A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘social sciences

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net notes new findings suggesting that the creation of cave art by early humans is product of the same skills that let early humans use language.
  • Davide Marchetti at Architectuul looks at some overlooked and neglected buildings in and around Rome.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait explains how Sirius was able to hide the brilliant Gaia 1 star cluster behind it.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at new procedures for streamlining the verification of new exoplanet detections.
  • Crooked Timber notes the remarkably successful and once-controversial eroticization of plant reproduction in the poems of Erasmus Darwin.
  • Dangerous Minds notes how an errant Confederate flag on a single nearly derailed the career of Otis Redding.
  • Detecting biosignatures from exoplanets, Bruce Dorminey notes, may require “fleets” of sensitive space-based telescopes.
  • Far Outliers looks at persecution of non-Shi’ite Muslims in Safavid Iran.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the history of the enslavement of Native Americans in early colonial America, something often overlooked by later generations.
  • This video shared by Language Log, featuring two Amazon Echos repeating texts to each other and showing how these iterations change over time, is oddly fascinating.
  • At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Erik Loomis is quite clear about the good sense of Will Wilkinson’s point that controversy over “illegal” immigration is actually deeply connected to an exclusivist racism that imagines Hispanics to not be Americans.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, looks at the uses of the word “redemption”, particularly in the context of the Olympics.
  • The LRB Blog suggests Russiagate is becoming a matter of hysteria. I’m unconvinced, frankly.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a map showing global sea level rise over the past decades.
  • Marginal Revolution makes a case for Americans to learn foreign languages on principle. As a Canadian who recently visited a decidedly Hispanic New York, I would add that Spanish, at least, is one language quite potentially useful to Americans in their own country.
  • Drew Rowsome writes about the striking photographs of Olivier Valsecchi.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that, in the 2030s, gravitational wave observatories will be so sensitive that they will be able to detect black holes about to collide years in advance.
  • Towleroad lists festival highlights for New Orleans all over the year.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how recent changes to the Russian education system harming minority languages have inspired some Muslim populations to link their language to their religion.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell makes the case that Jeremy Corbyn, through his strength in the British House of Commons, is really the only potential Remainder who is in a position of power.
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[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares photos of rings around a distant galaxy’s central black hole.
  • Inspired by Finland’s Olympic team, the Toronto Public Library’s The Buzz shares some interesting books on knitting and for knitters.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the surprising news that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies actually have the same mass. This changes everything about what was thought about the future of the Local Group. D-Brief also reports on this news.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how the conversion of tobacco fields into solar farms is not just potentially life-saving but economically viable, too.
  • Language Hat rounds up links relevant to the discovery, by field linguists, of the Malaysian language of Jedek.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, shares a story from Lucy Ferris of Paris of old and the bookstore Shakespeare and Company.
  • The LRB Blog notes that the privatization of military officers’ housing in the United Kingdom was another disaster.
  • Marginal Revolution considers if Los Angeles is the most right-wing major American city, and what that actually means.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that, even in the face of subsidence in Groningen around gas fields and cheap wind energy, even the Netherlands is not moving away from oil and gas.
  • Drew Rowsome reports on porn star/actor Chris Harder and his new show, Porn To Be A Star. (NSFW.)
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel examines the factors which distinguish a good scientific theory from a bad one.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy makes a decent argument that the politicized pop culture fandom around supreme court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg is not good for the future of jurisprudence.
  • John Scalzi, at Whatever, reviews the new Pixel Buds from Google.

[URBAN NOTE] Four city links: global distribution, smaller cities, AI in cities, shopping mall music

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  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting that whereas cities in developed countries tend to be spread evenly across resource-rich agricultural areas, cities in developing countries tend to cluster near coasts where transport is easier.
  • At In Medias Res, Russell Arben Fox responds to Krugman in considering what role there is for smaller cities and towns in the 21st century.
  • Tracey Lauriault at Policy Options argues that, in projects like Google’s involvement in Toronto’s Quayside, the underlying values of the AI systems used should always be thoughtfully considered. What do they represent?
  • Dangerous Minds shares the oddly haunting YouTube videos of a man who plays classic 1980s pop songs in deserted shopping malls.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • David Shane Lowry at anthro{dendum} considers the extent to which implicit policies of eugenics, determining whose survival matters and whose do not, exist in the 21st century in an era of climate change.
  • Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net takes issue with the contention of Richard Goss that Neanderthals became extinct because they lacked the physical coordination necessary to be good hunters or good artists.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that the Chixculub asteroid impactor 66 million years ago created a tectonic shock worldwide that made things worse, the effects of the impact winter being worsened by massive induced volcanic activity.
  • D-Brief shares the story of a British man whose chronic pain was relieved by a swim in icy-cold winter waters.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports that China may well be on track to building the first exoscale computer, first in the world.
  • Hornet Stories notes that out Olympic athlete Eric Radford is the first to win a gold medal.
  • JSTOR Daily engages with an old conundrum of economists: why are diamonds more expensive than water?
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money examines how urban Native Americans tend to have insecure housing, being on the margins of the real estate market in cities and without options in their home reserves. This surely also is the case in Canada, too.
  • Lucy McKeon at the NYR Daily writes about all the photographs she has never seen, images that she has only heard descriptions of.
  • Drew Rowsome notes the reappearance of queer theatre festival Rhubarb at Buddies in Bad Times, with shows starting tomorrow.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that the Trump administration’s proposed budget for NASA in FY2019 will gut basic science programs.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the emergence of a survivalist subculture in Russia, following somewhat the pattern of the United States.
  • Arnold Zwicky starts from noting a sample of a rap song in a Mountain Dew commercial and goes interesting places in his latest meditations.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • At Anthropology.net, Kambiz Kamrani notes the very recent discovery in Malaysia of the hitherto unsuspected Jedek language by anthropologists doing fieldwork.
  • Hornet Stories interviews the five stars of the new Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Trump plans to privatize the International Space Station.
  • JSTOR Daily links to some of the papers reflecting on the furor around Murphy Brown and that show’s depiction of single motherhood as a defensible choice.
  • Language Hat notes a contention that the more popular a language the more simplified its grammar will be. Is this correct?
  • Language Log notes how hockey terminology differs between the two Koreas, South Korea importing foreign words and the North creating neologisms.
  • Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money does not think a governmental shutdown in the US would have protected DREAMers.
  • Lingua Franca considers the different colloquial uses in English of “baked”.
  • The NYR Daily praises Suburra, a new crime drama set in contemporary Rome.
  • At Starts With A Bang, Ethan Siegel explains how scientists know that the universe is expanding.
  • Supernova Condensate explores the possibility that artificial intelligences might be readily locked into patterns of behaviours not taking human concerns into account and finds it not likely, barring huge design faults.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how Khrushchev, not content with transferring Crimea from Russia to Ukraine, also considered border changes in Central Asia.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • The Buzz, over at the Toronto Public Library, recommends some audiobooks, here.
  • Centauri Dreams features an essay, by Kostas Konstantindis, exploring how near-future technology could be used to explore the oceans of Europa and Enceladus for life.
  • Far Outliers takes a look at the many languages used in Persia circa 500 BCE.
  • Hornet Stories notes that Fox News has retracted a bizarrely homophobic op-ed on the Olympics by one of its executives.
  • JSTOR Daily explores what is really involved in the rumours of J. Edgar Hoover and cross-dressing.
  • Language Hat, in exploring Zadie Smith, happens upon the lovely word “cernuous”.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to an article, and starts a discussion, regarding the possibility of a North Korean victory early in the Korean War. What would have happened next?
  • The NYR Daily notes that Donald Trump is helping golf get a horrible reputation.
  • Supernova Condensate examines the science-fiction trope of artificial intelligence being dangerous, and does not find much substance behind the myth. If anything, the direction of the fear should lie in the other direction.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little looks at two books which consider the origins of the Cold War from an international relations perspective. What were the actors trying to achieve?
  • Window on Eurasia makes the argument that the powerful clan structures of post-Soviet Dagestan are not primordial in origin, but rather represent attempts to cope with state failure in that Russian republic.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the existential problems facing Capita from a Coasian perspective. How is its business model fundamentally broken?
  • Arnold Zwicky, in taking apart an overcorrection, explains the differences between “prone” and “supine.”

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • anthro{dendum} shares an essay by digital ethnographer Gabriele de Seta on the pitfalls of digital ethnography, on the things not said.
  • The Boston Globe’s The Big Picture shares photos taken in the course of a mission by dentists to provide care to rural Jamaica.
  • Centauri Dreams examines the TRAPPIST-1 worlds in depth, finding that TRAPPIST-1e seems to be the relatively most Earth-like world there.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that British banks are cracking down on the use of cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin.
  • Gizmodo suggests the Chixculub impactor that killed most of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous may also have played havoc with fragile tectonics of Earth. Responsibility for the Deccan Traps?
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders if the Democratic Party risks getting steamrollered over DACA.
  • At Lingua Franca, Geoffrey Pullum dissects the claims that an orca capable of mimicking human words can use language. The two are not the same.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the origins of the American system of higher education in the wealth generated by slavery.
  • Towleroad notes that Bermuda has ended marriage equality. Boycott time?
  • David Post at the Volokh Conspiracy is decidedly unimpressed by the behaviour of Devin Nunes.