🔖 Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science by Alice Domurat Dreger

Bookmarked Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science by Alice Domurat Dreger (Penguin)
book cover of Galileo's Middle Finger by Alice Domurat Dreger

An impassioned defense of intellectual freedom and a clarion call to intellectual responsibility, Galileo’s Middle Finger is one American’s eye-opening story of life in the trenches of scientific controversy. For two decades, historian Alice Dreger has led a life of extraordinary engagement, combining activist service to victims of unethical medical research with defense of scientists whose work has outraged identity politics activists. With spirit and wit, Dreger offers in Galileo’s Middle Finger an unforgettable vision of the importance of rigorous truth seeking in today’s America, where both the free press and free scholarly inquiry struggle under dire economic and political threats.

This illuminating chronicle begins with Dreger’s own research into the treatment of people born intersex (once called hermaphrodites). Realization of the shocking surgical and ethical abuses conducted in the name of “normalizing” intersex children’s gender identities moved Dreger to become an internationally recognized patient rights’ activist. But even as the intersex rights movement succeeded, Dreger began to realize how some fellow progressive activists were employing lies and personal attacks to silence scientists whose data revealed uncomfortable truths about humans. In researching one such case, Dreger suddenly became the target of just these kinds of attacks.

Troubled, she decided to try to understand more—to travel the country to ferret out the truth behind various controversies, to obtain a global view of the nature and costs of these battles. Galileo’s Middle Finger describes Dreger’s long and harrowing journeys between the two camps for which she felt equal empathy: social justice activists determined to win and researchers determined to put hard truths before comfort. Ultimately what emerges is a lesson about the intertwining of justice and of truth—and a lesson of the importance of responsible scholars and journalists to our fragile democracy.

hat tip: Last Week at Wellesley

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🔖 dshanske/wordpress-refback: Refbacks for WordPress (Experimental)

Bookmarked Refbacks for WordPress (Experimental) by David ShanskeDavid Shanske (GitHub)
Refback is a linkback method that works using the standard HTTP Referer header. Like pingbacks, trackbacks, and webmentions, it attempts to present links of other sites that have linked to you. Unlike other methods, the other site requires no additional support. The implementation works exactly as the other linkbacks do in WordPress.
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👓 LaTeXiT | chachatelier.fr

Bookmarked LaTeXiT (chachatelier.fr)
Should LaTeXiT be categorized, it would be an equation editor. This is not the plain truth, since LaTeXiT is "simply" a graphical interface above a LaTeX engine. However, its large set of features is a reason to see it as an editor; this is the goal in fact.
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🔖 Complexity: An interdisciplinary forum for complexity research | PLOS

Bookmarked Complexity: An interdisciplinary forum for complexity research by PLOS (channels.plos.org)

Most of today’s global challenges, from online misinformation spreading to Ebola outbreaks, involve such a vast number of interacting players that reductionism delivers little insight. Systems are often non-linear, exhibiting complexity in temporal and spatial domains over large scales, which is a challenge to predictability and comprehension. Strategies must be found to look at the problem as a whole, in all its complexity. Representing the associated data as a complex network, in which nodes and connections between them form complicated patterns, is one such strategy. Network science provides novel tools for analyzing, visualizing and modeling this data thanks to the cross-fertilization of fields as diverse as statistical physics, algebraic topology and machine learning, among the others.

This Channel brings together all aspects of complexity research and includes interdisciplinary topics from network theory to applications in neuroscience and the social sciences.

hat tip:

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🔖 Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

Bookmarked Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky (Penguin Press)

From the celebrated neurobiologist and primatologist, a landmark, genre-defining examination of human behavior, both good and bad, and an answer to the question: Why do we do the things we do?

Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy.

And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. A behavior occurs--whether an example of humans at our best, worst, or somewhere in between. What went on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happened? Then Sapolsky pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell caused the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones acted hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli that triggered the nervous system? By now he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened.

Sapolsky keeps going: How was that behavior influenced by structural changes in the nervous system over the preceding months, by that person's adolescence, childhood, fetal life, and then back to his or her genetic makeup? Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than one individual. How did culture shape that individual's group, what ecological factors millennia old formed that culture? And on and on, back to evolutionary factors millions of years old.

The result is one of the most dazzling tours d'horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do...for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.

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🔖 Pressbooks | Create Books. Print & Ebooks.

Bookmarked Pressbooks :: Book Publishing & Ebook Formatting Software | Create Books. Print & Ebooks. (Pressbooks)
Pressbooks makes it easy to create professionally designed books & ebooks. Discover how our user friendly epublishing software can help you publish today!

This looks like an interesting platform. Saw it as a subdomain on someone’s personal website, so perhaps it’s self-hostable?

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🔖 netflix tweet

Bookmarked a tweet by Netflix USNetflix US (Twitter)
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🔖 ❤️ Protohedgehog tweet

Bookmarked a tweet by Jon TennantJon Tennant (Twitter)

This suggests some interesting bookmarklet functionality.

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🔖 [1806.00871] A Framework for Aggregating Private and Public Web Archives | arXiv

Bookmarked [1806.00871] A Framework for Aggregating Private and Public Web Archives by Mat Kelly, Michael L. Nelson, Michele C. Weigle (arxiv.org)
Personal and private Web archives are proliferating due to the increase in the tools to create them and the realization that Internet Archive and other public Web archives are unable to capture personalized (e.g., Facebook) and private (e.g., banking) Web pages. We introduce a framework to mitigate issues of aggregation in private, personal, and public Web archives without compromising potential sensitive information contained in private captures. We amend Memento syntax and semantics to allow TimeMap enrichment to account for additional attributes to be expressed inclusive of the requirements for dereferencing private Web archive captures. We provide a method to involve the user further in the negotiation of archival captures in dimensions beyond time. We introduce a model for archival querying precedence and short-circuiting, as needed when aggregating private and personal Web archive captures with those from public Web archives through Memento. Negotiation of this sort is novel to Web archiving and allows for the more seamless aggregation of various types of Web archives to convey a more accurate picture of the past Web.
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🔖 NSF Workshop on Multidisciplinary Complex Systems Research – NSF Workshop on Multidisciplinary Complex Systems Research

Bookmarked NSF Workshop on Multidisciplinary Complex Systems Research – NSF Workshop on Multidisciplinary Complex Systems Research (nsfws.ece.drexel.edu)

This workshop will bring together a diverse group of experts in complementary areas of complex systems and will be preceded by a series of weekly webinars. The overarching goal of the activity is to address scientific issues that are relevant to the scientific community and bring to surface possible areas of opportunity for multidisciplinary research in the study of complex systems. The specific goals of the workshop include:

  1. identifying the most substantive research questions that can be addressed by fundamental complex systems research;
  2. recognizing community needs, knowledge gaps, and barriers to research progress in this area;
  3. identifying future directions that cut across disciplinary boundaries and that are likely to lead to transformative multidisciplinary research in complex systems.

The outcomes of the workshop will include the preparation of a report to inform the scientific community at large of the current status and challenges as well as future opportunities in multidisciplinary complex systems research as perceived by the participants of the workshop.

The workshop is motivated by the observation that many processes in natural, engineered, and social contexts exhibit emergent collective behavior and are thus governed by complex systems. Because challenges in understanding, predicting, designing, and controlling complex systems are often common to many domains, a central objective of the workshop is to facilitate the exchange of ideas across different fields and avoid disciplinary boundaries typical of many traditional scientific meetings. The workshop participants will include experts both in theory and in applications as well as a selection of postdoctoral researchers and graduate students from various domains. Because of the cross-disciplinary nature of the workshop, the participants themselves will become aware of the latest developments in fields related to but different from their own. This environment will foster discussions on the state of the art, potential issues, and most promising directions in multidisciplinary complex systems research. The inclusion of early-career researchers will help to promote the transfer of this expertise to the next generation of engineers, mathematicians, and scientists.

Downloadable [.pdf] copy of the report

h/t to @adilson_motter

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🔖 Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science from Rajiv Jhangiani, Robert Biswas-Diener (eds.)

Bookmarked Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science by Rajiv Jhangiani, Robert Biswas-Diener (eds.) (Ubiquity Press)

Affordable education. Transparent science. Accessible scholarship.

These ideals are slowly becoming a reality thanks to the open education, open science, and open access movements. Running separate—if parallel—courses, they all share a philosophy of equity, progress, and justice. This book shares the stories, motives, insights, and practical tips from global leaders in the open movement.

It’s not just the book about which there’s so much to find interesting, but the website that’s serving it is well designed, crafted, and very forward thinking in what it is doing.

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🔖 jayvanbavel tweet

Bookmarked a tweet by Jay Van Bavel on TwitterJay Van Bavel on Twitter (Twitter)

Van Bavel outlines an interesting change in how he’s running lab meetings.

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🔖 Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber

Bookmarked Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber (Simon & Schuster)

From bestselling writer David Graeber, a powerful argument against the rise of meaningless, unfulfilling jobs, and their consequences.

Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world? In the spring of 2013, David Graeber asked this question in a playful, provocative essay titled “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs.” It went viral. After a million online views in seventeen different languages, people all over the world are still debating the answer.

There are millions of people—HR consultants, communication coordinators, telemarketing researchers, corporate lawyers—whose jobs are useless, and, tragically, they know it. These people are caught in bullshit jobs.

Graeber explores one of society’s most vexing and deeply felt concerns, indicting among other villains a particular strain of finance capitalism that betrays ideals shared by thinkers ranging from Keynes to Lincoln. Bullshit Jobs gives individuals, corporations, and societies permission to undergo a shift in values, placing creative and caring work at the center of our culture. This book is for everyone who wants to turn their vocation back into an avocation.

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