linklog 060315

The Fat Bald Guy Rule
“The Fat Bald Guy Rule posits that, when considering otherwise roughly equivalent candidates for any job whose formal requirements don’t include being good-looking, hire the fat bald guy. The reason is simple: Society gives all sorts of unearned preferences to good-looking people, so when a fat bald guy manages to assemble a resume that at first glance resembles that possessed by his good-looking competition, the FBGR assumes that the former record is actually far more impressive than the latter, all things considered.” Damn straight.
SUNSHINE Week
More necessary than ever. “Sunshine Week is a national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include print, broadcast and online news media, civic groups, libraries, non-profits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know. Sunshine Week is led by the American Society of Newspaper Editors and is funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.”
Rhosgobel: Radagast’s home
Finally, a Linux distro that might not make me want to chew out my own pancreas.
Deltoid: Dunk Malaria
Tim Lambert is looking for donations to one of his pet causes (and a good one). He’ll match pledges to $300. Note to the spousal unit: I gave $10.
c h r o m a s i a / 15 March, 2006 / I wouldn’t bet on it
David says the sepia-toned effect is achieved by applying a gentle reverse S curve to the blue channel in PS. Good to know.
BlueOregon: Brokeback High: Expelled West Linn Student Re-instated
Straight senior makes short film for English class, is expelled because said film is a gay love story (no nudity or anything untoward, mind); massive protest; student reinstated. Score one for the good guys, except that the school admin in question probably won’t suffer for their assholery. See also brandonflyte.com.
Big Monkey, Helpy Chalk: Meritocracy, knowledge production, and killing your advisor
“…people with tenure generally believe that academe is a meritocracy. People who would otherwise never endorse social Darwinism assume that those who fail in the academy do so because they weren’t smart enough to compete. Obviously, people hold this belief largely because it lets them flatter themselves. But I think there is another reason for it. We in the academy, whether we are in the humanities or the sciences, believe with good reason we are producing knowledge. Our central processes, like peer review and experiment replication, are designed to ensure the quality of our product: knowledge. So if we are producing knowledge, it is natural to assume that we are also rewarding the best knowledge producers. This inference is at best unjustified. The systems of knowledge production and career advancement are a few steps removed from each other, and it is quite likely that they do not work in synch.”
Morford: I Am Done With Violence
I read Mark Morford for the funny, but he’s also good in serious mode. Here he is making a lot of serious sense about the role and pervasive presence of violence in the modern USA.
A. E. Stallings – 2005 National Book Festival (Library of Congress)
My favourite living poet reading her own work. Sadly, it’s in the vile RealMedia format.
Seed: Overthrowing Darwin’s Number Two Theory
Joan Roughgarden and team model reproductive behaviour in terms of Nash’s bargaining theory instead of sexual selection and competition. This is gonna be good; I don’t have a dog in the fight so I’m going to enjoy watching the field argue over this. Pointless (and almost baseless) prediction: she’s mostly wrong, but the standard view will be revised to accomodate the bits she has right.
Adventures in Ethics and Science: Institutional obligations to animals and to researchers.
Canadian IACUC equivalent shuts down an entire research program. Details are sketchy, but my inclination is to side with the ethics committee. You have to be pretty combative (AND be breaking guidelines) to get them to shut you down, in my experience. Some students may have a legit “meat in the sammich” complaint, but they’re *graduate* students — viz, they’re supposed to be grownups so my inclination is to have little sympathy for them either. Where were they while the dispute was progressing?

linklog archive, aka my Ma.gnolia account

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