Biweekly links for 01/02/2009

  • Why is the free market letting us down?
    • Interesting summary of some of the problems and promise of markets.
  • Eric Drexler: Greenhouse Gases and Advanced Nanotechnology
  • Building Nutch: Open Source Search
    • A paper describing Nutch, an open source search engine, from the creator, Doug Cutting.
  • Now that’s what I call LEGO
    • A guy has built a LEGO aircraft carrier that looks to be about 25 feet long.
  • Multi-core in the Source Engine
    • A fun article describing some of the challenges involved in moving the Source Game Engine (used in Half-Life 2 and other games) to a world in which multi-core processors are the norm.
  • Steve Koch Research blog
    • Steve Koch is building up an experimental biophysics lab at the University of New Mexico. He’s blogging here about some of the work going on in the lab, in an open-sciencey way. The first post links to his lab’s “research principles”, which includes a discussion of some of the concrete problems surrounding open science.
  • Backreaction: We are Einstein
    • Excellent thoughtful post. Short quote (there’s much more): “The larger the body of knowledge grows that we are working with, the more important it thus becomes for scientists – as for everybody else – to not only have information available, but also have the tools to search, filter, and structure this information, and to direct it to where it is useful. Given this possibility, we could save a lot of time and effort by more efficiently sorting through available sources of information, by faster finding people with the right knowledge to complement our work, by outsourcing specialized tasks to those who have the best skills. And while the first of these points is readily under way with ever more powerful search tools, the latter two are only in the beginning and will need to bring changes in the way science is presently done.”
  • Daniel Lemire: Grabbing attention or building a reputation?
    • “However, I do not blog or write research papers merely to grab attention. Instead, I seek to increase my reputation. While attention fluctuates depending on your current actions, reputation builds up over time based on your reliability, your honesty, and your transparency. To build a good reputation, you do not need to do anything extraordinary: you just need to be consistent over a long time.”
  • Cloth Physics
    • Wonderful little demo that lets you manipulate a piece of cloth(!) by dragging bits of it around.
  • The Quantum Pontiff : A Curmudgeon’s and Improv’s Guide to Outliers: Introduction
    • Dave Bacon punches some holes in the opening story from Malcolm Gladwell’s new book.

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