Archive for the ‘Soapbox’ Category

The blog has gone a little quiet as I converge on what is hopefully The End of dissertating, which has been taking up an awful lot of time. But a recent post by DrugMonkey on their perceptions of the hurdles crowdfunding science faces inspired me to write a post. Because, while I disagree with some of […]

Retraction Watch has a post on the Elsevier Editorial System (ESS) being hacked at some point in the last month, and generating some paper withdrawls because the reviews for it were faked. Sadly, I am not surprised – some of the security measures taken by journals are a touch out-of-date.

Almost no one will contest that being able to reproduce the findings from scientific studies is key to advancing science – I say almost no one because in my experience you can always find one person to disagree with anything if you look hard enough. We all acknowledge its possible, have entire sessions devoted to […]

Breaking my dissertation and administrata induced silence for a small rant combining two of my favorite things – Apple Computer Inc, and simulation. Recently, the New York Times featured the article ‘Apple Confronts the Law of Large Numbers‘. The fundamental assertion? That the earnings growth and stock price of Apple cannot continue its rapid rise. […]

It’s always been somewhat puzzling to me that my admittedly small sample of truly appalling data visualization have been from largely right-wing sources: The Economist, and the Laffer Curve. The Laffer Curve particularly is an insult to anyone who has ever fit a line to data, and would just be sad if it wasn’t still being used […]

I was recently inspired to comment on this blog post, asking is R is a cure for ‘mindless statistics’. Anyone whose familiar with statistics used in applied fields like epidemiology, sociology, social sciences generally will be familiar with the idea of a ‘statistical ritual’. Rather than think about the proper statistical approach to every question, […]

I like Open Access journals. As a student – one without an on-campus office where I can ruthlessly exploit the University’s proxy server – they make my life easier. I appreciate what they’re trying to do. But at the same time, I understand for-pay journals. Science, after all, costs money, even the publishing side. And […]

Inspired by this post: , which talks about some of the problems with hospital capacity handling a sudden influx of patients, like say, during an epidemic. It’s a problem, and one I wish people would think about more. I wish the discussion would go a bit further than the hospitals however. There’s a saying about […]

A particular rant, brought on by experiences both as a reader and subject of science writing: If you notice an article in the popular, or even scientific press, on a topic that interests you, do your level best to go look up the actual paper. Especially if you’re then going to discuss online about how […]

In the copious amount of free time that ignoring impending deadlines allows me to have, I play my share of video games. Considering the most popular post to date on this blog has been about an online zombie plague, this should come as a surprise to few. The game I play the most is World […]