Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Positivists
16 followers -
The site of Worldwide Positivism
The site of Worldwide Positivism

16 followers
About
Posts

Post has attachment
Music can only evolve from a computer program if there's human input to rule out (i.e. make extinct) variations that the human ear finds unpleasant. So Armand Leroi (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18449939) is proposing that market forces - the audience - will determine the forms of music evolving from an initial bit of random noise.

Composers start from somewhere completely different - a complex mind, which has already assimilated ideas about what music is, or should be, and is capable of challenging those preconceptions. Stravinsky, for example. Composers can be thought of as similar to genetic mutations. The evolutionary process that ensues might be similar to computer-generated music, though the social status of the early audience may temper later reactions. Many people have a vague notion that classical music is a Good Thing, while not actually listening to much of it.

Call me an elitist, but music by a composer is vastly preferable to computer-initiated music shaped by democratic feedback.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Science, citizen scientists, and crowdsourcing research. I remember back in the early days of SETI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SETI) crunching data on radio signals from the stars. It gave my computer terminal screenburn.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Economics as a hydraulic mechanism.
Guest Column: Like Water for Money
Guest Column: Like Water for Money
opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com
Add a comment...

Post has attachment

Post has attachment
The British Journal of General Practice is concerned about criticisms of the scientific foundation of medicine. Here it gives a spirited defense of the scientific method, summarized below:

a) Medical science stands accused of providing an incomplete understanding of health because it is supposedly founded on linearity, reductionism, and positivism.

b) These criticisms misrepresent the scientific method.

c) The alternatives offered by complexity theory, postmodernism, and qualitative research risk falling into the traps that the scientific method avoids.

d) The hypotheticodeductive model of science provides both a coherent description of the growth of scientific knowledge and a prescription for the conduct of good science.

I'm inclined to agree. Homeopathy is still funded on the NHS (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8330749/Homeopathy-still-being-funded-on-NHS.html), and it still operates the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Homeopathic_Hospital), since rebranded as "Integrated Medicine."
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Some examples of rational, sustainable architecture, using the simplest and most common materials. There's a beauty to these buildings that's missing from more artful and flashy architecture.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Drugs are a hugely emotive subject. They're either Good (sold by big pharma), Bad (sold by dealers), or not really drugs at all because we like them and anyway, they're not illegal (alcohol, tobacco). But the regulations in place are preventing research on the ones deemed Bad, which could yield valuable scientific discoveries and new medicines.

Here's a rational voice in the wilderness, David Nutt (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/david-nutt), speaking out against the prevailing nonsense. Hobbled, it must be said, by an unfortunate name.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Square peg, round hole?
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Before Richard Dawkins became (in)famous as a "militant atheist" - what a silly phrase that is - he did ground-breaking work in zoology and evolutionary biology. Here he is in 1991, as reader in zoology at Oxford, giving the annual Royal Institution Christmas Lecture. These inspiring, entertaining, and interactive lectures for children are an introduction to scientific ideas and a fascinating glimpse into how the natural world works.

Here is Dawkins (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins) on waking and growing up in the universe.
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded