Monday, June 15, 2015

Brief news items

In the wake of travel, I wanted to point readers to a few things that might have been missed:
  • Physics Today asks "Has science 'taken a turn towards darkness'?"  I tend to think that the physical sciences and engineering are inherently less problematic (because of the ability of others to try to reproduce results in a controlled environment) than biology/medicine (incredibly complex and therefore difficult or impractical to do controlled experimentation) or the social sciences.  
  • Likewise, Physics Today's Steven Corneliussen also asks, "Could the evolution of theoretical physics harm public trust in science?"  This gets at the extremely worrying (to me) tendency of some high energy/cosmology theorists these days to decry that the inability to test their ideas is really not a big deal, and that we shouldn't be so hung up on the idea of falsifiability
  • Ice spikes are cool.
  • Anshul Kogar and Ethan Brown have started a new condensed matter blog!  The more the merrier, definitely.
  • My book is available for download right now in kindle form, with hard copies available in the UK in a few days and in the US next month.


Anonymous said...

That reminds me, did Miettinen ever get his quantum notes into book form finally?

Douglas Natelson said...

Anon, as far as I am aware, he did not.

Anonymous said...

Why is the silly non-technical book "Engines of Creation" referenced in a technical book? If you're going to bother to mention MNT you can at least be up to date on the subject rather than just paying lip service to it.

Anonymous said...

"...the extremely worrying (to me) tendency of some high energy/cosmology theorists"

Like you should gloat. Actually the molecular scientists have done even a better job of deindustrializing this financialized zoo of a country than the HEP crooks. Thanks for shutting down all those dirty obsolete heat engines (coal, nuclear) so that your useless PV's could "power" this country. And,no, i don't appreciate your innovation in surveillance technologies either.

But now you've got some more climate change scams to attend to, batteries and superconducting cables while waving your climate change flag about. I'm actually quite thrilled that basic science is going down the drain. Its about time experiments are done at scale in applied engineering facilities by real engineers rather than you bums and your worthless papers fleecing the taxpayers

Douglas Natelson said...

Anon@9:29, much as I think it was hogwash and moonshine, I don't think it's inaccurate to use it as an example of the idea of nanotechnology captivating peoples' imaginations. In general, (and you'd see this if you read the book, particularly the last chapter), I think much of molecular nanotechnology (in terms of massive, atomically precise manufacturing) continues to be largely hogwash and moonshine.

Anon@9:55: dude, if you don't like my blog or my views, no one is forcing you to read them. Lay off the trolling, or do it on your own site.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm falling for the bait, but
Anon@9:55: why don't you stick to your principles and start commenting on things you disagree with by using nicely engineered 17th century technology in a large scale applied engineering facility: a factory hall with a (manual!) printing press.

If you prefer to keep using current technology, I suggest you thank the scientists who have discovered the fundamental physics that was used by engineers to create the technology that allows you to comment on blogs from anywhere you choose.