👓 Baldwin effect | Wikipedia

Read Baldwin effect (Wikipedia)
In evolutionary biology, the Baldwin effect describes the effect of learned behavior on evolution. In brief, James Mark Baldwin and others suggested during the eclipse of Darwinism in the late 19th century that an organism's ability to learn new behaviors (e.g. to acclimatise to a new stressor) will affect its reproductive success and will therefore have an effect on the genetic makeup of its species through natural selection. Though this process appears similar to Lamarckian evolution, Lamarck proposed that living things inherited their parents' acquired characteristics. The Baldwin effect has been independently proposed several times, and today it is generally recognized as part of the modern synthesis.

Reminded about this by the lizard article I saw the other day. Worth digging back into again…

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👓 Aviation Cocktail Recipe | Kitchen Swagger

Bookmarked Aviation Cocktail Recipe (Kitchen Swagger)
The Aviation cocktail is a Prohibition-era cocktail, consisting of gin, maraschino liqueur (cherry), crème de violette, and fresh lemon juice.

I can’t remember where I heard about this in the last week (perhaps a reference on a television show?), but it sounded interesting. Sadly, it’s got one exotic and infrequently used ingredient, so I’m debating about making some…

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👓 The Last Goodbye | Path: Simple, Personal Social Networking

Read The Last Goodbye (path.com)

It is with deep regret that we announce that we will stop providing our beloved service, Path.

We started Path in 2010 as a small team of passionate and experienced designers and engineers. Over the years we have tried to lay out our mission: through technology and design we aim to be a source of happiness, meaning, and connection to our users. Along our journey we have laughed and cried with you, and learned valuable lessons. And it is now inevitable to wind down the service to prioritize our work to serve you with better products and services. It has been a long journey and we sincerely thank each one of you for your years of love and support for Path.

The specific shutdown schedule is as below:
- 9.17.2018 : Notice on Path service discontinuation
- 10.1.2018: Unable to download/update the app in iTunes and Google Play
- 10.18.2018: Termination of the Service (Unable to access to Path)
- 11.15.2018: Path related customer service will be closed

The Path service and Terms of Use governing your use of Path will terminate on [10.18.2018].

Prior to [10.18.2018], you can restore retrieve a copy of your data (i.e. your images, text, videos) by following below steps:
1. Visit https://path.com/settings/backups
2. Log in with your Path account
3. Click the button and enter email address that you wish to receive the backup files
OR
1. Open your Path app and go to Setting
2. Click the button and enter your email address that you would like to receive the backup files.
*Please make sure that your Path app is the latest ver.

Please note that you will not be able to access the backup service site after [10.18.2018]. We may not retain copies of any of your data on and from that date. Accordingly, you are encouraged to download and keep copies of your data if you wish to have access from [10.18.2018].

The last time I’d used (read syndicated to via POSSE) Path was about 2 years ago on June 7, 2016. Prior to that, most of my posting to it was by automatic syndication from my website, so I’m glad to see that a large portion of my personal data on the service is already backed up on my own personal website! Hooray!

I do notice that because part of the service’s cachet was either private or limited audience posts, that a lot of my early posting (from 11/29/10 to around December 2014) included photographs that I posted directly to Path and didn’t share very widely. As a result, a lot of my early posting wasn’t done from my own website, so I’m requesting a downloadable backup of all my data before the service goes under. If you used the service, I hope you’re requesting your download as well.

It’s kind of sad that amidst the toxicity of Twitter which gamifies following that a service that limited following and focused on the small and personal is collapsing.

Our incredible journey spanned 7 years and 209 precious moments. Somehow it was still listed as “Beta”?!

Thanks for all the laughs and fun Path, and thanks for giving at least some warning before shutting down all your servers with all of that user data.

Mostly I’m glad that I’m able to post most of my content to my own site now without the reliance on third party social networks to save and maintain my data. If you’re worried about how social services use and abuse your data or may disappear with it altogether–Path will not be the last–and want more control over it, stop by IndieWeb.org to see how you can take back your online identity and data. I and many others are always happy to help those who are interested.

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👓 Curve-Fitting | xkcd

Read Curve-Fitting (xkcd.com)
Cauchy-Lorentz: "Something alarmingly mathematical is happening, and you should probably pause to Google my name and check what field I originally worked in."

I love that it’s all the exact same data points…

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👓 Hill Statement | Ted Hill

Read Hill Statement by Ted Hill (tphill.net)
Comments on Wilkinson's and Farb's Official Statements About Hill's 9/7/18 Quillette Article: https://math.uchicago.edu/~wilkinso/Statement.html (accessed 9/13/18) https://www.math.uchicago.edu/~farb/statement (accessed 9/13/18) Allegations that Wilkinson does not deny in her statement: 1. Wilkinson asked her father to write to the Intelligencer criticizing the paper. 2. Wilkinson falsely blamed divulgence of her name on the Intelligencer. 3. Hill wrote a polite email (copied below) to Wilkinson that she never answered even though she claims she had "scientific criticisms" of the article. 4. Hill wrote a longer rebuttal to Wilkinson's father asking for more discussion. He also did not reply to Hill. 5. Even after the Intelligencer article was rescinded, Wilkinson "continued to trash both the journal and the editor-in-chief on social media". 6. Wilkinson falsely announced on Facebook that a substantially different paper had been accepted.. 7. Even after the NYJM article was deleted, Wilkinson "was threatening Facebook friends with 'unfriending' unless they severed social media ties with" [Igor Rivin, the editor who had solicited the paper].
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👓 Echo Chamber Incites Online Mob to Attack Math Profs | Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science | Andrew Gelman

Read Echo Chamber Incites Online Mob to Attack Math Profs by Andrew Gelman (Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science)
Trying to make sense of the story With this in mind, there were a few aspects of Hill’s blog entry that didn’t completely make sense to me. First, the research article did not seem politically objectionable to me. I could see how people with strong views on the topic of sex differences would find things to criticize in his paper, and he could well be missing some important points of the biology, and if you really tried to apply his model to data I don’t think it would work at all, so, sure, the paper’s not perfect. But as a math paper that touches on an interesting topic, it is what it is, and I was surprised there’d be a campaign to suppress it.

Not as influential in the debate as one of the referring articles led me to have believed.

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👓 Additional thoughts on the Ted Hill paper | Timothy Gowers

Read Additional thoughts on the Ted Hill paper by Timothy Gowers (Gowers's Weblog)
First, I’d like to thank the large number of commenters on my previous post for keeping the discussion surprisingly calm and respectful given the topic discussed. In that spirit, and to try t…

The analysis here makes me think there might be some useful tidbits hiding in the 300+ comments of his prior article. I wish I had the time to dig back into it.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

Our prehistoric ancestors were not doing higher mathematics, so we would need to think of some way that being on the spectrum could have caused a man at that time to become highly attractive to women.  

One needs to remember that it isn’t always the men that themselves need to propagate the genes directly (ie, they don’t mate with someone to hand their genes down to their progeny directly). Perhaps a man on the autism spectrum, while not necessarily attractive himself, has traits which improve the lives and fitness of the offspring of his sister’s children? Then it’s not his specific genes which are passed on as a result, but those of his sister’s which have a proportion of his genes since they both share their parent’s genes in common.
September 19, 2018 at 03:35PM

variability amongst males  

Does it need to be a mate-related thing? Why not an environmental one. I seem to recall that external temperature had a marked effect on the sexual selection within alligator populations such that a several degree change during gestation would swing the sex proportion one way or another. Could these effects of environment have caused a greater variability?

Further, what other factors may be at play? What about in sea horse populations where males carry the young? Does this make a difference?
September 19, 2018 at 03:41PM

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👓 Has an uncomfortable truth been suppressed? | Timothy Gowers

Read Has an uncomfortable truth been suppressed? by Timothy Gowers (Gowers's Weblog)
Update to post, added 11th September. As expected, there is another side to the story discussed below. See this statement about the decision by the Mathematical Intelligencer and this one about the…

I agree in large part with his assessment, and do so in part based on Ted Hill’s Quillette article and not having read the actual paper yet.

I will say that far more people have now either heard about or read Hill’s paper than would have ever otherwise been aware of it had it actually gone ahead and actually been published and kept up. This is definitely an academic case of the Barbara Streisand effect, though done somewhat in reverse.

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👓 Statement by Benson Farb in response to Ted Hill’s unfounded allegations. | Benson Farb

Read Statement by Benson Farb in response to Ted Hill's unfounded allegations. by Benson Farb (math.uchicago.edu)

This statement is meant to set the record straight on the unfounded accusations of Ted Hill regarding his submission to the New York Journal of Mathematics (NYJM), where I was one of 24 editors serving under an editor-in-chief. Hill's paper raised several red flags to me and other editors, giving concern not just about the quality of the paper, but also the question of whether it underwent the usual rigorous review process. Hill's paper also looked totally inappropriate for this theoretical math journal: in addition to the paucity of math in the paper, its subject classification (given by the authors themselves) appeared in no other paper in NYJM's 24 year history, and did not fall into any of the areas of expertise of the editors of NYJM, as listed on the NYJM website.

At the request of several editors, the editor-in-chief pulled the paper temporarily on 11/9/17 so that the entire editorial board could discuss these concerns. A crucial component of such a discussion are the reports by experts judging the novelty and quality of the mathematics in Hill's paper. The editor who handled the paper was asked to share these reports with the entire board. My doubts about the paper - and the process - grew when repeated requests for the reports went unanswered. Nearly 3 months passed until the two reports were finally shared with the entire board on 2/7/18. The reports themselves were not from experts on the topic of the paper. They did not address our concerns about the substantive merit of the paper.

After these reports were shared, the entire board discussed what do. For many of us, there was no compelling evidence that Hill's paper was appropriate for NYJM. Further, the evidence that the paper had undergone rigorous scrutiny before being accepted was scant. In light of this, the board voted (by a 2-to-1 ratio) to rescind the paper. I believe that the editor-in-chief should have added a statement about why this was done, but he did not. Amie Wilkinson played no role in any deliberation of Hill's or any paper at NYJM.

I appreciate those who have taken the time to examine the record, including the University of Chicago.

Benson Farb Professor of Mathematics University of Chicago

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👓 Academic publishing is a mess and it makes culture wars dumber | Boing Boing

Read Academic publishing is a mess and it makes culture wars dumber by Rob Beschizza (Boing Boing)
In 1996, physicist Alan Sokal suspected that cultural studies lacked academic rigor. So he wrote an intentionally nonsensical paper, Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity, and submitted it for publication in the respected academic journal Social Text. It was accepted. Sokal exposed the hoax, the embarrassed academics made their excuses, and the paper was retracted. The imbroglio was posed largely as a story of flimflam and imposture in postmodernism.
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👓 What really happened when two mathematicians tried to publish a paper on gender differences? The tale of the emails | Retraction Watch

Read What really happened when two mathematicians tried to publish a paper on gender differences? The tale of the emails (Retraction Watch)
Retraction Watch readers may be familiar with the story of a paper about gender differences by two mathematicians. Last month, in Weekend Reads, we highlighted an account of that story, which appea…

This article and the related links cover a lot of the questions I had when I read the original in Quillette the other day and only wish I’d had the time to follow up on as a result. Now to go on and read all the associated links and emails….

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👓 What are our ethical obligations to future AI simulations? | Philip Ball | Aeon Essays

Read What are our ethical obligations to future AI simulations? by Philip Ball (Aeon)
Say you could make a thousand digital replicas of yourself – should you? What happens when you want to get rid of them?
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👓 What English Would Sound Like If It Was Pronounced Phonetically | Open Culture

Read What English Would Sound Like If It Was Pronounced Phonetically (Open Culture)
The English language presents itself to students and non-native speakers as an almost cruelly capricious entity, its irregularities of spelling and conjugation impossible to explain without an advanced degree.
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👓 How David Lynch Got Creative Inspiration? By Drinking a Milkshake at Bob’s Big Boy, Every Single Day, for Seven Straight Years | Open Culture

Read How David Lynch Got Creative Inspiration? By Drinking a Milkshake at Bob’s Big Boy, Every Single Day, for Seven Straight Years (Open Culture)
"It is no secret that David Lynch, the writer-director-composer-painter, has an unusual relationship with Bob's Big Boy," begins a 1999 Los Angeles Times article on the auteur of films like Eraserhead and Blue Velvet. "For seven years in the 1980s he ate lunch there every day, ordering cup after cup of over-sweetened coffee and a single chocolate milkshake while scribbling notes on Bob's little square napkins." He took pains, notes reporter Amy Wallace, "to arrive at Bob's at precisely 2:30 p.m. each day. The reason: It increased the odds that he would encounter perfection."
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