Category Archives: science

Prevention vs Cure

There are people who believe that cancer is largely a preventable disease, and there are people like me. I think cancer prevention is a worthy cause. In my time as a medical physicist I concluded that we were so good … Continue reading

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Some Notes on Failure

“One word characterized the most strenuous of the efforts for the advancement of science that I have made perseveringly during fifty-five years; that word is FAILURE.” — Thomson, Lord Kelvin I think about failure a lot. It’s my default assumption: … Continue reading

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Opinions, Judgements and the Bayesian Revolution

This article on what it means to “have an opinion” is not bad, but it muddles two fundamentally different types of “opinion” and as such fails to get at the root of the problem, and misses important ideas about diversity … Continue reading

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The Mutant Flowers of Fukushima

This picture of deformed flowers near Fukushima is making the rounds today, and I figured it was worth commenting on it. I am physicist who has worked fairly heavily in radiation transport and health physics, as well as genomics. It’s … Continue reading

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Narrative Predictions

The human brain is a machine for leaping to conclusions in a single bound. Activists and political agitators of every stripe use this to promote their nonsense by putting together narratives that appeal to our conclusion-jumping reflex. “Chemicals” are frequently … Continue reading

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The Word vs The World

I’ve made the mistake of arguing with scripturalists recently, and while this won’t convince them of anything it’ll reduce my motivation to engage with them in future because there’ll be no point in just repeating what I’ve said here, which … Continue reading

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A Closed-Form Argument about Climate Change

I’ve been a critic of over-sold climate models for many years now. I am a computational physicist, and therefore–unlike climate scientists–am professionally qualified to judge the predictive quality of climate models. I mention this because apparently many people think it … Continue reading

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More on Orbital Integration

My previous post on orbital motion and climate change climbed pretty far up on Hacker News, much to my surprise–I didn’t submit it there, so to whoever, did: thanks. There were a number of useful comments, mostly along the lines … Continue reading

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Dark Matter, Aether, Caloric and Neutrinos

It is fairly common today to see laypeople compare dark matter to the luminferous aether, that bugaboo of 19th century physics whose existence was disproven by the Michaelson-Morley experiment and which was subsequently made redundant by Einstein’s kinematic relativity. Aether … Continue reading

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On Interpretation

“The cat is on the mat” is a reasonably clear statement, not subject to a huge range of interpretation. If anyone reading it claimed it justified killing blasphemers most people would look at them funny. And remember: this is the … Continue reading

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