1. Grand snark about self-aggrandizing musicologists. My question? If physicists can figure out arXiv and if PL0S-ONE provides a pre and post-hoc review model for scientific publishing, why can’t those musicologists shut out of the charmed circle come up with new-era publication model of their own?
2. Fun you-are-there tale about a curator of a Chinese eco park. Failed attempts to hack cobra anti-venom, fried snake, and some strategic MIT product placement, all in one place. (By Phil McKenna, an alumnus of the MIT SciWrite Grad Program.)
3. Long, interesting text-of-speech by Martin Baron of the Boston Globe on the future of the newsroom/newspapers. More of a meditation than a prescription. Worth reading. I wish I could h/t the blog-denizen who sent me here in the first place, but it was long ago in another country and besides….
4. Good NYT piece on the importance of basic quant skills — especially that of estimation — for everyday life. This is stuff I think about a lot — and even hope to write about more formally than the odd blog post, but for now, this is a nice intro. (Meanwhile — I almost didn’t link this because of a pop-in add obscuring the top two lines that ignores its “close” button. NYT take note: this is not the way to monetize readers.)
5. The kind of piece that makes me see red. Lazy-man reporting from the Beeb in response to the announcement of the Templeton Prize. A reporter asks five scientists for bites about God. No attempt to engage any of the arguments, just five potted quotes. Read it and gnash.
6. Sad story of the Nicholas Hughes’ suicide. The son of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath suffered from depression over the long haul. While each person’s response to such an affliction is distinct, it has been an occasional theme of that blog that perhaps single most important outcome of neuroscience in the last few decades is the deepening understanding that mental states are the product of material events….that Hughes suffered and seems to have died of a physical illness whose symptoms are experienced as mental phenomena. I’ve focused on the consequences of mental trauma for veterans of our wars, but as a general area it is hardly reserved to any one class of experience.
More to come, but that clears off the top layer of my browser.
Image: Stanislaw Lenz, Fanfara – Serenada, 1910