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(Academic? Analysis) If you have an STD you are guilty of LUST
Posted: 17 May 2009 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Are you a Geography professor?

No. Why do you ask?

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Posted: 17 May 2009 07:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Chris Crawford - 17 May 2009 06:30 PM

Are you a Geography professor?

No. Why do you ask?

First, if Graduate students don’t know how to use GIS before they become graduate students, there is a problem.  I know some high school students that have used it with aplomb.  Second, graduate students belong to Professors, body and soul, and if graduate students are not using their time researching for their professor then they should get into serious trouble.  Third, graduate students are supposed to be spending their time adding to the research base and reputation of their department - if they think that by being comedians they are doing this, they should be kicked out.  Enough?  But perhaps, as a professor, your sense of humor would allow graduate students to use their time (usually paid for by grants or partial grants) to amuse themselves instead of actually doing research, then you might find yourself in s..t.  And I do have a sense of humor, yes, but I do not find it amusing that paid research time be used to make stupid and pointless assertions or breach the constitution (even as a joke).

[ Edited: 17 May 2009 08:31 PM by Fat Man ]
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Posted: 17 May 2009 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Well, I disagree with every point you make. Remember, this was computational GIS work, not just data access. Second, I’m glad that I wasn’t owned body and soul by my advisor in grad school. I worked on a research project for him but I also took it in a direction he didn’t approve of. And I did lots of little projects along the way. This little project these guys did looks like a few days’ work, a week at most.

Stop being such a sourpuss. Sometimes really big discoveries are made by simply screwing around with the data. While I have no expectation that this particular bit of screwing around with the data will ever lead to any useful results, it’s the playful attitude that makes for great research. Good researchers encourage that playful attitude in their students.

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Posted: 17 May 2009 08:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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That’s good, but I prefer the “English” approach to research - their “high seriousness”  it works better.  I would guess that we will have to disagree on every point again.

What would you call the research of Marcus R. Ross? http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/12/science/12geologist.html?ex=1328936400&en=c3267d075279160b&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

An Advisor gone mad?
A Lie?
Amusing?
Misleading?
A Discovery?
What?
Would you agree that it was precise and well done?

[ Edited: 17 May 2009 08:49 PM by Fat Man ]
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Posted: 17 May 2009 08:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Chris Crawford - 17 May 2009 08:01 PM

Sometimes really big discoveries are made by simply screwing around with the data.

Of course, your definition of “screwing around” with data, may be different from mine and probably is.  If you can give me an example of a serious discovery made by someone doing what these students were doing, then I would be very happy to hear about it.  I think what you are doing is again “playing with words” - what you mean, I think, is someone playing around with serious data and going in directions that are not indicated by the research model.  But if these students make some fascinating and serious discoveries using STD data to specify where sexual promiscuity can be mapped to produce usable data (what they call “One of the Seven Deadly Sins, particularly LUST)”, I’ll give you a chocolate dildo.

[ Edited: 17 May 2009 08:47 PM by Fat Man ]
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Posted: 17 May 2009 10:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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If you can give me an example of a serious discovery made by someone doing what these students were doing, then I would be very happy to hear about it.

Sure:

James Clerk Maxwell imagining mechanical analogs for his development of his equations for electromagnetism.
Albert Einstein imagining riding on a light beam in developing the theory of relativity.
Ernest Rutherford’s (a very *English* researcher, by the way) characterization of his nuclear experiments as “shooting a cannon at a piece of tissue and having the ball bounce right back at you”—which led directly to the concept of the atomic nucleus.
Maxwell’s Demon
Just about EVERYTHING that Feynman did.
Do you really think that the people who came up with quark properties of color, charm, and strangeness were opposed to playfulness?
Have you ever seen the famous photo of Einstein and a bunch of other great physicists bending over, peering at a tippee-top on the floor? The tippee-top has remained one of the great challenges of physics.

I was willing to brush this off, but you have pushed your point so hard that I want to come down very firmly against the case you’re making. I’ve done research, I’ve been involved with numerous research projects, and the idea of “screwing around with the data” is fundamental to all research in the physical sciences. The crap you read in the textbooks about formulating a hypothesis, designing an experiment, carrying it out and gathering data, making computations and drawing conclusions—that’s for undergraduates. In the real world, almost everything we do generates reams of data, and the very first step in any such process is to just sit down with the data and start screwing around with it, if only to familiarize yourself with it. You run a few quickie calculations, do some cross-checks, looking for things that might indicate experimental error or instrumental bias. You delve deeper into the data, trying out a variety of secondary hypotheses. Yes, you also run your main computations, but only a nitwit confines the analysis to the primary hypothesis. You have to poke at the data, look at it from a dozen different angles, search for interesting oddities that might reveal something you’ve overlooked. That is PRECISELY what these kids were doing: poking around with the data, looking at it from oddball points of view. The fact that they came up with rather kooky results itself demonstrates that the proxies they used weren’t very useful. I’ve done the same thing: it’s a *fundamental* component of the scientific process. Casting aspersions on this behavior indicates a profound failure to understand how science is actually done.

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Posted: 17 May 2009 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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BTW, here’s one example of how kooky stuff sometimes generates important results: way back in the 1950s or 60s, somebody was running through a bunch of the early radio telescope data and, on a whim, they decided to analyze it at extremely low frequencies. Lo and behold, they discovered what appeared to be a signal of something on the order of 10**-2 Hz! That is, every 100 seconds or so, they’d get a bump in the signal—but it wasn’t at EXACTLY 100 seconds. Sometimes it was as long as 600 seconds, and sometimes as short as 15 seconds. It looked for all the world as if somebody was tapping out something like Morse code somewhere among the distant stars. After much excited analysis, they finally figured it out: it was the noise bursts coming from big elevator motors in a building some miles away. So they went back and made corrections in their data for the noise bursts. Lo and behold, something that they’d been measuring that was coming out wrong suddenly snapped into focus after they made the correction and they got useful results. But only because somebody had bothered to screw around with the data in a way that nobody would have thought reasonable.

For a long time after that, oddities in radio telescope data were sometimes referred to as “LGMs” (Little Green Men)—with the implication that they were really just odd instrumental errors that hadn’t yet been ferreted out.

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Posted: 18 May 2009 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Chris Crawford - 17 May 2009 10:41 PM

For a long time after that, oddities in radio telescope data were sometimes referred to as “LGMs” (Little Green Men)—with the implication that they were really just odd instrumental errors that hadn’t yet been ferreted out.

I thought the “LGM” moniker was used for the data from pulsars in particular. When radio astronomers found periodic radio sources that transmitted with such amazing regularity they didn’t know what could be responsible for them except LGM ...

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El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

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Posted: 18 May 2009 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Yes, the application of the LGM moniker to pulsars was one of the manifestations of the tradition.

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Posted: 18 May 2009 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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The whole thing was done pretty tongue-in-cheek. Those of us who have done some research know that all work and no play makes for a bored and often ineffective researcher. A bit of data levity is very appreciated when burn-out approaches.

I do feel kinda weird, as I don’t care for pornography at all….hmmmm….

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Posted: 18 May 2009 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I certainly agree with you, Chris.  I would say that the level of creativity and productivity of the scientists with which I worked was directly correlated with their creativity, playfulness, and senses of humor.  The more dour, humorless, and serious a person was, the less I saw of him/her making breakthroughs.  They were usually only good for filling in the boring little gaps, and a technician could have done that, albeit a little slower.

Occam

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Posted: 18 May 2009 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Chris Crawford - 17 May 2009 10:31 PM

If you can give me an example of a serious discovery made by someone doing what these students were doing, then I would be very happy to hear about it.

Sure:

James Clerk Maxwell imagining mechanical analogs for his development of his equations for electromagnetism.
Albert Einstein imagining riding on a light beam in developing the theory of relativity.
Ernest Rutherford’s (a very *English* researcher, by the way) characterization of his nuclear experiments as “shooting a cannon at a piece of tissue and having the ball bounce right back at you”—which led directly to the concept of the atomic nucleus.
Maxwell’s Demon
Just about EVERYTHING that Feynman did.
Do you really think that the people who came up with quark properties of color, charm, and strangeness were opposed to playfulness?
Have you ever seen the famous photo of Einstein and a bunch of other great physicists bending over, peering at a tippee-top on the floor? The tippee-top has remained one of the great challenges of physics.

I was willing to brush this off, but you have pushed your point so hard that I want to come down very firmly against the case you’re making. I’ve done research, I’ve been involved with numerous research projects, and the idea of “screwing around with the data” is fundamental to all research in the physical sciences. The crap you read in the textbooks about formulating a hypothesis, designing an experiment, carrying it out and gathering data, making computations and drawing conclusions—that’s for undergraduates. In the real world, almost everything we do generates reams of data, and the very first step in any such process is to just sit down with the data and start screwing around with it, if only to familiarize yourself with it. You run a few quickie calculations, do some cross-checks, looking for things that might indicate experimental error or instrumental bias. You delve deeper into the data, trying out a variety of secondary hypotheses. Yes, you also run your main computations, but only a nitwit confines the analysis to the primary hypothesis. You have to poke at the data, look at it from a dozen different angles, search for interesting oddities that might reveal something you’ve overlooked. That is PRECISELY what these kids were doing: poking around with the data, looking at it from oddball points of view. The fact that they came up with rather kooky results itself demonstrates that the proxies they used weren’t very useful. I’ve done the same thing: it’s a *fundamental* component of the scientific process. Casting aspersions on this behavior indicates a profound failure to understand how science is actually done.

Address?

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Posted: 18 May 2009 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Ecrasez l’infame! - 18 May 2009 05:53 PM
Chris Crawford - 17 May 2009 10:31 PM

If you can give me an example of a serious discovery made by someone doing what these students were doing, then I would be very happy to hear about it.

Sure:

James Clerk Maxwell imagining mechanical analogs for his development of his equations for electromagnetism.
Albert Einstein imagining riding on a light beam in developing the theory of relativity.
Ernest Rutherford’s (a very *English* researcher, by the way) characterization of his nuclear experiments as “shooting a cannon at a piece of tissue and having the ball bounce right back at you”—which led directly to the concept of the atomic nucleus.
Maxwell’s Demon
Just about EVERYTHING that Feynman did.
Do you really think that the people who came up with quark properties of color, charm, and strangeness were opposed to playfulness?
Have you ever seen the famous photo of Einstein and a bunch of other great physicists bending over, peering at a tippee-top on the floor? The tippee-top has remained one of the great challenges of physics.

I was willing to brush this off, but you have pushed your point so hard that I want to come down very firmly against the case you’re making. I’ve done research, I’ve been involved with numerous research projects, and the idea of “screwing around with the data” is fundamental to all research in the physical sciences. The crap you read in the textbooks about formulating a hypothesis, designing an experiment, carrying it out and gathering data, making computations and drawing conclusions—that’s for undergraduates. In the real world, almost everything we do generates reams of data, and the very first step in any such process is to just sit down with the data and start screwing around with it, if only to familiarize yourself with it. You run a few quickie calculations, do some cross-checks, looking for things that might indicate experimental error or instrumental bias. You delve deeper into the data, trying out a variety of secondary hypotheses. Yes, you also run your main computations, but only a nitwit confines the analysis to the primary hypothesis. You have to poke at the data, look at it from a dozen different angles, search for interesting oddities that might reveal something you’ve overlooked. That is PRECISELY what these kids were doing: poking around with the data, looking at it from oddball points of view. The fact that they came up with rather kooky results itself demonstrates that the proxies they used weren’t very useful. I’ve done the same thing: it’s a *fundamental* component of the scientific process. Casting aspersions on this behavior indicates a profound failure to understand how science is actually done.

Address?

?

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Posted: 18 May 2009 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Chris Crawford - 18 May 2009 06:32 PM
Ecrasez l’infame! - 18 May 2009 05:53 PM
Chris Crawford - 17 May 2009 10:31 PM

If you can give me an example of a serious discovery made by someone doing what these students were doing, then I would be very happy to hear about it.

Sure:

James Clerk Maxwell imagining mechanical analogs for his development of his equations for electromagnetism.
Albert Einstein imagining riding on a light beam in developing the theory of relativity.
Ernest Rutherford’s (a very *English* researcher, by the way) characterization of his nuclear experiments as “shooting a cannon at a piece of tissue and having the ball bounce right back at you”—which led directly to the concept of the atomic nucleus.
Maxwell’s Demon
Just about EVERYTHING that Feynman did.
Do you really think that the people who came up with quark properties of color, charm, and strangeness were opposed to playfulness?
Have you ever seen the famous photo of Einstein and a bunch of other great physicists bending over, peering at a tippee-top on the floor? The tippee-top has remained one of the great challenges of physics.

I was willing to brush this off, but you have pushed your point so hard that I want to come down very firmly against the case you’re making. I’ve done research, I’ve been involved with numerous research projects, and the idea of “screwing around with the data” is fundamental to all research in the physical sciences. The crap you read in the textbooks about formulating a hypothesis, designing an experiment, carrying it out and gathering data, making computations and drawing conclusions—that’s for undergraduates. In the real world, almost everything we do generates reams of data, and the very first step in any such process is to just sit down with the data and start screwing around with it, if only to familiarize yourself with it. You run a few quickie calculations, do some cross-checks, looking for things that might indicate experimental error or instrumental bias. You delve deeper into the data, trying out a variety of secondary hypotheses. Yes, you also run your main computations, but only a nitwit confines the analysis to the primary hypothesis. You have to poke at the data, look at it from a dozen different angles, search for interesting oddities that might reveal something you’ve overlooked. That is PRECISELY what these kids were doing: poking around with the data, looking at it from oddball points of view. The fact that they came up with rather kooky results itself demonstrates that the proxies they used weren’t very useful. I’ve done the same thing: it’s a *fundamental* component of the scientific process. Casting aspersions on this behavior indicates a profound failure to understand how science is actually done.

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?

To send you your chocolate.

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Posted: 18 May 2009 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Sarcasm?  angry

Occam

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