## Re: The proof is trivial!

1

Bijections!

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 3:58 PM
2

Didn't Dan Savage recently demonstrate in a tour de force paper that bijectuals don't exist?

Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:16 PM
3

Man I rushed that. Could have been funny.

Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:21 PM
4

I just got the link in the OP. The first time I was just confused.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:35 PM
5

3: Man I rushed that.

Next time think about Sperner's Lemma.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 4:35 PM
6

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:02 PM
7

It's certainly passing the Cauchy Thread Convergence Test.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 5:08 PM
8

Tried t'buy a proof but it was a lemma

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 6:01 PM
9

The proof is trivial, but the pudding is intractable.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:23 PM
10

9 is useless without a picture of teo with pudding running through his fingers.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:25 PM
11

It wasn't intended to be useful.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:26 PM
12

My point stands. You must have some sort of pudding around?

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:28 PM
13

Comment 9 cures cholera and gout.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:28 PM
14

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:29 PM
15

By pudding it first!

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:29 PM
16

15 is terrible. Just not even.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:30 PM
17

You can't spell pun without the first two letters of pudding!

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:32 PM
18

pußing

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:33 PM
19

17 was provided as a service by the American Society for the Preservation of Commenter Self Image. You make a bad joke or pun, we'll make a worse won.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:35 PM
20

Why you dirty man, I've never pudded!

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 7:37 PM
21

19.last: Or typo.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:10 PM
22

||
Cloudy here for Perseids. But maybe not at your location. Moon not very full and sets around 11 or so.
|>

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:24 PM
23

Cloudy here too, and raining.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:26 PM
24

||
Wandering through the MOA the other day, I wondered to myself how many people in the Mall with me had killed someone. Probably quite a few. Wonder how often they think about that? Walking past the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. or glancing over at the indoor rollercoaster as it whizzes by.

One of the Bloomington cops walking around had THREE extra magazines for his pistol. It wasn't a huge .45, as far as I could see, so presumably he had a minimum of 40 rounds available to fire at miscreants. Maybe 50 or more. I'm not sure, but I only remember a couple of homicides at the Mall. Given it's been around for 20 years, with who knows how many billions of people-hours logged there, going around armed to the teeth seems a bit excessive.
||>

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 8:37 PM
25

I'm pretty sure that shooting lots of times with poor accuracy is as good as shooting a few times with good accuracy. As long as you don't worry about specificity.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:19 PM
26

I'm pretty sure that shooting lots of times with poor accuracy is as good as shooting a few times with good accuracy.

This is why they pay you to do statistics, right?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:26 PM
27

With the right qualifications, almost anything is right.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:28 PM
28

I'm sure if we paid him he could come up with a more definite answer.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:28 PM
29

Hasn't worked for anybody else, but you may get lucky.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 9:47 PM
30

24: The last time I was at MOA I was carded just for being there. I don't know what age I was supposed to be before I could alone.

Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-11-13 10:34 PM
31

Wandering through the MOA the other day, I wondered to myself how many people in the Mall with me had killed someone. Probably quite a few.

Well, let's think about the maths here. There are 32,000 traffic fatalities every year in the US. It's difficult to work out how many of those are someone else's "fault" - obviously a lot will be someone crashing their own car and killing themselves. But 5,200 are non-occupants - pedestrians and cyclists - and let's take a haphazard guess and say that another 3,000 in-vehicle deaths are caused by surviving drivers, and drop another 1,000 to represent people who kill someone this year and have already killed someone else last year. So there are 7,000 new vehicle killers every year.

There are 18,000 homicides every year. Let's be optimistic and say that in half of those, someone is arrested and convicted (and is therefore not likely to be walking around the Mall of America). So every year, 9,000 Americans murder someone and get away with it.

There are 40,000-80,000 deaths every year in the US due to medical error. Now, many of those will be the result of errors by the same (inept) doctors, killing several a year, year after year, so let's take another guess and say that 4,000 US medical personnel mark up their first kill every year. (First is the only one that counts for these purposes).

So, among US adults, 20,000 more become non-imprisoned killers every year. Over an active adult lifespan of 50 years, that means that, in the US, there are 1,000,000 killers.

2.5 million Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, many doing multiple tours. Now, of those, 10% will have been in frontline killing-people units (infantry, armour, artillery, aircrew) and let's say that a fifth of those will have actually killed someone. 50,000 people. Same numbers roughly for Vietnam (2.7 million veterans) to 100,000.

Brings the total to 1.1 million adults. Very roughly, 1 in 300 of your fellow citizens bears the mark of Cain.

Out of a population of 300 million, 100,000 Americans visit the Mall of America every day.

The probability that at least one of them is a killer is therefore 1- ((298.9/300)^100,000) = basically 1.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 3:49 AM
32

In fact there are more killers in the Mall of America than in any given prison.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 3:51 AM
33

I think maybe you assumed too much things not being correlated.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:24 AM
34

Technically speaking.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:25 AM
35

There are a lot of doctors out there who drive really badly.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:26 AM
36

Also, things like that aren't evenly distributed in the US. Minnesota is probably below average for most of them. Maybe not medical errors, since Mayo may result in a disproportionate amount of opportunity for that.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:37 AM
37

50% conviction rate for homicides? I wonder if that's a realistic number.

In the UK the conviction rate is much much higher. I think [based on an old Home Office report and some other googling] in only ~12% is there no suspect brought to trial.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:47 AM
38

We don't have Sherlock. No need to rub it in.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:55 AM
39

We've got the CBS version.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 5:20 AM
40

31: [Curls into fetal position on floor, whimpering lines from Peanuts television specials.]

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 5:35 AM
41

I think the 50% conviction is close to right. I saw a news report that the clearance rate (i.e. the police say they got the guy whether or not he is convicted) is down to 65%. But I think that significant minorities of each year's unsolved murders are being committed by somebody who has killed in an earlier year or who killed more than one person that year or who went to prison for something that isn't murder. And that smaller minorities of them killed somebody in a war or a crash.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 5:53 AM
42

And smaller minorities of those went on to commit fatal medical malpractice.

Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:10 AM
43

There are a lot of wobbly assumptions, true. But if someone kills another person deliberately, even if they're caught they won't be in prison for the rest of their lives. A lot of those homicidal shoppers might be, say, a 65-year-old who killed someone forty years ago, did fifteen years in prison, and was then let out. If the question's "what percentage of US murderers and manslaughterers are in prison" then I think that 50% is a reasonable guess.

Also, things like that aren't evenly distributed in the US. Minnesota is probably below average for most of them.

But this is the Mall of America - people come from all over the country to visit, not just Minnesota. If anything, the demographics of recreational mall-tourists might bump the numbers up: retired people have had a good 40 years to get a kill, while a 25-year-old has barely had any time at all. Ceteris paribus, an old person's much more likely to have blood on their hands.

Correlation: I dunno. Is someone who has killed someone in combat more likely to then kill someone else in a vehicle accident?

We don't have Sherlock. No need to rub it in.

As previously discussed (though I can't find it in the archives), Sherlock Holmes had a shit clearup rate. If he'd worked Homicide in the Western, Jay Landesman would have been on his case pretty much continuously.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:13 AM
44

There's a not small number of medical worker/serial killers out there. I don't know which came first, but you'd think a couple of malpractice deaths would ease you into it.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:15 AM
45

44 to 42.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:16 AM
46

"Attention Mall of America shoppers. I have called you here together for this reason: statistically speaking, one of you is probably a murderer!"

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:20 AM
47

Our criminals are wilier, since they know they have to stand on their own two feet, and not rely on socialized medicine. My own grandmother robbed two banks to pay for her chemotherapy, may she rest in peace.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:20 AM
48

Chopping Mall 2: It Could Be You!

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:20 AM
49

Is someone who has killed someone in combat more likely to then kill someone else in a vehicle accident?

These are all things that tend to involve men who drink.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:21 AM
50

Sherlock Holmes had a shit clearup rate.

Giving him easy cases to boost his average would probably drop the national clearance rate of fictional murders.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:23 AM
51

But this is the Mall of America - people come from all over the country to visit, not just Minnesota.

That's more depressing that the murder stuff.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:24 AM
52

It's a good Google-interview question. "How big a drawing room would Hercule Poirot need to have to be 95% confident that one of the people in it was a murderer?"

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:27 AM
53

He only needs about 8 or 9 in every one I've seen.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:28 AM
54

Yeah, that's why his clearup rate is so much higher. Holmes is hunting his suspects through the whole of London and the Home Counties. Poirot only ever has a handful to start with.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:34 AM
55

It depends on how many people are doing the evil voice.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:35 AM
56

"Follow the opium, Watson, and you will find nothing save opium fiends and opium peddlers. Ah, but follow the money! and who can say where it will take us?"

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:35 AM
57

Watson never actually made any money practicing medicine. He earned a living rifling the pockets of immobile opium fiends and shaking down opium peddlers.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:42 AM
58

I mean, did you ever see him give any medicine except brandy? He has no clue.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:43 AM
59

I just got a weird email where someone accidentally forward me this anti-Steven Pinker rant.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:44 AM
60

58: that just means that he was a Victorian doctor, though. The script was like:

1. BREATHING?
Yes: go to 2.

2. BLEEDING?
Yes: apply bandage and go to 3.
No: go to 3.

3. CONSCIOUS?
Yes, but not in pain: go to 4.
Yes, in pain: apply laudanum and go to 4.
No: apply smelling salts until answer changes.

4. IS IT A WOMAN?
Yes, she's giving birth: Apply chloroform and wait until baby appears. Charge 5 guineas.
Yes, but she's not giving birth: she is hysterical. Shut her in a room until she quiets down a bit. Cold bath if necessary. Charge 10 guineas.
No: apply brandy. Have a spot yourself. Charge 5 guineas.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:49 AM
61

58: I mean, did you ever see him give any medicine except brandy?He has no clue would have been far more effective than most of his peers.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:50 AM
62

The essay that rant is countering was in fact extremely terrible. On the other hand, the first two paragraphs miss pretty wide.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:52 AM
63

Maybe he needed some laudanum?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:54 AM
64

Watson diagnoses people sometimes: the homicidal non-Mormon cabbie has an aortic aneurysm that he identifies. And Holmes won't let Watson anywhere near him when he's malingering for fear of being busted. (I've always remembered that should I need to feign insanity at any point, the way to go is talking about pocket change and shellfish. It's never come up, but I feel prepared.)

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:55 AM
65

62: It was sent to me by my senior colleague along with a note that made it clear it was supposed to be going to someone else, but I guess now we know how well-known local popularizers of science feel about each other?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:58 AM
66

65: oh dear. That's rather funny.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:59 AM
67

60: I think 4 goes like this:

4. IS IT A WOMAN?
Yes, she's giving birth: Apply chloroform and wait until baby appears. Charge 5 guineas.
Yes, but she's not giving birth:
Manually stimulate her until she orgasms acheives paroxysm. Charge 10 guineas.
No: apply brandy. Have a spot yourself. Charge 5 guineas.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:01 AM
68

-ei +ie

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:03 AM
69

67: No brandy in case 2? That seems inhospitable.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:09 AM
70

More of a gin thing, maybe?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:12 AM
71

59: Pinker has gotten on my nerves for years. He seems to be doing for neuro/cognitive science what twits like Steven Levitt did for economics: license its practitioners to pass themselves off as generic all purpose "experts".

"Hey, X involves thinking. Thinking involves brains. I'm an expert on brains. I guess that means I'm an expert on X!"

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:18 AM
72

71.1: you'll fit right in here if you decide to stop lurking at some point.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:20 AM
73

Both 67 and 71 involve a lot of potential for abusing the line, "Trust me, I'm a doctor."

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:22 AM
74

Everything is made of particles. I'm an expert on particles. Therefore I'm an expert on everything.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:37 AM
75

I was reminded recently when reading Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews that actually many so-called "solid objects" are mostly empty space. So essear can't be an expert on them, since he's only an expert on particles.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:42 AM
76

74 is a joke, but I know people who take a line not that far from it.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:43 AM
77

76 should name names.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:47 AM
78

77: Clearly the real problem is people named Steve.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:51 AM
79

The people opposed to gay marriage seem to blame a lot of things on Steve.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:53 AM
80

The rant in 59 achieves the rare distinction of being more annoying than Pinker.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:55 AM
81

77: Ironically the people I'm thinking of are not tippy-top dudes in the relevant fields, just very smart guys with an arrogant streak and blindness to the limitations of their intelligence. Sort of a Dunning-Kreuger thing. You may have met one of them when you visited (IIRC) snapping turtle U.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:55 AM
82

so presumably he had a minimum of 40 rounds available to fire at miscreants. Maybe 50 or more.

Easily, especially if it's a 9mm. I'm at 50+ with only two extra mags.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:00 AM
83

74, 75: I'm an expert on nothing, so you can all consider yourselves outranked.

Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:02 AM
84

Nothing is really complicated. Nosflow's probably right that I understand something better than I understand nothing.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:04 AM
85

81: Ooh, I know a lot of people there, assuming I'm correctly interpreting. Can we play 20 questions? Is he older than Obama? Bigger than a breadbox?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:05 AM
86

85: Older than Obama and bigger than a breadbox, but outside your field, so you might have a hard time guessing. I can't for the life of me remember his first name and when I try what comes up is Wen Ho Lee, which isn't quite right.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:18 AM
87

The rant linked above isn't any good, sadly, but I totally understand the motivating spirit/animus. I increasingly want to scream, 'Shut up you ignorant fuck' at any number of science popularisers/triumphalists who appear with regularity in the British media.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:21 AM
88

||

Dream: I was a Gandalf-style wizard, and could put long, beautiful, perfectly-formatted data queries into command lines just by waving my staff.

|>

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:29 AM
89

From following British people on twitter it seems that the most hated entities in the country are Richard Dawkins and Mumford & Sons. Apparently there is a comprehensive conspiracy by all factions of the media to fill people's ears with the sounds of Mumford & Sons and fill people's brains with the pontifications of Richard Dawkins, and people on Twitter are not going to put up with it any longer.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:30 AM
90

re: 89

History's greatest monsters, innit?

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:37 AM
91

86: Does he have a deep and abiding interest in the origin of the spin of the proton?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:37 AM
92

Nosflow's probably right that I understand something better than I understand nothing.

The question is, which thing is that something?

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:39 AM
93

I submit: there is actually very little variation in the number of self-aggrandizing, overconfident popularizers/hucksters across any field with interesting enough results to get regular press releases written by the university press office.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:46 AM
94

I have a comprehensive Theory of Nothing.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:46 AM
95

91: I don't know him well enough to know that. I sort of doubt it, due to his professional distance from things protonic. If you met him it would be more likely under the rubric of departmental bigwig than potential collaborator or critic. My experience with his views comes from having taken a single poorly taught class from him in which he expressed the view that since everything in the end comes down to mathematics, particles, and fields he was therefore well qualified to comment on neuroscience and economics, among other things.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:47 AM
96

99% of everything is the assumptions used to turn whatever into math.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:49 AM
97

96: for now, yes. But what about when we have the One True Model?

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:50 AM
98

93: I don't know, physicists have generally been pretty good keeping themselves under control, especially given how much press the big name theorists get. I don't recall Brian Green or Stephen Hawking (another Steve!) pulling a Dawkins in public. Maybe Sean Carroll is guilty to some extent.

On the other hand, Economics is especially awful.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:55 AM
99

93: This is obviously wrong. Ev psych is worse than cognitive science. Psychology is worse than economics which is worse than sociology and anthropology. The only really egregious populizer for cognitive science is Pinker himself. The fact that he approvingly cites ev psych people proves that the there is a harmony to the universe.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:57 AM
100

87. Why do you say it isn't any good? It isn't perfect, but it goes some way towards serving its purpose.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:57 AM
101

95: Oh, okay. I wasn't thinking of somebody in my field, but a nucl/ear guy whose name kind of vaguely rhymes with Wen Ho Lee.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:58 AM
102

I realize the wrt physicists I forgot all about Lawrence Krauss, who seems to be moving in a Dawkins like direction.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:59 AM
103

98: srsly? I think of physics as sort of the number one offender of "oh, well, see, this field is easy if you use the math we have."

I could name (Roger Penrose) names, yes.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:59 AM
104

Technically, that's two names.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:01 AM
105

100: because the dude comes off worse than Pinker right off the bat?

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:02 AM
106

104: do you generally ask for people's full names?

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:03 AM
107

106: If people aren't wearing a name tag, I generally fumble with clumsy ways of hiding that I don't remember any part of their name.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:05 AM
108

105. Does he? Have you read the Pinker piece it's specifically targeting? He's completely jumped the shark.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:08 AM
109

I guess with physicists I'm thinking of the obnoxiousness to opportunity ratio. (Theoretical) physicists get more press exposure than a lot of other fields. Given the plentiful opportunities, the actual level of obnoxious pontification on non-physics subjects seems not too bad.

That's just a personal impression, however. Clearly we need some sort of quantitative study.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:12 AM
110

108: as I said right off the bat, the Pinker piece is terrible. But it's not terrible because he hasn't read the people he claims for science. It's terrible because it's in the genre "here, let me help you by telling you what your problem is". Claiming those people for science is disingenuous and sort of ahistorical. But he's not doing that from ignorance; he knows that science per se is a modern construct, and he knows that Descartes, for instance, was doing something wildly different than a modern scientist. But he's claiming them for science (again, a bad idea) intentionally, from a position of knowledge. Asserting otherwise means you've lost before you started.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:15 AM
111

98 physicists have generally been pretty good keeping themselves under control, especially given how much press the big name theorists get

Are the names you follow this up with supposed to be representative of "the big name theorists"?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:16 AM
112

109.last: comity.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:16 AM
113

Clearly we need some sort of quantitative study.

Big Data will finally tell us who is the most obnoxious!

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:17 AM
114

Clearly we need some sort of quantitative study.

You'll probably want to get a physicist for that. They know numbers.

Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:18 AM
115

100: Really? I thought it had close to zero redeeming qualities. It responds to Pinker's absurd "Hume and Spinoza were really scientists" with an equally absurd "There was a unity of knowledge before the scientists ruined it with their cliquishness."

103: Penrose's position is that consciousness will be explained by physics that has not yet been invented, which is at least weirder than most popularizations.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:18 AM
116

106: If people aren't wearing a name tag, I generally fumble with clumsy ways of hiding that I don't remember any part of their name

Do a David Dimbleby impression*: "You there, in the blue shirt"

* May not work outside the UK.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:18 AM
117

I didn't read either carefully, as they both looked super annoying, but they seemed to me to both be annoying and wrong in exactly the same way.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:20 AM
118

re: 100

It's just a bit of an unstructured rant. He could have distilled the hate into something sharper. Also, there's some claims about science -- that what we think of as science really only dates from the mid 19th c. -- that I don't think are really defensible from the a history/philosophy of science point of view. And I'm not sure that 'Fuck you, scientists, we were totally here first' is as strong a point as he'd like it to be.

I'm on board with the hate itself, though. And much of the general 'fuck you, ignoramuses' tenor.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:20 AM
119

Is Brian Green well thought of in the physics community, either as scientist or populariser? My impression of him is that he specializes in talking about string theory in a way that conveys no understanding, and that he does so with a speaking style most people would use to tell a children's story.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:22 AM
120

116: That's really awkward if you've been seeing the person around for five years and that person clearly knows your name.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:23 AM
121

115.last: "violence has been steadily declining for centuries because human nature" is significantly weirder than most popular works of history.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:23 AM
122

Are the names you follow this up with supposed to be representative of "the big name theorists"?

In the general public's eyes, I think they're pretty representative.

I just realized I left out Michio Kaku, but I'm not sure he fits into this discussion, since the nonsense he dispenses to the public is ostensibly about physics.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:23 AM
123

116.1 also seems right.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:24 AM
124

122: I guess I find your "especially given how much press the big name theorists get" kind of hard to understand. If by "big name theorists" you mean "theorists who get a lot of press", it seems kind of circular. If you mean "theorists who are important in the physics community", Hawking is on the list (but only for things he did a few decades ago) and the others, not so much.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:25 AM
125

Fucksake. I really need to get my arse in gear and write my pop philosophy of science book.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:26 AM
126

115: Was Penrose the dude who thinks consciousness can be explained by some sort of quantum thing going on at synapses? There's some bigshot scientist/popularizer who takes that position. Penrose does not ring a bell but my useless memory is not coughing up any other candidate.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:26 AM
127

Oh, say, ttaM, what are your thoughts about "Against Method"? My adviser was speaking fondly of it when I mentioned Lakatos to him the other day.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:28 AM
128

that what we think of as science really only dates from the mid 19th c.

Yeah, what is up with that? He thinks no one was doing science until there were some kind of sharp disciplinary divisions? I can't say I'm very well-informed about the history of science but it's pretty clear there was something recognizably close to what we call science today happening in the 17th century if not earlier.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:28 AM
129

It is Penrose, yes, along with an anaestheologist whose name for the moment escapes me. But he has a position is somewhere in Arizona and his velocity is low.

Posted by: Nwork Werdna | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:28 AM
130

126: yep. Quantum effects in microtubules!

Also, you know what, physics? "Dancing Wu Li Masters". There, I said it.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:29 AM
131

when I mentioned Lakatos to him the other day.

The guys in the Mario games who float around on clouds and drop spiny things, right?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:29 AM
132

128: he seems to be saying that humanities people did science until science stole it because mean.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:30 AM
133

131: you're thinking of Kuhn.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:30 AM
134

along with an anaestheologist

Awesome.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:30 AM
135

I still remember Lakatos. Positivists, Kuhn, Lakatos, and a vague idea of what they all said. I don't know why I can't forget them.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:31 AM
136

it's pretty clear there was something recognizably close to what we call science today happening in the 17th century if not earlier.

No way. Eratosthenes was just guessing and shit.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:32 AM
137

Whenever any of them are mentioned, I just mumble something about social construction and leave.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:32 AM
138

Sometimes, I mutter "sophisticated methodological falsificationism," but that's gotten better with the medication.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:34 AM
139

Also, you know what, physics? "Dancing Wu Li Masters". There, I said it.

Aw, man. Did you have to go there?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:34 AM
140

121: Pinker's most recent book is his least egregious. In one of his earlier books, he basically argues that all of human-related sciences can be split up into the abominable relativists, who believe in the filled-with-straw Standard Social Science Model, and the heroic ev-psych and cognitive scientists, who have brought science back into social science.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:35 AM
141

132: I was once mugged by a scientist, so he has a point there.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:36 AM
142

re: 128

I guess you could argue that the boundaries between science and non-science were much more amorphous the further back you go, but still, yeah. I think the mid-19th c. cut-off is hard to defend.

re: 132

To be fair to him, I don't really think that's what he's saying. I think he's saying that the problem areas that scientists study have a history that predates what we'd think of as modern science, and that just because people were studying subject areas that we now think of as 'scientific' that doesn't mean you can claim them and their work for 'science'. At least that's one way of reading it [admittedly I'm skimming rather than trying to do some kind of close reading].

re: 127

Funnily enough, I've never read it. It's one of those gaps. Although I'm familiar with the broad general claims.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:37 AM
143

140: I couldn't get through that one. How The Mind Works has the same voice-of-certainty problem but sticks in large measure to reasonably plausible summaries of good research.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:38 AM
144

Stuart Hameroff. His velocity is now less certain.

I am sad to learn there is Pinker hatred going on without me.

Posted by: Nwork Werdna | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:41 AM
145

143: How the Mind Works is the marijuana that's the gateway to the heroin of The Blank Slate. I read the first one, found it unobjectionable, which lured me to the second. Maybe it was really the candy to lure me into the van? I'm not sure. Some metaphor that expresses that it's bad.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:41 AM
146

Oh my god it pisses me right the fuck off when people act like idiots about the supposed "incorrect" use of "literally" seen in such phrases as "I was literally beside myself".

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:42 AM
147

ttaM - Feyerabend is great: one of the few philosophers you really want to spend a lot of time talking with. A friend of mine, who claimed to have been the first man ever jailed for supplying acid when that became illegal in California, was a pupil of his (later) and tried to talk me into writing his biography.

Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:44 AM
148

I think he's saying that the problem areas that scientists study have a history that predates what we'd think of as modern science, and that just because people were studying subject areas that we now think of as 'scientific' that doesn't mean you can claim them and their work for 'science'.

I so read it. Or, Newton did what we call physics; he also did what we (and he) call alchemy. Insofar as he basically didn't distinguish between them as categories, he wasn't approaching the combined field scientifically.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:46 AM
149

Oh my god it pisses me right the fuck off when people act like idiots about the supposed "incorrect" use of "literally" seen in such phrases as "I was literally beside myself".

Obligatory XKCD trolling:

http://xkcd.com/1108/

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:46 AM
150

I'm going to put out a hit on you.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:47 AM
151

Insofar as he basically didn't distinguish between them as categories, he wasn't approaching the combined field scientifically.

Or he was, and he just didn't have the information yet for it to be clear that the assumptions underlying the work in alchemy were flawed. I mean, just because something is wrong doesn't mean it isn't science.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:48 AM
152

116: That's really awkward if you've been seeing the person around for five years and that person clearly knows your name.

That's why you make it very clearly a Dimbleby impression. Gesticulate with a pair of glasses if it helps.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:48 AM
153

148: But you can study alchemy scientifically and I would be surprised if Newton didn't do so. Just because work done centuries later makes the whole idea implausible doesn't mean that it couldn't have been studied scientifically.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:49 AM
154

Pwned, but still.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:50 AM
155

re: 147

Like anyone who has studied a field for a long time, I have those odd gaps where there are books that by rights I should have read but somehow never got round to it [even though I've read a ton of other less important books in the same field].

So, Feyerabend is one, definitely.

I started a program recently to try and go back and fill gap now that I am no longer an academic. So, various individual works, but also entire areas/periods where I know sod all. It hasn't gone well so far, as I thought I'd start with the period leading from classical philosophy [after Plato and Aristotle] through to the Scholastic period. And the book(s) I bought were deadly dull.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:50 AM
156

152: Google says there's an old guy and his sons. We're talking about the old guy? I'll practice.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:52 AM
157

I mean, just because something is wrong doesn't mean it isn't science.

Magicians operating according to principles of association and contiguity were really the first scientists, they just had a lot of incorrect assumptions.

Posted by: Ernst Cassirer | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:55 AM
158

just because something is wrong doesn't mean it isn't science.

Some university needs to translate that into Latin and make it their motto.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:56 AM
159

He hosts Question Time, which is basically a political roundtable with audience participation. His job basically consists of coming up with reductive, but not offensive, ways of picking people out of a crowd.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:57 AM
160

I think it's, "tikai tāpēc, ka kaut kas nav kārtībā, nenozīmē, tas nav zinātne."

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:01 AM
161

ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:03 AM
162

161: sure, use Pinker's words against him.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:04 AM
163

159: "You there! The blackamoor of stately proportions!"

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:26 AM
164

Question Time, which is basically a political roundtable with audience participation

In the same sense that Jerry Springer is basically a discussion programme focussing on social and family issues.

If I watch Question Time for more than five minutes, I find myself coming over all mcmanus.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:34 AM
165

164.last: at first I misread the order of "over" and "all" and was kind of horrified.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:39 AM
166

Amused is how I'd put it.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:40 AM
167

165, 166: same.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:43 AM
168

Hormusified.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:46 AM
169

164: I used to like Any Questions okay. Maybe being on the radio makes it less dumb than the TV version. It took me a while to figure out that it wasn't one man named Dimbleby hosting both programs.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 10:47 AM
170

In the same sense that Jerry Springer is basically a discussion programme focussing on social and family issues.

Well, it wasn't meant to be a complimentary description.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:26 AM
171

Does Rudy Rucker count as one of the crackpot totalizing popularizers?

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 11:29 AM
172

||

Email from me to collaborator: "Oh, by the way, Nature requires a statement of what each author contributed to the paper. What do you think it should say?"

[crickets]

Collaborator, a few days later: "I was thinking it over and we should probably publish in Science."

|>

Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:27 PM
173

Science is fine with "Emotional Support and/or paying the salary of another co-author"?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:31 PM
174

It looks like they require authors to submit a statement but they don't actually publish it as part of the paper.

Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:37 PM
175

I never heard of it being published in the paper.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:41 PM
176

I've seen it, usually in fields where getting & analyzing the data are completely different full-time jobs. Alice climbed the mountains, Bob did the crystallography, Eve did the math.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:46 PM
177

175: I believe that PNAS actually does put a little note at the bottom of the first page saying "Smith performed the research, Smith and Jones analyzed the data, Jones wrote the paper" and such.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:47 PM
178

Nature appears to do it in every paper? At least, every recent one I've downloaded from their website to see what they do.

Collaborator has also insisted they must be the corresponding author because we will get more press attention that way.

Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:48 PM
179

It would be nice to manage to hack into the final typesetting process and rewrite the note: "Jones didn't do a damn thing, actually".

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:48 PM
180

"Person Who Is Not An Author suggested the idea, Author 1 relayed the idea to Author 2, Author 2 did all the work and wrote the paper" presumably wouldn't go over well.

Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:48 PM
181

"Smith stole idea from colleague, Jones used seniority and political pressure to intimidate colleague into not complaining about it, Smith and Jones wrote the paper".

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:55 PM
182

"Smith stole idea from colleague, Jones used seniority and political pressure to intimidate colleague into not complaining about it, Smith and Jones wrote the papersmells a bit, but 'as a heart o' gold."

Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:57 PM
183

You need more euphemisms, Abe. CoA helped conceptualize the project, CoB assisted in writing and data analysis, CoC participated in helpful discussions, CoD assisted in modeling studies, CoE coordinated resources, etc. I think the author statements are pretty common in biology (as are co-first authorships, which are another layer of bitchery).

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 1:59 PM
184

"Smith leveraged synergies."

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 2:01 PM
185

"Jones was involved in translational applications of our method."

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 2:03 PM
186

co-first authorships

Oh, I hadn't thought about this. I guess we're going by the alphabetical order which is completely standard in our field even though we're venturing into territory where everyone will misinterpret it to give me less credit. Whee....

Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 2:03 PM
187

"Funding was provided by the Society for Technology under an entirely different grant from which we misappropriated funds."

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 2:05 PM
188

186, I have a friend who just went through an argument on who got to be the first listed co-first author. Poor guy had the later alphabetical surname but did the larger share of the work.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 2:08 PM
189

I fully recognize how maddening 172 must be to live with, but from a safe distance it's actually hilarious.

I am very glad to work in a setting where nobody's name goes on almost anything we publish. And when we do need a name, I just get permission from whatever colleague I'm ghostwriting for. Easy as pie.

(Now, if the colleague at another organization for whom I'm ghostwriting would just get back to me....)

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 2:35 PM
190

187 is great, but this whole threadjack has me laughing out loud, which is kinda bad since I'm manning the reception desk here for the next 3 weeks.

Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 3:16 PM
191

Heh at 181.

I have a friend who works in a (human) science field whose every conversation consists almost entirely of complaints about people stealing authorship, blackmail involving research funding, the person who did all the work [everything, idea, research, analysis, the lot] being thanked in the acknowledgements but not even credited as author, etc.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 3:20 PM
192

Science!

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:39 PM
193

||

I now hate HR for an entirely different reason than people usually hate HR. But with a burning, fiery intensity nonetheless.

|>

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:40 PM
194

186: give you less credit but assume you're more senior.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:52 PM
195

Burying the lede:

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:54 PM
196

I forget if I talked about this under my pseud or not but my recent struggles with authorship (I was worried I was going to get bumped to a useless secondary author slot on my own damn project) have been resolved with the little bitchery of joint fist authorship. My name is second, and I won't be corresponding author, but eh, good enough.

Posted by: Ulysses S. Grantwriting | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 4:55 PM
197

Is there a graceful way to tell a client "I'm not going to use the language you suggest in my opening statement because it makes me sound like an asshole, and I think your interests may be better served if the finder of fact doesn't begin the day thinking that your attorney is an asshole?" Really, I'm looking out for him!

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:15 PM
198

"Thank you for the suggestion. My experience suggests that the most effective approach is to begin by affirming what the judge got right...." or however it is you want to begin.

---

In other news, is it common practice for the New York Times to erase a winning plaintiff from their front-page write-up of a major court case? Their story on stop and frisk doesn't mention the Center for Constitutional Rights, which to me seems somewhere between tacky and shameful.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:25 PM
199

I actually already hemmed and hawed my way through the conversation -- I just wanted to complain about it.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:30 PM
200

what does co-first-authorship look like? How can an observer tell the difference between a first author who is listed second and a second author?

I can't tell if my field doesn't do this or if I am just oblivious/naïve.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:31 PM
201

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:33 PM
202

198: In irrelevant biolographical facts, I briefly dated the judge on that case's son in tenth grade. Broke up with him for no particularly good reason, and regretted it when in subsequent years his haircut improved.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:34 PM
203

It had been too short. Looked much better long enough so the curl showed.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:35 PM
204

200: the first two authors are starred and there is a note saying that they contributed equally.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:44 PM
205

He may be bald by now.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:44 PM
206

I just googled, and he is at least balding. Not that there's anything at all wrong with that.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:45 PM
207

204: Oh, so that's what that means. I had wondered about it.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:45 PM
208

No such thing.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:49 PM
209

195: They left that part out in the AP reprint here! I considered posting it here but it lacked the cock-joke-ness.

(And, how is that not blatantly breaching the establishment clause? Surely a judge must be bright enough to know you can't say "I rule so because Jesus Christ is the LORD" and expect it to stand on that ground / surely it wouldn't stand?)

Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:50 PM
210

Huh. I really haven't paid that much attention. When I see stars or other little symbols by authors' names I assume it's because there's a list of affiliations underneath. Then I ignore the list of affiliations without looking to see if it's even there.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:50 PM
211

Some people really don't like it, per Messily's link, for good reasons, but it's a tough challenge to solve for interdisciplinary work where there are two or more parts that are equally vital and basically nonoverlapping, especially since first authorship is such a massive thing. Essear's field's alphabetical thing makes a lot of sense in some ways.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:51 PM
212

There are circumstances where the second-listed joint-first-authorship is just as useful, such as for instance grad programs where a dissertation is constructed from N first author papers. But listed first is listed first, and citations still follow the format Firstlisted et al.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:53 PM
213

Essear's field's alphabetical thing makes a lot of sense in some ways.

Somewhere on the internet I encountered a really nasty rant about how alphabetical author order is stupid and harmful and career-wrecking and antithetical to the very idea of science, or something like that. I should try to dig it up again, it was really special.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 6:58 PM
214

198: In other news, is it common practice for the New York Times to erase a winning plaintiff from their front-page write-up of a major court case?

From what I can tell, not much of the mainstream news coverage of the decision describes the actual case or its plaintiffs.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:02 PM
215

213: Prof. Zwicky gets really testy about it.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:04 PM
216

Aw, questions I can discuss and I'm too slow. Following 212, first author papers "count" more when you are being evaluated on your research (unless you are in a nice collegial field that lists alphabetically). Frex, in South Korea, publications are given point values when you apply for professorships, and only author is highest, corresponding is next highest, then first, then anything else.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:04 PM
217

213: I mean, in some ways it just displaces the senior collaborator shenanigans to a different stage of the process. But it does seem less stressful.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:05 PM
218
Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:08 PM
219

The main problem with alphabetical order is that it genuinely harms people with names later in the alphabet. Not only are there the obvious problems (the evil et al., people not paying attention past the first author or two, etc.), but some more subtle ones like having your name early in the alphabet means all your papers will be contiguous in bibliographies thereby making your influence appear greater.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:08 PM
220

Oh yeah, senior collaborator on this one: "I think I should be corresponding author because they might recognize my name and it might help us get in. Also, the journalists are more likely to call me."

Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:09 PM
221

One of my friends from graduate school is literally the last mathematician alphabetically in the history of the world (David Zyw|na).

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:10 PM
222

nice collegial field that lists alphabetically

I've read enough of TFA to have my doubts.

Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:10 PM
223

people not paying attention past the first author or two, etc.

I just don't think this really happens if you're used to every author list being in alphabetical order.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:13 PM
224

Are there any fields that randomize the order of authors? That would be cool.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:15 PM
225

224: but very, very easy to game.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:15 PM
226

Unless it happened on the journal side, I guess.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:16 PM
227

Well, you'd have to make a big deal about it.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:16 PM
228

If any would, it would be statistics, but it doesn't.

Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:17 PM
229

The bit of research I've seen cited about there being an actual negative affect is this paper about economics which also publishes in alphabetical order. (Unsurprisingly, one of the authors name begins with a Y).

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:18 PM
230

If anything, I think the bias with alphabetical order is toward senior co-authors. I have definitely caught myself referring to "Q's paper" when I know that A or Z did the majority of the work, just because Q is the more well-known name. And in my recent papers that were by something close to "E, L, Q, and S," some journalists wrote articles referring to it as "Q et al." or "Q and colleagues" and when one of them interviewed E the questions were all of the form "so, what is it like to work with Q?" and "how does Q come up with these great ideas?"

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:23 PM
231

230: things tend to work that way in our field too, if there is a well-cited paper where one of the authors is the most famous; I know of papers that are constantly referred to as "Q's paper" when Q is third author or whatever; usually it came out of their lab, but I think not always.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:25 PM
232

198.last: I don't have it at hand, but I recall at least once being extremely pissed at them doing something similar with regard to ACORN*. But it may just be that I am remembering this editorial lauding the Justice Dept. for stepping up enforcement of motor-voter laws which contained this sentence, In addition, government offices are much more likely to provide reliable registrations than Acorn or other advocacy groups that were widely accused of fraudulent sign-ups in the last cycle but somehow neglected to mention the role that "Acorn[sic] and other advocacy groups" played in getting the law passed in the first place as well as forcing it to be even nominally enforced.

*Did you know the fucking fucks in the House still attach "none of these funds are to go to ACORN" clauses to bills?

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:26 PM
233

I dunno that alphabetical order is really the culprit there. It seems quite common to hear a paper referred to as "by X's student" even if it's singly authored.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:28 PM
234

198.last, 232: Shorter NY Times.

1. Procedural liberalism.
2. ??
3. PROFIT JUSTICE!!

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:29 PM
235

233: I don't know that alphabetical order is the culprit, I'm just saying this is a noticeable phenomenon but I've never noticed people being ignored just because of their position in the author list.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:32 PM
236

234.3: And of course the greatest justice of all is them and their ilk profiting because MERITOCRACY.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:35 PM
237

232.last: No, but I'm not surprised. Aren't they on their 40th vote to overturn Obamacare at this point?

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:38 PM
238

237: HuffPo headline captures it House GOP Weighs Defunding ACORN In 13th Vote To Block Funds To Defunct Organization. So only 13, but bonus defunctness.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:46 PM
239

238. A wee bit obsessive they are. They (if Xian) probably believe in repeated baptisms too, just in case.

Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:53 PM
240

This just in, ACORN still defunct.

49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn't exist anymore.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:55 PM
241

I expect to get blamed for stuff after I don't exist, probably with some reason.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 7:57 PM
242

New small business idea, finding the right Klan for *you*!

You Must Be Christian - It makes me sick that Klan groups such as the UKA and the IKA allowed Atheists, Pagans and other Christ haters membership. Since 1915, the Klan has only allowed White Christians membership. If you aren't Christian, the New Empire Knights is not the Klan for you.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:00 PM
243

241: Like the faint musty odor coming from the crawlspace.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:02 PM
244

That's just all the rain.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:04 PM
245

Acorns don't just disappear; they become trees. Oak trees. Oak trees of voter fraud. Black oak trees.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:05 PM
246

243: Speaking of which, there appears to be a dead animal in my wall.

Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:07 PM
247

Shh! Or everyone will want one!

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:08 PM
248

246: That was me.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:46 PM
249

I saw a really nasty spider earlier, and I think I killed it but I'm not sure. I didn't really want to kill a spider, but it was fast-moving and nimble, so yeesh creepy, so Windex. It scurried into a crevice, which I assailed with said Windex.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 8:52 PM
250

I think Windex just cured its pimples.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:07 PM
251

Oh gosh, I hope so. It had horrible arachne.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:16 PM
252

I see Stanley's still in good form.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:17 PM
253

OT: People are sending me spam calendar appointments that pop up on my phone. The fuckers.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:23 PM
254

242: I'll be right back. In unrelated news, has anyone seen my stupid-white-trash-peckerwood-beating-gloves?

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-12-13 9:53 PM
255

249: Oh no. Soon it will be back for revenge.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 12:56 AM
256

But with a markedly smoother face.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 12:59 AM
257

253: There is a simple gmail trick to turn off spam in your calendars. Set it not to show invitations to which you haven't responded.

Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 1:47 AM
258

Speaking of which, there appears to be a dead animal in my wall.

Oh, not again. For the fifth time, Blandings, that is a trophy head. It is not the head of a lion that attempted to chew its way through your wall but died when it had got part way. Go round the other side of the wall. Is there the rear half of a lion dangling out of the wall on that side? No? Well then.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 5:10 AM
259

257: Thanks. I don't know those features very well.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 5:18 AM
260

||

So the fact that the new Doctor is an actor who already appeared on both Doctor Who and Torchwood demonstrates LB's notion that there really are only like 12 actors in the UK, right? The episode Fires of Pompeii -- which had both Karen Gillen and Peter Capaldi in it -- was so epic that it used the entire two-digit acting population of the UK.

|>

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 5:22 AM
261

258: Keep telling yourself that, ajay. Animals can't eat through your wall. It's okay to go to sleep at night. Animals that eat through your wall aren't real. You're perfectly safe.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 5:23 AM
262

There are also only 12 people with law degrees in New York, as witnessed by 202.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 5:32 AM
263

Keep telling yourself that, ajay. Animals can't eat through your wall.

Well, no. They always die halfway through. I think it must be something in the plaster.

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:02 AM
264

So the fact that the new Doctor is an actor who already appeared on both Doctor Who and Torchwood demonstrates LB's notion that there really are only like 12 actors in the UK, right?

If I remember correctly, LB's theory was actually that there were only about 20 people in the UK, all of whom spent their time appearing in BBC drama series or being Queen.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:09 AM
265

There was a time when every British actor had a credit on The Bill and/or Casualty.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:28 AM
266

Speaking of British actors, at Starbucks you can buy a cd of Hugh Laurie playing music. I'm not recommending you do so. Just indicating my surprise that the option exists.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:33 AM
267

Hugh Laurie's a pretty good musician. That was him playing the piano in "Jeeves and Wooster", and there's the Musical Cocktails in "A Bit of Fry and Laurie"....

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 6:51 AM
268

I don't specifically recommend against it either.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 7:00 AM
269

If I remember correctly, LB's theory was actually that there were only about 20 people in the UK, all of whom spent their time appearing in BBC drama series or being Queen.

And commenting on unfogged.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-13-13 8:23 PM
270

Er, sanctity of off-blog garden parties there, teraz.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 8:14 AM
271

Harrumph!

Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-14-13 9:46 AM
272

Following up on 172, Science rejected the paper without sending it out for review as "better suited for a specialist journal". We have no idea what kind of journal would be appropriate for this other than a general-interest one.

(It also confuses me because when I look at papers in Science or Nature I see huge amounts of jargon-laden biology with no attempt at accessibility to people with backgrounds in the physical sciences.)

Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 08-15-13 8:09 AM
273

Are you from the field where they smash things together and label the results with helpful, clear terms that can't be confused with anything else like "up" and "strange"?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-13 8:21 AM
274

Following up on 172, Science rejected the paper without sending it out for review as "better suited for a specialist journal".

I believe this is what they do with nearly everything.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-13 8:24 AM
275

273: Maybe, and maybe in this case the things that were smashing together were more like the Earth and giant chunks of rock.

Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 08-15-13 8:25 AM
276

And maybe at this point presidentiality isn't doing a damn thing for me in this thread.

Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 08-15-13 8:26 AM
277

275: if you got off your ass and operationalized this plan, you might get more attention.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-13 8:30 AM
278

Publish, or perish!

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-13 8:32 AM
279

277: Make an agreement with your collaborator beforehand about who delivers the threatening message to the UN, how much you demand, and who gets what.

Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 08-15-13 8:32 AM