A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Tag: physics

Read : 2020-01-29

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Oh sure, big tech wants regulation — on its own terms” by Justin Sherman (Wired, 2020-01-28). Why the surprised tone? And do I sense hypocrisy?
  2. Translating black holes to the public — in 25 languages” by Alvin Powell (The Harvard Gazette, 2020-01-28).
  3. Charles Lieber arrested” by Jonathan Shaw (Harvard Magazine, 2020-01-28).
  4. Reflections of a mathematics teacher educator: Considerations for mathematicians who teach teachers” by Christina Eubanks-Turner (Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 2020-02).

Read : 2019-07-01

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The worm that nearly ate the internet“, by Mark Bowden (NY Times, 2019-06-29). The story of Conficker and “the vulnerability of not just our computers, but the internet itself”.
  2. The downside of 5G: Overwhelmed cities, torn-up streets, a decade until completion“, by Christopher Mims (Wall Street Journal, 2019-06-29).
  3. One thing to change: think more like children” (Harvard Gazette, 2019-06-28). An interview with Avi Loeb.
  4. Reefer madness or pot paradise? The surprising legacy of the place where legal weed began“, by Jack Healy (NY Times, 2019-06-30).

Read : 2019-06-26

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Huawei telecom gear much more vulnerable to hackers than rivals’ equipment, report says“, by Kate O’Keeffe & Dustin Volz (Wall Street Journal, 2019-06-25). In a report, US-based cybersecurity firm Finite State analyzes “more than 1.5 million files embedded within 9,936 firmware images supporting 558 different products” made by Huawei. Finite State also compares the security of the Huawei CE12800 network switch to two others (Arista 7280R and Juniper EX4650) (pp 39 – 41).
  2. When gravity breaks down“, by Sabine Hossenfelder (Nautilus, 2019-02-15).
  3. Republicans don’t understand democrats — and democrats don’t understand republicans“, by Yascha Mounk (The Atlantic, 2019-06-23). A summary of findings from “The perception gap” study, run by More in Common. The study blames “negative partisanship” on misunderstanding (and misrepresentation) of the beliefs of opposing political parties. Media exposure is positively correlated to this misunderstanding, as is (shockingly) education, for democrats. “[Democrats] with a postgrad degree have a way more skewed view of Republicans than anybody else.” The article concludes that the situation is “deeply worrying” and “downright disturbing”. But is it unexpected? Isn’t convincing the electorate that there are only two viable options (a false dilemma), and that the alternative is evil incarnate, an effective way to secure votes and cling to power? Should big media be held accountable for creating and promoting this poisonous political atmosphere, in the way that some are clamoring for big tech to be held accountable for purported abuse of their power?

Read : 2019-05-17

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. How Feynman diagrams revolutionized physics“, by Thomas Lin (Quanta Magazine, 2019-05-14). Article focusing on the technique’s liberation. No technical details.
  2. Feynman the joker“, by Melinda Baldwin (Physics Today, 2018-05-11).
  3. The elusive calculus of insects’ altruism and kin selection“, by Jordana Cepelewicz (Quanta Magazine, 2018-04-10). An extended dive into Hamilton’s rule.
  4. Altruism in a volatile world“, by Patrick Kennedy et al. (Nature, 2018-03-15). The “stochastic Hamilton” referenced in the preceding article.
  5. Facing Plan S, publishers may set papers free“, by Jeffrey Brainard (Science, 2019-05-17).
  6. Climate scientists say no to flying“, by Katie Langin (Science, 2019-05-17). Do the math. It’s good to be aware.
  7. Neuroscientist Dr Hannah Critchlow: ‘Changing the way that you think is cognitively costly’“, by Ian Tucker (The Guardian, 2019-05-11). An interview. Not sure how the article title, or some of the featured quotes, were chosen.
  8. Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind“, by Timothy D. Wilson et al. (Science, 2014-07-04). How comfortable are you alone with your thoughts?
  9. The unreal science of Japan’s 400kph bullet trains explained“, by Amit Katwala (Wired, 2019-05-17). Intriguing overview of some realizations of fluid dynamics that we might experience in our everyday lives.
  10. Was it an invisible attack on U.S. diplomats, or something stranger?“, by Dan Hurley (NY Times Magazine, 2019-05-15). Fascinating read. The article slides into unnecessary contentiousness more than once. Nor does it do a great job sorting (and presenting) fact from fiction, for the particular case under the microscope; nor proposing a clear path to diagnose and give the right help to those who need it.
  11. I.M. Pei, architect who reconceived skylines and created icons, dies at 102“, by Brenda Cronin (Wall Street Journal, 2019-05-16).

Read : 2019-01-24

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Why kids are the masters of existence“, by Rob Marchant (Antidotes for chimps, 2019-01-12). At once obvious and thought-provoking. Read it.
  2. The uncertain future of particle physics“, by Sabine Hossenfelder (NY Times, 2019-01-23). The author argues portrays the LHC as a Let-down of High Cost, particle physics as a smorgasbord of mathematically sophisticated cooked books, and a promotional video for the Future Circular Collider as misleading to manufacture demand among less-informed. The author concludes by offering concrete alternative projects.
  3. Square: Avoid this red-hot stock“, by Michael Wiggins De Oliveira (The Street, 2019-01-24). The author cites negative revised earnings, very high price-to-cash flow from operations, and competition as reasons to avoid investing in Square at present.

Read — 2018-10-02

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Stitch Fix: The correction was long overdue“, by Gary Alexander (Seeking Alpha, 2018-10-02).
  2. Laser physicists, including third woman ever, win physics Nobel“, by Michael Moyer & Natalie Wolchover (Quanta Magazine, 2018-10-02). Also check out the Nobel Prize Committee’s press releases (popular and advanced).

Read — 2018-07-09

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. What astronomers wish everyone knew about dark matter and dark energy“, by Ethan Siegel (Medium, 2018-04-17). A fantastic, accessible explanation of our current understanding of the universe.
  2. Trump administration freezes payments required by the Affordable Care Act“, by Maggie Penman (NPR, 2018-07-08).
  3. Inside China’s dystopian dreams: A.I., shame and lots of cameras“, by Paul Mozur (NY Times, 2018-07-08). The article cites that “China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras — four times as many as the United States”. A Google search returns the following population figures: China (2016): 1.379 billion; U.S. (2017): 325.7 million. If these figures are reasonably accurate, then the U.S. has more surveillance cameras per capita than China. These figures don’t say who installed and operates the cameras; in particular, how many (known) surveillance cameras does each government operate? Is it strange (and ignorant at best, racist and willfully blind at worst) that the NY Times prints an article about China being a technological dystopia?
  4. Many still missing as record rainfall floods Japan“, by Barbara Marcolini (NY Times, 2018-07-08). 0:55 video.
  5. Mothers in tennis grow in influence“, by Karen Crouse (NY Times, 2018-07-09). We live in disturbing times. This development, at least, is super cool.

Read — 2018/05/22

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. NASA is about to create the coldest spot in the known universe“, by Mary Beth Griggs (Popular Science, 2018-05-21). Cold Atom Laboratory, to be deployed on the International Space Station, will cool gas clouds to 100 pK.
  2. What is spacetime?“, by George Musser (Scientific American, 2018-06).
  3. In trade war with U.S., China gets the upper hand“, by Greg Ip (Wall Street Journal, 2018-05-22).
  4. New York Stock Exchange to have first female leader in 226-year history“, by Bradley Hope & Alexander Osipovich (Wall Street Journal, 2018-05-21).
  5. Sweden releases updated booklet of war precautions (in English)” (The Local, 2018-05-21). The English booklet can be accessed here.

Science — 2016/08/12

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. NIH plans to fund human-animal chimera research“, by Jocelyn Kaiser (Science).
  2. Particle no-show at LHC prompts anxiety“, by Adrian Cho (Science). Scientists hope that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will directly reveal new particles. But if these hopes continue to be disappointed despite increasing amounts of data (measured in inverse femtobarns), research ath LHC will shift to making more-precise measurements of known particles.
  3. The impact of homelessness prevention programs on homelessness“, by William N. Evans, James X. Sullivan, & Melanie Wallskog (Science). For $10,300 per person, you can avert homelessness, yielding an estimated benefit of more than $20,000. Do you buy it?
  4. Local modulation of human brain responses by circadian rhythmicity and sleep debt“, by Pierre Maquet et al. (Science). A fMRI sleep-deprivation study to better understand “the mechanisms involved in maintaining cognition”.

Read — 2014/06/13

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Terror’s new headquarters” (The Economist). ISIS expands its region of control in Iraq.
  2. Alarm in Hong Kong at Chinese white paper affirming Beijing control“, by Tim Hume (CNN). Rising tension between Hong Kong and Beijing.
  3. Mechanically detecting and avoiding the quantum fluctuations of a microwave field“, by Suh et al. (Science). Research on back-action evading.
  4. Urban Gardnening Taken to New Heights“, by Dorothy Hong (Wall Street Journal). A slide show of rooftop gardens.
  5. Haircuts by Christiaan: 16 Iconic Moments from the Master of Short“, by Mackenzie Wagoner (Vogue).