doesn't need to trust her findings the enterprise relies on such a trust.
These are reasonable concerns, so let me say a few words to address them.
Jim Gibbon has opened voting on his academic haiku contest. I urge you to check out all the 17-syllable distillations of scholarly works, but especially those in the physical sciences category.
Two of those haikus are mine. (Technically, one of them ought to be in the humanities category, but I can see how an exploration of philosophical issues in chemistry might look like it belongs in the physical sciences.) Here's your chance to make me a winner!
This is another attempt to get to the bottom of what's bugging people about the case of Marcus Ross, Ph.D. in geosciences and Young Earth Creationist. Here, I've tried to distill the main hypotheticals from my last post on the issue into flowcharts*, in the hopes that this will make it easier for folks to figure out just what they want to say about the proper way to build scientific knowledge..
It willl be no surprise to regular readers on this blog that the Free-Ride offspring like books. At this point, it is even possible that their books outnumber their parents' books, which is almost alarming. (Please send compact shelving and a librarian who can break out some Dewey Decimal on our profusion!)
Naturally, this means the sprogs must grapple with the issue of which books are reliable sources of information and with the related issue of which books are appropriate for children. We consider as a test case Animals of the Ocean: In Particular the Giant Squid.