Links 2011-2-3 The Dryas, Emergence and Communist Stooges

A few links via Google Reader and Alternet and so on.

From Real Climate
Requiem for the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis?

  • The media loves the ‘radical new idea’ presented by ‘outsider’ scientists (3 documentaries on this so far, a big NYT piece). It fits a lot of the romantic archetype of what science is supposed to be about. It has controversy, narrative and outsize personalities. Whether the ideas are good or not is barely relevant.
  • The Feynmanian ideal of a single scientist both proposing and refuting their own new idea is very rare. In practice, the roles of proposing and refuting are far more often done by the scientific community as a whole, not an individual.
  • Scientists gain credibility for doing careful work and not going beyond the evidence in interpreting it. This is opposite to what gains readership on blogs. :-)
  • Brilliant piece by Joe Moran (anthropologist of the everyday)

    Much of what Farley and Symmons Roberts are doing [link to their book, by DT] reminds me of French writers on the quotidian: Lefebvre’s interest in the terrain vague of the suburbs, for example, or François Maspero’s investigation in his book Roissy Express of the scarcely visited hinterland beyond the Périphérique (orbital motorway), a concrete and asphalt sprawl of hypermarchés, grands ensembles and cheap hotels. This ‘circular purgatory’ consists of ‘pieces of badly stuck together space’ which, unless people have the misfortune to live there, are ‘only for traveling through. And quickly, by car.’

    And tangentially connected to that Leaving Babylon’s latest Emergent versus imposed design

    Some decades back, the communist planners in a central European town build several of their cheap high-rise apartment warrens. As usual, the landscaping was slow in coming. The grounds between the buildings grew muddy, people complained. Someone threw grass seed down and made it all a little more bearable.
    By the time when, two or three years later, the aparatchiks finally sent a crew out, the men discovered that the pattern of sidewalks had already been patiently laid down by the pitter-patter of feet large and small, perfectly suited to the needs of the inhabitants. These workers had the good sense to adapt their blueprints to the impromptu human design etched in the grounds between the buildings.

    And finally, Bill McKibben wipes Glenn Beck’s saliva off his face and gives the only possible response to red-baiting; a full and frank confession. It’s Darkness at Noon territory, only with lulz…

    My Life as a Communist

    After Glenn Beck calls McKibben’s organization 350.org part of the “communistic” conspiracy, the writer and environmental activist does some soul searching

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    3 Responses to Links 2011-2-3 The Dryas, Emergence and Communist Stooges

    1. leavergirl says:

      Newsflash: Lefties figure out that the way to fight the right crapola is by laughing at it. Whoa! Can it be? ;)

      Re Younger Dryas…. humph. Show me a better hypothesis and I will look at it, but right now…. they ain’t got one.

    2. leavergirl says:

      P.S. Why is it that the uniformitarians are still attacking the catastrophists? This is completely silly. If the “blowage over Canada” hypothesis had good corroboration, it would be called a theory. Give it time…

      The last catastrophe, Tunguska, occurred only 100 years ago. It is 100 years this year? I forget…

    3. leavergirl says:

      Nope… 103 years in June.

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