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Dean Calahan
8,000 followers -
Genes, Cells, Informatics, …Algae!
Genes, Cells, Informatics, …Algae!

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I really like Beethoven's Tempest sonata, and I really like Valentina and her story. I also really like the sound of her piano here. She wills some sounds out of it that Goode and Barenboim don't (Goode's Tempest is my favorite; the sounds he wills out of it really entrain my dopamine system).

Don't read the comments until after, er, well, you'll know. You'll definitely know. A bit into the second movement.

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I'm definitely procrastinating here. After this, back to work! Anyway, W.U. has been traveling and requesting pictures of the N.P. I just snap and shoot and text, but of course whenever I plug Phone into Machine they appear and I can easily edit them (instead of debugging my Stuff, which is what I should be Doing and will Get Right Back To). So that is what I did. Regardless of the Pet Picture nature of it, I like the composition. Very geometrical.

Disclaimer: To my knowledge I have ever only posted pet pictures ironically, sarcastically, or informationally. The Noodle Poodle was featured (as a puppy) in a sort of ironic post when I got my first smart phone a few years back. So if you're about to Block Me Because I Post Pet Pictures, perhaps you can find pause.
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A week's growth of algae in the floway I've been visiting. It's about 2 m wide, and receives up to ~400 L min-1 of water from the harbor (the flow rate decreases over the week as the pump is in a cage lined with screen to keep fish eggs from getting drawn in, and gets covered with obstructive growths that need to be cleaned off). The water comes in, it flows down, it flows out. No filtration, no sterilization, no nutrients added, we just wait for the algae to grow. INMP*, but in my opinion we'd substantially increase productivity by harvesting every 5 days instead of weekly in the height of summer.

*It's not my project
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No doubt the schedules will slip. Planning is a tool, not scripture.

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A close-up (10-15 cm away) of some algal biomass that has been spread in the drying pit and left in the hot sun for a few days.
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This is of Planetary significance.

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This warms the cockles of my heart. Of course it also troubles the grumblings of my dismay: I hope they don't mess it up.

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Here's a picture of a scientist (not me!) about to take a sample of algal harvest.
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Something other than glum depression to share!

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Assuming Brandolini's Law (regarding bullshit asymmetry) is true, what should we actually do about bullshit? Obviously, we should ensure that our own work has been vetted for bullshit as much as possible, but what about all that noise? One choice is to throw up our hands and turn off the TV (metaphorically speaking). I've got a lot of work to do, some of it on a hard schedule. This is my choice for now. My hope is that "culture" just needs some time to "adapt" to all the bullshit. My fear is that "adapt" means lots of mass graves and continued enduring multi-generational animosity between realists and fantasizers

Here's a hypothesis, derived from chestnuts such as a wink is as good as a nod and a word to the wise is sufficient. Let's say that refuting bullshit takes ten times the effort as generating it in the first place. Let's also say that there is 10 times more bullshit than sense. If those of us who generate sense went all out in refuting bullshit, we could only handle 1% of it. Makes you think such efforts are Sisyphean. But what if we spent an average of 10% of our effort on bullshit refutation? Granted, we would refute only 0.1% of it, but: A) we'd probably get better at bullshit refutation, so that number would go up; and B) that stuff about winks and words might mean that 0.1% is a good start; and C) perhaps there is a way to prioritize bullshit refutations so that refuting the most important bullshit is perhaps 10 times more effective that refuting a random selection of bullshit.

Frankly, I think this approach is hopeless without automated bullshit refutation and some way to turn the volume down on all that bullshit, but maybe airing it this way will stimulate a better approach or at least some brainstorming.
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