Invisible Science: The Scientization of the Ordinary (2016)
- You might also assume that, while a lot of science happens at MIT and Harvard, and at the for-profit and nonprofit organizations clustered around the McDonald’s, the fast-food outlet itself has little or no significance for the place of science in late modern society.
- Less than a half of the S&E workers in education are in four-year institutions, and S&E specialists, like higher-education teachers in general, typically work in two-year community colleges or other educational institutions where research isn’t a priority.22xFigures are from National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators 2014, chapter 3 (and accompanying tables), http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind14/index.cfm/chapter-3/c3s1.htm#s3.
- The figures are compiled because of state concerns: They allow the state to know how it is doing and how it might do better—in this case, to produce what are considered to be the right number and right sorts of scientists and engineers, workers whose activities are sometimes reckoned to be in the national interest.
An Arsonist Destroyed an Ancient Wonder of the World for Modern Reasons
- An arsonist destroyed the temple, which modern readers will know as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
- Since I noted the building was one of the ancient wonders of the world, you get the idea this event happened a long time ago.
- How often has a celebrity stalker killed or hurt a famous person in order to get attention?
- In fact, the saying “Herostratic fame”, which means fame sought by any cost, comes from the ancient act of arson mentioned above.
- In our modern mind, the torture and execution might sound like a terrible punishment.
- Security expert Gavin De Becker’s book is chalked full of people willing to kill or injure to achieve fame.
- The modern ritual of killing or damaging for fame started way before the internet or widespread television use.
Basic Intro to Elliptic Curve Cryptography
- Elliptic curve cryptography is an efficient modern approach to public-key cryptosystems.
- I’m going to give a very simple background of public-key cryptography as a jumping-off point so that we can discuss ECC and build on top of these ideas.
- The crux of all public-key cryptographic algorithms is that they each have their own unique trapdoor function.
- In RSA, which is arguably the most widely used public-key cryptosystem, the trapdoor function relies on how hard it is to factor large numbers into their prime factors.
- ECC and RSA both generate a public and private key and allows two parties to communicate securely.
- ECC is used as the cryptographic key algorithm in Bitcoin because it potentially can save ~90% of the resources used by a similar RSA system.
North Pacific Logbook
- Smart devices to take away the pain of thinking deep thoughts, social things against the solitude, forever removing ourselves, in exchange for protectedness, for a complete thoughtless socialized inexistence.
- A creeping numbness might be to blame for our own search of this direct experience, in the form of long distance sailing, to let ourselves feel cold so we could sense the subtler changes in the weather, to go hungry to appreciate simpler foods.
- An illusory sense of dominion and domestication of nature might make one think of it as a place where one can escape to, and this is re-enforced when seen through the lense of a synthetic protective layer of proxies and simulations, but the protective layer doesn't curve outward upon nature, but inward upon the individual.
Scientists raid DNA to explore Vikings’ genetic roots
- But despite ancient sagas that celebrate seafaring adventurers with complex lineages, there remains a persistent, and pernicious, modern myth that Vikings were a distinctive ethnic or regional group of people with a “pure” genetic bloodline.
- Now, a sprawling ancient DNA study published today in the journal Nature is revealing the true genetic diversity of the people we call Vikings, confirming and enriching what historic and archaeological evidence has already suggested about this cosmopolitan and politically powerful group of traders and explorers.
- But though Vikings set off from—and in some cases returned home to—Scandinavia, the genetic analysis reveals they didn’t interact as much within the greater Scandinavian region as they did outside it, mixing with a broad range of peoples they encountered in their far-flung travels.
These fossils show our brains evolved slower than our society
- Fossils and DNA suggest people looking like us, anatomically modern Homo sapiens, evolved around 300,000 years ago.
- Surprisingly, archaeology – tools, artifacts, cave art – suggest that complex technology and cultures, “behavioral modernity,” evolved more recently: 50,000-65,000 years ago.
- For 200,000-300,000 years after Homo sapiens first appeared, tools and artifacts remained surprisingly simple, little better than Neanderthal technology, and simpler than those of modern hunter-gatherers such as certain indigenous Americans.
- Bones of primitive Homo sapiens first appear 300,000 years ago in Africa, with brains as large or larger than ours.
- Comparing genetic differences between DNA in modern people and ancient Africans, it’s estimated that our ancestors lived 260,000 to 350,000 years ago.
- As new technologies appeared and spread – better weapons, clothing, shelters – human numbers could increase further, accelerating cultural evolution again.
How to Read Aloud
- Ong acknowledged that social reading continued into the early modern period, and presumably he also knew about the tiny psalters, pocket-sized Bibles and cheap university textbooks that medieval people owned and carried around with them well before the age of print.
- As Matthew Rubery points out in his history of audiobooks, The Untold Story of the Talking Book (2016), silent readers often imagine voices sounding out the words, and the muscles used for speaking move in minuscule, barely detectable ways as they read.
- Early modern teachers, like their medieval predecessors, taught the fundamentals of reading with lists of nonsense syllables, prayers and set dialogues, all of which were useful for pupils who were learning how to connect heard sounds to letters and to pronounce written words correctly.
- Richards shows how the choices early modern printers made in typesetting and punctuating books helped readers to speak them.