Public Service Announcement

If you get a Facebook message from me or anyone saying that I liked “Girls Are Unable to Stare at This for 10 Seconds, but Guys Can…,” it’s some kind of scam. Don’t follow it.

I’d send a warning to all my FB friends, but my FB pages doesn’t seem to be working properly (e.g., I don’t seem to have a way to update my status, and I can’t type a list name into a message).

Happy 70th Birthday

…Bugs Bunny.

He doesn’t look a day over thirty. His youthful vitality is particularly amazing, considering that he’s a veteran of the Pacific War. I’m tempted to say we should send him to Afghanistan, but he’s probably too politically incorrect for today’s army.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s his (unembeddable) fifty-first-and-a-half anniversary spectacular from 1991. It seems like only yesterday.

True Science

…versus cargo-cult science:

When the attorney general of Virginia sued to force Michael Mann of “hockey stick” fame to provide the raw data he used, and the complete computer program used to analyze the data, so that “you” could decide, the Faculty Senate of the University of Virginia (where Mann was a professor at the time he defended the hockey stick) declared this request — Feynman’s request — to be an outrage. You peons, the Faculty Senate decreed, must simply accept the conclusions of any “scientific endeavor that has satisfied peer review standards.” Feynman’s — and the attorney general’s and my own and other scientists’ — request for the raw data, so we can “judge whether a sensible conclusion has been arrived at,” would, according to the Faculty Senate, “send a chilling message to scientists … and indeed scholars in any discipline.”

According the Faculty Senate of the University of Virginia, “science,” and indeed “scholarship” in general, is no longer an attempt to establish truth by replicable experiment, or by looking at evidence that can be checked by anyone. “Truth” is now to be established by the decree of powerful authority, by “peer review.” Wasn’t the whole point of the Enlightenment to avoid exactly this?

That old “Enlightenment” thing is for fogies. We’re all postmodernists now.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!