Tuesday, January 12, 2016


The snow we expected for the last several days finally arrived. It is still cold though a couple of degrees warmer than yesterday at this time. We are hibernating. I did finish the set of crocheted coasters I was working on. Nice to have one of my many WIPs done.

Word of the day: agnotology.

A related problem, however, is that scientific "knowledge" can change. Example here from the BMJ on cancer screenings. Something to think about: different levels of "knowledge." Mathematical certainty (one plus one equals two) is not the same as the "mathematical" models of economics or the statistics provided by epidemiologists. The most you can say about the latter two is that they use numbers but they each rely on the assumptions of the researchers, how good/complete their data is, and whether the lines of causality are what they think they are (does the change in A correlate to changes in B or are they related to some other hidden factor.)

Second word of the day: anthropocene. Several of the items cited have a longer history than 65 years. The Romans invented concrete and humans have long emulated beavers in building dams. However, the scale is definitely much larger. And some items, like plastic and artificial chemical fertilizers, are definitely new.

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