About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Monday, January 25, 2010
* If a building could dream, this is exactly what it would look like.
* This physicist's underappreciated webcomic, Abstruse Goose, is like XKCD's kid brother. It's clever, absurdist, and frequently educational.
* Online personals websites are one of the best sources of hard data on what guides people's dating choices, and OKCupid -- founded by a couple of math geeks from Harvard -- makes excellent use of that data. Last week they published an analysis of what makes a good profile picture. Also, check out their earlier analyses about people's racial preferences, and about which words are strong predictors of whether someone will respond to your message.
* Wired has an interesting article about a researcher who studies research: how it works, why it fails.
* Two of my best friends recently launched a blog called Ask a Mathematician, Ask a Physicist which I highly recommend. They're very clever guys who'll tackle any question from "What happens if you fall into a black hole?" to "Would it be possible to kill all of Earth's life with nuclear bombs?" to "What is the meaning of life?"