Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Readings for October 14, 2008

Detailing the situation inside an NSA wiretapping center at Fort Gordon.
Everyone that takes a Statistics course, or a Research Methods course, learns this right away. Just because you see the pattern doesn't mean that it's caused by what lead you to see that pattern. Just another example of what's wrong with American coverage of the election.

Today I read a lot about Biology, all from Wired:

All Life Uses the Same Amount of Energy
So if you've got an elephant and a mound of bacteria the size of an elephant, then it's gonna be a comparable amount of energy being consumed.

New Form of Life About To Be Created by Mankind
This team of researchers seems confident that very soon a life form will be created by their team and will uncover a vast new realm of understanding.

Earliest Culture Found in Stone Age Sahara
I've been slowly ruminating on Stone Age Cultures for the past couple of years now; wondering what happens when we finally "know" about our forebears, what does it say about us today that we spend such resources on understanding our past (versus a species that spends all it's time in the future, say)... I just can't let go of this fascination.

The first two get me thinking about the third in this way: the first two spend a lot of time discussing what's the most likely purpose of life and so the third is discussed in this light. There is a purpose that is knowable and always toward an end, a teleological plan always present in everything. The rest of this blog would be more insipid and inchoate wandering right now. Allow it to suffice that the three above get me navel-gazing.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul, First of all: you really don't have to work during the day? Can I apply in your group?

    Second. a comment about the "creation of life". They are actually not the first. in the Craig J. Venter institute they are already synthesizing life. i mean: really designing new prokaryotes.

    check his ted lectures: http://www.ted.com/index.php/speakers/craig_venter.html (either this guy is receiving the noble prize in a few years, or, he will be assassinated)